Trump Campaign Manager: “Only God could deliver such a savior to our nation”

As my buddy John Haas recently asked me: “Is it time to declare Trumpism a heresy?”

And then there is this:

HT: John Haas.

And if you need some help making sense of it all there is this:

Believe Me 3d


22 thoughts on “Trump Campaign Manager: “Only God could deliver such a savior to our nation”

  1. Upholding Constitutional authority, the rule of law, the proposition that no man is king and no man is above the law and finding a good political alternative are not mutually exclusive propositions. Easy peasy.


  2. If you really are familiar with the end of Weimer Germany and the rise of the little Austrian and you can recognize no similarities in the social and political “landscapes” between then and now, then a dialogue seems unproductive. Especially in a comments section that will be ancient history in a few days.

    In the meantime however, here are a few books to get the “at large” dialogue started:

    – Levitsky and Ziblatt, 2018. How Democracies Die.

    – Stanley, 2018. How Fascism Works, The Politics of US and THEM.

    – Albright, 2018. Fascism, A Warning.

    – Snyder, 2017. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Paperback).

    – Kertzer, 2015. The Pope and Mussolini.

    – Larson, 2012. In the Garden of the Beasts.

    – Hofstadter, 2008. The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Paperback).

    – Paxton, 2005 (Reprint Edition), 2005. The anatomy of Fascism.

    – Hofstadter, 2019. The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Harpers, Archived from the November 1964 issue).

    – Popper, 2013. The Open Society and its Enemies: New One-Volume Edition (paperback).

    Or, if someone like’s their history via DVD there’s:

    – PBS, 2019. The Dictator’s Playbook.


  3. Jim in STL,
    Ha ha.
    Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but here is my advice to you. If you want Trump sent back to his mansion in 2020, then find a good DEM opponent who will debate him on the issues of concern to American voters. In other words, you are not going to win by getting him for criminal activity and this singular obsession, not unlike Ahab’s pursuit of the white whale, might well backfire on you.


  4. So James, is it fair to say that you are a big supporter of the “Keep Me Out of Prison – Vote for Me 2020 and 2024 and 2028 and…….” campaign?


  5. Jim in STL,
    Yes, I am an amateur student of history and do know quite a bit about Weimar Germany. I see no significant parallels between the current U.S. landscape and that of 1920s and early 1930s Germany. If you can list a few specifics, I’d be happy to discuss them. I realize that Dr. Fea has a preference for American History but have little doubt that he would welcome a dialogue about 20th Century European History.



  6. James, are you a student of history? Have you spent time studying he rise of authoritarian regimes? Do you know any similarities between Trump’s rhetoric and nascent actions and 1920s Germany? Do you know the foundational principles and norms of our traditional constitutional, representative, democratic republic? During the late summer of 2016, during the late stages of the campaigns, I heard a woman interviewed that said her daddy used to say that what America needs is a good dictator to set thing straight and she agreed. I’ve heard this sentiment since.

    When a skunk smells like a skunk it’s not a cheap shot to point it out.


  7. Jim in STL,
    You are whistling past the graveyard as the old saying goes. The DEMs and other Trump goes are not going to win with the Russia story. It’s over in the minds of most people save those whose hopes were smashed when the Mueller report was released. Poor Adam Schiff must never devote time to actual intelligence problems. Very sad!

    As far as the ambiguous language about “obstruction”, I see it as a tacit admission that Mueller failed. If he had the goods on Trump, then he needed to say so and let the government proceed with criminal charges. Instead, Mueller’s weasel-worded remarks about obstruction which is highly irregular for a prosecutor and show him to be a sore loser. He wanted to dethrone the Donald and failed. Yet as his parting shot, he tried to cloud the water with innuendo. Would a man of integrity do that? Robert Mueller had been seen previously as “Mr. Can-Do” in Washington. Now it appears that the main thing he has done in the past two years has spent thirty million dollars and tied the country in undue knots.

    Jim, I realize you don’t like Trump and want to see him rousted from power. The DEMs and Comey simply placed their money on the wrong horse.


  8. The moderator certainly has my permission to close the bold after “investigation” in “…by squelching an investigation.” Apologies all around.


  9. If the president of any U.S. political party were to “self-protect” against a genuine crime, …”

    You miss the point. Barr is making the case that the president can self-protect by squelching an investigation by merely proclaiming his own innocence. If an investigation cannot proceed then no “crime” can be prosecuted and no “genuine crime” can be punished. Barr and Trump are making the case that the president is beyond investigation and beyond the law.

    “Since Mueller came up empty-handed on prosecutable charges…’

    We’ll see. Mueller was bound by Department protocol and “fairness” not to charge a sitting president (see pages 213-214 of Mueller’s report for much greater detail and clarity). And, because of deference to the office, Trump may not be presecutable until he leaves office. Which makes for a great 2020 campaign slogan, “Keep Me Out of Prison – Vote for Me 2020 and 2024 and 2028 and…….” [geez, I remember when “conservatives” used to at least pay lip service to founding principles.]

    Additionally, how many spin-off investigations, based on the Mueller investigation’s preliminary evidence and filings, are ongoing? I believe Barr mentioned 18 in his testimony.

