Taking the Long Term View


I’m in the Nashville area attending a conference for people involved in church leadership positions. The conference is built around a series of talks by Christians describing how their religious identity has helped them through adversity and how that adversity helped strengthen their faith.

The first speaker yesterday was David French. Yes, that David French, the one who writes for National Review, the one who has been tagged as the president of the Never Trumpers. Like me, French did not support Trump in 2016, and his continued opposition to the President has been costly for him at times.

French built his talk on the biblical narrative of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem and King Hezekiah’s response. Rather than call on Egypt for help, Hezekiah listened to what God was calling him to do through the prophet Isaiah, and the Assyrian siege was eventually broken. In French’s view, Hillary Clinton might have been a terrible choice for President, but turning to someone like Donald Trump was not unlike the temptation of turning to Egypt for help against the Assyrians, something to be avoided. For French, refusing to support Trump was a refusal to take an unnecessary choice between two evils. In his view (and mine), many Christians have been too caught up in the political polarization afflicting America. The rancor isn’t healthy, and it leads us into false dilemmas.

In the end, the real choice is between worldly power and Truth. Sometimes, standing up for our understanding of the Truth can be costly, but it’s worth the price. Truth wins in the end.

19 thoughts on “Taking the Long Term View

  1. At this point, David French’s real choice is between the truth and his personal ego. He was wrong, and, he won’t, or can’t, admit it.

    The Bible has many stories of pride being the downfall of a man. French should read those stories, and, admit he was wrong.

    I infer from his rising to a position as at a political magazine, but, not from his recent writings, that he is a reasonably intelligent man who keeps up with modern politics. That said, either it is deliberate, or grossly negligent, on his part to cite a Bible story that dovetails with the “Russian collusion” narrative. French, if anyone, should know that is a fantasy reality constructed by Fusion GPS. Pathetic. Sad. Disgraceful.

    • My view is truth always wins eventually. Trump’s lies and the excuses by his supporters are plainly wrong. Just like the Kavanaugh opposition is based on the ends justify the means, that is how a Trump and many supporters act. No. The means are important. So are the ends. The Russia investigation is a victim of truth. I do agree agree with the writer that politics perverted Justice. We must never allow that. Further the unmasking needs to be looked at as well since it likely leads to Valerie Jarrett. Another Trump flaw is loyalty. Sessions in the Senate is another key vote. Any other AG would rip Justice, the FBI and the Obama White House apart.

      • My question for NeverTrumpers is:In what way has Trump governed that is distinct from what you want? What bills has he signed into law, which policies has he enacted, what appointments has he made, with which you disagree?

        Because if you’re supposed to be conservative, it seems to me you’re reduced to bitching about mean tweets.

          • So it is the tweets, then? You wanted Clinton in the White House and at least two left-wing ideologues on the Supreme Court? You wanted higher taxes and exponentially increasing regulation? Because sonorous, soporific faux-dignity interspersed with awkward discordant cackling is so much better than thin-skinned tweeting?

            Ahoy!

      • John, what is it other than pride that has stopped you from admitting that you were, and, are, wrong?

        Your demeanor has not been a shining example of conducting yourself in a Christlike manor. The pot noting the kettle is a few shades darker isn’t a very convincing or compelling argument Nor, is accusing others of being mendacious while simultaneously trying to dance on the head of a pin about not having been wrong.

          • One would think that on the very day Brett Kavanaugh is about to be confirmed the resident “never Trumpers” would have the good sense to slither away and hide. I only shudder to consider whose confirmation we would be discussing had Hillary Clinton won.

            Alas, you have opted to make an appearance.

            Are you willing to admit that you were wrong yet?

            Frankly, I don’t claim to be the greatest arbiter of what is, and, is not, Christlike demeanor. That said, even Stevie Wonder can see the hypocrisy I noted. Nor, should your repeated aggressive, belligerent and snarky behavior go without comment.

          • Let’s just leave these right here:

            Like me, French did not support Trump in 2016…

            One would think that on the very day Brett Kavanaugh is about to be confirmed the resident “never Trumpers” would have the good sense to slither away and hide.

          • Pablo is attempting to revise history rather than admit he was wrong.

            John Hoge clearly stated that from a conservative perspective Donald Trump was the lesser of two evils, and people in swing states ought to consider voting for him. You did not. You actively campaigned for the election of Hillary Clinton by such things as systematically denigrating Donald Trump’s campaign promises, speculating that he would really appoint liberals such as his sister to the Supreme Court, spreading tabloid rumors about Donald Trump then being pushed by the Democratic Underground, and, scandal rags in England.

            You were wrong about Trump’s fidelity to his campaign promises. You were completely wrong about what kind of judges he would appoint. And, you spread a tabloid rumor that the newspaper retracted for the reason that it was false. A nd, now, you are wrong about denying having been wrong. Is it so hard for you to write, “What I said about Donald Trump was wrong?”

            If there is a Biblical analogy of what David French has done it that of. Bathsheba’s husband, except that instead of dying when all the troops around him were withdrawn, he miraculously achieves victory. Now, the plot is exposed. and, the King is reduced to claiming he really didn’t try to kill him, the enemy did.

