Four years that I can’t get back. But the work was necessary

I have spent a lot of time writing about Trump in the past four years. Most of you by now are familiar with my 2018 book Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump and my 2018 tour. One Twitter pundit suggested that he could not understand how I could devote four years of my intellectual life to writing about this president. I thought it was an arrogant comment (no, it wasn’t @OldLife–:-)), but I digress…

I am not sure if I am done writing about evangelicals and Trump, and I have temporarily shelved some other more traditional history writing to focus on this subject, but I think what I have done over the last four years has been necessary work. As a working class kid of immigrant grandparents, a teenage convert to evangelicalism with three degrees from evangelical schools, and a Ph.D in American history, I concluded (with a few nudges from friends) that I was uniquely qualified to speak to this moment. I decided very early that I could not stand on the sidelines as this Trumpian debacle unfolded.

But I also resonate with Michelle Goldberg’s recent piece at The New York Times: “Four Wasted Years Thinking About Donald Trump.” Here is a taste:

But when I think back, from my obviously privileged position, on the texture of daily life during the past four years, all the attention sucked up by this black hole of a president has been its own sort of loss. Every moment spent thinking about Trump is a moment that could have been spent contemplating, creating or appreciating something else. Trump is a narcissistic philistine, and he bent American culture toward him.

Read the entire piece here.