Donald Trump

Did Trump Teach You that God is the Supreme Ruler?

Trump Black Church

(Photo Credit: The Washington Post)

With the arrival of President Donald J. Trump, a “newfound” understanding of God as the supreme ruler of all has emerged. What’s most troubling about this, however, is the “novel” recognition is more about expressions of anger, protest, and resistance than it is about the truth of our sovereign God. Being “woke” should begin with the reality that God has been the sole ruler of all long before Trump—even long before George Washington. If you want to oppose, criticize President Trump, that’s more than fine. Please, however, don’t act like God just became the King of all of humanity and phenomena. The Lord’s supremacy should always guide all of our thoughts and actions, regardless of political party or ideological persuasion.

Psalm 82: God the Supreme Ruler

Psalm 82 states, “God presides in the heavenly council; in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision: ‘You must stop judging unjustly; you must no longer be partial to the wicked! Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans; be fair to the needy and the helpless. Rescue them from the power of evil people. ‘How ignorant you are! How stupid! You are completely corrupt, and justice has disappeared from the world. ‘You are gods,’ I said; ‘all of you are children of the Most High.’ But you will die like mortals; your life will end like that of any prince.’ Come, O God, and rule the world; all the nations are yours.”

Justice and Political Action and Discourse in the Era of Trump

Presidents come and go, politicians come and go, kings and queens come and go, but God is eternal. His kingship is eternal and it’s not based on human votes or anything else of the material world: He serves by the divine authority of “the heavenly council; in the assembly of the gods.”

Yes, as Psalm 82 makes clear, we’re to resist injustice and wickedness and champion the rights of the powerless, the voiceless (“the poor and the orphans…the needy and the helpless”). Without a true understanding and commitment to the already eternal supremacy of God, the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed, the marginalized will never find liberty from “the power of evil people.” If you, therefore, consider President Trump among “the power of evil people,” then a real sincerity toward God must govern your discourse, your approach, your resistance.

In short, God didn’t just show up on the scene when you surrendered your equanimity to the truth that President Donald J. Trump is your legitimate president of the United States—not simply to be called “45,”—but He’s always been the supreme ruler of all, for “all nations are yours,” even before any human was created.

Ground your protesting and resistance in the truth of God’s eternal supremacy, a supremacy that has always existed.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Travis Greene’s and Chrisette Michele’s Trump Inauguration Decisions: Victims of Misplaced Anger

Travis Greene and Chrisette Michele Perform at 2017 Presidential Inauguration

(Photo Credit: The Washington Post)

A decision to perform yesterday, January 20, 2017, at President Donald J. Trump’s Presidential Inauguration doesn’t constitute an endorsement. Although the thought of a Trump presidency is difficult for most on the Left to fathom, and unsettling for some on the Right, accepting an invitation to perform on Inauguration Day has never historically been viewed as a political act—certainly not an overt political act. Those who have had the distinct privilege to present their talent on this day do it not simply for the new president, but also the nation and world. Travis Greene, nominated in 2016 for a Grammy award for the gospel hit single “Intentional,” exhibited his great talent at one of Trump’s inaugural balls. He, lamentably, received crass attacks from many acrimonious black folks for his decision to sing at this event. Given that Greene prefaced his decision by expressing he seriously contemplated how Jesus would respond to this invitation, it’s reasonable to deduce that the artist isn’t a Trump supporter. For Greene, singing at the inaugural ball presents a prodigious opportunity to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Travis Greene, in a joint performance with Chrisette Michele, who was also viciously lambasted for her decision to sing at Trump’s inaugural event, ministered in song with high-energy and brilliance. Regrettably, for Chrisette Michele, Spike Lee upbraided her for choosing to perform at the event: he discontinued considering her music for his upcoming soundtrack to the Netflix television series adaptation of his 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It. Michele revealed how “heartbroken” she is by the numerous harsh, disparaging responses to her decision.

