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MAGA

MAGA’s dead. Long live the empire.

Three years ago, during the last presidential election cycle, many Americans found in Donald Trump a candidate whose ideas resonated with them. Trump was an outsider, we were told. He cared about forgotten Americans. The sort of people who lived in unfashionable places and had unfashionable jobs. Who drove unfashionable cars, wore unfashionable clothes and held unfashionable opinions. He was, we were told, the antidote to the sort of scripted, empire building, establishment politician – the Jeb Bush’s of the world, for example – that many of us had come to loath.

My own take on Trump was that I didn’t know if he was for real of not. Hoping that a politician will keep his word is always a gamble, and generally a losing one. As the Bible warns us, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” As Christians, we know where our help comes from. Our help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. And it is him that we trust.

And yet knowing that, we also know that God not only determine the ends, but he also ordains the means by which he will accomplish those ends. And one of the institutions he has ordained for executing justice in this world and allowing his people to live peaceful lives is civil government. Paul calls the civil magistrate “God’s minister” and tells us he is put in his position to punish evil doers and praise the good. I mention this as a way of saying that, even though Christians look to God as our ultimate defender, there is nothing wrong with their supporting candidates for public office. In fact, one could argue that Christians have a duty before God to be involved in politics to help ensure that justice is done and evil avoided.

It had been my hope that Donald Trump would at least make some headway in restoring sanity to our republic. I didn’t expect him to be perfect. There is only one perfect man, and he wasn’t on the ballot in 2016. But it’s not unreasonable to hold a man accountable for his words. Donald Trump promised, among other things, to end the senseless foreign wars, to restore vitality to a hollowed out middle class and, most famously, to build that wall and to stop the flood of illegal immigrants, migrants and bogus refugees.

And if it’s fair to hold a man accountable for his words, we need to ask, So how is Donald Trump doing on his promises?

I’m afraid the answer is not very well.

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