donald trump caricature flickr cc
Earlier today Donald Trump received the endorsement of the Reverend Jerry Falwell, Jr. How does Trump celebrate the event? He takes to Twitter to malign, in the most personal terms, prominent Iowa evangelical Bob Vander Plaats. Vander Plaats, if you recall, decided to endorse Ted Cruz back in early December.
 


 


 


 
Via the New York Times

In an interview, Mr. Vander Plaats said he thought the tweets showed “who Donald Trump really is.” Mr. Vander Plaats added that Mr. Trump had offered his family a free stay at a hotel in New York City on a rare visit.

“The problem is that Donald Trump expects that if he has a friendship with you and he does anything nice for you, he controls you,” he added.

Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts reflect his go-for-the-jugular strategy to discredit a rival, which has been a key feature of his campaign over the last seven months.

I agree with Vander Plaats. Trump has only a passing acquaintance with Christianity of any type. His denigration of Communion as “my little cracker” and insistence that he’s has led a life so virtuous that he is in no need of forgiveness reveals that his piety is a ornament. This seems to me that Trump is playing a school yard game of oneupsmanship, I-got-an-evangelical-too-and-he’s-bigger-than-yours, with Ted Cruz over the Vander Plaats endorsement. I’m not an Evangelical. I can’t comment on the relative impact of a Vander Plaats vs a Falwell endorsement in Iowa though I have to believe that the local guy’s endorsement is more important. I also can’t imagine that this line of attack against a highly respected Evangelical figure will resonate all that well with anyone. (As an aside, the theological term for what Trump has done here is called “calumny” and is a sin.)