Low-Rent Gods and Men
Does Trump reveal God’s Purpose?
Bryan Zepp Jamieson
December 27th 2023
A survey conducted by Denison University political scientist Paul Djupe found around 30 percent of Americans believe Trump “was anointed by God to become president.” Thirty percent.
Now, I don’t know anything about the methodology of this poll. Frankly, I doubt the number is anywhere near that high. Ten percent, tops. Trump’s support among the religious is pretty much limited to evangelicals, and they only make up 25% of the population. And the same Economist article that cited that number also reported, “In a Pew poll in 2021, more than a third of white evangelicals said the government should stop enforcing the separation of church and state.” Outside of that group, the notion that scrapping separation of church and state and making Trump some sort of god/emporer drops through the basement. I doubt very much 10% of Catholics buy into that, much less mainstream Protestants, non-Christian and unaffiliated/secular.
Still, there’s a lot of Americans who do believe that nonsense. One of the stranger ones is the notion that there are seven “mountains” to a godly life: family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government. Daemons controlled those, but Trump has already climbed and taken over entertainment, business, media, government and family. This group thinks he’s taken over religion, as well. That would leave education to surmount.
OK, let’s take a pause while you get your breath back. Those of you still laughing, imagine being in bed with Marjorie Taylor-Greene. Yes, that’s a cruel thing to do to you, but if you don’t stop laughing you might hurt yourself.
There’s a saying popular amongst us secular sorts: “Science asks questions that demand an answer. Religion provides answers that demand no questions.” Obviously, that’s a simplification. There are many people of faith who do ask questions, including of their own beliefs. And some scientists are as hidebound and rigid in their intellectual structure as any 16th century preacher. But the fact remains that the true first commandment in many branches of religion is “Thou shalt not question.” Obviously, this is a fertile demographic for opportunists and demagogues.
Let’s see about those mountains that Trump is supposedly climbing. I’ll start out by noting that you’re far more likely to find a sea slug at the peak of Everest, just so you aren’t burdened by any suspense about the following.
Entertainment: Trump was a B-list celebrity with a reality TV show. The highest Neilson rating it ever got was 7.0. It never was anywhere near the most popular show in its timeslot.
Media: Trump had Faux News, and now, having cost them $787 million in costs from lying on his behalf, he doesn’t even have that. He has Truth Social, which is pretty pathetic, and lunatic-fringe outfits like Newsmax and OANN, both of which face massive defamation suits of their own.
Business: Until Elon Musk came along, Trump had lost more money than any individual in the history of America. He took over three casinos and they all went bust within a few years. Casinos are licenses to mint money! He’s been found guilty of tax fraud and is awaiting sentencing. He settled a vast class action suit for fraud for Trump University days before he took office. He is banned from running charities after he was found to have stolen from a children’s cancer charity he ran. Business attracts thieves, con artists and other filth, and it certainly attracted Trump. But he never was any good at it.
Entertainment: Well, his venality and endless personal scandals kept cartoonists and humorists busy for decades, so I suppose there’s that. And he attracts eyeballs, although the leading reasons are “What’s that idiot done now?” and “Oh, fuck, NO!”
Family: he’s had three wives and at least a dozen mistresses. He was banging Stormy Daniels while Melania was carrying his youngest son. His niece, Mary Trump, openly despises him. He buried one of his exes in an unmarked grave on one of his golf courses, and its rumored that her coffin contains incriminating evidence Trump wanted to go away forever.
Government: Yes, he was a one term president. He won despite losing the popular vote, and never has won a popular vote. The economy contracted during his term, the worst since Hoover, and the deficit exploded. He turned the Supreme Court into a sad joke. And because of the cowardice of mainstream Republicans, that party is now home to traitors, religious nuts, violent extremists, and the most ignorant fools America can scrape up.
Religion: Well, define “religion.” If love of money, power and self-aggrandizement is a religion, then Trump qualifies. Claiming to have god on his side doesn’t count. Nearly every dictator and tyrant in the history of this sad world has claimed to have god on his side. Fundamentalists cannot question and cannot learn. They are fodder and feeding ground for monsters. In stressful times, they are enough to put a Hitler or a Cromwell in power.
That leaves Education. Again, the term is subjective. When the evangelicals talk about that particular mountain, they have something entirely different from what most people think of when you mention education. Math and science are not a part of that particular equation. For that matter, the word ‘equation’ isn’t, either. Learning biblical writ, obeying and never questioning are considered virtues, and a child who questions is a child who must be beaten. So Trump may surmount Education, although, like Religion, it might be in a form none of us would recognize as such.
If ten percent of the population swallow the nonsense of Trump being “the Will of God,” that’s disturbing and a sad reflection on humanity in general. Thirty percent would be catastrophic, a certain sign that a culture has fully decompensated and slid into madness. Mass jailing and mass executions will follow, along with widespread misery. So that’s why I don’t buy that poll. America is having problems, but it isn’t in hospice.
But never forget that this type of religious fervor is toxic, and an infection in even the healthiest of societies.