Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Losing the Mandate of Heaven

The last of couple of weeks have been extremely busy for me, and one of the things that surprises me is how quickly the issues surrounding the impending impeachment resolution vote against Donald Trump have been proceeding. This after what felt like a slow-walk of epic proportions over the summer. It's no secret that I'm a political lefty and personally can't stand Trump, so I'll leave the politics to others to debate. What I'm finding remarkable at this point is that some of the president's allies that I never expected to turn on him are, well, starting to turn on him - folks like evangelical heavyweight Pat Robertson.

On Monday, the Christian Broadcasting Network founder and “700 Club” host delivered an uncharacteristically strong rebuke of the White House’s announcement that it will stand by as Turkey prepares to invade northern Syria, leaving the American-allied Kurdish forces vulnerable to attack.

Slamming the decision, Robertson said he is “absolutely appalled that the United States is going to betray” the fighters, who have partnered with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the battle against the self-described Islamic State. Continuing, Robertson invoked the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in Turkey allegedly at the behest of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The President, who allowed Khashoggi to be cut in pieces without any repercussions whatsoever, is now allowing the Christians and the Kurds to be massacred by the Turks,” Robertson said. “And I believe ― and I want to say this with great solemnity ― the president of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen.”

As I see it, the whole idea that Trump held "the mandate of heaven" in the first place is pretty silly. What's basically being alluded to here might as well be "the mandate of Pat Robertson." I will say, though, that it feels like something around Trump has shifted, as if the "rare Pepes" and 4chan sigils have finally worn off. Maybe the "binding spells" got through at last. Maybe somebody out there cooked up something a lot nastier and cast it in secret. Or maybe there's nothing paranormal to it at all, and Republicans are just getting the point where a significant number of them have had enough.

Whatever the case, I personally am entirely in favor of Trump's "mandate of heaven," whatever it really is, falling by the wayside. It never made sense to me anyway that up to this point Trump somehow has had more support among evangelical Christians than George W. Bush did - when Bush was basically one of them and Trump is, well, Trump. That means for once in my life, believe it or not, I actually hope Pat Robertson is right.

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