06 November 2016

The Silver Lining of the Trump Fiasco

Maybe there's a silver lining to this whole Trump episode. The Libertarian-Tea Party wing and now the Trumpites have smashed the GOP both in terms of a consensus and as a unified institution.

We don't know yet what the fallout will be after November 2016. If the movement perpetuates, the GOP will probably fail to recover. This may be the effectual end of the Two-Party duopoly.

For some that's good news indeed. I would share some reserved optimism if the United States had a parliamentary system but with its winner-take-all politics, the Electoral College and the way the parties caucus and form committees within the Congress... third parties have little hope in making a serious dent.

But frankly I don't really care about the political technicalities and the 'shop talk' of the strategists.

Spiritually speaking what will the breaking of the GOP mean?

On a negative note, it will likely lead to extremism and probably violence as more and more splinter groups stray toward the danger zone.

On a positive note, it may break the aspirations of the Christian Right. I'm being real optimistic here. But if the political potential is actually removed, maybe, just maybe some people will start to listen to some alternatives and consider that there are other ways of viewing these questions.

Trump is already dividing the Christian Right. Jerry Falwell Jr. has raised a great deal of ire in censoring his campus newspaper and rejecting anti-Trump editorials. It's his prerogative, it's a private school.

And yet, not everyone is happy with his Trumpolatry. There will be factions within the Christian Right that will reconsider Falwell and even more important Liberty University.

I would count it a great day to see that fraudulent institution collapse into obscurity. But that's not likely.

Of course there are many other options. This massive hydra isn't going to go away any time soon. But maybe some good will come out of the Trump fiasco. Fortress Christo-America's walls have been cracked and a few gates have been smashed.

That's good news. Maybe we can rescue some souls from the darkness and help them see that they've been deceived.


  1. Of course I am still baffled by the fact that when I pull into a church parking lot on Sunday morning I see Trump stickers. What has happened that the Christian Right has embraced a rapist mafia thug? Just because the other option is a corrupt warmonger doesn't change what Trump is.

    I don't think there's any going back. This nightmare called the 2016 US Presidential Election has changed society as well as the American Church. There's no going back.

  2. How do you feel about thinkers like Rod Dreher (the american conservative) idea of the Benedict Option, or Russell Moore (ethics and religious liberty commission) idea of the Prophetic Minority. Dreher is Eastern Orthodox and Moore is Southern Baptist. They both have short Youtube talks from Q Ideas if you are interested. I think they both represent mainstream conservative reactions (one High Church and one Low Church) to the culture change that are extremely positive. Both are reclaiming the antithesis and pilgrim mindset in significant ways. I know from reading your blog that you probably will feel that neither of them go far enough (Dreher's use of icons and Moore's insistence on influencing public policy both coming to mind quickly). I know your busy but would love to hear how you view developments like this in the church-optimistically or pessimistically. I personally view Moore with appreciation but still fundamentally flawed (because of his kuyperianism), but view Dreher as extremely helpful (because of his focus on the monastic tradition- especially St. Benedict himself). His High Church tendencies may be too much for someone with you opinions, but I find myself willing to move such issues down lower in importance in an age when Christians like you and me will need to find allies that do not totally compromise over the truth of the Scriptures.

  3. I don't know who Dreher is but I'm familiar with Moore. Generally I'm not a fan but he seems to have shifted recently and has caught a great deal of grief for it especially from figures like Franklin Graham. While not endorsing Moore's positions I would feel comfortable with a position identified as Prophetic Minority.... actually I would prefer Prophetic Witness. I think we're 2nd class citizens that don't directly participate in the political process and so 'minority' probably isn't appropriate because it implies a political posture.

  4. Well obviously this changes things. Rather than suffering a shattering division the Christian Right will now be galvanised. Figures like Moore will probably be ostracised and condemned. The truth, even in its watered down forms will be silenced.

    It is a shame and a disgrace that Evangelicals played such an important role in electing a sexual deviant, mafia-esque criminal and thug to political office... not to mention his porno wife.

    The Christian Right is indeed dead in terms of its moral authority but it remains to be seen whether or not it will continue to be a unified force.

    As a Christian, this is the issue. Trump is peripheral, a commentary on US society. A charlatan to be sure, but his problem is one of style more than substance. He is not that far out of bounds in terms of the Establishment. No one knows yet what he's going to do and how much success he'll have. It's clear that based on his advisors he's already proving to be as much of a phony change-agent as Obama was.

    The amazing thing about last night was that so many professing Christians supporting this man that you wouldn't want to have over to your house for dinner, you wouldn't want to do business with him and you wouldn't want your kids to be around him. And yet in many ways he is the perfect expression and representation of our sick and decadent culture.

    Finally I wonder what will become of the militia movements? Will they fade away like they did under Bush or will they feel empowered and vindicated? Will they receive tacit support from the Executive? From the borders to scenes of urban unrest will they become the regime's paramilitaries?

  5. That last paragraph is a particularly scary possibility that I pray does not occur. My wife and I have been praying for peace as our primary request during these times. I also agree about your thoughts on the Christian Right. This is what happens when pragmatics "trump" principle.

    This election has taught me once and for all Christians cannot and should not participate in the government but stand as and alternative witness. I seriously toyed with the idea of supporting a candidate in the primaries and voting in the general. My new calvinist/TGC friends strongly urged me to do so (most of them pro-Hillary because of SJW issues). I re-looked into just war theory through Oliver O'Donovan and Calvinist International. I looked into ideas about a new evangelical public policy coalition through people like Michael Brown and Russell Moore. All of this is bankrupt and heretical. Thank you for this blog. Your witness along with Dreher/MacIntyre have really helped me in this season of my faith.

    On a slightly positive note- I am thankful that the globalist Left and identity politics got a huge blow back slap in the face through all this. The resulting presidency will not be worth that small victory but anything that helps restrain the unified babel beast is worth being thankful for.

  6. Also please look into Dreher. His Benedict Option Book comes out in March.

    (only 19 minutes long)