Donald Trump and the angry mob

Notice the beautiful perfection of this image, the pretty people, the colors, the businesslike tone. Nothing is left to chance except what comes out of Trump's mouth, and I'm not even sure that isn't calculated, too. (Click to read the Washington Post article "The moment of truth: We must stop Trump.")

Notice the beautiful perfection of this image, the pretty people, the colors, the businesslike tone. Nothing is left to chance except what comes out of Trump’s mouth, and I’m not even sure that isn’t calculated, too. (Click to read the Washington Post article “The moment of truth: We must stop Trump.”)

One of the principle conclusions of my forthcoming book, How Jesus Joined The GOP, is that those of us at the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) created the vocal and angry mob that represents the right wing of the Republican Party today. I’m sure there were other factors, but don’t underestimate what we did or how we did it.

My firm belief is that this mob is vastly more significant than the people who currently lead it or even exploit it, for this group a) doesn’t need or want anybody to lead them and b) wants and needs somebody to lead everybody else to their promised land. That makes THEM the dangerous problem and not anyone seeking their support.

Here’s the truth. Everything about The 700 Club was researched and strategically deliberate. We were armed with research by Pat Robertson’s buddy George Gallup that gave us a thorough quantitative understanding of how Christians were viewed by the public. This included such pejorative thinking as “ignorant, aging, overweight, stupid and moronic, and Bible-thumping rednecks.” So we used our program to deliver the opposite by appealing to younger, good looking, smarter, and more intelligent people through the betterment of one’s standing in life. We transformed the stereotypes into a much more attractive substitute by cleverly appealing to their reasonable questions about life and God.

However, the televangelist scandals and Pat’s unsuccessful bid for President in 1988 blew away a significant portion of our support, and guess which people? Those same younger, good looking, smarter, and more intelligent folks who were the target of our appeal in the first place. Sadly, that left only the stereotype, people who were convinced — without study whatsoever — of the rightness of our “Christian Right” message. This is the core of that angry mob today.

One of the real jewels of Alabama is Paul Finebaum, the sports journalist and commentator. What makes his program so appealing is the crazy listeners who call in regularly and the way Finebaum brilliantly and respectfully handles them. I was listening the other day when a caller who clearly fit the Alabama redneck mold tried to convince Finebaum that Donald Trump was the greatest political candidate ever. “I mean, come on, Paul,” he insisted in the excited dialect of the rural South, “this is one of the smartest people ever to come along. He is so smart, Paul. Have you heard about this guy? You just have to listen to him, Paul. He’s just so smart, and you need to get onboard the train to help him.” He was enamored with his candidate’s perceived smarts, yet he couldn’t articulate any evidence of that smartness.

All I could do was sigh and utter to myself, “Yup. That’s what we’re up against.”


  1. The caller lacked the self-awareness to understand why he sees Trump as smart. Trump says, out loud and in public, everything the caller himself believes–that Muslims should be killed with bullets dipped in pig blood, that all the brown folks should be deported and sent “home,” that any woman who challenges him in any way is just a bitch on her period, etc. Trump is the ultimate proof that the Republican party is not full of thoughtful, intelligent conservatives with strong values and compassion. If those types–and I don’t deny that there are a few of them still wielding some influence (Albert Mohler and Russell Moore spring to mind)–were anything but a tiny, nearly powerless minority, Trump couldn’t be a front-runner. May God have mercy on us all and give us much more than we deserve, for we surely deserve President Trump.

  2. Thank you, Terry, for being one of the few Republicans who owns up to the responsibility that the party has for creating the negative and far-too-judgemental policies. If only Christian conservatives could have been both (meaning caring about others and at the same time protecting individual freedoms, including in the bedroom) the party could have been very successful, especially to Millenials. Unfortunately, it turns out it is neither, and so it exists in an echo chamber of hate and self-righteous idiots.

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