Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, is displeased by American Christians who support Donald Trump. He says, “Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalises the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country.”
Well, before I get started on the – no doubt impossible – task of educating a bishop whose vocabulary is a mixture of jargon – “marginalises” (twice in one sentence)…”system” (twice in the same sentence)… “Builds walls not bridges,” let me state my own disappointment, but of course no surprise, with a senior churchman who does not understand Christian instincts and motivations.
Let me try to explain these things to Bishop Bayes. Christians are likely, are they not, to approve of a President who has a good word to say about Christianity? Donald Trump delivered a Christmas message to the nation in which he spoke plainly about the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. You never heard such a speech from Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton. Clinton actually offered an anti-Christian message and said, “In 2018 Christians are going to have to make some adjustments in line with secular society.” She reminded me of Rowan Williams’ last sermon as Archbishop of Canterbury when he said, “Christians have a lot of catching up to do with secular values.” I suppose Bayes would agree because he and all the bishops are secularists at heart – “inclusivity, diversity, equality” – and their Christian faith is mainly ornamental
Donald Trump has survived his first year in the presidency, and that is no mean achievement when you recall the forces that were ranged against him before he even set foot in the Oval Office: CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times; and in Britain just about every news and opinion medium – led of course by the BBC .
I reckon we should judge a man’s doings by the measure of his opponents, so, when all the left wing political, social and economic consensus is against his every act, then it follows he must be doing something right. And actually, Trump is doing a lot of things right. No matter that the Clintons and their wealthy backers tell us every day that he can’t last, Trump is supported by tens of millions of Americans who are sick to death of the Washington-East Coast in crowd run by Bill and Hillary and then by the worse than talkative and utterly spineless Barak Obama. To the many who voted for Trump in 2016, many more are being added as a result of his policies.
Let’s start with the money. Against the most daunting odds, he has got through Congress the biggest programme of tax cuts since those of Ronald Reagan. Corporation tax is reduced from 35% to 21%. He has doubled the standard deduction and also doubled the child tax credit. He has cut to the point of abolition the iniquitous inheritance tax and I only wish we had a government in this country which would do the same. He has even cut the tax on booze. There is near full employment and the US stock market is at an all time high. Naturally, Trump’s critics claim that his tax cuts will benefit only the very rich. This is economic balderdash. For if the rich become better off, they will invest their money to try to grow even richer and this investment will create more jobs. The wealthy will have more to spend on goods and services and this will benefit everyone.
In the face of fierce accusations of racism and xenophobia, under Trump there is a closer watch on immigration – especially from those states which have a record of promoting terrorism.
Moreover, Trump started the presidential game having been dealt a very bad hand. For decades irresponsible presidents have done nothing to curtail the two most potent threats to American security: the first from the Iranian mullahs and the second from the psychopathic leadership in North Korea. Clinton, Bush and Obama all operated a policy of appeasement. Negotiate and give ground in exchange for much-trumpeted “peace agreements.” But these agreements were always phoney. And what has been the result? North Korea has been able to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching American territory, and there is little doubt that within a very short time – perhaps months – North Korea will be able to arm these missiles with nuclear warheads. Yet the media accuse Trump of sabre-rattling because – unlike his fatuous presidential predecessors – he has declared this threat intolerable and vowed to do something about it.
Perhaps the most treacherous – and certainly the most foolish – act in international relations since the Second World War was Obama’s deal with Iran which has allowed them to continue their progress towards acquiring nuclear weapons. This, like the Korean problem, is most urgent. Again, Trump has insisted that he will not allow his country’s security to be put in jeopardy by this tangible threat.
And of course Trump was right to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The whole parliamentary, legal and financial business of Israel is conducted there. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel-Judah since King David’s days, 900 years BC. Solomon’s temple stood on Temple Mount 1400 years before there was such a thing as Islam. But the lefties say Trump’s move will “damage the peace process.” Actually, there has been no peace process since 1998 when the treacherous Yasser Arafat signed up on the Washington lawns to a two-states solution – only to return to Ramallah and announce the second intifada.
In the end It’s not going to matter what the hostile media or lefty English bishops say about Trump: they can howl, bluster and scream calumnies day and night. It doesn’t matter what the liberal elite say either, the chattering classes on the other side of the Atlantic. It is the American people who will decide their president’s future. And the American people will welcome both his domestic policies – including all those tax cuts – and his determination to stand up firmly against the aggression threatened by the North Korean and Iranian dictators. The people know him for a patriot and a man with the interests of non-politicos – that is the great majority – at heart.
Bishop Bayes is a representative of what is sometimes called “the liberal elite” – though there are more accurate, if less polite, descriptions of them. This elite hates Trump because he threatens the culture of entitlement.
Donald Trump has voiced and begun to enact policies which are both sensible and virtuous. I can understand why Bayes and his episcopal colleagues – fully paid-up members of the liberal elite and that culture of entitlement – don’t like Trump: they don’t like him for the same reasons believing Christians enthusiastically approve of him. © Salisbury Review.
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