Of all the things that Trump has done in office, briefly delaying foreign aid to Ukraine in support of its ongoing military conflict with Russia over Crimea and the Donbass, which is utterly none of our business, is about the last thing that makes him morally unfit to be president.
“The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.
Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character. …”
What about his support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen?
What about the time he attacked Syria over the fake gas attack?
What about the fact that he has sold our foreign policy to Jewish donors who are loyal to Israel and who put its interests far above our own? These are all better reasons to impeach Trump.
As disappointed as I am with Trump, he has been the best president on foreign policy since Reagan. He hasn’t started two devastating wars that have cost over a trillion dollars and which have lasted for a generation like George W. Bush. He hasn’t destroyed a foreign state yet in the name of democracy like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did in Libya and Syria and unleashed a tidal wave of refugees and terrorists that have flooded into Europe. Bill Clinton started a war in Europe in Serbia. George H.W. Bush may have won the Gulf War, but he got us bogged down in Iraq in the first place. The last four imperialist presidents all started foreign wars.
Trump has tried to reduce tensions with Russia, but has been blocked by the Deep State and the Democrats in Congress. He has tried to ease tensions with North Korea. He pulled back at the last moment from attacking Iran. He pulled troops out of northern Syria rather than get between Turkey and the Kurds. He is planning to pull troops out of Afghanistan. While there is much to criticize about Trump’s foreign policy record, he has still been an improvement over his predecessors. It is very easy to imagine how things could be much worse on that front. He followed through on “knocking the crap out of ISIS” which is all his base cared about. Trump’s foreign policy could be better in all sorts of ways, but except for Iran the problem here is less due to Trump than the Democrats, the Republican Congress and the Deep State.
First Things is right that evangelical elites like Russell Moore and David French are way out of touch with Trump’s evangelical Protestant base and that no one but these status signaling elites gives a shit about the phony Ukraine conspiracy theory.
“Some years ago I wrote a short book in which I argued that, while political thinking was complicated, voting was not. One could agree with some parts of a politician’s manifesto while disagreeing with others. But in the voting booth, the X had to be placed bluntly and brutally next to the name of one candidate or another—no nuance, no “ifs” or “buts” allowed.
I have thought of that point many times over recent years as pundits have repeatedly expressed themselves on the matter of evangelical support for Trump. Now, I have no vote (being merely a Green Carder), nor do I consider myself an evangelical (though I do cohost a podcast for a group that uses the name). But it seems to me that the idea of passionate, unquestioning support for Trump by this rather nebulous group, the evangelicals, is greatly overplayed in the rhetoric of public discourse. I live in the heart of Trump territory and know many who voted for the Donald, almost none of whom took any pleasure in doing so. They simply felt abandoned by a Democratic party more concerned about identity politics than poor people. There was, in their minds, sadly no alternative. …”
There was never any groundswell of support for arming Ukraine in the first place. If Trump cut all foreign aid to Ukraine tomorrow, his base wouldn’t notice. Arming Ukraine to antagonize Russia has always been a pet project of our foreign policy establishment.
The author of the article admits that the evangelicals who support Trump aren’t reading Christianity Today anyway.
“We speak for moderate, center-right, and center-left evangelicals. The far right—they don’t read us. They don’t care what we think. They think we’ve been coopted by liberalism. So, I understand that we do not represent the entire movement. And anyone who thinks that CT does, that’s just not the case. …”
By “far right” evangelicals, he means populists and nationalists who are less interested in Ukraine’s border than the state of our border with Mexico. This would make sense because that border is having a direct impact on our lives while Ukraine’s border with Russia does not. The “center right” evangelicals are more outraged by Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria than the human cost of the Syrian Civil War and the impact it has had on Syrian Christians.