This Is What Winning Feels Like For Donald Trump

The shame of it all is that Trump could win the other way, if he so desired. So many want him to succeed. So many want him to win. So many want to be lifted up.

President Trump stood toe to toe with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Kim blinked. China brought North Korea to the table with real negotiations and verifiable arms reductions.

Puerto Rico got the full support of the military in an operation the scope of which has been unseen since the Berlin airlift. Grateful Puerto Ricans feel more American than they ever had in the aftermath of Maria.

Under Trump’s leadership, the Senate finally devised a roadmap for a real Obamacare repeal, when the president summoned John McCain to the White House and mended old wounds. Mitch McConnell was given full support to use the Senate’s procedures and even input from Democrats on the best way to wind down Obamacare.

The president invited Colin Kaepernick to the White House, along with Jerry Jones, Mike Tomlin, and Roger Goodell to find ways to honor America while preserving the spirit of free speech in the NFL, without ruining the unity and sportsmanship of the game.

Of course, by now you know that this is fantasy–or even parody.

But that’s what winning really looks like.


Winning for Donald Trump is taking the left’s worst possible arguments and methods, the most outrageous and weak demonstrations of their worldview, and pinning them to those specific issues. The media, Hollywood, and liberal sports figures, in that order, have been his seams of attack.

Boy howdy, it has worked. Donald Trump has won. He has made the Left look petty, weak, foolish, violent, and cheap. He has made the press go student-body left or student-body right at his command. He has made the NFL kneel for the National Anthem in unity–against him.

And in the process, Donald Trump has cheapened America, the presidency, the government of the United States, and the sacred symbols and traditions of our nation. Men and women have fought and died for the flag, tears have welled up when Taps is played a final time, and a folded flag is handed to loved ones. These symbols and traditions are mere weapons in the hands of the weaponized president, Donald Trump.

They exist for him to use so he can “win.” This is what winning looks like to Donald Trump. Kicking someone when they’re down. Putting his friends, supporters, and even family members in impossible devil’s bargains between personal loyalty, conscience and principle, and their own financial and job security.

Nobody is safe. Robert Kraft had to choose his team over his friend and associate Donald Trump. Jerry Jones had to choose his team over his flag and patriotism. Stephen Bannon had to choose Roy Moore (who won) over Trump’s own choice Luther Strange. Jeff Sessions had to choose humiliation and even disgrace in order to serve his country and his party.

The petty Nero sitting in the White House suffers nobody to win except himself. He suffers no consensus that does not satisfy his cupidity and limitless ego. He wins at all costs, even costs that are too high to bear.

One day, those costs may include lives.

This is not to say Donald Trump is the only politician who has won in this manner, or has cost lives. American political history is replete with examples, dead and still living.

But no president in modern history has made it their personal credo, publicly and shamelessly, with such breadth and stupendous effect, as Donald Trump. Not Johnson, not Nixon, not Clinton, not Obama. I didn’t mention the two Bushes because it would not even occur to either of them to pursue such a course of unbridled hubris.

The shame of it all is that Trump could win the other way, if he so desired. So many want him to succeed. So many want him to win. So many want to be lifted up.

Winning the Donald Trump way leaves one–even if the end result is acceptable–feeling sullied. Dirty, as if the win was obtained by cheating or ignoring the rules and simply ordering it so against nature. It is the feeling a bully gets when the weak has yielded up the lunch money or the dessert cookie, or if the bully took the weak kid’s cookie and gave it to you.

Donald Trump has no remorse for winning this way, as it has always been his way.

So far, he has spared Christians from his humiliating acts of bullying. But he has not spared kneeling. Tim Tebow also kneeled on the football field, but to God not because of Donald Trump.

One day, Christians might (I would expect, will) find themselves on the “wrong” side of an issue Donald Trump is using to pin his political or social enemies to a weak position. When that happens, how many of us will be forced to kneel with those with whom we disagree, but in unity against Trump.

When that happens, will we find ourselves publicly humiliated. Look at how Trump treated Bob Vander Plaats back in 2016:


Vander Plaats is an honorable man, a good Christian. Trump lied about him and publicly threw mud on the guy because he supported Ted Cruz. Here’s another one slamming Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Moore is one of the most kindhearted, principled, God-fearing men in ministry, period. But he didn’t support Donald Trump.

One day, probably soon, from his bully pulpit as president, Donald Trump will tweet something about a church, or what a particular denomination is doing that he doesn’t agree with. He will do it thoughtlessly, without regard to consequences, as a throwaway to pin the Left to some weak argument, or to distract from things he doesn’t want in the news.

