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Culture Q&A

David French

The case against Donald Trump

A negative assessment of Trump’s tenure and future outlook

The case against Donald Trump

David French (John Jay Cabuay)

In this issue, we offer contrary views of President Donald Trump from two people I greatly respect. David French is senior editor of The Dispatch, a conservative website, and a member of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tenn. He served in the Iraq War, was a senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, and was a staff writer for National Review from 2015 to 2019. (Click here to read Wayne Grudem’s perspective on Trump.)

Theologian Wayne Grudem acknowledges problems with President Trump’s character, but he likes the policies. The Christian community spent decades saying character mattered. It was right. The separation of character from policies is impossible. Look at the terrible course of the pandemic through the USA. The ability of a president to respond to a pandemic was not a policy issue in the 2016 election, but almost every president deals with unexpected crises, in a way often determined by their character. 

How has President Trump dealt with the pandemic? Early on he was extremely focused on minimizing the impact of this virus in large part because he wanted to inflate artificially the American economy to aid in his reelection. That is a sign of very low character that deeply influenced the course of the way the United States reacted to this virus. 

Has he helped or hurt regarding our racial division? The extraordinary racial division in the United States is not just dealt with by policy. That is dealt with through character, personality, leadership, and charisma. The core of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ critique is that Trump by pattern and practice intentionally tries to divide the United States of America. I think that critique is right. A president of good character doesn’t try intentionally to divide the United States of America. All of this stuff is super basic. You ask Christians about this in 2015, and they say, “Of course.” But Christians have joined with Trump and look for a rationalization.

What success has Trump had on policy matters? He has had essentially one significant legislative achievement, a temporary tax cut. He has had marginal effects on American foreign policy, some good, some bad, but no fundamental transformation. He has appointed good judges—but if you look back at the last Supreme Court term, would you say conservatives are ascendant and triumphant in the American judiciary? These things are very, very complicated. Does this president’s control over policy trump his own incompetence and poor character? The plight of the country now says that’s not just wrong, but laughably and tragically wrong. There is nothing MAGA about where we are now. There is an enormous amount of heartbreak, misery, death, division. That Donald Trump had a better platform than Hillary Clinton did not spare us from any of that. His character made it all worse.

In 2024, will America be in better or worse shape if Biden is elected or if Trump is reelected? America will be in much worse shape if Donald Trump is reelected. A second consecutive victory by an intentionally divisive president with a popular vote minority, especially when he is on the record saying he didn’t want to enhance the ability of the post office to deal with mail-in balloting in a pandemic, would make things worse quickly. Regarding Joe Biden, a lot remains to be seen based on the ambition of his administration and the way his administration would treat disagreement and dissent. 

Trump is a symptom of a disease that makes the disease worse.

So, you are cheering for Joe Biden? I do not want Donald Trump to win reelection. Absolutely not. I want Trump to lose to Biden and the Republican Party to retain the Senate. That would prevent a triumphalist sweeping away of institutions like the filibuster. It would check any temptation to pack the courts, for example. It would remove from the field the worst-case scenarios at the same time that you remove from the field a president who has done more than any single human being in my lifetime to divide this country—and governed incompetently while he did it.

You’d want affluent conservatives to help Republican senatorial candidates? If they’re conservative like me and typically donate to a Republican president, I would say do not donate to this Republican president. Spend your money to save good Republicans on down-ballot races who now face long odds for reelection.

So you want a narrow Democratic win? No, I want a decisive loss for Trump, because if the loss is very narrow you’re going to have extraordinarily divisive forces in the U.S. calling into question the legitimacy of the election. A decisive win is the only way Americans are going to have confidence in the legitimacy of the election, sad to say. The margin will matter a lot. My hope is that a resounding rejection of Donald Trump doesn’t carry with it a resounding rejection of Republicans who are not like Trump. That’s what I’m pessimistic about. I suspect the resounding rejection of Trump will also lead to resounding rejection of Republicans who are not like Trump. That outcome is not best for the country.

A decisive win would lead to triumphalism? It always does. Even relatively narrow wins lead to triumphalism. There was a lot of GOP triumphalism when Trump won on the strength of about a 75,000-vote margin in three states.

We’re hanged either way? We’re not in a good position. The Trump nomination was the product of forces building for some time, including negative partisanship. Trump is a symptom of a disease that makes the disease worse, like a hacking cough can break a rib. 

How do you answer the charge that a vote for Biden is a vote for abortion? The power of the president over abortion is profoundly limited. American abortion peaked in the 1980s and has gone down since then regardless of whether the president is pro-life or pro-choice. The federal judiciary has time and time again been a source of pain, anguish, and frustration.

We’ve had repeated disappointments. It’s like Lucy with the football. People have said for 40 years, Vote on this one issue. It hasn’t worked. 

