It is the day after Donald Trump addressed the RNC, and the day that David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate. I believe that the two events are related, and not distantly. Donald Trump’s unlikely rise to secure the Republican presidential nomination will spawn countless books and movies, regardless of how things turn out for him in November. It is hard to believe that his TV show, “The Apprentice” was not a vehicle he used to get him to this destination. It must have been, because nothing in his background makes him remotely qualified to be president of the United States. His bloviating his way to the top of the ticket is just an extension of the bullying he did on the TV show, and with his real estate empire for years. David Duke was a popular, if polarizing, figure years ago, and he senses that the time is right to make his move again. Why? Because Donald Trump and his followers have greased the skids by promoting a message of intolerance, soul-less nationalism and a politics of the “other” that harkens back to the chilling years of fascism that led up the World War II, or, as Trump would refer to it, 2 World War. The hatred on display at the Republican National Convention was horrifying, though certainly enhanced for effect. Trump has blamed everyone, except for millionaires like himself, for the state of our country and the world. Duke sees the opportunity to strike while the creepy afterglow of that fiasco that was the convention is still fresh. After all, those who were not horrified at that spectacle will hardly even notice a figure like Duke. That is what makes it all so troubling; many Americans don’t really have enough interest to get involved in anything that does not benefit them directly. The Christian right, which makes it so difficult for the rest of us who also claim Christianity as our faith tradition, has cheered Trump and his ilk on for a long time. American Christianity has become so intertwined with rampant nationalism that it becomes very difficult to tell them apart, and very risky to criticize either one. But it is time for Christians and other people of faith, and those with no faith tradition, to awaken and speak out, while we still can. Donald Trump and his movement represent the antithesis of what the founding of this nation was about. Group-think and group-speak are part of an apocalyptic vision that may well come to pass, if it has not already. Read the words of the Prince of Peace, then read the words of Donald Trump.The choice is clear.
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