Is Donald Trump a good person
US presidential candidate Donald Trump : Can a bad person be a good politician?
There is a conservative state in America that places great emphasis on decency, family, and godliness. Donald Trump has a rival there who could be more dangerous to him than Hillary Clinton. The state is called Utah, and Trump's rival is former CIA agent Evan McMullin. McMullin is a Mormon and was a missionary in Brazil for a while. Mormons judge people and their suitability for higher offices by their character.
Trump is married for the third time, expresses himself openly sexist, brags about attacks on women, rarely goes to church. That repels a lot of Mormons. But because they are conservative, they do not want to vote for a democrat. Because it stands for abortion law, gay marriage, feminism. McMullin never becomes President of the United States of America. But it offers conservative believers a way out of their conscience. At least in Utah.
Across the country, Trump's presidential candidacy has plunged America's devout Christians into a dilemma. Since 1979, when pastor and television preacher Jerry Falwell Sr. started a group called Moral Majority, white evangelicals have been the strongest backing of Republican presidential candidates. Without them, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush would not have been possible. The “Moral Majority” became the “Christian Coalition” in the early 1990s. Around 25 percent of Americans describe themselves as evangelical.
"We elect a commander in chief, not a chief theologian"
Many of them - Pat Robertson, James Dobson or Ralph Reed - became prominent through their fight against Bill Clinton. He was scourged as an adulterer (Monica Lewinsky), a liar (“I didn't have sex with this woman”) and a hallodri. “Character is important,” Dobson proclaimed at the time. "It is foolish to believe that a person who lacks decency and moral integrity can lead a nation and the world." That was in 1998. Today it sounds different. Like many other evangelicals, Dobson spoke out in favor of Trump early on. "I am not under the illusion that he is a good moral role model," he said this year, "but we elect a commander in chief, not a chief theologian."
Attitudes evidently change over time. Can a person who acts amoral in his private life be a capable politician? Today 61 percent of Americans and 72 percent of Evangelicals say yes. Five years ago it was 44 percent of Americans and 30 percent of Evangelicals. A minority turned into a majority in a short time. This is a dramatic change that can hardly be explained by a greater tolerance of private misconduct alone. The data was collected by the Public Religion Research Institute.
The rift that runs across the country also runs through the evangelicals. The majority of white evangelicals support Trump (65 percent for him, ten percent for Clinton). But for non-white evangelicals - blacks, Latinos, Asians - who make up about two-fifths of all evangelicals, it is exactly the opposite: 62 percent are for Clinton, 15 percent for Trump. Because of multiculturalism, no political preference can be derived from belief itself and its intensity.
More than 2000 students have already signed the protest letter
Yes, and white evangelicals also argue violently about the right course, the right attitude. Jerry Falwell Jr., the son of Jerry Falwell, once founded Liberty University and now serves as its president. He was one of the first prominent evangelicals to support Trump. But now the students are rebelling there. "Trump represents the opposite of Christian values," they write in a protest letter that more than 2,000 students have already signed.
Argumentatively, the white evangelical Trump supporters are on the defensive. In the Wall Street Journal, one of them, Eric Metaxas, wrote with hair-splitting logic: "A vote for Trump is not necessarily a vote for himself. It is more a vote for those affected by the outcome of this election."
At the top is fear of the balance of power in the Supreme Court, America's highest court. The next US president could name up to four new constitutional judges. A left-liberal majority would change the country.
Trump's candidacy has plunged America's evangelicals into a crisis of values. It could lead to the disintegration of this once powerful movement. Anyone who disconnects the Christian message from character issues in such a radical way risks more than one election defeat.
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