I do not believe these are days for mincing words. I’m 63 1/2 years old & I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive & dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism. This Christian nationalism is not of God. Move back from it.— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) December 13, 2020
I'm 58 2/3 years old and I'm pretty sure that Moore picked up the terminology "Trumpism" from her good friend, David French, when she was directed to his just published article on The Dispatch, where he is senior editor, entitled, The Dangerous Idolatry of Christian Trumpism. He's also a columnist at Time, and was a guest this morning on the Morning Joe show on MSNBC. The Dispatch was a publication launched in October 2019 by men notoriously neoconservative and never-Trump, Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg. Trump, of course, has been hated by the pure neocons, ever since he came on the scene, pummeling Governor Jeb Bush out of the 2016 primaries.
For a start, whatever Trumpism is, Beth Moore herself, her kind, and their teaching are more dangerous than it. This is not to approve of much of what French exposed in his piece, even though I do understand the thinking of those people more than I do Moore's and French's. A very destructive problem is this faulty thinking that Trumpism, whatever it is, is the problem. I'm saying that I don't know what Trumpism is because it is a word that serves as a vessel to pour many different definitions that might suit the one who uses it. Whatever it is though, I would evaluate Trumpism as a net gain in the United States, compared to the absence of Trumpism. It's not a replacement for Jesus Christ. It isn't the formation of a new gospel. It isn't the answer, but it is a safe space ironically to find an answer.
Some of what is called Trumpism is not true. One should say that everything from the left is not true. The left lives in a world of lies or that a world that is a lie, both. Neoconservatives aren't biblical Christians, which are the only Christians, that is, biblical ones. They are so associated with progressives now that they aren't even liberal enough anymore to show up on Fox News. Their associations with the left annul them. They are relegated to CNN and MSNBC purgatory.
Just as an aside, who is the crowd of people that the Southern Baptist Convention or evangelicalism is going to receive and keep, who apparently accepts the gospel and this Woke thinking that accommodates the left? They think they'll pick them up, while they ignore the deplorables? Or maybe they think they already have the people who, as President Obama put it, "cling to their guns and religion"? They don't, but those are far more likely to consider the Bible than the ones they are attempting to impress. Those people have already sold their souls.
Trumpism has a Wikipedia page, certainly written by leftists there. You know that you've got make-believe when a big part of the definition is "narcisissm," which is constitutive to critical theory. Narcissism was introduced to psychotherapy by the God-denying atheist, Sigmund Freud. Those who use it, like it's being used today, I read apply it in Freud-like manner. It's not what we might think, sinful pride, from scripture. The labeling of Trumpism, which includes Trump supporters, as narcissists is an aspect of critical theory through a marriage of Marxism and Freudianism.
The Trump supporter believes in liberty, which is tied to individuality, even in the definition of Americanism. For the Christian, which isn't every Trump supporter, this is the individual relationship with God, rights God gives an individual (not a group), and individual salvation or redemption. God saves individuals, not groups. A major appeal of Trump to true believers is the individualism he represents in his beliefs, which to him probably stems from the era from which he comes, this being a far more prominent view, and then the Presbyterian church in which he grew up. It was a liberal church, but today it would look conservative.
The left puts its emphasis on the group -- think group identity -- and what you hear most often today, community, as in "community organizer." Individualism is equated with narcissism. These are people so concerned for their own liberty, that they neglect the group. The practical purpose of critical theory is said to redirect individual narcissism towards collectivism. The individual lacks in critical reflection, destining for himself to act upon his own self-interests. One symptom then of this narcissism is the demonization of others, anyone different. Freud was Jewish, and especially at that juncture in history, saw this as the narcissism too in nationalistic tendencies that reject other ethnic identity, which later critical theory pointed out the need for this narcissism to find its expression in an autocratic leader.
Between the two, scripture, therefore, God, teaches individual rights: the right to life and the right to property. You don't have true freedom if someone can play horseshoes in his neighbors front lawn or invade his refrigerator. Marxism believes that the state is God. At the root of its equality is equality of outcome, accomplished at the group level, the community. Capitalism is narcissistic because the person wants to keep what he owns instead of sharing it all with others. Anyway, you get the picture.
The protection of individual rights is the purpose of government. Trump supporters, not blind to Trump, don't see Trump as a ruler who wants absolute power. I am a Trump supporter. I don't see it. Trump was the de-regulator. He unchained individuals to innovate, much like we saw with the production of ventilators and then the vaccine.
The oligarchy of Big Tech is where I see autocracy. These Democrat governors closing their states for business are the autocrats. Trump was criticized during the pandemic for not "providing leadership," which would mean a national mask mandate, something like that. Trump allowed the states the power reserved by the constitution to the states. His threat of intervention, which he didn't really use, came with the endangerment of the citizens in Democrat run cities.
The freedom of religion is the right of the individual, as seen in the free exercise clause. Trump encouraged and supported the individual freedom to gather and worship against the Democrat instinct, like a state church, to conform to the state. The point of nationalism is the protection of individual rights again. Open borders destroys private ownership. People can't be free if they are not protected, which is why the first role of government is protection. Protection requires borders and walls. These ideals have also been chosen to be superior to the alternative.
The left will call the individualism of Trump, not only narcissistic, but cultic. The only cultic tendency that characterizes Trumpism, that I see, yes, is taken to an extreme by some people. I don't see it as a dangerous extreme, but I do see it as a necessary extreme right now to combat the collectivism of the left. I've heard the left call them black or brown shirts, which is a lie.
True Christians believe in the sovereignty of God. They believe God is the author of history. They believe that God brought Trump in whatever way they compare him to other leaders in world history whom God has providentially caused or allowed to gain power. Some probably have a cult like belief in this. They're wrong to think that way, but I see them as a necessary, even providential, deterrent to the Marxists and Communists. They have far more adherents to their wicked, dangerous, and destructive collectivist cult. They are warped and blinded in far worse ways than the simplicity of the most fervent MAGA hat wearers.
A means to an end, Trumpism allows Americans to keep being Americans. Trump hasn't come close to living like the country he wants to allow Americans to have. He hasn't lived it himself, but he has fought for those who believe in it. Others who have said they have believed in it wouldn't and didn't fight. They capitulate still. If one of them had fought like he has, we may have preferred one of them to him. This is what we got, like Israel got Samson and Cyrus in the Old Testament.
Trumpism, the word itself, is a type of critical theory tool. Words are power. David French and Beth Moore want you, Trump supporter, to be ashamed of yourself. Don't be.