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  • feedwordpress 20:00:41 on 2017/08/16 Permalink
    Tags: , Donald Trump, ,   

    Stop cheering about business leaders leaving Trump’s councils 


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    I’ll keep this very brief. There seems to be many who are opposed to the President’s weak remarks about the Charlottesville attack that are happy about business leaders leaving his councils as well as their subsequent dissolution. This is not a good thing. We WANT people from the private sector in his ear. This just pushes the President further away from connecting with the people he’s supposed to serve.

    In case you’re unaware, several members of Trump’s various civilian advisory councils quit after he essentially blamed multiple groups, not just white nationalists, for the Charlottesville attack. This prompted a Tweet yesterday:

    Today, more names jumped on the dump-Trump bandwagon, prompting a new Tweet:

    Here’s the thing. I realize most believe these councils were for show and couldn’t actually influence him, but we have to remember something very important about the President. He’s malleable. His perspectives ebb and flow based upon moon cycles, wind direction, and the voices in his ear. While I don’t think these councils could have made him a better President, I believe having voices of reason that he respected keeping him in touch with reality was a positive thing. Hey, it couldn’t hurt, right?

    What I would have loved to have heard from these council members was strong opposition to Trump’s words and actions followed by a stated intention of keeping the President accountable by staying in the councils. It’s easy to say, “I disagree and I quit.” It’s much harder to say, “I disagree, but I’m willing to stick it out in order to guide a man who clearly needs guidance.”

    The dissolution of these councils is not a good thing for Trump’s opponents. It’s great for the companies of the CEOs who left as they’ll get lauded by many. For America, this was counterproductive. They should have stayed the course, even if doing so meant dealing with someone they don’t respect.

     
  • feedwordpress 00:24:16 on 2017/07/23 Permalink
    Tags: Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump, , , , , White House   

    We want ideological alignment, not “moving on to” an agenda, Scaramucci 


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    When the first round of cabinet picks and short list Supreme Court Justices were coming out, I was admittedly surprised. My worst nightmare was that the President would follow up his victory by bringing in moderates and even liberals into the White House. He did to some extent, but a good chunk of the people he picked were conservatives such as Mick Mulvaney, Scott Pruitt, and Neil Gorsuch.

    Of course, he also brought in problematic people. Reince Priebus led the moderates. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner led the liberals. Steve Bannon led the alt-righters. Then, there were those who weren’t even on my radar for their politics. Among them was Sean Spicer.

    Anthony Scaramucci is leading communications now and we should all be concerned. This is an odd strategic pick, but more importantly it’s a pick that brings with it the baggage of strong liberalism tempered by an alleged “fiscal conservatism” that thus far has not been made evident. The progressive views he has shared in the past are available for all to see.

    What worries me is that he’s not disavowing these views. Instead, he’s simply deleting them to remove the distraction and “moving on to” the President’s agenda.

    Let’s set aside the fact that deleting Tweets before claiming transparency is laughable at best. What’s striking is that he’s not expressing any changes in his perspectives. This is a job and if his job is to communicate the President’s agenda, his perspectives won’t make it in, right? Wrong, and it’s an insult for them to think we’re that naive.

    The Comms Director has a direct line to the President’s ear. The last thing we need is even more liberal perspectives swaying the President further to the left. I’m all for people changing their perspectives. Heck, I was in favor of the Iraq War over a decade ago. People can change their minds. The problem with Scaramucci is that he’s not claiming to change anything, whether it’s his leftist opinions on gun control, abortion, or the border wall.

    Americans didn’t vote for Donald Trump because they wanted more liberals in the White House. They would have voted for Hillary Clinton if that was their goal and Scaramucci seems more ideologically aligned with the Democrats than Republicans. What does this say about an administration that has accomplished so little in its first six months and that has been embroiled in controversy after controversy?