—Read an opposing viewpoint from Wayne Grudem: “The case for Donald Trump”

Comments

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  • Just Me 999
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 08:42 am

    "Early on he was extremely focused on minimizing the impact of this virus in large part because he wanted to inflate artificially the American economy to aid in his reelection. That is a sign of very low character that deeply influenced the course of the way the United States reacted to this virus."

    I'm sorry but about 99% of politicians qualify for this statement. You think this is a discriminator?

    "America will be in much worse shape if Donald Trump is reelected."

    But you never suggest an alternative. The real question is are we better off with a progressive who is an easily manipulated liberal in Joe Biden or are we better off with at least someone who takes a conservative stand on important issues?

  • JA
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 11:21 am

    Mr French, respectfully I think you are living "in a bubble". You and many Christians who regard themselves as "conservatives" and will never allow themselves to vote for President Trump because of his obvious character flaws and bombastic personality etc etc are ignoring the many kept promises to conservative Christians (and for persecuted Christians globally as well) that President Trump has consistently pushed forward and accomplished (listed by Dr Grudem in his discussion). I think you have been influenced by mainstream media, and you have a certain prideful stand which I believe is not of the Holy Spirit. Throughout history, God has used unholy rulers to accomplish His Will (including Pharoah [Exodus 12:31] and King Cyrus [Isaiah 45:1-8; Ezra 1:1] and the king of Ninevah [Jonah 3:6-8] and Pontius Pilate [John 19:16] among many others). President Trump is certainly under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and instead of supporting the liberal left (and quite unrealistically thinking that Vice President Biden would win the election without the Senate coming under control of the Democrat party), why not support his platform and move this country away from progressive ungodly unbiblical policies and pray for the conversion of his heart to Christ Jesus? The question for our time (as in every age) is "What is Truth?"

  • williamson
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 12:01 pm

    Mr. French seems clearly to be a "never Trumper". Perhaps he would say as much, but I don't accuse him of that as I don't know. 

    I think it requires a leap of faith or set of criteria beyond what I can imagine that a Harris-Biden admin is preferable to a 2nd Trump term. I've seen the onset of dementia up close & personal twice in my family. I know the signs & I believe that Mr. Biden is manifesting them. Surely his family & campaign handlers can see this. For them to continue to encourage & support his candidacy is, in my judgment, elder abuse in service to the real goal of a Harris presidency. If he's not so diagnosed before the election, I'm willing to wager a very large sum he will be inside of his 1st year in office if he wins election. Then we have a left-progressive Harris admin. Infanticide perpetrator Planned Parenthood will be a permanent entitlement line item in the fed budget. This is preferable to to a 2nd Trump term? 

    I'm not an apologist for nor do I condone much of Trump's behavior, particularly his attacks on others at a personal level rather than in the realm of ideas. But I trust his instincts on most domestic & foreign policy issues because, for the most part, they've been effective. He seems to be clearly driven by an instinct for what works rather than by any ideology. I'm 74 as I write this. Trump is the only president in my lifetime to pursue fulfilling the campaign promises he made with a relentless tenacity, including my favorite president to date, Reagan. Kudos to Trump. 

  •  Go Yankees's picture
    Go Yankees
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 12:52 pm

    Ditto.

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 01:09 pm

    Uffda. I agree with him on his assessment about Trump, but I certainly don't want Biden to win. It would be so nice to have a third party candidate become a blip on the radar at least. I don't line up much with the Libertarian Party platform, but their presidential candidate is at least an adult. Mr. French is right about the importance of voting down ballot. The two party system needs to go. George W Bush was the last good leader we had in a president. Did I agree with all of his policies? No, of course not. But he was a leader who consulted his advisors and made his decisions accordingly. Trump doesn't listen to anyone and working for him must be an exercise in not crushing egg shells. He goes off half-cocked. Biden is on the cusp of dementia and I think that's part of the Democrat's plan. Get Uncle Joe elected so that he can step down for health reasons soon after, and Harris can appoint a progressive socialist, which is what they wanted all along. God help us. Either Trump or Biden will be elected and America will plummet off one precipice or the other. 

  •  SleeperSRT10's picture
    SleeperSRT10
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 01:44 pm

    I thought I clicked on World News Group but appaerntly I hit MSNBC or CNN.  And I pay for this?

  • bollard
    Posted: Mon, 10/05/2020 01:29 pm

    Actually I appreciate World giving a representative example of a Christian who opposes Trump. If the reasons for opposing Trump are no better than those French offers, I see no reason to reconsider my support for Trump.