Both Greene and Michele are young national recording artists. Situated in a postmodern, late capitalist society, both artists must constantly seek imaginative ways to market themselves and their music. What better way to market their music and increase their reach than at a presidential inauguration while the world is watching? If most—if not all—of their disingenuous critics would have been in their situations and had an opportunity for a global audience to witness their talent, they wouldn’t have experienced a moment of reticence; they would’ve seized the extraordinary moment, the remarkable opportunity. Greene and Michele did. They deserve laudatory remarks—not childish invective.

For those believing President Trump is an evil man with nefarious intentions for blacks and other minorities, Greene’s desire to inoculate the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the inaugural ball would seem to be a ray of hope in a dark place. The Gospel calls all of us to seek peace, justice, and love. Wouldn’t this inaugural event be a fine place to proffer a message of peace, justice, and love? A Christian truly following the example of Christ has no problem meeting with and performing for a president he or she disagrees with on many issues.

These unfounded, precarious, censoriously abusive attacks on Greene and Michele exemplify misplaced anger. If one has a problem with Trump, then let Trump truly be the focus of his or her scorn—not two young black national recording artists elated to have enough talent and acclaim to sing for the president, the nation, and the world. As Bernice King, the daughter of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., posited at the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, “We still have to find a way to create…the beloved community,” the beloved community her father passionately championed until his odious assassination. Adopting a policy, a strategy of estrangement toward Trump will prove immature and ineffective.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

President-Elect Donald Trump Saves 1,000 American Jobs

Donald Trump Carrier

(Photo Credit: Huffington Post)

Even before President-elect Donald Trump’s first day in office, he saves 1,000 American jobs. Delivering on a campaign promise to Carrier employees in Indiana that their jobs wouldn’t be shipped overseas, Trump shows early signs of leading a strong and productive economy. While some are understating and overstating his successful deal for these Carrier employees, we all should be happy that these 1,000 individuals (and their families) will not face the hardships of unemployment. Cease from your partisanship for at least a moment to acknowledge that these jobs remaining in America is important. With this deal, America wins.

Trump, of course, understands that he will not be able to call each top executive of American companies desiring to ship jobs overseas and reach the same type of resolution, but it’s comforting to know that he’s open to negotiating with them. Past presidents, unfortunately, didn’t do anything significant to curb outsourcing. The saving of 1,000 Carrier jobs in Indiana signals that our incoming president is serious about making robust efforts to end outsourcing. As president, one must engage in not only microeconomics but also macroeconomics. A Wharton Business School graduate, Donald Trump, certainly knows this.

One black man who works for Carrier in Indiana and who passionately opposed Trump expressed gratitude to him for saving his job and ensuring the financial security of his family.

America needs a jobs-president. If Trump’s handling of Carrier is any indication of what he will do as president, then America can expect economic prosperity under his leadership. Time will tell, though.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Anti-Trump Protest Fatigue: Longing for National Equanimity

Donald Trump and Mike Pence

(Photo Credit: NBC)

Donald J. Trump is President-elect of the United States of America, and he will be the 45th President of the United States of America. Face it. Calm down. Composing Facebook posts and tweets expressing anger and disappointments about Trump’s victory will not change this reality and will not accomplish anything meaningful. An inauthentic hyper-religious commitment to prayer, fasting, and depending on God will not mollify Trump-related apprehensions and disenchantments. Destroying public and private property and businesses in your cities will not end the racism, hatred, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination you resist. If you want a different election result, then heed the advice President Obama gave to Republicans after he won in 2012: “Go out and win an election.”

Are numerous people going to have public meltdowns every time an election does not go their way? Are we always going to be so partisan to the point we never enact significantly beneficial policy again? Are we always going to be in election-season?

How did Trump win this election? Those interested in him becoming president voted for him. Those who did not desire for Hillary Clinton to become president vote against her and for him. They organized and did not just craft Facebook posts and tweets. They did not riot; they voted.