The effect will be our own pastors being placed in a position to kneel in unity opposing Trump, or to place their own consciences and right-standing before God in jeopardy.

Who would make such a bargain? Some already have. I needn’t remind anyone of Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell, Jr. They haven’t been called upon to make any earth-shattering denials of their faith, but who would put it beyond Donald Trump to call upon them to do so if it served his purposes?

All of this is useless and needless gilding of lilies in need of no gild. Trump can win without it, because so many want him to win, for America, for conservatives, for religious freedom, for conscience, for family values. But Donald Trump only wants to win for Donald Trump.

America: We have no more vexing problem than this. If this man is allowed to continue feeding his own ego in ways that tarnish and compromise even those who benefit from his winning, none of us will really win.

Except Donald Trump.

Not Everything Is Political With Dr. Russell Moore

In this week’s episode of “Not Everything Is Political” I talk to Dr. Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

We talked about country music and, in particular, Johnny Cash. We also talked about growing up in the coastal south, the amalgamation of religions and culture, and the future of the American church.

Listen to the whole conversation here or via iTunes.

DR Radio: Heretical Hillary, “Unhealthy” Porn & the Death of Artistic Originality?

Today’s show! We’re talking about heretical Hillary’s pro-abortion gaff, pornography — specifically Time Magazine’s latest cover story– and of all things, Star Wars! Yes, Disney, the movies and the death of artistic originality. As always, we have will have two rousing games of Wit and Whimsy.

For show notes and to subscribe to the podcast so you can listen on your device, go here:

Jesus Christ vs. Donald Trump: To Count the Cost of Following

Here is your must read of the day. My friend Russell Moore, the head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has come out with a pretty strongly worded rebuke of Donald Trump. It’s one of those “I wish I’d written this” pieces.

In the 1990s, some of these social conservatives argued that “If Bill Clinton’s wife can’t trust him, neither can we.” If character matters, character matters. Today’s evangelicals should ask, “Whatever happened to our commitment to ‘traditional family values’?”

Mr. Trump tells us “nothing beats the Bible,” and once said to an audience that he knows how Billy Graham feels. He says of evangelicals: “I love them. They love me.” And yet, he regularly ridicules evangelicals, with almost as much glee as he does Hispanics. This goes beyond his trivialization of communion with his recent comments about “my little cracker” as a way to ask forgiveness. In recent years, he has suggested that evangelical missionaries not be treated in the United States for Ebola, since they chose to go overseas in the first place.

Still, the problem is not just Mr. Trump’s personal lack of a moral compass.…

I realize Donald Trump supporters will just attack Russell Moore instead of considering what he wrote, but the rest of you should read this.

Jesus taught his disciples to “count the cost” of following him. We should know, he said, where we’re going and what we’re leaving behind. We should also count the cost of following Donald Trump. To do so would mean that we’ve decided to join the other side of the culture war, that image and celebrity and money and power and social Darwinist “winning” trump the conservation of moral principles and a just society.

The Protestant Pope

I am sure Russell Moore would take issue with that characterization, but this profile of him explains why more and more within evangelical circles refer to him as that.

It’s quite a good read about someone who has become a friend. His work within evangelical spheres of influence has helped push conversations that need to take place, but might not otherwise take place.

And he likes Johnny Cash so he has to be a good person.

Thomas Jefferson for President!

My friend Russell Moore has penned an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal today. I implore you to make it your must read of the day.

Here is a sample:

If religious liberty doesn’t apply to small or unpopular minorities, then it isn’t liberty at all but becomes another government handout to a special-interest group. We want a candidate who will argue consistently for soul freedom for everyone, even those we would argue with about everything else.

This isn’t only a Republican issue. Democrats and Republicans stood together for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—signed by President Clinton. Perhaps it is time for Hillary Clinton to stand up for Jefferson’s vision of freedom of conscience against the sexual-revolution industrial complex in her party, which too often dismisses basic protections of free exercise as a “war on women” or a “right to discriminate.”

You really must read the whole thing.

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Come See Russell Moore, Joe Scarborough, and Me in Nashville on September 16, 2014

I am headed to Nashville, TN on September 16th. It is going to be a great time. I’m going for this great event. Hashtag Productions and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission are hosting a discussion between Russell Moore of the ERLC and Joe Scarborough. I get to be the moderator.

The event is going to be from 7:15pm to 9:00pm at Lipscomb University’s Collins Auditorium.

If you are in the Nashville area or want to come up for a great event, you won’t be disappointed. We’re going to be discussion a topic I have been writing about more and more: Crazy Never Wins.

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