Others have speculated on this question, and I have previously posted a diary in which I argued that evangelicals support Trump because his support for Israel may trigger the apocalypse. But I want to propose a different angle of interpretation: Evangelicals think Trump really is the Antichrist — and that’s why they want him in office.
There are any number of lists on the internet of what to look for in an Antichrist; I picked this one to start with:
- He claims to be God and is worshiped. Trump has already been described in close to these terms by some of his acolytes, and he certainly demands worship — he calls it “loyalty” — as in that embarrassingly sycophantic cabinet meetings. Plus his rallies attended only by his faithful base.
He Will Blaspheme God. Trump regularly uses foul language and says “Goddamn” a lot, even to the point of upsetting some of Christian lawmakers.
He Will Display Miraculous Powers. Trump’s ability to escape the consequences of his words and actions could indeed be seen as miraculous. Some of his followers also actually believe his claims to be a “genius” who knows better than the generals/diplomats/experts.”
The Anti-Christ Rules in Full Authority. Trump is certainly going full authoritarian.
5. The Anti-Christ Will Control the World’s Economy. One can argue whether making a mess of the world’s economy is the same as “controlling” it, but it’s certainly in that range. Plus he has long been applying economic pressure to other countries to get them to bend to his whims.
Here’s a few more signs, taken from Paul Boyer’s excellent book, When Time Shall Be No More, that I just finished reading.
- The Antichrist will use the threat of the nuclear weapons he controls to force the nations of the world to do whatever he wants (125).
The Antichrist will initially support Israel, but will then turn on them and bring about unprecedented destruction (111-14). Trump has backed Netanyahu and moved the embassy to Jerusalem, but he also abandoned the Kurds to Turkey without a second thought, which made a lot of Israelis nervous that he could do the same to them.
The Antichrist will use the mass media to get the world to succumb to his appeal (279).
The Antichrist will horribly persecute those who resist him (272).
I can’t say whether those who believe in a coming apocalypse have consciously or even unconsciously thought all this through. (Note: All or almost all fundamentalists think we are already living in the last days, though I don’t feel I can make that same claim with the same force about all evangelicals.) But I do find the parallels to be a very interesting suggestion for explaining why Trump continues to get such solid support from a group whose every moral commandment he breaks, openly breaks, and boasts of breaking.
I’ve been Dan K for a long time here, but I went away while I was in the Peace Corps (Kenya) and then while I was working as a Foreign Service Officer. But that’s all behind me now.