  • TIM MILLER
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 02:54 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Olasky, for the balance of having two perspectives. I fall more into the "Never Trumper" camp ... but I can't make the leap to voting for Biden. I think being pro-abortion is disqualifying (or should be). On the other hand, I think Trump's character flaws are disqualifying as well. 

  • GL
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 04:44 pm

    All you have to do is tell your readership to listen for 10 minutes to any of the activist media rather than wasting space in your magazine on an interview with David French. Nobody cares what he has to say. Very misguided for a "conservative " to vote for Biden.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 05:26 pm

    I appreciate World presenting the two interviews.  It is unsettling to me, having worked in mental health, that Donald Trump exhibits all the diagnostic criteria of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a sociopathology. Thus it is flat dangerous for Donald Trump to be in the Executive Office that has limited external controls, in contrast to Congress or the Judiciary that have numerous members to check and balance.

    Donald Trump is impulsive (think of barrrages of 3 am tweets). He is divisive, and according to some former staff members, relishes picking a fight to stave off the boring mundane administrative affairs of his office. The "United" States of America is an oxymoron. The divisiveness is the worst since the Civil War era. Trump is the President of some Americans and enemy of the others (e.g. Democrats and critics). Trump's discourteouness to the media is retaliated by the media, so some of his policies that have been good have not been properely reported. But the mark of a good leader, let's say, a statesman, is to rally the citizenry to sacrifice for the general long term good of all.

    In saying this, I am not a cheerleader for Joe Biden. However, in his many years experience as a Senator he has had to work the give-and-take of bipartisan politics. The United States is not the Kingdom of God on earth. The Church might do well to put into practice the teachings of Jesus and let that salt and yeast the outside world.  
    By the way, I use my own real name on these posts and live in Frost, WV.

  • Steve SoCal
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 09:10 pm

    Really good.  The Democratic Party proudly flaunts a list of litmus tests, in their actions AND their words, that holds high some horrific immorality... not to mention embracing simply terrible and proven destructive leftist political leanings... but let's overlook all that.  After all, even though the majority of his decisions and policies have served to improve people's lives, to value life in general, and to uphold our basic freedoms, Donald Trump has a big ego and isn't always very pleasant.  Sounds like a great reason to hand the election to the Democrats  (tongue firmly in cheek).

  • JimVC
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 07:05 pm

    Might I remind you that it was Barack Obama who referred to Republicans as "our enemies."

  • DCal3000
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 06:22 pm

    I am surprised to see Mr. French openly back Biden here.  That weakens his overall NeverTrump position.  In backing Biden, Mr. French is explicitly making the exact same pragmatic choice NeverTrumpers criticized reluctant Trump voters like me for.  He is looking at two flawed candidates from the major parties and picking the one he thinks is best for the country.  Whether he is picking the right one is well worth debating, but make no mistake, he is not here advocating a third way that seeks only virtuous candidates.  That is a considerable change - indeed a complete about face - from what I once believed Mr. French to be advocating.  And I would note that we should absolutely seek virtuous candidates and hold them accountable when they fall short; evangelicals like me simply face hard decisions in years like 2016 and 2020 when neither major party is fielding much in the way of virtue.  

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 08:09 pm

    I have to respectfully disagree with the "power of the president over abortion is profoundly limited."  Not true - not at all.  Look at what Clinton did on day four of his presidency.  Biden will undo as much as he can as soon as he can on the pro-life issue.  I will vote for life until I have no life left.  It is the least I can do for those who have no voice of their own.   

  • SECURE IN HIM
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 07:26 am

    "I will vote for life until I have no life left."  I like that.  I'm sure you won't mind if I use it!

  • BLW
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 09:05 pm

    I once admired David French but I can't understand looking at Trump's positive actions in office compared to the Democratic Party of today and its candidates and platform and deciding to vote for Biden.  It's unconscionable. 

  • Postmodern Redneck
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 10:49 pm

    I do not think I would like to work for Donald Trump, or hang out much with him.  But on the character issue, Biden has no advantage over Trump.  Biden has been shown to be lying for years about what college he went to, his class standing, the car wreck that killed his first wife (no, the truck driver was not drunk, according to police reports--she ran a stop sign), and more.  His "handsy" behavior toward women and girls has been in evidence for years; Jill Biden's ex-husband is now alleging that she got into an affair with Biden after they both worked for his campaign.  And the silence of the "MeToo" people after Tara Reade accused him was deafening.  And before Hunter Biden's grifting in Ukraine and China, Biden's siblings were also getting all the profit they could from his position.  These things have been known for years.  If Mr. French is repelled by Trump's character, his choice of Biden makes him look hypocritical.

  • BLW
    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 11:36 pm

    I once admired David French but I can't understand looking at Trump's positive actions in office compared to the Democratic Party of today and its candidates and platform and deciding to vote for Biden.  It's unconscionable.  There is nothing more divisive and damaging to the fabric of this country than the Democratic Party's use of law enforcement agencies for purely political purposes. And who can forget the treatment of Justice Kavanaugh?  The side of morality can not be aided by voting for Biden. 

