Donald Trump Jr. took the Trump cult to the next level by attacking the teachings of Jesus and giving Democrats a perfect opportunity.
And the former president’s son has a message for the tens of millions of evangelicals who form the energized base of the GOP: the scriptures are essentially a manual for suckers. The teachings of Jesus have “gotten us nothing.” It’s worse than that, really; the ethic of Jesus has gotten in the way of successfully prosecuting the culture wars against the left. If the ethic of Jesus encourages sensibilities that might cause people in politics to act a little less brutally, a bit more civilly, with a touch more grace? Then it needs to go.
But what we heard from Donald Trump Jr. was something very different. He believes, as his father does that politics should be practiced ruthlessly, mercilessly, and vengefully. The ends justify the means. Norms and guardrails need to be smashed. Morality and lawfulness must always be subordinated to the pursuit of power and self-interest. That is the Trumpian ethic.
Donald Trump Jr. Puts His Dad Above Jesus
It is common among cult leaders to start out working for God but eventually morphing into becoming God.
Donald Trump Jr. was not only attacking the teachings of Jesus, and he suggested that his father’s way of politics should replace Jesus for millions of evangelical Christians.
Trump, as the Christ-like figure of the Republican Party deserving of total loyalty and worship, has always been the logical extension of where the Trump cult of personality would end up.
As The Trumps Grow More Radical, Democrats Have A Golden Opportunity
There is zero chance that right-wing evangelical voters will flip to the Democrats. The right-wing evangelical movement turned a blind eye to Trump’s attack on Christianity long ago, and many of them probably share Donald Trump Jr.’s view of how politics should be practiced.
It is also true that the right-wing evangelical movement has stabilized after years of shrinking.
Donald Trump Jr.’s attack on Jesus gives Democrats a golden opportunity to attract faith-based Independents and moderates. The right-wing evangelical movement sucks up a lot of the oxygen in the conversation, but white evangelicals are only 14% of the population.
The fastest-growing group in the country is non-religious Americans.
Democrats have the ability with Joe Biden to appeal to the roughly 70% of religiously affiliated voters who aren’t evangelicals. Democrats are an actual big tent, and there is room for both people of faith and those who don’t believe.
While Donald Trump Jr. fights with Jesus, Democrats can appeal to any voter who doesn’t think that Donald Trump is deserving of worship.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association