My reactions to the second presidential debate: Well, more accurately, my reactions to following Twitter during the debate, which according to Twitter was the most tweeted debate ever, at more than 17 million debate-related tweets sent.
I follow around 500 accounts on Twitter, heavily weighted on the conservative end of the spectrum, with a number of news sources across the spectrum, as well as a vocal minority of liberal journalists and other writers I’ve found thoughtful and interesting from time to time.
Major themes in my feed: Lots of (understandable) outrage from the conservative Christians at Trump’s insolence, primarily for moral reasons. Lots of outrage from the liberals at Trumps insolence, primarily for his shots at Hillary. Lots of continue outrage from non-white Americans about Trump’s racism and apparent despotic tendencies. Also, a few scatter shot criticisms at Clinton’s hawkishness when it comes to a war in Syria.
Following the debate, most of the liberals I follow were triumphant over what they saw as a clear Clinton victory, a number of begrudging conservative admissions that Trump did “well enough” to remain the GOP nominee, and several ringing acclamations of a Trump victory. Apart from Jerry Falwell Jr., I’m honestly not sure I follow anyone who is actually an enthusiastic supporter of Trump. If there are some, they keep their heads down and quiet. And for those of you wondering, I follow Falwell sort of like you might sometimes watch the elephant cam at the zoo.
Now surely part of the draw for last night’s (second) debate was the leaked recording of Trump’s claims of his filthy exploits with women. With a growing chorus of Republicans calling for Trump’s resignation, there seemed to be some momentary hope that something, *anything* would change the playing field. But the thing I keep wondering is why anyone thinks these recordings will change anything. There are claims that there are more of them. I bet there are hundreds. Trump is the kind of man who has Playboys framed on his office wall. What did you expect? Of course he talks that way. People who are surprised are either complete fools or lying.
But this is the real kicker: the American people who got him this far don’t care. They are the same American people who read 50 Shades of Grey and watch Game of Thrones and lots of them spend their weekends at the casinos. Trump is their hero. He represents them well. If America wanted to be disgusted by that kind of talk, they should have spoken up a long time ago. Most of that outrage is laughable hypocrisy.
Now, looking at the actual statistics of voters and voter turnout means that there really is a huge middle that perhaps is in the process of being swayed one way or another between the two frontrunners. And perhaps a Wayne Grudem renouncing his endorsement will shake the support of some. Perhaps some of the “very-reluctants” will become “resistants.” But I find the establishment media for the most part to be utterly tone deaf. They’ve been claiming that this is the worst thing to happen to Trump every few weeks for the last year and a half. And yet, he’s still there not caring what they say. And perhaps more importantly, a pretty enormous chunk of voting Americans are still there not caring what they say.
And another thing: while I get the revulsion to Trump, and let me just say that my revulsion has contracted a virus in the worm that was eating out the infection that had already spread throughout my revulsion, I’m still utterly baffled by the delusions of immigrants and non-whites about Hillary somehow being better. Trump absolutely will say and do offensive things, racist things, vile things, but Hillary actively and vocally supports systems of racial subjugation in our country. She actively and vocally supports the work of Planned Parenthood which targets non-white communities, for the murder of their unborn children. This is a systemic form of racism in these United States of America, and it has occurred on an epic scale. Hillary and the DNC openly support this black genocide.
Not only this, but the liberal welfare state has been one of the greatest systemic forms of racism ever seen. Here, let us help you poor people. Let us not treat you as human beings made in the image of God, made to work and be creative and industrious. Let us treat you with condescension, let us contribute to your problems by throwing money at you, by ensuring cycles of poverty and violence and drug abuse will continue on your streets. And we’ll call it hope and change and compassion. And what do they do? Apparently lots and lots of them buy the charade and go right along like obedient sheep, making all their outrage about systematic racism ring a little hollow. When a massive non-white revolt against the Left occurs, then I will start to believe you. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is mass, widespread, and systematic racism still alive and well in 21st century America. But the very worst form of it is the mass slaughter of our children. And I will add that there are liberal and conservative forms of racial animosity, but the knee-jerk loyalty to Hillary and the Left as some kind of lesser of two evils is an insane blindness even with the spectacle of a Trump presidency looming. But enough about Miroslav Volf.
Also: All the pundits announcing the funeral date of this Trump campaign really need to shut up. Face up to reality, people. Trump was never supposed to actually run for president. Trump was never actually supposed to get anywhere in the primaries. Trump was never supposed to be the Republican nominee. The polls said he couldn’t. Everyone said he wouldn’t. But he has and he did. And if you think some crass, sexual recording is going to do some damage to his campaign, you should quit your day job. The people who got him this far, don’t care, and if anything, the media and politicians calling for his resignation just makes his base all the more solidified and belligerent. There is a deep-seated resentment driving the Trump campaign, and that resentment is aimed at establishment politicians and the media telling these Americans what they can and cannot think. Trump is the defiant middle finger of that American sentiment. And to the extent that the media outrage machine keeps reading the Last Rites over the Trump candidacy, I’m afraid they’re actually ensuring his inauguration.
One final point: I’ve said previously that I haven’t jumped on the #nevertrump band wagon. This isn’t because I’m planning to vote for Trump (I’m not) or that I think he’s the lesser of two evils (we’re beyond that), but because sometimes God does give His people a choice between judgments. When David took his sinful census of the people, God offered him the choice between three years of famine, three months fleeing from his enemies, or three days of pestilence in the land (2 Sam. 24:13). David could not bring himself to make that choice saying, “Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; let me not fall into the hand of man” (2 Sam. 24:14). Taking the Lord at His word, I assume that it would not have been sinful for David to choose among the options the Lord gave him. And in that sense, I don’t mind if people see the current presidential race as something like that, though I’m personally far more comfortable with David’s response. But I feel like it’s a little bit like saying #neverShalmaneser or #neverNebuchadnezzar. Right, I get it. We shouldn’t gladly choose either of those guys. But I wonder if we’re past that point. Shall we vote for a Jezebel genocide or for the Shalmaneser bulldozer? We shouldn’t want either. What we need is repentance, and whichever one will get us to that point faster is the better the option.
There’s of course much more to say, but Jesus is reigning and ruling over all of this and blessed are all those who take refuge in Him (no matter the circumstances). And in His kindness there’s always MLB playoffs to remind us that He loves us and to help us keep our priorities straight.