It’s hard to know where to start writing about what we all just witnessed earlier this evening. Donald Trump was scheduled to speak in the Rose Garden at 6:30pm. Shortly before his speech, Attorney General Bill Barr came out to inspect the crowd. Then federal police used tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets to … Continue reading Tonight in the Rose Garden and at St. John’s Church, Trump Announced His 2020 Re-Election Strategy
Read about it here. I think Ryan realizes that he needs to get out now so that his future political opponents don’t have too much pro-Trump history to work with when he runs again for public office. It may already be too late.
Stephen Hahn is a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian of race in the post-bellum South. In Sunday’s New York Times, he reflects historically on race and Barack Obama’s re-election last week, particularly in the wake of the racial slurs cast on Obama by students at the University of Mississippi. Here is a taste: Over the past three … Continue reading Stephen Hahn on Race and the Obama Re-Election
New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat thinks so. Here is a taste of his recent column: Start with his re-election messaging, to the extent that you can discern such a thing. In 2016, Trump’s campaign was shambolic and punctuated by self-inflicted disasters, but his message against Hillary Clinton, like his message against the Republican … Continue reading Is Trump giving up?
The Georgetown University history professor is retiring after eleven years at the helm of Dissent. Michael Walzer, Dorothy Sue Cobble, Clayborne Carson, Nelson Lichtenstein, and Matthew Sitman offer tributes. Here is Sitman: More than any professor I had in graduate school, Michael Kazin insisted on the importance of writing well. His syllabi included not just … Continue reading Michael Kazin is retiring as co-editor of *Dissent*
Check out Dan Silliman’s piece at Christianity Today on how some pro-life activists are fleeing Donald Trump. Here is a taste: A pro-life spokeswoman quit her job rather than endorse Donald Trump for another term in the White House. Trump has called himself the most pro-life president in history. But Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director … Continue reading When Trump loses a pro-life spokeswoman
Trump seems desperate after the wildly successful DNC convention. Granted, Biden and his team did not have to do any magic tricks to define themselves over and against Trump. The bar was pretty low. The Biden campaign claims to have raised $70 million during the convention. Trump’s convention begins this week. This morning on Twitter … Continue reading Desperation in Trumpland
If you want to understand what a university values, consider the kinds of centers and institutes they have on campus. Most centers and institutes are extra-curricular in nature and are designed to bolster the ideas and values that define the mission of the school that sponsors them. I wrote a bit about this in an … Continue reading Why Liberty University should close the Falkirk Center, and why it probably won’t happen
Donald Trump is trailing in the polls and the court evangelicals are praying for a miracle. Many of them see the 2020 election as a spiritual battle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. And if you have been in a coma for the last five years, you may be surprised to … Continue reading The spiritual warfare rhetoric heats-up as court evangelicals go deeper into panic mode.
I am in regular touch with several white evangelicals over the age of 70 who voted for Trump in 2016. Eric Lutz’s piece at Vanity Fair applies to many of them. Here is a taste: In the advertisement, an elderly woman sits on the couch in her darkened living room. She’s watching Fox News, where Sean Hannity is … Continue reading Trump’s campaign of fear
At his July 3, 2020 speech at Mount Rushmore, Donald Trump said: More here. And here is the text of the executive order: By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Purpose. America owes its … Continue reading Thoughts on Trump’s Proposed “National Garden of American Heroes”
The coronavirus is spiking again. The country is in the midst of what might be an unprecedented conversation about race. And polls show that Donald Trump is trailing Joe Biden by a considerable margin. Trump is desperate. If he loses in November, he will limp back to New York as arguably the worst president in … Continue reading As November approaches, Trump releases his “greatest” hits album
Earlier this evening, Donald Trump started his campaign with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma is rising. Most of those who did attend the rally were not wearing masks. With the exception of U.S. Senator James Lankford, none of the politicians Trump asked to stand and be recognized–Senators James … Continue reading Trump launched his 2020 campaign tonight. Not much has changed since 2016.
What have Trump’s evangelicals been saying since yesterday’s update? They are not technically “court” evangelicals, but they are definitely Trump evangelicals. The Harris family is back and they are now a Trump worship band: Some of you may remember them from 2012: The Harris’s are an evangelical homeschool family from Tulsa. Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther … Continue reading Friday night court evangelical roundup
By this point, you all know the story. Former George W. Bush speech-writer, evangelical Christian, and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson has weighed-in. A taste: The problem with symbols, however, is that they don’t interpret themselves. In other settings, holding up Holy Scripture might have been the president’s way of saying: “BIBLE GOOD!” But the context … Continue reading Michael Gerson: “Blessed are the brutal, for they shall dominate the battlespace”
The court evangelicals continue to weigh-in. We covered them yesterday. Here is some more from Robert Jeffress: This is awful: I want to hear Jeffress talk about systemic racism–the racism that is deeply embedded into American economic, political, and social life. The famous “photo-op” of George Washington praying at Valley Forge is an 1866 rendering … Continue reading Robert Jeffress: “I imagine George Washington had his share of critics who accused him of a photo-op when he knelt down in prayer at Valley Forge”
Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Tonight in the Rose Garden and at St. John’s Church, Trump Announced His 2020 Re-Election Strategy Ron Sider: It is the “Hour of Decision” for White Evangelicals African-American Alumni of Liberty University: “Because of your callous rhetoric, we … Continue reading Most Popular Posts of the Last Week
Matthew Teague, a writer at The Guardian, digs deep into the white evangelical support for Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church on Monday. Here is a taste of his piece “He wears the armor of God“: Not every Christian answered the call. The Rev Gini Gerbasi, an Episcopal priest, said police used teargas to drive her … Continue reading “God give him strength! He’s doing a Jericho walk!”
Yet another sign of our divided political culture. Here is NBC News: WASHINGTON — It’s been a White House tradition for decades: A first-term president hosts a ceremony in the East Room for the unveiling of the official portrait of his immediate predecessor that will hang in the halls of the White House for posterity. … Continue reading Trump Will Not Hold a Ceremony to Unveil Obama’s White House Portrait
Last week, during an event called the Q 2020 Virtual Summit, evangelical writers David French and Eric Metaxas had a conversation with host Gabe Lyons about evangelical support for Donald Trump. I let this transcript sit for a few days now. It is now time for commentary. See my remarks in bold. GABE LYONS: “Well as we continue forward with our … Continue reading The French-Metaxas Debate: Some Commentary