(Surrounded by COVID-19, 44 million people filing for unemployment, thousands of businesses shut-down, a clamor for structural change amidst racial realities, a demand for police reform, and a rise in gun violence, the United States is swimming in stormy electoral politics. Addressing such gigantic challenges necessitates structural attention. Structural attention invites political/public skill from the Executive branch of government. What form of Presidential leadership fits this crucible moment? Who is the timely leader? Who is a “David” to unite us around a covenant of justice? Who is the one that can bring the good order Paul cites in Romans 13 to a suffering nation? Contrary, who is the “misleader” to borrow a Bonhoeffer phrase? Leadership matters. As Christians, we are led by the grace of the Holy Trinity. Over the coming months, ENGAGE will engage in conversation on the persons and qualities of leadership demanded for this historical time. Justice, peace and reconciliation are in the docket. The ethics of Jesus is shining its Light. Diverse opinions will be presented. Beginning this conversation is a blog by Jay Thacker, a member of the ENGAGE Public Witness Team.)
TRUMP AND THE TRUTH: It is no secret that the search for truth has become particularly consequential since Donald Trump entered the Presidency. It has seemed that every day, at least one misleading or outright lie has been presented to the public via his rallies, tweets, or ad lib comments. The Washington Post has been keeping track of Trump’s false and misleading statements throughout his presidency, and as of April 14, 2020, reported that he had made 18,000 false or misleading claims in just 1,170 days, averaging more than 15 statements every day!
Two of his latest fake offerings are that (1) the Democratic Party does not care about law and order because some protesters and the Minneapolis City Council impetuously called for “disbanding” the city police force, despite leading Democrats refuting the use and implication of that word and Trump’s accusation, and (2) the conspiracy theory that a peaceful protester in Buffalo, NY might be a member of the anti-fascist group Antifa, who faked his bleeding blow to the head that has required hospital care.
A functioning and healthy democracy requires an informed and knowledgeable citizenry. When misleading or false statements emanate from the highest position in the land, the ability to maintain such a democracy is greatly hindered. Therefore, it is past time that Trump become a one-term President.
(NOTE: If you would like to offer an opposing opinion, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blessings and Peace!
Ron Letnes (Rev. Dr.)