The 2016 presidential campaign plunged from the surreal to the truly bizarre last week, with Donald Trump collapsing into a crude, oily pool in the first presidential debate and sinking in it when he assailed a former Miss Universe in pre-dawn twitter rants. Creepy. But not as creepy as two other prevailing, more foreboding features in the campaign. The first is portrayed in a picture circulating the internet. No comment is necessary.
The second is the bloc of evangelical leaders endorsing Trump, the latest being Norman Geisler . Michael Gerson — a conservative columnist and an evangelical Christian — put it best on his Facebook page:
My candidate for the strangest, most disturbing element of the 2016 campaign? The support of the Trump Evangelicals for a prospective candidate who (we have recently learned) pressured his future wife Marla Maples to appear in Playboy and negotiated the deal; who appeared in a soft core porn video himself (not naked, thank goodness, but breaking a champagne bottle over a limo); and who recently took to Twitter to urge Americans to view a sex tape. This is also a man who, by the way, boasts about his daughter’s body and jokes about dating her. (“I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”) And a man, of course, who makes a menstruation joke and boasts about the size of his penis during political debates and has a consistent history of demeaning women as “pigs” and “dogs.” How can an Evangelical leader possibly tell his son or daughter that this man is a suitable leader for a great country? It is utterly incomprehensible to me. I don’t expect a president to be a paragon of virtue, but he or she should not be a groundbreaker in sleaze.
Clearly, we live in unique times.