Donald Trump tagged posts

“Defending Democracy”: A Guest Post by Reverend Jim Burklo

The blog post below by my longtime friend and United Church of Christ Minister Jim Burklo so well encapsulates many of my concerns regarding the challenge to our Constitution and standing in the world posed by President Donald Trump that it felt redundant to fashion my own treatment of this same basic subject matter. Jim is the associate dean of religious life at the University of Southern California, the author of three books, a former church pastor, and prominent spokesperson for the movement known as “Progressive Christianity.” The only addition I will make to his essay below will be to add to the end of his quotes from President Trump a fourth one from the current (February 13 & 20) edition of The New Yorker magazine, which places in highly sobering context the seriousness of the concerns many millions of people across the country have after the troubling first three weeks of the new administration.

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Smackdown: Ken Burns Sounds the Donald Trump Alarm At Stanford Commencement

The documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has carved out an impressive career excavating, chronicling, mourning, and celebrating the great currents of American history, all with a kind of studied, non-partisan neutrality that avoids the axe-grinding and advocacy that is so common to the documentary form.

With his youthful good looks and tender, redemptive approach to the challenges and foibles of our people and their stories, Burns has largely managed to stay above the partisan political fray, forsaking the trenches of temporal combat in favor of personal narratives and anecdote that reveal ultimately larger truths of our shared humanity.

But that was then—before June 12, 2016, and his address to the Stanford University graduating class, which I was privileged to attend this morning in celebration of my goddaughter.

This morning, Ken Burns took the gloves off and did his damndest, most urgent best to deliver...

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Contemplating “President Trump”

Like the entire Republican Party establishment and, in a profound sense, much of the country at large, I am coming to grips with the cold, hard, heretofore unimaginable fact that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee. And having achieved that status, he is just a few more improbable steps away from the presidency in a year that has scuttled everything we thought we knew about probability.

The thought amazes and appalls. And there is more than a middling chance it will come to pass. “President Trump.”

And we, who laughed heartily at the petty, petulant, juvenile showman with the orange hair who was slated to be our comic relief for a few early months of the campaign, until he either torpedoed himself with one too many offensive absurdities or the Old Guard had him summarily removed with a show of Old Money and Influence, now wring our hands and wonder why we didn’t, couldn’t, see it c...

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Five Things I’ve Come to Understand About the Trump Phenomenon

Has there ever been a more spectacular misreading of the political climate by people like, uh, me, who laughed merrily when Donald Trump announced for the Republican presidential race last year?

Hahaha.

He of course had no chance to draw more than a smattering of support from the far fringes of the voting public, but his entry at least ensured that we would enjoy some ongoing buffoonery from America’s most unabashed and ridiculous celebrity.

We could look to him to provide a kind of comic ballast for the sheer awfulness of Ted Cruz, the blandness of Jeb Bush, the snarls of Carly Fiorina, and the varied, almost-never-acknowledged flaws that every candidate brings, with all due bravado, to the table of electoral politics.

All of which leads me to realize yet again that I’m a lot less insightful than I’d like to be. (The one consolation is I have a lot of company in the Trump Under-Estimator Corps.)

O...

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The Cynicism of Donald Trump

There were some truly extraordinary exchanges in the Republican Party debate earlier this month. To read the full transcript available here is to come to a deep “appreciation” for the circus-like atmosphere that characterizes so much of our politics in this media age.

And make no mistake, that circus is every bit as much (or more) a creation of the modern news industry, with its personality/ratings/polls-driven sensibility, as it is of the candidates. And the candidates have certainly taken notice—every one of them looked to have been schooled and rehearsed to death by their handlers in the fine arts of cliche-mongering, sound bite policy proposals, question-dodging and general fact-twisting bloviation.

That impression only grew for me in reading the debate transcript...

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