These are just some of the few outrageous things Donald Trump has uttered in recent times, to the disgust of critics nationwide, on all sides of the political spectrum. What has mystified me, along with so many others, is why such a man would get even a single vote, and especially from conservatives and Evangelicals.
But let's take a look at the wider culture for a moment. Let's see what's been popular in our culture in recent years:
Granted, some of these shows are well done and have substance (I'm a fan of "Game of Thrones"), however, if we look at them as a whole, it's easy to see a cultural trend that is not healthy. Viewers all over the country have been fed a steady diet of shows that feature too much violence, too much sexuality, base values, crass language, and not too much substance beyond the obvious.
Along comes Donald Trump in 2016, then, running for President of the United States of America. As disgusted as we should be, it's not really surprising to me that Trump has become a sort of folk hero to so many. After all, when you consider 7 years of a do-nothing Congress who has given up so much of their own power to Obama, it's clear that we need a change, someone who is a political outsider. Indeed, the outsider candidates have done very well, including Trump, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders on the other end of the spectrum.
Many voters, myself included, view Ted Cruz as a sort of Second Coming of Ronald Reagan, our best chance in 25 years of a return to a stronger nation. He is supported by people of substance, including Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Greg Abbot, Rick Perry, Ben Shapiro, Thomas Sowell, even Caitlyn Jenner. Yet Trump seems to be sucking away precious votes, despite what should be a no-brainer. Are people so sick and tired of politics as usual that they have chosen the shiniest, noisiest trinket on the shelf?
On this day when we all heard about the death of Nancy Reagan, many of us who came of age in the 1980's are feeling a bit nostalgic, a little wistful about the good old days. It also makes me wonder whether Ronald Reagan could be elected in 2016. Granted, a lot of crazy stuff went down in the 1980's--we weren't bunch of innocents or anything. But there was heart in those days, a sense of the appropriate, and without the need for "trigger warnings." We just knew the boundaries, even if we decided to break them sometimes. The culture has devolved since then, replaced by political correctness and misplaced tolerance for the inappropriate.
Take some of the current trends in fashion, for example. Men and boys with their asses hanging out of their pants, literally, or women and girls with micro mini skirts--neither trend is brand new, but as the norm, they have made indecency cute. I admit that as a pre-teen, I tried to get away with wearing "booty shorts." It was the late 70's! But both my parents and the culture preached otherwise, so even when I tried to rebel, I knew I was acting inappropriately. I didn't always obey, but at least I knew I was wrong.
Similarly, back in the day, we had artists who were crass and rude and inappropriate, but we knew they were out of line, even if we listened to them anyway. The cultural shift, however, has made the crass and banal acceptable, normal, even desirable. So moms listen to Miley and Nicki and Ke$ha along with their kids. So what is Donald Trump but a continuation of the same cultural downshift? With the rest of the culture in the cesspool, Trump's popularity makes perfect sense.
Let's just hope this doesn't go too far. A Trump presidency (or a Clinton one for that matter) would be a celebration of the dregs of society and the death of propriety or true sensitivity or taste.
God bless America. God save America...from itself.
Our national problem is not political, but spiritual. As long as we live in a godless society, we will continue to have the Obamas and Clintons and Trumps of the world.