When audio surfaced of Donald Trump urging Billy Bush to “Grab [women] by the pussy,” many Christian leaders told their congregations this didn’t matter, what America needed and what voters wanted was a strong leader. At the time, Trump’s charisma, his forceful and effective use of simple language seemed to be just that, powerful leadership. Whether America agreed that illegal migrants were a raping murderous menace or not, whether they wanted to “build that wall” or “lock her up,” these simple, repetitive messages drew voters together for an electoral victory that surprised the nation.
Hillary has not been locked up, Trump has fairly or unfairly taken blame for “concentration camps” full of migrant children separated from their families, and he is now facing an impeachment alleging that he interfered with military aid to a war-torn ally to gain an advantage in the upcoming election. His presidency has faced scandal after scandal. The messages from him and his party are numerous and carry much of the simple, repetitive persuasive power that led to his election. However, they all portray the president as a victim, a man who cannot effectively carry out his duty and can only blame others for what is ultimately his failure to lead. It is the whining of a loser who has dismally failed the grandiose promise to Make America Great Again, and only a few of his supporters have the game sense to see his self-victimizing PR as more of the same a losing strategy. Ultimate fighter and longtime Trump supporter Derrick “Black Beast” Lewis told Trump at UFC 244, “I know everything ain’t going good in the White House, but you gotta turn that shit around in 2020.”
Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama were hated and mocked, like any other president, but they never made themselves into pathetic victims. Often Republicans will mock liberal ‘snowflakes’ who are so unique and special they victimize themselves for attention, but unfortunately they’ve elected a snowflake president who takes to twitter to victimize himself when he’s parodied on Saturday Night Live. Such profound weakness in a leader is itself enough grounds for impeachment.
President Obama faced incredible Tea Party opposition in the House, an unprecedented blockage of his power to appoint a Supreme Court justice, as well as repeated government shutdowns, but he did not harm his own stature with the kind of complaining, blaming, and whining media campaign that has been the Trump administration’s PR bread and butter. This victim stuff may score some points with a handful of his supporters, who also feel like perpetual victims and losers themselves, but it has built, brick by brick, an image of an increasingly weak and ineffective leader who looks less and less competent and able to do his job. Even Bill Clinton, who faced impeachment for precisely the same kind of womanizing that Trump was elected in spite of, did not lower himself or the dignity of his office with ludicrous cries of “presidential harassment.” One can scour the history books for poor leaders and not find a single figure as weak and divisive as Donald Trump.
I’ve spoken to some Trump supporters who concede that the president has failed to unite the nation, that he’s failed to project a powerful image of himself and America to the world. Inevitably, they point to a good economy and liken him to a wayward CEO — he’s there to make us money, and that’s what matters. Maybe this is the sacrifice voters thought America needed, the one Christ warned against when he said, “What profit it a man if he gain the whole world but in this enterprise lose his soul?” One may not believe that Trump attempted to cheat the 2020 election by abusing his office, or that this is even an abuse of power, or that a single word news media prints is true, but there should be no controversy on this point: The President has forfeited his soul. Those who still follow might find their soul, like his, foreclosed.