In 2017, I wrote a lengthy report about “the first 100-days” of the Trump Administration (another publication) headlined, “President is making a mockery of himself, his office, the nation”. It opened as follows: “There is nothing new under the sun… There has always existed in this country that certain and specific mind-set that simply cannot grasp, or rejects, our American founding values. Led by Donald Trump, it has simply reared its head in the ugliest way possible… During the American Revolution, this anti-liberty crowd insisted, ‘This rebellion is sin, the Bible says ‘honor and obey the king’. They rise again.”
But by golly, who knew those words would be so very prophetic.
They have risen again. And to frightening effect.
First, Trump’s “spiritual adviser” televangelist/ prosperity-doctrine acolyte Paula White, tells us via CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network): “To disobey President Trump is to disobey God, the Bible says, ‘honor and obey the king’, and he’s like our king.”
Uh-uh, I beg your pardon, Ms. Ma’am Paula White; not according to my reading of the U.S. Constitution. Monarchy is what we defeated. However, be not deceived, Rev. White has support, passive-aggressive though it may be, from cowering Republicans in the Senate and the House who shake, tremble and whimper pooch-like at his every roar, er…tweet.
And like a confused mockingbird awakened at 3 a.m. and singing his heart out, Trump doth tweet with great exuberance into the wee hours of the night. Although, to be fair, it’s a tune of deceit and despair.
This twisted princely notion of Trump’s crowning as “king” has plenty of support beyond lawmakers too. Not all are cowering, many are singing high monarchical- hosannas from radio to boob-tube.
When MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviewed Ohio radio host/Republican county chair Tracey Winbush, and the subject turned to Trump’s comment, “I have the absolute right to do anything I want to,” Reid, noticing that Winbush was doing the nodding- in-agreement bobblehead, asked, “Do you see Trump as a king?”
“We all do who are in Christ Jesus,” Winbush replied.
Do what!? Speak for yourself.
My goodness, whatever happened to our wish for a democratic republic? Somehow, I’m thinking the Lord of Hosts “gets it” even when the conservative church crowd commentariat does not. Understand though, this bit from Trump about “absolute rights,” it comes directly from his “Attorney General” Bill Barr’s interpretation of presidential powers. An Article III reading few scholars share. Trump latched onto the phrase when Barr wrote a 22-page job audition, er, “memo.”
A memo Barr submitted unsolicited to the DOJ during the Mueller investigation. What’s telling here, is that “absolute rights” is monarchy talk and takes its cue from “divine rights,” Some argue our founding documents have the vestiges of English monarchy sprinkled here and there. And, of course, that, combined with all these false prophets filling Trump’s head with “king” talk; well, you get the picture. It hardly helps tamp down His Majesty’s delusions when Barr says squat about him openly and publicly laying claim to Barr’s official title, “I’m the chief law enforcement officer”, and “I have the absolute right to intervene in DOJ criminal cases” …and “I have the absolute right to pardon myself if I wanted to”.
Have Republicans birthed a monster or what?
And that’s not it.
A week or so after his acquittal, Trump was on a rampage taking revenge against those who supported impeachment, ferreting out “disloyal” members of his administration, when he tweeted: “Ralph Waldo-Emerson seemed to foresee the problem with the Senate impeachment trial, ‘When you strike at the king you must kill him’.” Or else?
Let the headhunting begin. Maybe throw a D.C. masquerade ball and trick the wicked into confessions. They can set-up a chopping block outside in the rose garden and roll some heads. Ala, King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and company.
Word on the D.C. streets is that His Majesty already has his castle spy, the modern equivalent of evil-doer Thomas Cromwell, doing his behind-the-scenes bidding in the form of Ginny Thomas, activist wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Reportedly she’s assisting in the identification of “disloyal persons” and advising on replacements.
After all, surely this impeachment rebellion of the President’s congressional critics is sin, the Bible says, “honor and obey the king.”
They rise again, indeed.
Bernie Evans is a local writer whose opinions have appeared in local publications, TIME and The Nation.
CORRECTION: In my February 13, 2020 column headlined “Acquittal and our State of Disunion”, I quoted former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough, “Obama’s GDP growth averaged 3.5 percent”, it should have read, “Obama’s GDP growth averaged 3.5 percent (sic).”