The Total Destruction of the Johnson Amendment, a Simple Plan from a Simple Man.

by Pitt Griffin on February 3, 2017 · 0 comments

in Politics, Religion, Trump presidency

The ‘Johnson Amendment’ prohibits churches with tax-exempt status from endorsing politicians. As so-called Christians favor Republicans, conservatives hate it. So Trump, the evangelicals’ unlikely knight in tarnished armor, is cynically all-in for its demise. Not just repeal, but its “total destruction”.

What can he mean by this hyperbole? Perhaps he is speaking in biblical terms – channeling the destruction of Jericho, say. Or more likely he is merely indulging in the slack exaggeration of the emotionally stunted. In other words the grade school bully. Braggadocio employed to make him feel good about himself.

It jibes with his usual harangues: “total loser”, “total disaster”, “a total clown”. He loves ‘total’. It’s part of his limited vocabulary. He may be vigorous in his insults, but his imprecations lack width – his aspersions, variety. His lexicon reflects his thinking – narrow, shallow and unoriginal.

His diet says the same. Fast food and soda. Unexciting, banal, predictable and safe. Even his baroque, decorative excess is one dimensional and constrained by a poor imagination. His standing order is “gild it”.

His dress is equally dull. Nothing but navy suits, white shirts, and extra long ties. Ties which exemplify his stunted range. He has red ties and red ties with stripes, and blue ties and blue ties with stripes. And ….. that’s it. Not world class branding – more Midwestern Rotarian. Take a designer suit and Trump will reduce it to a pricey potato sack.

He is a simple-minded paradox. The first social media President – who has no computer. In the electronic age, he recommends couriers. In a tablet world, he wields a sharpie. He still reads newsprint.

He is the most reactionary man the electoral college has ever anointed President. He offers nothing new. He demands nothing of his acolytes. Strap in, it’s a journey back to the future.

His slogan -“Make America Great Again” – is the epitome of simplistic reversal. A dream of an imaginary, Edenic 1950s. His appeal to “America First” is redolent of the head in the sand – if you ignore it, it will go away – isolationism of the 1930s.

Then there was “build that wall” and “Mexico’s going to pay for it”. And the crowd-pleasing, “Lock her up”. But nothing more. No soaring oratory. No “…. but fear itself”. No “ask not what you can do ….”.

It is t-shirt slogan speechifying. Bedazzled, earth-locked magniloquence. As profoundly inspiring as a love declared by Hallmark. A shallow patriotism announced with the same insouciant ease – and lack of significance – as by a ‘stars and stripes’ bandana.

All this easily digestible pap sits well with his ‘base’. The world is a complicated place. The forces of humanity are titanic and irresistible. It was simpler when it was a Christian, white man’s world. When the third world was poor, weak, diseased and dying. And America could retreat behind its oceans.

It isn’t anymore. Complex problems require complex solutions. But complexity is hard. Trump is a Svengali who promises that he can cure unemployment, drug abuse, and crime with a wall. A wall that will be big and beautiful. And paid for by someone else.

He sells a delusion –  sad and pathetic – and ultimately destructive to the people praying that it will work. And with the total destruction of the Johnson Amendment, America can expect more of the same failed philosophy.



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