Serial Adulterer and misogynist extraordinaire Donald Trump has attracted extremists of all stripes to his campaign of hate, and no surprise: he hates nearly everybody while claiming he loves them. His ‘movement’ is full of people who hate Jews, women, blacks, Mexicans, atheists, gays and lesbians, and yes, despite his fulsome praise of Mormons the other day in Salt Lake City – “Do I love the Mormons?” – Mormons.
Southern Baptist megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress, a frequent contributor to Fox News and so firmly in the Trump camp that Media Matters calls him a “Trump surrogate,” says in his new book, Not All Roads Lead to Heaven, that just about everybody who doesn’t think like he does has embraced “lies” on a “highway to hell.” Of Joseph Smith he writes that the founder of Mormonism is one of the “servants of Satan.”
Here is Trump denouncing every other religion in the world, including Mormonism back in 2011:
Donald Trump loves Robert Jeffress. How is it possible he loves Mormons if he loves Jeffress, who says they follow a servant of Satan? Trump likes Jeffress so much he brings him out on stage at his rallies.
In Jeffress’ hometown of Dallas in September, Trump asked, “Where is Pastor Jeffress?” and made a show of looking around for him. “He’s around here someplace. What a good guy. Where is he? Come here.” When Jeffress joined him onstage, Trump exclaimed: “I love this guy!”
Jeffress, for his part, says of Trump, “What a good guy. … I love this guy.” By all appearances, the love between them leaves no room for love of anyone else. It certainly gives the lie to Trump’s claim that he loves any of the groups Jeffress hates, because his failure to denounce Jeffress represents tacit approval of his position on those faiths.
For anyone paying attention (is anyone in GOP-land paying attention?) this means it is little tough for Trump to sound convincing when he tells not only various religious minorities (Judaism and Hinduism lead people to “an eternity of separation from God in Hell”) how much he loves them, but Catholics.
Attacks on Catholics (a “cult-like, pagan religion”) are nothing new in this country. Kennedy was the first one who managed to get elected president after all, and even then there were fears he’d do what the Pope told him to do.
And don’t even get Jeffress started on Islam, which he calls an “evil, evil religion.” Jeffress might get away with hating on Islam, because it seems to be a popular pastime in Cracker Country, but Catholics? He says nearly the same thing of Catholicism as he does Islam, that the Catholic Church represents the “genius of Satan” and that it is the “Great Whore of Babylon” out of the book of Revelation.
And Jews? Aren’t white supremacists supposed to be the only antisemites these days? Is Trump trying to mainstream antisemitism? There are a lot of conservative Catholics out there and there are even conservative Jews. What is Trump thinking while risking alienating those groups?
There is no evidence that Trump is doing any thinking at all. He has gathered all these haters together who are united in support of Trump, but if their collective rhetoric limits the ideal Trumpboy or Trumpgirl demographic to somebody who is white and a very narrowly-defined, specific type of Christian, that doesn’t leave a lot of prospective voters come Election Day.
The Republicans have shown they can win various states and through gerrymandering and voter suppression, keep them. They have not shown they can even dream of taking the White House. Exclusionary politics have been their problem, and it seems Trump has no more learned the lesson than any of the so-called establishment candidates.
Trump’s campaign is destined to collapse under the weight of its own hate, and the sooner people realize they are hated by Trump the faster that collapse will come.
You might remember Jeffress as one of the Religious Right spokesmen who claimed President Obama had paved the way for the Anti-Christ. We haven’t seen the Anti-Christ put in an appearance yet, though ironically Trump’s Republican opponents claim Obama did pave the way for Trump, so you can infer from that what you want.
The point is that Trump, like Hitler, has attracted all manner of haters to his movement. Hitler managed to sort them out, in part thanks to a violent purge of actual socialists and moderates, and then he let loose the sadists on those who weren’t “real Germans.” We have already seen Trump take his first Hitlerian steps in promoting the ejection of 11 million people from our country.
You can’t win a country over by demonizing nearly half its citizens and prospective voters. Trump can be God on Earth to the other quarter to one-third, but that’s not going to win any national elections. What Trump has done is taken a success-proof Republican strategy of excluding nearly everybody from the American franchise, and then expecting to win.
It didn’t work for John McCain, it didn’t work for Mitt Romney, and it is not going to work for Donald Trump.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.