The ultimate cause of the Trump Derangement Syndrome is ideological. The Left’s long march since the Sixties through the institutions—trumpeting “liberation”—has captured academia, Hollywood, television, the news outlets, social media, and big business, as well as highly-placed leaders in the FBI, the CIA and the Washington bureaucracy. All that was lacking was a strong hand on the levers of political power. The expectation was apocalyptic. On the eve of the November 2008 presidential election, President Obama solemnly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” When Trump stood in the way of this “fundamental transformation,” the goal was evident: he must be taken out by whatever means necessary.
Nothing less than the whole American system and way of life is at stake. The Constitution, the Electoral College, protected borders, freedom of speech, rules of evidence, defense of life, natural marriage, limited government, and God-given individual rights—all these precious cultural treasures are being seized and burned in the public square as hoi poloi stand by in numbed silence. The Trump phenomenon has flushed the Left out of the shadows, revealing their radical Marxist and socialist motivations. Impeachment is merely the political embodiment of the ideological conflict that now divides our nation and stifles polite debate, which can only occur if both sides respect the same underlying ideological principles. Politics is always rooted in ethics and theology. Thus Christians are necessarily involved.
Impeachment has been called weaponized politics. During the hearings on the validity of impeachment, lawyer John Turley reminded us how dangerous it is for our country to be full of intense “rancor and rage” that blinds people to opposing views. For months, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi said she would not move forward on impeachment because it was too divisive, but moved forward anyway. She now claims that the facts are uncontested and that the president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security.
One can mull over the many flaws of this event—its obvious one-sided presentation; the premeditated determination to take down Trump, whatever the cost; the rush to judgment; the lack of both witnesses and evidence; the carelessness (if not dishonesty) of players in the FBI and the CIA. In addition, the ironies were blatant: those charging the President were guilty of the exact crimes they levied against him—Biden’s quid pro quo, withholding funds in exchange for personal favors—and so on. As Christians, we need to dig a little deeper than anything the news can report.
As we launch into 2020, Christians are coming to the realization that the rules governing just about everything except football have changed drastically over the last generation. Are we surprised that a political party will rewrite the rules for an impeachment so as to obey the letter of the law without obeying its spirit? Definitions of everything have changed! Merriam’s dictionary has added a definition for “they,” which now can be “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”
Impeachment is a violent political action to suppress the ideology that the current US President represents. Impeachment screams out: “end of discussion.” It calls an end to ideological interchange, and in its place defines the opposition as political evil, and responds with political assassination. The passion to impeach may be chiefly motivated by fear that Roe v. Wade might eventually be overturned, should Trump name two more Supreme Court justices. That was certainly the motivation for groundless attacks on Justice Kavanaugh, a man of clear moral integrity, whose only sin was refusing to state his opposition to Roe v. Wade.
The Horowitz Report
As Congress was busy impeaching, it was also evaluating Inspector General Horowitz’s long-awaited report on an incident concerning the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court and surveillance of the President by the FBI, who suspected treasonous collusion with Russia. The report, citing “serious (FBI) performance failures,” showed that high-ranking employees secretly recorded and monitored meetings and conversations within the Trump campaign; that many significant facts were withheld from the FISA court; and that other facts were deliberately altered. In spite of its laudable desire for even-handedness, the Inspector General’s report remains a damning assessment of the reliability of the FBI and the fundamental basis of the entire investigation into President Trump and the “Russian Collusion.” Attorney General William Barr, a deeply committed Roman Catholic believer and a “Trump stooge,” according to the Democrats, denounced “a small group of now-former FBI officials” for their “misconduct,” “malfeasance and misfeasance,” and “clear abuse of the FISA process.” The FISA court is a tool used to protect the American people from foreign espionage and the nation from foreign threats. The fact that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was apparently misused to target a presidential campaign is therefore shocking. Failing to follow this rule would clearly be worthy of impeachment! On NBC News the following day, after the IG hearing, all that was admitted was that the report had shown there were “Multiple Mistakes, some intentional,” but in preparing a FISA warrant application, an “intentional error” is not a “mistake.” It’s a crime! Could you say “a high crime and misdemeanor”?