    It’s not too late for the President to put in a right-minded, ideologically aligned Communications Director on the job. Call it a mulligan. Say he was unaware of Scaramucci’s old views or that he fell for a sales pitch. Humble yourself, Mr. President, and get a conservative to handle the communications for your administration. Stop proving that my initial fears were justified.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:15 on 2017/07/20 Permalink
    Tags: Donald Trump, , Jeff Sessions, ,   

    President Trump’s attack on Jeff Sessions is troubling 


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    If you haven’t heard the audio, start here. Once you’re done, sit back and try to understand what just happened. A sitting President of the United States took one of his early supporters in the Senate and tossed him under the bus for purely petty reasons. What’s worse is that Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation to protect himself AND the President.

    It’s been a while since I’ve been critical of President Trump, but the time has come to call him out again. This is ridiculous. I’m not a fan of Sessions for multiple reasons, but it was the right move for himself and the administration to not participate in the Russian investigation since he did not disclose his own contact with Russians. Had he not recused himself, the investigation itself would be pronounced a sham and debacle by people on both sides of the aisle.

    The fact that this is new information is what’s most troubling. We didn’t hear complaints when he recused himself. That it comes out now demonstrates this has been lingering in his mind for a while. It seems as if the President is operating at a maturity level far below what one would want in any political figure, let alone President of the United States. He’s holding fealty in the highest regard and dismissing proper presidential characteristics like honor and honesty.

    The first response by most Trump supporters will be that President Obama and candidate Clinton were just as bad if not worse. That’s not a high enough bar to put forth for this or any President. There is plenty that can be said about the liberal duo who hampered our standing on the international stage for eight years, but President Trump (or any other President) should be raising the bar, not swinging for par on the integrity scale.

    Every time I think the media and the Democrats are acting worse than their nemesis, he pulls stunts like these that remind just how inadequate he really is. This is the same script being played over and over again: the victim card. He just can’t help himself. Everything’s unfair. Everyone’s being mean to him. Even his own people are out to get him. It makes me anxious for better people to find their way into Washington DC. Waiting through this is the hard part.

     
  • feedwordpress 07:21:41 on 2017/05/31 Permalink
    Tags: Covfefe, Donald Trump, , , satire   

    White House staff discussing #covfefe 


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    Anonymous sources that don’t really exist overheard this conversation last night in the White House following the President’s odd stray Tweet that seemed to cut off at the word “covfefe.”

    Reince Priebus: Should we wake him?

    Jared Kushner: I don’t know. I just don’t know.

    Ivanka Trump: It’s pretty bad. I mean, he sounds like a bigger idiot than normal.

    Kushner: People are going to think he had a stroke or something.

    Priebus: We should wake him.

    Ivanka: Go ahead.

    Priebus: No way. You’re his daughter. He told me never to wake him unless Bannon says it’s okay.

    Kushner: Well, Bannon’s not in charge anymore. Somebody’s got to make the call.

    Ivanka: Go ahead.

    Kushner: He’s already mad at me and Reince. It should be you.

    Priebus: Agreed.

    Ivanka: Forget that. The last time I tried to wake him up was awkward.

    Kushner: What hap…

    Ivanka: I don’t want to talk about it. Someone call Kellyanne.

    Priebus: She’s not really up for this anymore.

    Kushner: Try Spicer. He’s already getting canned soon. What does he have to lose?

    Ivanka: Where’s Steve?

    Priebus: Bannon? Haha, nope. The last thing he’d do is get involved with this crap.

    Ivanka: Well, we have to do something. We can’t just leave it up on Twitter overnight. He’s going to ask why the heck we didn’t wake him up.

    Kushner: And if we tell him it’s because he said never wake him up, he’s going to freak.

    Ivanka: If we wake him up, he’ll freak.

    Priebus: Rock and a hard place. I’ve been here before. It doesn’t end well.

    Corey Lewandowski walks in: Hey guys, did you read that…

    Priebus, Kushner, and Ivanka: Yes

    Lewandowski: So, wake him up.

    Priebus: It should be you who wakes him up, Corey.

    Kushner: You’ve already felt his wrath. You’re used to it.

    Lewandowski: I just worked my way back in.

    Ivanka: Yes, as crisis management. Well, this is a crisis.

    Lewandowski: This isn’t a crisis. It’s a cluster. I’ve never dealt with this sort of thing before. Nobody has. What the heck’s a covfefe anyway?

