benami164_BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIAFP via Getty Images_trumpwalking Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Messiah of Mar-a-Lago

The US was a tinderbox of racism, inequality, and broken politics well before Donald Trump entered the White House, but he lit the match and added fuel. Unless Americans vote him out in November, putting out the fires – and repairing the national and international damage – may well become impossible.

TEL AVIV – US President Donald Trump says he is “the chosen one,” and many of his evangelical supporters agree. But standing, Bible in hand, in front of the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, after the police used riot shields and tear gas to clear the area of peaceful protesters, Trump had more in common with Jesus Christ’s donkey than with a savior. Far from liberating a fallen civilization, Trump is pushing one to its breaking point, creating precisely the kind of mayhem that many of his evangelical supporters believe will precede – and necessitate – the arrival of a messiah.

Trump ran for president in 2016 on the promise to “Make America Great Again.” His campaign for re-election in November pledges, with all the clueless arrogance we have come to expect, to “Keep America Great.”

Is this the same America that is facing widespread protests over systemic racism and police brutality, and in which the law-enforcement officers who are supposed to keep the peace are routinely stoking violence? The America where the police kill black men at 2.5 times the rate of white men?

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