Donald Trump has placed the word “winning” into the strategic political position this election, and he has done it in a way that has not been seen before. Winning at all cost has always been a grotesque undercurrent of politics, but winning has entered into a new category this year. Winning has now become evidence of correctness, and goodness.
I hate to make such crass comparisons, but it ought to be obvious that winning as evidence of correctness has never been a great way to gauge politics, religion, or even personal relationships. If winning in relationships was evidence of goodness, the man who beats up his wife would be a good man. If winning in religion was evidence of correctness, then the devil was the one to follow when Jesus was on the cross. If winning in politics was evidence of being good and right, then Europe was stupid for fighting against Hitler. These may be crass and exaggerated comparisons, but they show the obscene extension of the idea that winning is evidence of being either good or right. If winning is evidence of right, then we live in a might makes right – the ends justifies the means world. But, that is not the life I signed up for when I started following the Nazarene.
Donald Trump has declared in debates that he must be correct, because he has been winning primaries. I have seen Facebook posts from his followers making the same comments. Somehow winning is equated with correctness, and goodness. He must be better, because he’s winning.
If this is the new ethic of politics, then lies do not matter, as long as they accomplish the goal of winning. Abuse of others is insignificant, because abuse can be used to climb the ladder of success. Cheating is part of the game of winning in a world where winning is the evidence of goodness. It is an ethic of injustice and obscenity. And this above all reasons is why those who follow Jesus should be ashamed to be a part of such a political game.
This has been the subculture of politics for a long time. Donald Trump has merely openly stated that which others have practiced, and the evidence is now in: many people believe that might makes right, and winning is all that matters. It is enough people to make someone who crudely flails this principle like blunt weapon the current frontrunner.
As for me, I have no interest in making America great again. I want to make it good.