  2. “Which trains did Mussolini make run late?”

    There’s that “hissy-fit” mentality rearing its ugly head again.

    There are two options to the Mussolini statement. Either you are ignorant of history (which I don’t believe) or you are willfully ignorant of history (which is what I believe in this case).

    Trump has not done one thing that the fascists from almost a century ago did once they came to power. NOT ONE! This type of argument only shows the hatred you have because he doesn’t walk and talk the way you want him to. Some believe that sophistication is the only way.. Well let me say this, “Show me a man who believes that one must be sophisticated and I’ll show you a pretentious jackass.”

    Whether anyone here likes it or not, Trump is fighting the left at their own game and beating them like a drum. Not one….NOT A SINGLE CANDIDATE (I was a Cruz guy)from the 2016 election could have achieved what has happened with the economy and foreign policy since Trump was elected.

    One last thought about the Bible stories. The Old Testament is full of stories of King’s who didn’t follow the One True God but God used them for His purposes to bless His chosen people. I don’t know about your Bible but mine says that God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Amen!). God won’t fit in your finite “box” or mans intellectual reasoning. He is not subject to mathematical equations or the “science is the only truth” fools. He laughs at these things.

    In closing, I will say again, “He who is not against us, is for us!”

    • Anyone could have gotten this result with the economy. The path is simple: Cut taxes, get the government’s boot off the throat of business. (The tax cuts were Paul Ryan’s life’s work.)

      Foreign policy remains to be seen, but Trump is certainly making a show of it and the early reviews are excellent. But again, Trump’s Iran and ISIS policies are not magical and at least half the GOP field would have implemented them.

      Trump has done a much better job than I expected him to do, and I’m wildly entertained by his uncanny ability to make his haters set themselves on fire. That said, he is who he is and there was never any hiding it. He has never been an especially good guy, and he’s been quite awful to a significant number of people.

      Abandoning any moral standards for POTUS is not going to take us to good places, but I’m a sucker for a good redemption story. I’m praying for him.

      • I guess we just found out what one does when he can’t plausibly claim that he was right, but, won’t admit that he was wrong: claim we can’t tell yet!

      • Anyone? Huh? If you had gotten your way, Hillary would be President and we would be sliding further into globalism. So, no, not anyone could have done that.
        You have a selective memory. Ryan had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to get the tax cuts passed.
        Foreign policy remains to be seen? Open your eyes, NAFTA (otherwise known as everyone screw the United States act) is dead. DEAD! TPP (otherwise known as Eurasia gets to screw the United States too, is dead. DEAD! The EU is next. When was the last time the little pot bellied dictator shot his rockets over our allies? Who put Iran on notice instead of paying them millions and begging them to be nice?
        You go ahead in your moral standards and when you pray for the president, make sure you take the log out of your own eye before you try to remove the speck from his. Oh and you might want to remember that you shouldn’t judge unless you’re ready to be judged by the same standard.

      • Anyone “could” have gotten this result with the economy, but no one else “would” have gotten it. Everyone else would have been ineffectual in the face of the lockstep leftist opposition we have seen.

        How about NAFTA, Chinese trade, Iran deal, illegal immigration, and all the rest that PDJT has achieved in the face of the irrational opposition he has faced not only from the dems, but from his own party? Who else could, or would have stood up as well in the face of the deep state decapitation he has faced? Heck, the only place he’s really failed to achieve a campaign promise so far is in the repeal of Obamacare, and that ultimately came down to John McCain, not Schumer, Pelosi, or Feinstein.

        He has never been an especially good guy, and has been quite awful to a significant number of people – True. Then again, we’re electing a President, not a Saint.

  3. Anyone? Huh? If you had gotten your way, Hillary would be President and we would be sliding further into globalism. So, no, not anyone could have done that.

    Anyone who followed my very simple prescriptions, which Trump did. What part of #NeverHillary do you not get, Jonesey?

    You have a selective memory. Ryan had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to get the tax cuts passed.

    That’s just ridiculous. Trump himself said he’d sign whatever they sent him. This was Ryan’s bill.

    Foreign policy remains to be seen? Open your eyes, NAFTA (otherwise known as everyone screw the United States act) is dead. DEAD! TPP (otherwise known as Eurasia gets to screw the United States too, is dead. DEAD! The EU is next. When was the last time the little pot bellied dictator shot his rockets over our allies? Who put Iran on notice instead of paying them millions and begging them to be nice?

    I’m not sure who you’re arguing this with but it isn’t me. You go, though!

    You go ahead in your moral standards and when you pray for the president, make sure you take the log out of your own eye before you try to remove the speck from his. Oh and you might want to remember that you shouldn’t judge unless you’re ready to be judged by the same standard.

    Yeah, well thankfully I don’t have dozens of Howard Stern appearances to atone for so…..

    Also, I ask God for forgiveness on a regular basis. I recognize that I’m a sinner. I hear that matters.

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