There had been no leader like him before. His vulgarity shocked the cultural and political leaders of the time. His sexual exploits were scandalous. Thousands hated him and wanted him dead and gone, but time and again, he shrugged off ruin and emerged more powerful than ever. He had a simple vocabulary but had a way with words that drew the common people to him. The Established powers of his age came against him with all its might. They called him the ‘ravager of the country’, and an ‘entertainer’. But just when it looked like they had defeated him and destroyed him, he rose up one final time, and brought down the very house the Establishment had built upon their own heads.
Judges 13 through 16 tells one of the most curious tales in all the Bible of a leader named Samson raised up by God to lead Israel during a time when Israel’s own leaders were feckless and weak, allowing the pagan Philistines to run roughshod over the land, with barely a peep or mutter in protest. Samson was arguably one of the most immoral, unspiritual leaders to ever arise, yet God used him like a sledgehammer to smash the Philistine power base, which led in time to a revival in Israel under Samuel and David.
I couldn’t help but thinking last night during the second presidential debate – as Donald Trump roamed the stage, swinging his jawbone against the Establishment powers of the Media and the Clinton dynasty – if that’s what Samson might have looked like in his prime.
Of course it didn’t end well for Samson. He was buried in the rubble with the Philistines. There was much too much blood and dirt on his hands to sustain a successful “term of office”. Our sins do ‘find us out’ in the end. But nonetheless, his rise to power and popularity did serve a purpose. His rise was a rebuke to that age for its tolerance of compromise and corruption.
In the course of one weekend, we saw everything on display – the Foulness and the Fury – that explains the Donald Trump phenomenon.
We saw the Foulness in that repulsive banter from 11 years ago. It’s that very foulness that caused many to reject him from the beginning as a viable representative for office. (And I still am bewildered by the rush of evangelicals to hitch themselves to his train, especially early on in the primaries. Shameful.)
Ironically though, it is this foulness that has exposed the hypocrisy of both Right and Left, and the Media as well. Those on the Right now bailing on Trump because of this tape from 2005 are showing moral cowardice, not strength. As though this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and not any of the dozens of equally reprehensible comments that have been vomited forth over the last year.
Those on the Left are even more pathetic. For years they have looked the other way whenever the scoundrel was their guy. At least on the Right, a “Never Trump” movement arose, but one looks in vain for any voice or movement on the other side saying, “Enough is enough; I can’t take another lie. I will not support this.”
And NBC suspending Billy Bush is simply more hypocrisy on parade. As though the Media/Hollywood establishment has any problem with moral sewage – please.
Then 48 hours later came the Fury. Came Samson.
If anyone still struggles to understand the Trump popularity, they need only watch this debate. The average Joe down at the office, the average Jill in the pew on Sunday, has watched for years as their values and beliefs have been trampled on. Have watched political correctness run amok. They can’t afford health insurance any longer, but an illegal immigrant gets the red carpet. “You’ll keep your doctor.” “We’re going to get the ones who made that video.” Meanwhile, people they have put in office to restore order have failed to do so time and time again.
At last someone starts saying things out loud that they’ve been thinking. Someone from the outside. Who’s run a business. Who can walk into an auditorium and talk 45 minutes straight without a teleprompter.
And last night. Ooh doggee. Hillary Clinton played rope-a-dope, but you could see it in her eyes, as Trump laid all of his weight against the pillars of dodges, lies and half-truths, the ‘public and private positions’, that she has built her political life upon.
What will come of this? We have less than four weeks to go, and there’s not a soul on the planet that can hazard a guess what the headlines will read on November 9th. President Pence has a nice ring to it (but then I woke up and realized I was only dreaming.)
After Samson, Israel had a ways to plummet yet before a time of national cleansing came. God help us if the elevator hasn’t come to the ground floor yet.