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Sat, 09/26/2020 07:52 am

    Thanks Marvin for posting this and Wayne Grudem's opposing position. This is good journalism. It seems to me that Grudem does a better job than French in staking out a reasonable and accurate position. An interview with Nikki Haley or Victor Davis Hanson, or both, would also be very helpful, even enlightening. I say this because we see and hear enought of the negative. I think that case has been made, ad nauseum.

  • CA
    Posted: Sat, 09/26/2020 11:37 am

    So David French has finally come out and endorsed Mr. Late Term Taxpayer Funded Abortion Joe Biden.  I am saddened but not surprised by this and his statement that a President has little control over the abortion issue is simply wrong on the facts.  From the judicial appointments (which have been fantastic under Mr. Trump - and Biden refuses to tell us who he would appoint), to the Mexico City policy, regulations and to sue or not sue the Little Sisters of the Poor to make them fund abortion via their health care plans, Biden and his party's support for abortion up to and even beyond birth - Trump has been consistently pro-life in his polices and appointments.  

    This is an election for President of the United States - not the country's Pastor.  We have two choices - President Trump or former VP Biden.  Biden is for the Green New Deal (massive government takeover of our lives and trillions in new taxes for that program alone), re-embracing Iran at the expense of Israel (remember Trump just cut TWO peace deals with Arab nations with Israel - Obama / Biden zero), repealing the Trump tax cuts, re-starting the war on coal (and oil, gas, etc.) making us energy dependent again, appointing activist judges, re-starting the strangulation of businesses with regulations and red tape and the list goes on and on.  But one final point - Joe Biden will give a MASSIVE pass to China. President Trump is the first President to meaningfully challenge China's bad behavior including on COVID-19. 

    President Trump is not perfect and he should be criticized when he is wrong. Is he the "second coming" - of course not and no one should idolize him or anyone else that way.

    But his record of achievement over the last four years (despite false investigations incluing fraud on the FISA court, massive media negativity, Democrat obstructionism, etc., etc.) is a testament not to him being a divider but someone who will get American’s job done and who is not cowed by the falsehoods being leveled at him (which every conservative in government gets – remember “Bush lied and men died”).   And lets not forget one important thing – electing Joe Biden means electing President Kamala Harris.  

    Nope – Trump 2020 for me. 

     

  • JUSTIN10292000
    Posted: Sat, 09/26/2020 01:24 pm

    Very well said!  I could not agree more.

  • pilgrimflyer
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 08:25 am

    Very well said. I am shocked and saddened that Mr. French is willing to support the murder of thousands more preborn babies during a Biden-Harris administration, simply because he doesn't like President Trump's brusque manner. Saying that the President doesn't have much influence over abortion is ridiculous, and daily events now prove this to be true. Just look at President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, a solid conservative who values all human life and who understands that abortion is wrong. It appears that Mr. French's overall ability to analyze political issues is greatly clouded by his own personal dislike for President Trump. Mr. French, please read the latest article in World on Kamala Harris to see what type of candidate you are supporting, and to see if her positions align with God's Word. I believe you will find that they do not.

  • BOILERGUYBRIAN
    Posted: Sat, 09/26/2020 02:33 pm

    It is my perspective and analysis that Mr. David French provides a disingenuous thread of argumentation that does not address President Trumps significant achievements in the areas of economics, foreign policy, domestic policies, and federal judicial appointments of originalist jurists.  During the alleged "pandemic" associated with COVID-19 and its variants, and the local riots within states associated with anarchist and communist movements such as Antifa and BLM, president Trump has shown appropriate executive restraint, so that states deal with state matters, while responding with appropriate resources when federal involvement is necessitated to enforce federal law and protect federal property.  Mr. French's reasoning appears infused with bias that does not weigh the preponderance of disconcerting evidence against the character of, and the disregard for the constitution that has been displayed by former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden who would have the power of executive order and judicial appointments over a potentially impotent congress, or in the worst case an ambivalent and passive congress that is rendered powerless in an extreme partisan environment between constitutional revisionists (and their Marxist/Communist allies both domestic and foreign) and Constitutional originalists who continue to be censored, silenced, and targeted for "termination" (financially, organizationally, character smears, propogistic campaigns of deception, and more...very reminiscent of Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse. Tung, et. al.)

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Sat, 09/26/2020 06:49 pm

    Well, if we didn't know before, we know now who's paying your bills. But, of course, you are a conservative magazine. Why should anyone expect otherwise?

  • bollard
    Posted: Mon, 10/05/2020 01:39 pm

    Huh?