This election was the most nasty, mean-spirited one in American history. It’s over, thankfully.

At some point, we must come together for the common good. Why not now? Do we have to wait until heartbroken folks exhaust themselves with reckless protesting and rioting?

If you want a new president in 2020, then stop complaining on Facebook and Twitter and organize with other like-minded voters. Develop a plan about how to get voters to the polls who will elect a person you desire to win the presidency. I can guarantee you that busting out windows at Walgreens and CVS will not elect the president you want.

Do you desire for your candidate to win the next election? Go to the polls and take everyone you know with you in 2020.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

FBI Director Comey Caves to Clinton, Obama, and Democrats

Hillary Clinton

(Photo Credit: Business Insider)

How can over 650,000 emails pertaining to the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s illegal private email server be reviewed in just a few days? Under intense pressure from Hillary Clinton, her campaign, President Obama, his administration, and numerous Democrats, FBI Director James Comey caved. When Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and many other Democrats started accusing Comey of attempting to influence this election, he didn’t want to be perceived as secretly working to elect Donald Trump. What’s becoming increasingly clear is the American government is corrupt and the American people cannot place any faith in it.

A truly independent, non-partisan special counsel needs to conduct a formal investigation into the agency’s handling of the affairs involving Clinton’s illegal private email server and the Clinton Foundation.

Although Comey has promulgated that the review of Clinton’s email server is complete, and he will not recommend criminal charges be brought against her, the agency’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation continues.

For those Democrats alleging that Comey is acting in a partisan way to elect Donald Trump, it will be interesting to see if they have substantive concerns about this premature announcement two days before the 2016 presidential election. Most, if not all, of the same Democrats criticizing Comey praised him several months ago when he first made the determination not to recommend criminal charges be brought against Clinton.

If Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States of America on November 8, 2016, then the American people better prepare themselves for more legitimate investigations of her that will last her entire four years in office.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton: America Deserves Better

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

(Photo Credit: Salon)

Are Americans really about to elect a carnival barker, Donald Trump, or crook, Hillary Clinton, as President of the United States of America? If this happens, the American people will only have themselves to blame—not Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton. Without a miracle, handcuffs for Hillary, or a delegate revolt against Trump at the GOP Convention in Cleveland, this nation is headed for more doom and gloom. An alternative exists for conscientious voters: rally behind a third-party candidate. Neither current candidate offers the essential vision our country needs. The time is right for a third-party to rise and challenge this antiquated two-party system.

Do we really want to elect a woman, Hillary Clinton, who views black boys and men as “superpredators”? Do we really want to elect a woman, Hillary Clinton, who changes her mind with the wind on the critical issues confronting our nation? Do we really want to elect a man, Donald Trump, who desires to ban all Muslims from entering our country? Do we really want to elect a man, Donald Trump, who mocks individuals with disabilities? Hopefully, the answer is no.

As the #NeverTrump and #WhichHillary movements continue to gain traction, a serious third-party candidate saving us from these two catastrophes, Clinton and Trump, could emerge. These two movements, however, must bear fruit: people uniting behind a single candidate who can defeat both Clinton and Trump.

Don’t allow people to condemn you into maintaining loyalty to your current political party. If you’re not happy with person who secures your party’s nomination, it’s not mandatory to vote for him or her. Vote for a third-party candidate who better reflects your values and who offers a better future for America. Even if you decide to return to your present political party the next election cycle, a powerful message still will be communicated: your vote isn’t automatic.

Ideally, this third-party candidate would be someone who could resonate with enough Democrats, Republicans and Independents. With three people essentially running for president, this third-party candidate would be able to win the presidency, forever giving Americans faith in third-party candidates.

Too many precious lives and treasure have been sacrificed to enfranchise Americans, especially blacks and women, for people to stay at home as a form of “protest.” A more productive form of protest is to evince that the two-party system isn’t here to stay and that the American people have an option beyond this system. The only real statement you make by not voting is a callous disregard for the great sacrifices that have been made to empower you with the right to vote. Think thoroughly about this before you resolve to sit at home foolishly pretending you’re doing something “revolutionary” by not voting.

