Donald Trump did not invent Trumpism. He merely exploited it. One hallmark of Trumpism is a lack of truthfulness.
Presidents have lied before. My memory only goes back to Franklin Roosevelt, who assured the nation he did not want war while he spent day and night preparing for it.
President Eisenhower denied ordering a photo reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union when, in fact, he had.
Richard Nixon said, “I am not a crook.” But he was.
By the time Jimmy Carter had his moment in the White House, Americans had grown so suspicious that Carter felt the need to assure us he would not tell any lies. I do not know if he kept that promise.
President Reagan lied about selling arms in the Iran-Contra affair.
President Clinton swore under oath that he never had a sexual relationship with “that woman.” The truth is, he did.
President George W. Bush assured the nation Iraq was bristling with weapons of mass destruction. That was a lie.
President Obama said, “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it.” That, too, was not true.
Lying is bipartisan and common, but Trump has taken it to a new level. The Washington Post’s tally of Trump lies recently reached 10,797, all as he excoriates the press for dealing in “fake news.” His mendacity has people asking, “What is true? What can I believe?”
The moral darkness of Trumpism extends far beyond its assault on truth-telling. It is seasoned with unsavory ingredients of immorality, race-hating, mistreatment of children, greed and lawlessness.
It is disheartening that some of Trump’s most uncritical supporters are people of faith. Have we forgotten the importance of truthfulness that is so central to biblical teachings (see Ephesians 4)? Eighty percent of evangelical Christian voters supported Trump, though he is the antithesis of what they believe. I dread to think what this is doing to the long-term witness of the Christian church.
I write this as impeachment is gathering steam. The times call for sober reflection and prayer.