By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
Ever since the current occupant of the White House began his candidacy for the presidency, he has kept this country and indeed, the world, in a constant state of stress.
It began in his campaign. His method was to go on television – him and his surrogates – and talk over the journalists trying to interview him. “Excuse me” was his go-to phrase as he shut down questions he did not want to answer. It was like his whole team had been trained to control the media’s capacity to get truth and valid answers out of him. It was aggravating for many to watch, but his base, to which he was joined at the hip, loved it. He was giving “the establishment” a beat-down. He was shutting down the forces that his base believed had wronged them for too long. He was showing the world that he had no intention of being “politically correct,” meaning he had no intention to be civil or polite to the elites who had for too long batted them down.
How many times did we hear that he was giving “red meat” to his base? He, accompanied and supported by conservative media – both print and broadcast – had only one intention: to rile up that base and show them that he was on their side as nobody else had been. To hell with consent decrees and criticizing police brutality against people of color, especially Black people. To hell with treating this country’s allies with respect, and to hell with doing anything that would protect the environment and therefore, the people who lived in the environment. To hell with science, to hell with climate change, to hell with anything that seemed to help make the lives of the vast numbers of American citizens.
This president had shoved protocol in the face of this government from the beginning. He would rule the way he wanted to rule. During the campaign, he would not produce his tax returns; the so-called “audit” was ongoing and apparently has not been yet completed, because even as he nears the end of his presidency, no tax returns have been produced. He used his Twitter account to excoriate and to fire people he did not like – and he did not like anyone who dared challenge him. He was a master at calling people names and lying about everything. He thought nothing of getting on the world stage and using the most crass language a world leader has ever been heard to use. He made grandiose summaries of what he had done; he was the president of superlatives. Everything he did was “better than anything has ever been,” or language similar to that.
He was a racist from the beginning. Mexicans were racists and “bad” people, he said according to The Washington Post. Muslims were “radical Islamic terrorists” who deserved to be kept out of this country, CNN reported him saying. He was going to build a “big beautiful wall” to keep refugees from Central America out of the United States, USA Today documented. When angry Whites descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, he said there were “good people on both sides,” revealing his racist leanings, during an ABC News broadcast. He encouraged violence meted out by White supporters – including police officers – telling the latter not to be so “gentle” with those whom they arrested, Vox revealed. He reminded people at his rallies that protesters were not welcome, and that there was a time when people were violently gotten rid of in certain situations, according to the Business Insider. He stoked violence at every turn, and his base loved it.
The relationship between Trump and evangelical Christians – most, not all, of whom were White – was another component of his base. They loved – and still love – him because they were sure he would get judges on the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. It was astounding to watch NPR and see this group of people who had hitherto pronounced themselves as the highest moral standard in America accept his language, the accusations of sexual impropriety, and according to The New York Times, they were unmoved when the president insulted the late Sen. John McCain, and many of them proclaimed that the president had been sent to this country by God, as reported by the Register Guard. There was no outcry, no objection when this president revealed his ignorance of the Bible as he held up the Bible at a rally and said it was his favorite book, citing “two Corinthians,” as noted by NPR.
His language and his behavior was troubling and dangerous – and it still is. While we may not be subjected to the daily tweets of this very troubling and troubled man, he is still the knight in shining armor for his base – which loves him to the point of hysteria. This base – which is not a group of uneducated, uninformed people, but which is a mixture of the educated and uneducated, the very rich and the very poor – are convinced that their candidate, their president, was robbed of a second term. In spite of the facts, in spite of multiple recounts, and in spite of state and federal judges – some of whom were appointed by the president – they are convinced that he was wronged and that President-elect Biden stole the election from him. The final decision of the United States Supreme Court, which politely dismissed the case filed by the Texas attorney general to overturn the election served only to make “the base” even more angry, according to CNN.
Then there was his total mishandling of the coronavirus, which has taken over 250,000 lives. There was no outrage from his base as he pushed rogue solutions, including using hydroxychloroquine and even bleach. He turned a dangerous and deadly virus attack into a political football, thrown to his base to make them ignore public health recommendations that could have resulted in our country losing far fewer people. He showed no regard or compassion or concern for the hundreds of thousands of people who were dying; he had little inclination to make sure health care workers had the Personal Protective Equipment they needed to tend to the very sick, and made wearing a mask a sign of weakness. Where did this man come from? Americans are still unable to function “normally,” the economy is sinking causing economic distress on top of physical distress, and this man and his minions do not care.
This president has been a nightmare, and the nightmare may not yet be over. There are too many days between now and January 20, 2021, the day President-elect Biden and Vice-president-elect Sen. Kamala Harris are to be inaugurated. This man is bad for the country, and has been since he entered the political arena. His last act – to work to overthrow the government – has been scary and insulting. He has over 70 million Americans who are with him in spite of what he has done, including some lawmakers (over 100 supported his last attempt to throw out the results of the November election, as reported by The Hill) as well as some attorney generals.
He has ripped this country to tatters. He has ripped the concept of democracy. He has ripped the spirits of people who have agonized over his antics, actions and inactions.
It is time for it to be over.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. Her latest book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America is available at all booksellers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.