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 09:08 am

    World Magazine is clearly anti-Trump for allowing this garbage to be printed. I am seriously considering not renewing my subscription. I don't say this lightly given that I have subscribed to World from the beginning (off an on over the years). I have come to the conclusion that Marvin lacks character because he originally turned on Trump the last few weeks prior to the election in 2016 and has never really acknowledged that that was a mistake. Rather, he has doubled down on the issue and has allowed the propaganda from the left to slowly infuse the magazine where we can't get accurate reporting on what is really going on. 

    I find it ironic that the day (or close to it) that Trump selects another great judge who could well stop the holocaust of abortion, World would decide to publish this anti-Trump propaganda.
     

    Another irony is that in many ways Trump has more character than many of those opposing him, but you have to understand what character is. Trump is a fighter and has stood up against great pressure where he has had one of the greatest propaganda campaigns against him in history. He has been loyal and fought our Christian cause valiantly compared to other "Christian" presidents. You can tell a lot about a person when their back is against the wall. Trump has had a press distort nearly everything about him from day one creating a very hostile environment. He fights back calling out the press and Democrats for what they really are. Is he a perfect man, of course not but he hasn't surrendered and he has accumulated a mountain of accomplishments if you objectively evaluate it.
     

    Take the pandemic response, Trump has been very proactive marshaling industry to manufacture everything from ventilators to masks where he has industry poised to rapidly manufacture vaccines when they are ready. Trump got the military to bring their medical resources to NY in rapid time when the pandemic seriously hit New York. On the government side, Trump has  got the FDA rapidly evaluating the vaccines even now. All of this shows great leadership and the press gives him absolutely no credit for anything!  In fact, their strategy is to make Trump look like a failure in regards to the pandemic so Biden is elected. The liberal MSM is clearly pushing the Democrat's propaganda, where naive individuals are unable to discern this political war. David French is a perfect example, where he gobbles up anything that the liberal MSM feeds him. 

     

     

  • bollard
    Posted: Mon, 10/05/2020 01:57 pm

    I agree with your assesment of Trump, but I urge you forestall judgment of Mr. Olasky's character and World's presumed stance on Trump. I appreciated World's role in enabling me to hear directly from a Christian who is inalterably opposed to Trump. French's tactics of impugning Trump's motives, and dismissing the abortion issue for purely pragmatic reasons only confirmed my belief that many professing Christians oppose Trump for political reasons, and downplay everything he has done right, as well as make much of his character flaws, because they sound like better "Christian" reasons to oppose him.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 09:26 am

    Mr. French, by his claims and arguments, appears to be doing the very same thing he accuses Christians who "have joined with Trump" to be doing: looking for rationalizations to not support him.  

    For example, Mr. French claims regarding Covid that "Early on he [Pres. Trump] was extremely focused on minimizing the impact of this virus in large part because he wanted to inflate artificially the American economy to aid in his reelection", but provides no evidence to support his claim.  He then claims Pres. Trump is "intentionally" trying to divide the country, only offering former Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ critique as evidence.

    More shocking is his claim that Pres. Trump only had "one significant legislative achievement, a temporary tax cut" and his appointment of judges and justices were, essentially, insignificant.  One wonders what planet Mr. French is living on!  What about, for example, criminal justice reform, middle east peace advances, pro-life advocacy...

    Another shocking claim: "The power of the president over abortion is profoundly limited."  Come on!  The president has considerable sway in directing policy and raising issues for legislative action, particularly if the Republicans control other branches as well. 

    Finally, as he argues "America will be in much worse shape if Donald Trump is reelected", it seems clear this is really only based on his belief, not hard evidence.  And his beliefs appear to be delusional when he states his preference that Joe Biden wins the presidency.  Joe Biden, by his actions and associations (AND character) has shown himself to be more aligned with the very forces that are threatening to destroy the country.  Here I think the evidence is MUCH more clear and extensive.   

  • Leeper
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 12:41 pm

    The election boils down to one thing. Do you support our constitution and capitalism or do you support anarchy and communism.  Vote for  Trump if you support the former. Vote for Biden if you support the latter. The book " The Witness " by Whittaker Chambers predicts the fall by our government because of wishfull thinking liberals led astray by anarchist. I believe Trump can at least give a chance to  save our country for the next several years

  • DEBI
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 05:29 pm

    This reminds me of the radio host who says outlandish things just to get the listeners to call in !  Then the term "Trump Derangement Syndrome" came to mind ! 

    I agree with the person who said that the words from French were "not of the Holy Spirit !"   I also am wondering "what planet is he living on ?"

    I appreciated many of the other comments, but my favorite will always be, "I will vote for life until I have no life left."  Thank you, MTJanet !

