The political machine of the United States has been hijacked by a celebrity who treats women with so little respect that he should not be electable at any level. Yet he remains the heavily favored candidate of a republican party that, sadly, can’t see past its own frustrations to nominate anyone other than a celebrity salesman.
And yes, that is what Donald Trump has become (if he were ever anything else to begin with). He is a salesman selling one thing: his own greatness.
Words like “braggadocios” are used to describe him in articles like this one from Politifact.com, an evaluation that tries to demonstrate what should be painfully obvious: Donald Trump will not beat Hillary Clinton with American women at the polls.
(No kidding? Women don’t like being objectified, belittled, and insulted over the course of decades on television and radio? Imagine that.)
Donald Trump, more than any other candidate to have ever come this far in an election cycle, is consumed with the idea of his own greatness. Now, he’s certainly not the first politician with a giant ego, but he is undoubtedly the first modern politician to make his own ego the centerpiece of his ever-shifting platform.
Is he pro-life or pro-choice? Is he for weapons bans or not? Should we have gone into Iraq or stayed home? Torture? Visas? Refugees? As TIME Magazine points out, Donald Trump’s convictions are very fluid concepts that seem to take whatever shapes suit the occasion. But the singular stalwart of his political platform, the one anchor that never yields an inch is the constant pronouncement of his own unquestionable greatness.
Which should scare us.
It’s one thing when a quarterback calls himself “Super Man” or a boxer claims he’s the greatest. These are the forgivable self-promotions of relatively harmless people. But when the potential leader of western civilization and the commander of the most powerful army in the world is so unrepentantly full of himself, we should shudder.
We should shudder that a pompous campaign more befitting a North Korean tyrant than a democratically elected official has been met with such great success among a political party that once heralded humble values.
We should shudder at how a man so consumed with his own greatness might react to innumerable instigators around the globe after we’ve empowered him with a nuclear arsenal capable of destroying all civilization.
But most importantly for Christians, we should shudder at the blindness of a little man who believes he is great, fearful that we might be swept up in judgment should our God choose to put this man’s smallness on public display.
Before Nebuchadnezzar “thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God” had worked for him in Daniel 4, he, too, was consumed with his own greatness. And disregarding the warnings of a merciful God, the pagan king rejoiced in his own power and majesty – to his own demise.
As I survey the landscape of the current political situation, I wonder if there is a true servant of God to be found. In all likelihood, we go forth this November to elect our own pagan king. God help us to remember this: whatever greatness is to be found in the coffers of Donald Trump is the stuff of kindling and ash.
His money is emptiness. His fame is vain. His fortune is fleeting, and his words will run dry. His body will die and rot and ruin as quickly as the next man’s, and history will reduce him to a footnote that fades away as the wheel of time turns.
And Donald Trump will stand before God as a pauper, not a prince, having discarded the most practical teaching of our Lord Jesus: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, not on the earth.”
His gold is no good there. His currency will not convert. He goes to a foreign kingdom in which he has no part, and from which he will be quickly dismissed. His only hope is the same as the common man on the street whom he looks down on from his lofty tower: repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
If you vote for Donald Trump, let it not be done out of a faulty faith in his greatness. He is not great, nor is he capable of making our nation great through the engine of his own self-promotion. He is the emperor with no clothes, and the Christian should have the boldness to announce this foolishness. He is a little man who thinks he’s great because he counts his worth in pennies that will perish rather than the enduring gold delivered to the saints of heaven.
A little man, indeed, and it would be mercy if God showed him his own smallness on this side of eternity, as He did with Nebuchadnezzar, lest he face judgment on the other.