    Steve Bannon walks in: Hey guys, did you read that…

    Priebus, Kushner, Ivanka, and Lewandowski: Yes

    Bannon: Let me guess. You’re all trying to convince each other that they should be the one to wake him up.

    Kushner: Actually, we decided that you should be the one.

    Bannon: No need. Let it be. Tell him that it has over 100K retweets and the people love it. They’re really digging it. Everybody’s saying it. Somebody even bought the URL and turned it into a covfefe store.

    Kushner: Can we trademark it?

    Bannon: Probably.

    After some thought, the group agrees. Let’s make America covfefe again.

     
  • feedwordpress 04:14:43 on 2017/05/31 Permalink
    Tags: Donald Trump, , ,   

    Why I’m not going to write an article every time Trump Tweets something silly 


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    The funny reason would be that I simply can’t find enough time to react to everything the President Tweets that makes him or his staff look silly, but it’s not like that. In fact, a good chunk of what the President Tweets is acceptable and some of it’s actually pretty good.

    No, the real reason I refuse to go there is because it’s counterproductive. My cause is for America and the way that I’m giving to this cause is through the Federalist Party. It may behoove us politically to point out every misstep, idiotic idea, or destructive policy the Republicans and Democrats give us, but we have to look at it through the lens of productivity.

    In other words, we can’t waste our time complaining about things without consequence.

    The latest example is the President’s call to change Senate rules and eliminate the legislative filibuster:

    My first reaction was to instantly hop on the party’s website and write up a piece about how horrible this idea would be both short-term and long-term. The importance of keeping the House and Senate separate in form and function shouldn’t need to be stated. The consequences of allowing for pure single-party rule to hasten action would be disastrous. I could even point out the idiocy of a President who apparently doesn’t realize the path of budget reconciliation the GOP is currently taking with the AHCA; they can repeal and replace (well, technically, tweak and rebrand) Obamacare with a majority.

    Before diving into this endeavor, I decided to see if this silly Tweet would have consequences. Then, I recalled earlier in the month when Mitch McConnell said he wouldn’t be ending the legislative filibuster. I’m not so naive as to believe much of what McConnell says, but in this particular case I believe it’s credible. Ending the filibuster would spark enough panic and give so much fodder for the Democrats that it would ensure a reversal of fortunes for the GOP in Congress as early as 2018.

    In a world with Trump as the President of the United States, we can’t jump on every Tweet. It’s a waste of time and effort. Let Trump do Trump things and attempt to discern what will actually happen based upon all factors. Otherwise, most journalists will find themselves going insane before the end of his term.

    Update: Ironically, his latest Tweet posted around the time I was writing this sort of reaffirms my stance. Then again, it may debunk it as well.

    Drunk Tweet

     
  • feedwordpress 19:34:37 on 2017/05/29 Permalink
    Tags: Alinsky, Donald Trump, , , , ,   

    Why are so many in the GOP okay with their leader playing the victim card constantly? 


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    There’s a reason liberals love playing the victim card in its various forms. It’s a powerful tool for radicals to have at the top of their Alinsky Tactics Toolbox. When politicians can mislead people into believing they’re being subjugated by the opposing side, their followers will do pretty much anything for their radical caretakers.

    For decades, this is a tool that most in the GOP have chosen to not employ. It’s like force lightning in the Star Wars universe. Aficionados can debate whether it’s canon that only dark side force users can shoot lightening bolts from their hands, but either way it’s generally accepted that they shouldn’t just as it’s been assumed for a while that the victim card should be left to liberals.

    President Trump has reversed this completely. He doesn’t just play the victim card from time to time. It’s become his go-to tactic. He plays it first and he plays it often. He’s become so adept at painting himself as the victim of “fake news” that anything printed about him will be challenged by the White House and supporters will usually just nod their heads. Let’s look at him portraying himself as the victim (and by extension allowing his minions and supporters to play the card as well) since returning from his overseas trip:

    As regular readers are well aware, I’m sort of a mainstream media skeptic hipster; I’ve been very much opposed to the lies of the media since before it was cool. However, I also recognize that there’s a difference between improper spin or loose facts used by mainstream media and the current narrative from the White House that pretty much anything you hear on the news about Trump and his administration is fake. It’s not all fake and saying so is a contradiction.