Begin to join with others who reject Trump and Clinton to discuss possible candidates to support for a third-party run against them. You will ultimately need to agree on one candidate to draft and/or support.

Let’s start an authentic political revolution by transitioning our country to a three-party system. We desperately need an alternative to our extant two-party system.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Republicans, Does Conservatism Matter Anymore?

Are too many Republicans stuck on stupid? No, literally stuck on stupid: Donald Trump. Are you using Donald Trump to reflect your disenchantment with the last two presidential outcomes? Have you simply surrendered all hope of winning the White House? The Party of Lincoln and Reagan is turning to Trump? Really? Although the time left to change course is waning, a strong window of opportunity still remains. President Ronald Reagan worked tirelessly to advance principled conservatism, resulting in a powerful conservative revolution: the Reagan Revolution. This passionate commitment to conservatism has defined the Republican Party for decades. Unfortunately, this storied history of the Republican Party is being threatened and hijacked by a megalomaniac, Donald Trump. The real blame for the meteoric ascendancy of Mr. Trump rests with the 70% of Republicans not voting for him; your failure to coalesce around a single candidate has made him the front-runner.

The conservative alternative to Trump who can win the presidency in 2016 is Senator Marco Rubio. Yes, a number of conservatives have problems with Rubio’s past support of comprehensive immigration reform, although he no longer supports it until the border is secured. Senator Rubio has a proven conservative record, and for those who are looking for a political outsider, remember he was elected as the Tea Party’s favorite in Florida. Rubio isn’t a part of “the establishment.” He represents a new generation of Republicans, a generation vastly expanding the number of new Republican voters. This new generation of Republican voters will run far away from the Party if Trump is the nominee.

Senator Cruz, Governor Kasich and Dr. Carson all claim President Reagan as their conservative idol. The time has come to prove it: suspend your campaigns and support Rubio. Don’t allow your egos to harm the collective good of your Party. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. Trump is really a Democrat. He supports abortion, high tariffs, high taxes, neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, universal (single-payer) health care, and other liberal Democrat positions.

Conservatives, do you really trust Mr. Trump to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices? If so, what gives you confidence that a liberal Trump would nominate conservative Supreme Court justices?

If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, the Party will be viewed forever as a joke. People will say, “This is the Party that nominated Donald Trump. Yes, Donald Trump.” Why should voters take the Party serious with Mr. Trump as the nominee?

Anger is not a policy. Mature, principled conservatives transform anger into meaningful, results-oriented policy. Trump transforms anger into rage—not policy. Why aren’t Republican voters demanding him to proffer thorough and thoughtful policies? Pure ignorance. He’s taking advantage of this ignorance too. Trump recently stated, “I love the poorly educated.” He’s playing a huge joke on the Republican Party, and the harsh reality is numerous Republicans are too ignorant to recognize it.

The next President will appoint one to four Supreme Court justices. Should the American people trust this important responsibility to the mind (or lack thereof) of Mr. Trump? No. It would be better for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders to win than to have the Republican Party’s legacy destroyed by the recklessness of a President Trump.

Our young American experiment with democracy is only about 230 years old. The American citizens are assessing Republicans’ contribution to our democratic experiment, and they will be asking, “Is Trump the best Republicans can offer to this democratic experiment?” By nominating Trump, the wrong response will be communicated: “yes.”

Wise up, Republicans. You have a candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and a candidate who can attract numerous new and diverse voters to the Republican Party: Senator Marco Rubio. Republicans, return to being conservatives. Nominate a true conservative who can win: Senator Marco Rubio. Aren’t you tired of losing? With Trump, you’ll suffer another 4 or 8 years with a Democrat in the White House. It’s your choice, though.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison