Wednesday, February 27, 2019


I'm sure this now-deleted tweet impressed Donald Trump's fan base, including the many evangelicals who passionately support him:
With the partisan stakes so high, Representative Matt Gaetz, a firebrand Republican from Florida, went after [Michael] Cohen pre-emptively with a personal attack that some Democrats said amounted to witness intimidation.

“Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot,” Mr. Gaetz said on Twitter.
I've been thinking about the intersection of two obvious facts: No one loves Trump as much as conservative Christians do, and Trump and his circle see the world the way mobsters do -- in their worldview, it's moral to threaten a Trump critic, especially a critic who used to be a loyalist, because a disaffected Trump loyalist is a "rat," and it's worse to be an anti-Trump rat than it is for Trump to be a criminal.

Many people think it's odd that evangelical Christians love a president who's a thug. But it was clear long before Trump entered politics that right-wing Christianity isn't about living by the moral code of Christ. It's about declaring that your and your allies have a monopoly on morality -- and, more important, declaring that people you don't like are immoral and despised by God, and therefore should have no influence on how we run society.

When your ethic already divides the world into good people and mortal enemies who must be destroyed because they can't be reasoned with or accommodated, of course you're going to be attracted to a leader who shares your political goals and conducts his life like a Corleone ordering a hit. To evangelicals, there's a clear line dividing the saved and the damned, the fit and the unfit -- just as, to Trump, the world is divided into loyalists who should be rewarded and traitors who must be crushed. So of course the evangelicals love Trump. He has a pure sense of right and wrong.

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