    Trump-friendly Breitbart recently reported that there are at least three White House leak sources who are about to be fired and could face legal action. This doesn’t seem to jibe with the notion that many leaks coming from the White House are “fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” but that’s the point. It doesn’t have to jibe. It only has to yield very muddy waters. If you combine the two narratives – leakers are getting caught and many leaks are fabrications by the media – the result is that Republicans are empowered to pick and choose what news should be addressed and what can be dismissed. Today, the leaning is towards the latter. This is by design.

    I’m not condemning Trump for this. When there’s already so much controversy surrounding his decisions, connections, and liberal policies, the best line of defense is to muddy the waters. Give people a reason to suspend disbelief in his plan for America. It’s painful to watch, but it’s also potentially brilliant. Then again, what other move could he be making at this point?

    My biggest problem isn’t that the White House is playing the victim card. It’s that the GOP is not only allowing it but embracing it. What happened to the high road? When did the conservative philosophy get traded in for this new brand of liberal-lite? This isn’t the GOP we once knew. It’s just another reason I’ve put my efforts into building the small-government Federalist Party.

     
  • feedwordpress 04:08:49 on 2017/05/22 Permalink
    Tags: Donald Trump, , John Boehner, , , Spending Package   

    Maybe Trump’s advisers are the problem 


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    Trump supporters will say, “well, duh.” Trump detractors will say either (1) he shouldn’t have surrounded himself with Establishment morons and liberal manipulators, or (2) Trump would have made poor decisions regardless of his advisers.

    It doesn’t behoove me to give the President the benefit of the doubt from a political perspective because all of Trump’s poor decisions bode well for the Federalist Party. However, as an American who puts country before party, I’m hopeful that a shakeup might be good enough to get him going in the right direction. Besides, if he shakes things up and continues to make poor decisions, the blame can be squarely and without a shred of doubt placed squarely on his shoulders.

    The most recent observation of poor advisers comes in the form of one of the poorest, Reince Priebus. His latest egregious act was allegedly to bring in another Establishment tool from days past, John Boehner, to push Trump towards signing the Democrats’ dream spending package. According to Axios:

    When the spending bill had been negotiated and finalized, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus phoned the former House Speaker John Boehner and told him the president doesn’t like how the negotiation came out and is thinking about vetoing the bill. Boehner has told associates that Priebus asked him if he could talk Trump into signing the spending bill. Boehner said he would.

    Again, I’m not making excuses for Trump, but I’d prefer that he turn his ship back towards the right rather than continue his leftward lurch.

    If he gets rid of Priebus, that would be a step in the right direction. From there, all he has to do is rid himself of McMaster, Tillerson, Kushner, Ivanka, and half of his senior staff. Then, at least, we might have a chance of this not being a third Democratic Presidential term.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:13:40 on 2017/01/13 Permalink
    Tags: Donald Trump, , , , Stream of Consciousness,   

    Stream of consciousness Tweets finally scared me into worrying about Trump as President 


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    There are times when Donald Trump’s Tweets cause mainstream media and political enemies to go insane in their attempts to discern what evil intentions he communicated in 140-characters or less. Then, there are Tweets that will go mostly unnoticed by the media but that actually worry me greatly. This morning was such an occasion.

    In a 45-minute Tweetstorm that started before most Americans were awake, Trump unloaded a stream of consciousness that makes me wonder about him. I’ve never hid the fact that I’ve opposed him for a long time, nor have I tried to hide my mild surprise that many of his actions since winning the election have been positive. I’ve taken on the mindset that when he does good things, I’ll praise him, and when he does bad things, I’ll oppose.

    What he Tweeted this morning wasn’t really anything new. Here’s the Tweetstorm in question:

    Trump Tweetstorm

    None of it seems too bad, right? Individually, any of these Tweets are harmless repeats of things he’s said in the past. Taken as a whole, I’m suddenly concerned. Is this really how he thinks? He came out with kudos for his cabinet, a humblebrag of sorts. Then, he alerted everyone about the source of fake news that hit him this week, making sure to continue his attacks on the intelligence community. Hillary Clinton was the next target – “guilty as hell.” He ends it with an attempt to be clever by calling Obamacare the “Unaffordable” Care Act.

