August 6, 2020
Speaking on Thursday during an official White House visit to Clyde, Ohio, President Trump did his very best raise the stakes of the upcoming election between him and Joe Biden as high as humanly possibly.
How high, you ask? High enough to shake the very pillars of creation themselves, by claiming that Biden is powerful enough to “hurt religion” and even “hurt God.” And here I thought voters were being forced to choose between a Republican and a Democrat. Instead I guess we’re actually being forced to pick a side between a rambling ruler with neo-fascist tendencies and the literal anti-Christ with the power to wound the lord God in heaven who created the the sun and the stars and the Earth. Wow!
Roll that beautiful footage:
There’s a whole lot to unpack here. First, let’s get the laughably obvious out of the way: Biden is, among other things, a deeply religious Catholic who has spoken at length about how his faith helped him during times of family crisis, like the death of his son Beau. Trump, on the other hand, awkwardly fumbles holding a Bible during photo ops and struggles to name his favorite verse of scripture.
It’s worth pointing out, too, that just one day earlier the Trump campaign was caught doctoring a photograph of Biden to make it appear as if he was sitting alone and forlorn when, in fact, he was bowing his head in prayer at church.
But what I sincerely love about this latest Trump attack — if you can even call it that — is just how transparent the president’s thought process is. You can practically watch his brain working things out in real time:
TRUMP [aloud]: “No religion, no anything…”
TRUMP [inside]: Nice. Good work, keep it going…
TRUMP [aloud]: …”Hurt the bible…”
TRUMP [inside]: Uh oh. Where do I go from here?
TRUMP [aloud]: “Hurt…”
TRUMP [inside]: Shit, what’s bigger than the Bible!??!
TRUMP [aloud]: “….God?…”
TRUMP [inside]: Sweet. Nailed it!
Unmoored by the constraints of, y’know, reality, the president seems animated solely by a need to go bigger and bigger, regardless of how ridiculous he sounds. Hurt the Bible? Meh. Hurt God?? Now we’re talkin’.
It’s a testament to Trump’s own inflated sense of self worth that he truly believes he can sell the public on the idea that the upcoming election is a biblical battle between divine good and satanic evil. It’s also a sign of just how desperate the president has seemingly become. He’s down in the polls, his electoral map continues to shrink, and he finds himself compelled to do the only thing he knows how to do: Push things one step further, and hope that he’s really as good a salesman as his ghostwriters would have you believe.