    Also too, per Mueller’s report (p 214):

    Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him [it does not exonerate him of criminal conduct].

    Maybe when the Individual 1 and witnesses are compelled to appear in court under oath…..

    Tic toc.


  10. John Haas,

    I still don’t understand what Martin Niemoeller has to do religiously with Donald Trump or his campaign manager. Furthermore, Niemoeller made many statements on a variety of subjects. Can you point to what specific heresy he was discussing?



  11. I would note that my question was, well, a question–not intended as a leading one, but simply to provoke.

    I would remind any Christians reading this that Martin Niemöller considered the “German Christians” as espousing heresy, and that the Barmen Declaration of 1934 was aimed at the theological claims of the Nazi state.

    We need, in this hour, to be paying close attention to any and all theological claims.


  12. Jim in STL,

    If the president of any U.S. political party were to “self-protect” against a genuine crime, he would be subject to impeachment. Since Mueller came up empty-handed on prosecutable charges, impeachment for Russian collusion will not succeed. If someone more astute than Müller finds something in the future, then the Congress needs to focus on its job and proceed with impeachment.



  13. Alex,
    I am not sure what the campaign manager’s statement has to do with lunacy. Please explain the connection.


  14. Dave,
    As I said earlier to Alex, “savior” need not imply Deity or Messianic status. If you capitalize the word, however, that can change things. Noticeably, it is not capitalized in the quote provided y Dr. Fea.
    As far as the enthusiasm of some Christians who support Trump, I would guess that they are happy because they believed they were in the “outhouse” class during the previous eight years. Generally speaking, however, it is not unusual for political figures to have dedicated and emotive followers. I am old enough to remember clearly the campaigns of Bobby Kennedy and Gene McCarthy.


  15. Let’s see if the bold messianic talk is around should the GOP win in 2020 and it has no viable healthcare to improve on ACA.
    If we know the Trump bunch well, there will be scapegoating.


  16. Can you find examples of FDR’s or Lincoln’s campaign manager calling their candidate a savior from God? You are comparing Trump’s campaign manager to a lunatic to try to normalize him. Yeah, lunatics are normal, but it is not normal for one to have such authority.


  17. Heresy? Not by Medieval standards.

    It seems that there’s now a wing of American Christian Evangelism that has sunk its teeth firmly in the rump of secular power and is now complicit in steering America backward toward a Medieval European scenario where the King, anointed by God, and his word and whim were the law (Rex Lex)*. This only seems jarring when contrasted with the outcome of our revolution/war and some 243 years of Constitutional and legal tradition based on the opposite notion of power resting in the people and that no man, even a king, is above the law (Lex Rex).

    A couple decades or so ago, Patrick Buchanan, former Nixon Speechwriter, declared on TV that he would be happy if America had a king as long as he was benevolent (and presumably Catholic and maybe even of one of the Protestant sects). I thought that this was odd then, but have come to realize that it reflects a centuries-old, counter-Revolutionary undercurrent.

    * To paraphrase Attorneys General Barr in his testimony before the Senate the other day, if the President says that an investigation or inquiry into his actions is bogus, or a “witch hunt,” he has every right to end any further investigation or inquiry into the matter. In effect, the President can self-protect, by whim and word, against any and all actual statutory-criminal or constitutional offenses, merely by declaring himself innocent” And thus, the President/King rises above the law and the Patriot cause dims.


  18. I referenced this because many evangelicals see this whole passage as describing events of the end times, and also believe (as have many Christians in all ages) that we are living in those end times. And many of them believe that the antiChrist will primarily be a political figure but with religious overtones (no, I am NOT saying Trump is the antiChrist, I don’t believe that for a second, I am just saying that many of those evangelicals who have completely bought into Trump would also characterize the antiChrist in this fashion).

    Far too many evangelicals have gone far beyond support for Trump’s policies and Trump’s administration, and have crossed the line into idolatrous reverence. One can support particular positions and policies without attributing saviorhood to a political figure. It absolutely boggles my mind that Christians would describe a political figure as a “savior.” Doing so tells me a lot about what it is that many of these people REALLY worship.


  19. Dave H.

    I can’t see the applicability of Matt. 24:23-25 here. Christ was speaking of religious messiahs within a very orthodox Jewish context. Trump is neither Jewish nor religious.



  20. With all respect to John Haas, the use of the word “heresy” is not appropriate. If we take the commonly accepted definition of the word as a religious belief opposed to the orthodox doctrines of the church, then Trumpism is not a heresy. After all, which of the historic creeds or the more specific doctrinal statements of any major ecclesiastical body have been violated by someone’s hopeful expression that a mere political figure might have a positive effect upon a particular country? I am sure we could find heartfelt remarks by Christians in 1932 who believed that FDR was sent to get us out of the Great Depression. Furthermore, no doubt you could find abolitionists who believed that Lincoln was sent to end slavery. If Christians today believe that Trump was sent to right certain national wrongs, why is that any different?

    By the way, I am not making a judgment on the truth or falseness of the hopeful proposition about Trump. I am simply saying that it isn’t a heresy.


  21. “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.” Matthew 24:23-25

    Consider the elect deceived.


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