  •  S Smith's picture
    S Smith
    Posted: Mon, 09/28/2020 01:52 pm

    Mr. French would do well to read Jamie Deans's subsquent article in this edition about Sen. Harris.  It might change his mind about about a Biden/Harris administration somehow exhibiting more "character" and "leadership".

  • VictorE
    Posted: Fri, 10/02/2020 11:13 pm

    I reject the mantra that Trump is divisive.  What he does is pointedly challenge those who are dividing our country, and they don't like their privileged position exposed.  His opponents are setting one group against another to destroy our society rather than seek to solve its problems.

  • BECKY KEMPF
    Posted: Sun, 10/04/2020 02:10 pm

    Mr. French seems very focused on the division that America is experiencing right now (which has actually been building for many years) and intent on blaming President Trump for that.  I think that is an incorrect assumption.  Division “happening” connected to the things we say or do is not the same as having the intent to be divisive nor does it mean that the one “seemingly instigating”  the division is inherently “wrong.”  Jesus was exceedingly divisive as was Abraham Lincoln (not that I am even remotely implying that President Trump is in the same category of Lincoln and most certainly not of Jesus).  

    I find it really sad that French doesn't just imply that we shouldn't vote for Trump, he very much implies that we SHOULD vote for Biden.  If a believer truly felt convicted to not vote for Trump that would be understandable; but in that situation he should cast a vote for a 3rd party candidate who stands on a pro-life religious freedom Constitutionally driven platform.  While I know that Mr. French’s opinion is shared by others in Christendom I still canNOT understand it! And it bothers me that I feel like men like him are leading others astray.

  • DaRev
    Posted: Sun, 10/04/2020 03:59 pm

    French, in a discussion with Metaxas repeatedly called Donald Trump a racist.. At no time was he challenged to prove it.. I would ask that he supply substantiation for this vile accusation. I have heard this from the progressive left for years now and it is never backed up with facts. It is this kind of misguided nonsense that has caused the division in the US - NOT Donald Trump nor his policies.. Period!

  • WM
    Posted: Mon, 10/05/2020 11:53 am

    David French believes that "America will be in much worse shape" if Trump is re-elected because he is "intentionally divisive".  After all, character matters or so he says.  But French says that if Biden is elected "a lot remains to be seen based on the ambition of his administration (whatever that is??) and the way his administration would treat disagreement and dissent."  So, the way Biden would treat disagreement is the issue not policy.  As one never-Trumper columnist put it, Biden seems like "a much more likeable fellow."  I'm voting for policy not likeability.

  • bollard
    Posted: Mon, 10/05/2020 01:20 pm

    Attribution of evil motives for doing what many consider to be good things does not necessarily indicate bad character. Did Trump say the only reason he resisted shutting the economy down was his desire to be reelected? How does French know that was his motive? And as for brushing aside the abortion issue, as if the executive branch's beliefs have little effect on abortion policies - the president has a great deal of influence in the disposition of foreign aid. A pro-life president would resist tying foreign aid to compliance with abortion mandates. 

  • TO
    Posted: Mon, 10/05/2020 09:40 pm

    I confess I knew nothing about David French before reading the introduction to his interview. After reading his responses I am baffled that the man in the description is the same one who answered the questions. In his very first answer he clearly assigned negative attributions to President Trumps motives by accusing him of making a good decision for a secret motive of enhancing his campaign. "He wanted to inflate artificially the American economy to aid in his reelection." I doubt that Mr. Trump told him that, but he passes his assumption as a fact.

    Later Mr. French talks like rebuilding the judicial system back to a constitutional model is nothing. The thing about Donald Trump that outrages liberals is that he is actually doing what many Republican candidates in the past have talked about, but never took a step to accomplish.

    I'm pleased to read the comments of others who have nailed it better than I. I think most readers will react the same way, realizing that Mr. French's predjudices have overcome his reason.

  • zonie
    Posted: Tue, 10/06/2020 04:22 pm

    We all know what a RINO is.  It appears to me French is a CINO - Conservative in Name Only. I was amazed at the attribution of motives to Trump of which he, French, knows nothing and is just assuming. I was even more amazed at his ignoring the many positive things which this administration has accomplished - with no acknowledgement from the enemedia where most people (and perhaps Mr. French, as well) get their "news."  You don't get to call yourself a conservative while you support the Harris/Biden ticket, which is a vote for abortion, for socialism, for larger government, for higher taxes, for more government intrusion and control, and more.  Apparently TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) in some Never-Trumpers is chronic and incurable.  I certainly don't agree with everything the President says or does, but I believe Dr. Grudem was absolutely correct: Policy Trumps Personality.

  • zonie
    Posted: Tue, 10/06/2020 04:25 pm

    We all know what a RINO is.  It appears to me French is a CINO - Conservative in Name Only. I was amazed at the attribution of motives to Trump of which he, French, knows nothing and is just assuming. I was even more amazed at his ignoring the many positive things which this administration has accomplished - with no acknowledgement from the enemedia where most people (and perhaps Mr. French, as well) get their "news."  You don't get to call yourself a conservative while you support the Harris/Biden ticket, which is a vote for abortion, for socialism, for larger government, for higher taxes, for more government intrusion and control, and more.  Apparently TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) in some Never-Trumpers is chronic and incurable. 

    I certainly don't agree with everything the President says or does, but I believe Dr. Grudem was absolutely correct: Policy Trumps Personality. A couple of good summaries: https://townhall.com/columnists/waynegrudem/2020/08/08/letter-to-an-anti... and https://townhall.com/columnists/waynegrudem/2020/08/24/30-good-things-pr...

  • HANNAH.
    Posted: Tue, 10/06/2020 06:39 pm

    Thank you for the links! Wayne Grudem presents comprehensive, well-reasoned arguments in the case for Donald Trump. Though I understand space limitations, the WORLD article provided the tiniest of sips. The two Townhall articles provided satisfying drinks of water.

  • DK
    Posted: Wed, 10/07/2020 08:56 pm

    French is a man who can't stand Trump. His arguments, if you can call them that, are not very compelling.  Everything is Trump's fault.  Wow, that's the best World can come up with?

     

  • TH
    Posted: Thu, 10/08/2020 06:20 am

    The saddest part of this whole deal is that World believes Christians have a tough choice - that those in charge believe that voting for the leader of a party that is solidly anti Christian, promotes perversion and holds baby killing as its highest sacrament should be considered worthy of support. 

  • HH
    Posted: Thu, 10/08/2020 05:23 pm

    My husband and I have been listeners of this podcast for years and we are so thankful that in times of total disregard for objective truth The World and Everything in It remains faithful in trying to “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” (Ps. 34:13). We usually listen to the podcast during breakfast (before our two homeschool daughters get up) and I have to confess that our listening sessions are longer than the actual podcast time because I have a tendency to pause the transmission and add my comments to it (kudos to my husband and his patience!). Well, today I decided to share some of my observations with fellow listeners.

     

    One of the greatest political debates among Christians ever since the 2016 campaign seems to be what David French called “a division of character versus policies” (from “Two opposing views of President Trump,” October 8, 2020). For some on one side of the debate, Trump’s character is a disqualifying issue - “regardless of Trump’s policies, he [French] can’t support the president because of the president’s character.” Others on the other side of the discussion see Trump’s flaws but these don’t seem to be a determinant point because policies also matter.

     

    As important as this discussion is, it appears we have solely focused on one person’s character - it is Donald Trump’s character in a balance with his policies against the other candidates’s polices alone. It is as if the other opponents have automatically been absorbed by a no-need-to-mention character filter.

     

    The way I see there are two big questions that need consideration: 1) As a Christian, what do I understand constitutes good character? And 2) How is one’s character influencing his policies? French said in his interview that “A president of good character is going to be a president who doesn’t try to intentionally divide the United States of America.” But wait, is this statement true? Is intentionally keeping the country united (whatever this means) an inherent trait of good character (or a character trait at all?) in a president? How did French arrive at this conclusion? Or better yet, on what Biblical principles is he basing this assumption? Are pro-abortion, pro-same-sex marriage, and other moral related positions also part of what constitutes good character? In other words, if I am pro-abortion, pro-same-sex marriage, pro-transgenderism, am I still considered a person of good character to be the president of the USA?

     

    To say that President Trump has major character flaws is preaching to the choir, but to imply that he is the only one is irresponsible. When we consider the character of ALL candidates the issue becomes not only character versus policies, but character versus policies PLUS character versus character. What I would suggest to my fellow listeners is to make a character inventory of all the candidates and try to understand whether apparent flaws have an influence on the candidate’s policies. Now, don’t go by the opinion of others or by what the big media is saying; do your homework, go on the candidates’s websites and read with care what they have to say about themselves and their policies as well as what they say against their opponents. We know that “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” (Eccl. 7:20).  We need to decide which moral flaw is less evil in a nation’s leader; more than that, which moral flaws are less harmful when reflected in policy making.

     

  • TJ
    Posted: Mon, 10/12/2020 11:04 pm

    Yes, when Trump calls people scum... I consider that bad character...

  • MA
    Posted: Fri, 10/09/2020 10:23 pm

    I wonder, will World feature an article titled The case against Joe Biden?

  •  Shepherd's picture
    Shepherd
    Posted: Sat, 10/10/2020 04:01 pm

    When I read articles like this I feel like I'm in an alternate universe, where "up" is "down" and "black" is "white".

