HISTORY NEWS NETWORK: Because the past is the present and the future too
Journalists Need to Keep in Mind that Donald Trump Didn’t Win a Mandate for Anything
by Robert Brent Toplin
Commentators in the print and video media often complain about President Donald Trump’s aggressive actions regarding immigration, tariffs, health care, climate change, guns, the Iran nuclear agreement, and other controversial topics, but they recognize that he won the election. Reluctantly, they acknowledge that Trump has a mandate to take strong positions on the issues. But they are wrong. Donald Trump does not possess impressive authority to move the nation dramatically in new directions. Pundits and politicians should refrain from treating the 2016 election as evidence of public approval for extraordinary exercises in presidential power.
In many respects, Trump is a manufactured and accidental president. Trump’s case for strong leadership is deeply undermined by information that has come to light regarding Russian interference in the campaign, the cover-up of payments related to alleged sexual relationships, and FBI Director James Comey’s interventions. If the impact of these discoveries had been broadly understood before voters went to the polls on November 8, 2016, Donald Trump would probably not be president today. Furthermore, it is high time that pundits adjust their language when claiming that candidates who lost the popular vote possess the same mandate for action as candidates who win both the popular and electoral vote. The Electoral College is an outmoded and unjust system. It should receive more critical treatment in discussions about presidential authority and power. Click here to continue reading
Why Is Christian America Supporting Donald Trump?
by John Fea
A week ago Sunday, June 24, 2018, First Baptist Church of Dallas held its annual “Freedom Sunday.” The church website described the special service this way: “Celebrate our freedom as Americans and our freedom in Christ with patriotic worship and a special message from Dr. Robert Jeffress, “America is a Christian Nation.”
Not everyone in Dallas was happy about it. Robert Wilonsky, an opinion writer at the Dallas Morning News, wrote that Jeffress and the First Baptist Church were “divisive” for claiming that America was a Christian nation. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings agreed. Atheists protested. Eventually, the billboard company contracting with the church removed signs advertising Freedom Sunday.
This, of course, did not stop the service from going forward. The people of First Baptist Church spent the morning of the 24th waving American flags, wearing red, white, and blue shirts, singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and celebrating the United States military. Vice-president Mike Pence sent a letter of encouragement. Click here to Continue reading