John Murdock Says Believers Should Be Careful About Allying Themselves Closely With Trump, Lest Their Christian Witness be Harmed

by John Murdock

President Trump calls his tweets “MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.” Not everyone agrees, but as he often reminds us of his critics, “I’m President and they’re not.” The point seems to be that if you are the president, then you get to write your own “presidential” rules.

When asked post-election about some tweets that now sound almost innocuous, Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said it directly: “Well, he’s the president-elect, so that’s presidential behavior.” When pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on whether that made everything Bill Clinton did in the Oval Office “presidential,” Conway wisely retreated a bit.

At some level, most of us do want there to be a rule-book. We want to see traditions upheld. We want to see norms stay normal. Everyone just “writing their own rules” has a name. Anarchy. Most still agree that is not the best way to run a life or a world. Nevertheless, agreeing to have a rule-book is a far cry from agreeing about what goes into it. Tribal affinities can strongly affect the rules we want to see in a play at any particular time.

A number of vocal Christians are thrilled to see President Trump breaking the old political playbook and taking it to a media establishment that, to their eyes, has not played fair for a long time. I can understand where they are coming from. The likes of ABC’s George Stephanopoulos (Bill Clinton’s former close aide) or CNN’s Chris Cuomo (son of one liberal New York governor and brother to another) hardly have pedigrees that instill confidence in their objectivity.

You can see the results on the air in big and small ways daily. Take former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell, who recently managed to still sound rather lucid on CNN despite Cuomo’s repeated attempts to jab him about the controversial election integrity commission on which he serves.

Blackwell noted that if just one vote per Ohio precinct had changed in 1976, Jimmy Carter would have lost and Gerald Ford would have won. Such seemed an unobjectionable home-state example (verifiable with simple math) about why each properly cast ballot should be protected.

The next day, in an interview with Maine’s secretary of state, Cuomo seemed a bit frustrated at his Democrat guest’s calm and measured demeanor. So, Cuomo took it upon himself to call Blackwell’s example from the day before “wild speculation.” Question if you will the relevance of Blackwell offering an illustration centered on 12,000 votes when defending a commission spurred by Trump’s own claims of “millions” of illegal voters, but the statement itself was clearly based on very real numbers.

If the mainstream media are going to just ignore or badmouth facts to advance a particular agenda, some Christians don’t mind at all if Trump goes bare-knuckles and leaves them bleeding from their facelifts. Blackwell himself recently noted that “many Americans are happy to finally have a president who fights back.” Then, after listing a string of jaw-droppers coming from the lips of outspoken progressives, Blackwell called on “decent liberals to hold their less principled colleagues to account.”

Of course, something similar should be asked of decent conservatives, especially conservative Christians. We can’t just say of whatever we do, “Well, I’m a Christian, so that was Christian behavior.” While the presidency may not have one, believers do have an unchanging written rule book to which we will be held accountable.

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SOURCE: Christian Post

John Murdock worked for over a decade in Washington, D.C. He now teaches at the Handong International Law School, a Christian institution in South Korea.