    Again, it seems like no big deal, but consider one thing: this was 45-minutes worth of thoughts that the next President felt needed to be said. Set aside the grammatical errors that make George W. Bush seem like the 2nd least intelligent President in the modern era. Consider the fact that Trump needs to be focused if we’re going to get out of the mess that Barack Obama has put us in.

    That’s what worries me. It’s not the attacks. At this point, we just have to accept that our President has thinner skin than Kim Jong-un. It’s not the inability to communicate cohesively. Twitter allows communication blemishes to be excused away in this modern era of emojis and hashtags. The thing that worries me the most is that his stream of consciousness is undisciplined. It reveals that Trump can’t keep a coherent thought in place long enough to make the tough decisions.

    His Tweets have given us an unprecedented glimpse into the thought processes of a President. It’s much easier to see how he failed so miserably at dozens of endeavors outside of real estate, entertainment, and political campaigning. My concerns of the past that have been repressed recently are creeping back very quickly. This guy really is an idiot and he’s about to be running the nation. The only solace I have left is knowing that at least he’s not Hillary.

     
  • feedwordpress 07:19:34 on 2017/01/06 Permalink
    Tags: Donald Trump, , Mexico, , , Smaller Government,   

    Will “Mexico’s gonna pay for it” become Trump’s “Read my lips, no new taxes”? 


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    Four years is forever in the world of politics. We’ve seen shifts in ideology happen in months, even weeks, so the thought that actions today can dramatically affect an election nearly four years away is ludicrous, right? As fickle as American voters seem to be, there’s one thing that works in spite of the passage of time: recorded sound bites.

    Donald Trump has a problem with his wall. Reports started popping up yesterday that his promise to have Mexico pay for the wall may be broken with some of his first actions. Congress is likely going to have to fund the building of the Mexican border wall with taxpayer dollars. Some of us have assumed this would be the case since his first ludicrous proclamation that Mexico would be paying for it, but it’s just starting to hit home now.

    Since he’s always known that it would be nearly impossible to make a sovereign nation pay for something they don’t want, he started mitigating the potential damage back in October by saying that Mexico would reimburse us for the price of the wall. The spin is already starting. First, they were supposed to pay for it. Now, they’re supposed to pay us back for building it. Starting around noon today and with every future financial interaction with Mexico, we’ll hear that these are example of how he’s making them pay for it. We’ll probably hear about how Ford pulling out of its Mexican plant is the first batch of dollars that will be used for the wall. In fact, every job we “get back” from Mexico will be used as an example of wall-repayment.

    Here’s the problem. None of these claims will change the fact that American taxpayers will have their dollars put into building it. Keep in mind that I’m not against this; we’ve needed stronger border security for decades and if there’s an opportunity to finally build a wall without adding to the budget, I’m all for it. The problem is twofold: they won’t be cutting other portions of the budget to make up for the added expense and he used this line to mislead the people.

    Some will argue that he was just new to politics, that he wasn’t aware that Mexico wouldn’t be paying for it. Others will say it was hyperbole on the campaign trail. Therefore, the only possible excuses are that he’s an idiot or a liar. Either trait would have prevented him from being President if he didn’t run against the only candidate who lies even more than he does.

    What does this mean for 2020? It could be huge. If he’s not able to tangibly get Mexico to pay for the wall, he’s going to get hammered by the Democrats. As they learned this year, showing poor character or having as his only qualification the fact that he was born rich weren’t enough to sway the people. However, Americans still do not look kindly on failed promises, particularly when they’re the primary talking point used by a candidate. Every President fails in many or even most of their promises, but they have to keep the big ones. Had Barack Obama failed to get Obamacare passed, he would have lost in 2012. If George W. Bush had failed to protect Americans after 9/11, he would have lost in 2004. If Bill Clinton had not kept his promise to engage an economic plan that would “compete and prosper in the world economy,” he would have probably still beaten Bob Dole in 1996, but not as badly (granted, his economy benefited from the rise of the internet, but the economy still thrived on his watch).