The impeachment was a declaration of war against half of the citizens of this nation. Trump may be guilty of a minor infraction, but the Left is guilty of deeply illegal actions. For example, the Steele dossier, used in the FISA application was perhaps the most effective opposition research document in American history. Funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, it became the justification of the Mueller investigation, which, for two years, held the accusation of treason over the head of a sitting president in an investigation that was promised to be a slam-dunk for impeachment. After wasting $32 million in taxpayer funds, the Mueller Report, though compiled by a team largely composed of Trump antagonists, conclusively established that neither Trump nor members of his campaign, conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Hence the need for a “whistleblower.” That Trump is being impeached for seeking to eliminate corruption in a country receiving millions of dollars in aid, and is, thereby, conceivably influencing our elections, is nothing compared to the overwhelming evidence of the corruption of the election process here at home.
No, impeachment isn’t about Donald Trump, against whom the Democrats have no real case. Politicians have been polarized for three years, unable to find bipartisanship. Everyone knew from the beginning that impeachment would never win the necessary two-thirds vote in the Senate. The impeachment is against a view of life that holds existence to be a sacred gift from God the Creator. The election of Donald Trump was a rejection of the Left’s radical agenda. For three years the Democrats and the ideological Left have been angry that their progressive views, which they believed would be installed without opposition, have suddenly been opposed by the oddest of persons, Donald J. Trump—a notable sinner (aren’t we all?)—who, unexpectedly, has accomplished more for conservative America and biblical norms in his first three years than any other president has during a full term. Impeachment appears to be the Left’s attempt to make their opponents pay for daring to buck the radical rules they expected to normalize, with little or no opposition. How can Christianity Today not see this? Maybe it’s Christianity yesterday.
Exoneration from Ultimate Impeachment
In the light of these recent events, what is the responsibility of the Bible-honoring Christian believer? In reading the news, we must try to be fair, which is difficult, because so few news outlets make any attempt at fairly stating both sides of an issue. Anyone who defends Donald Trump will be dismissed, as is Attorney General William Barr, of being hopelessly right wing. The increasingly radical nature of today’s progressive worldview and the extremist positions taken—like abortion up till birth—makes the Christian opposition seem very old fashioned. Also Christians should, in no uncertain terms, reject violence, though without avoiding political debate and the meaning of constitutional law.
It wouldn’t hurt to speak more graciously than our explosive President! But that doesn’t mean we should avoid making the crucial theological arguments that must be made in analyzing political issues. The political Left may be unaware that it is touting a very theological structure. We can expect increasingly determined opposition and must not make purely political arguments or hanker uselessly about returning to the old days, before Roe v. Wade or identity politics.
Of course, we would like to go back to “pre”-Roe v. Wade America, for a do-over! Christians failed to respond vigorously to that law, which has created a country in which we hack our offspring in pieces to sell for pecuniary gain. When human beings decide the ultimate issues of life and death, they are claiming to be God. Indeed, Michelle Wolf, speaking of her abortion, said so:
Get one! See how you feel! You know how my abortion made me feel? Very powerful. You know how people say you can’t play God? I walked out of there being like, “Move over, Morgan Freeman. I am God!”
This is the essence of “identity politics”— the naked declaration of independence from our Creator. We cannot create a sense of human dignity without appealing to the Creator of human life. God revealed himself as “I am who I am”—the only self-defining being, and it is he who gives us our only dependable source of identity: being made in his image. We all deserve ultimate impeachment, in which God, not Congress, evaluates not only our behavior, but our hearts. He knows the motivation behind every one of our actions. There is no reason he should forgive us, were it not for his gospel of grace, which we must hear, believe and commend to others. We have an intelligent word about life that must be heard, especially in this time of unbelief and irrationality. The statement of the Apostle John, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1), gives us a sure word about both creation and redemption—a word that speaks both about apologetics (worldview) and about soteriology (salvation).
Let us speak the unchanging gospel bravely and graciously to a world “progressing” into godless meaninglessness.
 The FISA court considers applications by the U.S. government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other forms of investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes. This is why all factual statements in an application for a FISA warrant must be “scrupulously accurate”—an understandably high bar. https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/gregg-jarrett-ig-report-shows-fbi-misconduct-and-abuses-in-anti-trump-probe-of-russia-collusion-hoax