Letter to the Editor: The Primaries

In Iowa, the air is buzzing with results of the GOP primaries. The main topic is how Christian Evangelicals can keep voting for Trump after so many indictments, two convictions and several broken Judeo-Christian Commandments. Some voters mention only their belief that he abhors abortion, but others speak in interviews of their desire for a “strongman” – someone who will project an image of strength to regain America’s status as “top dog” in the world and thereby empower MAGA voters at home. The latter do not register concern about the association of strongmen with dictatorship, or with the quality of life that individuals typically experience in dictatorships. 

These interviews raise a profound question. In a world that depends so heavily on interactions among players in government, commerce, education, medicine, defense and agriculture, etc., what constitutes strength in a leader? A credible answer might mention an ability to listen to multiple perspectives and draw from them policies that are legal under our Constitution and are likely to benefit society as a whole. Lasting strength lies in sound ideas and in the skill to implement them, not simply in a will to power.  

It is probably not possible any longer for one nation to dominate the world as the US did in WWII. (BTW, such domination typically has not ended well.) Problems like climate change cannot be solved by one nation alone. Nor can one man solve the problems of a vast country alone. 

So I hope that after the spellbinding rallies full of bluster, promises and daring rhetoric are over, Trump’s devotees will ask for chapter and verse. Exactly what will he do for you? How will your values be expressed? Who will benefit and who will not? How will Christianity be served? 

Estella Lauter

Fish Creek, Wisconsin