How to Live Under a Morally Unqualified President by John Piper

Today we will inaugurate a man to the presidency of the United States who is morally unqualified to be there. This is important to say just now because not to see it and feel it will add to the collapsing vision of leadership that enabled him to be nominated and elected.

Not only that, but if we do not see and feel the nature and weight of this sorrow, we will not know how to pray for his presidency or speak as sojourners and exiles whose pattern of life is defined in heaven, not by the mood of the culture.

Why Trump Is Unqualified

Donald Trump’s immoral behavior in the past, and his ongoing unwillingness to renounce it as evil, show that he is morally unfit to lead our nation. So was Hillary Clinton because she approves of killing unborn children.

As of last April, Andy Naselli provided some of the facts about Trump’s immoral conduct:

  • Trump has publicly bragged about committing adultery.
  • Trump has mocked and disrespected women, the disabled, and even prisoners of war.
  • Trump has acted like a con artist (for example, Trump University).
  • Trump has acted like a demagogue, appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than rational arguments — notably in the debates.
  • Trump has acted like one who is shamelessly proud. He has boasted, “Nobody reads the Bible more than me.” Yet he said that he has never asked God or others to forgive him for anything.
  • “My main problem,” said Randy Alcorn, “is not that Donald Trump says what he thinks. . . . My problem is with what he actually thinks: especially his obsession with outward appearance, sexiness, superficiality, wealth, his own status and accomplishments, and his quickness to berate and insult people and seek revenge on his critics.”

Wayne Grudem, who finally advocated voting for Trump, wrote in October,

There is no morally good presidential candidate in this election. I previously called Donald Trump a “good candidate with flaws” and a “flawed candidate,” but I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character. I cannot commend Trump’s moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election.

Then, in words that are almost beyond belief in a presidential candidate, the New York Times provided a transcript of Trump’s 2005 vile behaviors toward women (the shock value of which may be lost if you have not read his actual words). Note well: Trump has not, as far as I am aware, publicly renounced these behaviors as evil, but deflected the issue by talking only about the “language,” calling it “locker-room talk.” However, the main issue was not his talk. It was his immoral action asserted in the talk.

What Is Leadership?

As I understand the role of leadership in high public office, these impenitent and boasted acts of immorality disqualify a person from office. Here’s why.

1. A leader should lead. That is, he should set the pace, define the path, embody the vision, and inspire emulation. He himself should be what he is calling others to be. That is what it means to lead. Donald Trump is not such an embodiment of what we want the citizens of America to be. In important ways, he is the opposite.

2. A leader should be dependable, trustworthy, reliable. To invest someone with leadership is a trust. But Donald Trump treats language — the medium of truth — as a wax nose to be bent and molded to create a desired outcome, whether it corresponds to the truth or not. But where truth is treated with such indifference or contempt, the foundations of justice are crumbling. There is no recourse for the poor, if the powerful say that truth is what they say it is.

3. A leader should be a good example for our young people in matters of character and moral uprightness and civility. Few parents would say to their young people: strive to be like Donald Trump. That is a great sadness.

4. A leader should not model the success of immoral behavior, and thus further destigmatize and normalize evils which, if spread, will bring discredit and ruin to our nation. To reward Donald Trump’s immoral behavior with the presidency does just that — it says to our children, and to the world, that these evils are not that bad, and can be embraced with no great negative consequences.

5. A leader should be known for the virtues that make a republican form of government possible. Virtually all the founding fathers agreed that without a virtuous people, the rule of law and of representative self-government will not survive. Donald Trump’s character is not what they had in mind by “virtue.” It is, in significant ways, the opposite, and therefore his example contributes to the undermining of the republic.

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SOURCE: Desiring God
John Piper

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