Perrying the Trump


Rick Perry has recently made the news for his criticism of Donald Trump, because really, what else does he have to distinguish himself from the other Republican candidates? I know I sometimes confuse him with Ted Cruz. Running for President has become the Republican way of saying, “Hey, I’m just as much of a rich jerk who pays lip service to God as these other guys!”

Obviously Trump is a pretty easy target, although that hasn’t stopped him from doing well in the polls. Then again, the election is still pretty far away at this point, and some of the people being polled probably just want some conflict. I would think the one who was hurt the most by Trump’s entry into the race was Chris Christie, because being an insulting loudmouth was HIS thing.

Never mind that Trump claimed in the last decade to be more of a Democrat. Perry compared Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric to the Know-Nothings, a nativist political movement in the middle of the nineteenth century. The thing is, the Know-Nothings (who called themselves the American Party; the nickname supposedly came from their refusal to say anything about the party’s activities) were particularly anti-Catholic, and Trump was apparently a Catholic at one point, although he later left the church.

The Know-Nothings had some spiritual descent in the John Birch Society, named after a tree that was cut down with the sickle from the communist symbol. No, seriously, he was a missionary or something, and didn’t really have anything in particular to do with the society, a paranoid group seeing communism everywhere and opposing the United Nations.

Its founder was a paranoid guy who ran a candy company.

Uh, no, not Willy Wonka, but Robert Welch Jr. The Tea Party also has some similarities, although here it’s a little less clear what they’re against, because there’s a lot of coded language going on. And really, I don’t think Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants are all that far off from the Republican mainstream; it’s just that his racism was far too blatant. Nowadays anti-immigrant beliefs have to be couched in the statement that it’s only ILLEGAL immigration you oppose, despite the fact that the people saying this are still often judging based on appearance. You can still be racist, but you generally have to have a few examples of non-white people you like so you can trot them out when someone accuses you. There is an important difference between legal and illegal immigration, but wouldn’t more liberal laws mean fewer lawbreakers? Anyway, to give Perry a little credit, you probably can’t be elected Governor of Texas if you badmouth the Latin population. I remember Fox News getting on George W. Bush’s case for being too lax on the immigration issue.

While anti-Catholic sentiment continued to be significant a century after the heyday of the Know-Nothings when people suspected John F. Kennedy would favor the Pope over the United States, it doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue now. In today’s Republican Party, you can be Catholic or Protestant as long as you’re incredibly vocal about how important your faith is.

And while Trump has done this in the past, it was always a little difficult to buy that he was worshipping anyone other than himself. Some consternation was caused when Trump told Frank Luntz that he never asked God for forgiveness, because this is apparently something we need to know about presidential candidates. Trump’s words were, “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.” And you know what? I agree with him on this point. There’s too much of an idea in this country that, if you ask Jesus to forgive you, you don’t actually have to change your behavior. The problem is more that Trump doesn’t appear to practice what he preaches. When’s the last time you heard of him trying to make something right instead of just doubling down on his wrongness? He also referred to communion as having “my little cracker,” which interestingly enough is also a good description of his base. Trump identifies as Presbyterian, and communion isn’t anywhere near as much of a thing for Presbyterians as it is for Catholics, but it’s still a weird thing to say. It’s like he’s trying to talk up religion while also making fun of it.

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5 Responses to Perrying the Trump

  1. Pingback: Perrying the Trump | Tea Party News

  2. Pingback: Perrying the Trump | Tea Party News

  3. I was just thinking today, there was some artiçle on the comcast page about Hulk Hogan getting fired for saying something racist, and I thought, “You know, that kind of thing happens a lot lately, and people try to paint themselves as progressive for cracking down on overtly racist language, but all anyone’s actually doing is forcing people with racist beliefs to come up with a secret code to express those beliefs, or they’ll express their beliefs through actions and try to claim they’re not racist since they don’t use the woeds.” It really annoyed me, to be honest. But it’s kind of refreshing that Trump tells it like he sees it. You know exactly where he stands, and if you have any sense you know you don’t want him for president. There’s no need to GUESS with him!

    Also he’s a horrible example of a “Christian,” he should just give that facade up now. Unless he wants to give up all his possessions to follow God instead…

    • Nathan says:

      Sometimes people are reprimanded for racist statements that weren’t even intended for the public, which is somewhat of a difficult issue as well. I guess the thing with Hogan getting fired and Trump being dropped for endorsements is that the companies that do this are looking out for their bottom line, not necessarily trying to do the right thing. They barely did anything at all to reprimand the Duck Dynasty guy, presumably because they thought anyone who actually cared about racism and homophobia wouldn’t have been watching that show in the first place.

      Also he’s a horrible example of a “Christian,” he should just give that facade up now. Unless he wants to give up all his possessions to follow God instead…

      There are a LOT of Christians you could say that about.

      • I guess the thing with Hogan getting fired and Trump being dropped for endorsements is that the companies that do this are looking out for their bottom line, not necessarily trying to do the right thing.

        Good point.

        There are a LOT of Christians you could say that about.
        True, but Trump seems like the pinnacle of that. He’s the very antithesis of what it means to be Christian.

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