    George H. W. Bush also had a big campaign promise: no new taxes. Backed into a corner, he ended up raising taxes in his first term. This hurt him dramatically because of an extremely well played sound bite that hit television and radio constantly in 1992. “Read my lips. No new taxes.” This was an isolated sound bite that tanked his chances.

    “We’re going to build a wall and Mexico’s going to pay for it.” This phrase was uttered probably north of 100 times by Trump during the campaign. If he doesn’t deliver and American taxpayers are stuck with $10-$70 billion to build and yearly maintenance fees in the billions as well, the Democrats are going to paint Trump as either an idiot or a liar. It may stick. There’s no shortage of sound bites and the message can resonate if he doesn’t have a successful first term.

    I’m all for a wall. I just wish he would have been up front about it to Americans instead of giving millions of people the false hope that he was going to force a sovereign nation to pay to defend our borders from their citizens. This may come back to haunt him and the Republican Party in 2020.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:19:24 on 2016/12/18 Permalink
    Tags: , Donald Trump, , , , ,   

    Christians who opposed Trump must open their minds to the sovereignty of God 


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    I thoroughly opposed Donald Trump through the primaries. When he was nominated, I searched for a conservative alternative. On election day, I didn’t vote for either of the major party candidates and “wasted” my vote (though I could write a tome about the fact that there’s no such thing as a wasted vote, but now’s not the time). As I posted yesterday, things have changed. He’s now going to be President and we must push him in the right direction.

    There’s another angle that I didn’t address yesterday: the conscientious Christian worldview. My opposition to Trump was not based solely on my faith and my view that he doesn’t share it. There were more political reasons that fueled my opposition. Other Christians opposed Trump specifically because of his stated lack of understanding and adherence to a Biblical worldview. To those of you who fall into this category, I now ask you to follow a new direction regarding the President-elect.

    You don’t have to like him. You don’t even have to support him (though any American President deserves our respect even if only for the office itself and its role in defending the Constitution). All I’m asking is that you view his presidency with an open mind based upon our understanding of the omnipotence and sovereignty of God.

    Do I believe that God “chose” Trump as so many Christians have postulated? Yes, but not for the reasons that people like Michele Bachmann have suggested. Instead of Trump being chosen to make America great again, I believe it’s more likely that he was chosen much in the same way that Saul was chosen. Through the prophets, God warned Israel that they didn’t need a king but they essentially demanded it, so God gave them the reprehensible King Saul. This decision led to David and Solomon, so an argument can be made that Saul was a necessary evil to get to better kings. Unfortunately, Solomon was followed by Rehoboam who effectively split the nation for nearly three millennia.

    We must always remember that God is in control. Free will is granted to men, but it is God’s will that brings about our leaders. That’s not to say we have no responsibility for matters. It’s often challenging to reconcile the free will granted to man with the supreme will that enacts God’s plan. I can’t offer a simple explanation other than portions of the Bible that prove it to me, but there’s a long explanation (more like a theory) that I may tackle some day. In the meantime, we simply have to accept the Biblical validity of these apparently contradictory concepts.

    God could make Trump a great President. He could turn him into the downfall of the nation. He can use him as a tool to usher in someone else, to take down a system, or to take individual actions that fulfill portions of God’s plan. As Christians, we have to shift from the campaign perspective that Trump isn’t the right man for the job to the post-election perspective that he’s the person we need to watch and even guide at times.

    Nothing is impossible for God. If He can free the Hebrews from the clutches of the Egyptians, he can make Trump fulfill whatever role he’s intended to play in God’s plan. That means that we cannot allow our personal distaste or mistrust cloud our own Biblical worldview. We need to watch what happens and react accordingly without the bias we may feel against the President-elect. We don’t have to like him nor trust him, but we should be watchful of his actions and react to where they lead us. When he does well, support him. When he does poorly, we may dissent. It’s the only truly Biblical way to handle any politician.

    The difference between Trump and past Presidents is that Trump makes it harder to both support and oppose. That paradox has spread to his supporters. As such, we must remain diligent. Just because we don’t know God’s plan doesn’t mean we ca’t recognize it as it plays out.

     
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