    As a Christian, I see myself as a part of a large worldwide family of believers who share in common an allegiance to a wonderful Father who seeks to express His will through us to a lost and dying world. We are made aware of His objectives by reading a copy of His written Word. Equipped with this knowledge of His will, I personally try and aid and abeit His will when I see it being manifest, no matter the color, nationality, refinement, sex, age or politics of the person or persons expressing it. Well aware of what Jesus said when the disciples complained about about someone casting out demons in His name and not being part of the original team. Jesus said to not stop him; " For he who is not against us is on our side."(Mark 9:38-40).

    The OT Judges were a motley group of people and yet each one accomplished((to a greater or lesser degree) the objectives they had been assigned by God. I think of President Trump in the same way. There are things has God wanted done and previous presidents didn't have the wherewithal(sheer guts) to do them. Along comes an unorthodox individual(crude,rude and not politically correct) who is willing to complete the objectives(His will) regardless of how angry it makes God's opponents and how misunderstood he will be to some in the Christian family. If Mr. French had been in Gideon, Deborah or Samuel's day, I wonder who he would have sided with?

  • JA
    Posted: Sun, 10/11/2020 08:24 pm

    I appreciate this commentary so much on both sides of the issue and have recommended it to many Christians who may still be on the fence. In fact, the decision is sometimes presented as only a "binary" choice. In fact, withholding a vote for the President or voting for a third party or write-in candidate who realistically has no chance of being elected may appease one's conscience, but is that a pride-filled rather than Holy Spirit-led decision?                                                                                                                                                           

    I suspect the WORLD editor's intent was exactly this: to encourage dialogue, assuming that Christians in our personal spheres of influence (family, church and friends) are still able to discuss these issues without getting heated or mad or feeling insulted or disrespected or lectured to. However, as pointed out by the many comments above, do the "Case for . . ." and "Case against . . ." pieces as published allow a sufficiently comprehensive and "fair-balanced" deep-dive?                                                                                                               

    It does seem reasonable for us to ask for some followup in WORLD which may include more in-depth discussion without Q&A format, perhaps asking Dr Grudem and Mr French to address the posted comments and further "flesh out" their positions with additional information (including open access weblinks, other sources, etc).                                                                                                                                                  

    So let's keep the dialogue flowing to inform our individual (and corporate?) answering of the question before us: "What is Truth?" We Christians all believe in the Absolute Truth of God the Father, Christ Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of course, regardless of the election outcome and all of its implications for our nation and the world, God is Sovereign. We children of God are meant/designed to trust Him completely in every present and future situation, and to joyfully do His Will and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). To God be the Glory!!!

  • TJ
    Posted: Mon, 10/12/2020 11:09 pm

    God also used the Assyrians and the Babylonians (who were even more "motley") ... to crush Israel and Judah.... so the point you were making was what ?

  • TJ
    Posted: Mon, 10/12/2020 10:26 pm

    The thing about it is, that evangelicals voted for Trump to represent the Republican party not once, but twice (2016 and 2020). We had 17 republicans running for president in 2015-2016 and evangelicals decided to have Trump ultimately represent them as the presidential nominee of the Republican party. In 2020, there was not even a peep from evangelicals  during Trump's primary campaign.

    The problem is that I have been reading Trump's tweets for the last 5 years and the words that come to mind are  appalling, abusive, inconsistent, confusing,  misleading... and many evangelicals do not have ap problem with that.....???

    There is a saying that,  people vote for candidates who most reflect their ideas and worldview.... So Trump is a reflection of the evangelical church.....  Ichabod..

  •  Soapbxn's picture
    Soapbxn
    Posted: Wed, 10/14/2020 11:43 am

    The racial division was propagated, sowed, and watered diligently by Obama for eight years. From the start of his campaign he promoted 'ethnic Gnosticism' in his constant telling 'those of color' (what the heck does that really mean?) that 'they'  'deserved', 'they' were 'disinfranchised' etc etc etc - he was obsessed with race and dividing and he was heavily aided and abetted by the media and others seeing the opportunity for power by division.   It does not take much digging to till up the countless statements, speeches, articles, attesting to this.  
     

    Then fast forward to Trump, the media and the left began their attempt of distruction before he was even elected.  Vast sums of money and organized effort have gone into the distruction of Trump.   So somehow through all of the chaos and massive constant attack  the left has created and engaged in......the President is supposed to miraculously repair the vast fields of division and damage sowed by eight years of Obama?   Add to that, there is zero factual basis for any accusation of President Trump being racist nor promoting racism. Find it.  Let's see it. Verified primary source information.  Mr. French is a confused man with an agenda of his own and a personal dislike of the President hence he is sowing the same division Obama fed.