Donald Trump is our first televangelist as president. He’s a disaster.
Televangelists make millions of dollars by telling their followers comforting lies and making absurd promises.
Donald Trump may or may not have made millions of dollars — we don’t know because he won’t release his tax returns — doing much the same thing to people who should know better. Major banks finally just stopped lending money to him, which should tell us all something, or at least those of us who haven’t already figured it out.
That’s between him and his banks, and him and the poor slobs who were gullible enough to try to buy goods or services from him, at least some of whom sued him for fraud and won: “In November 2016, just days after the election, Trump agreed to settle three lawsuits filed against his real estate school that argued the program featured false advertisements and empty promises.” Sound familiar?
Now, however, he has won the presidency, thanks to an archaic quirk in our Constitution and the votes of many other gullible people who were willing to believe his false advertisements and empty promises.
And every citizen of the United States is suffering as a result, prominently including some of his supporters. People have every right to waste their own money giving to televangelists to spend on jet airplanes and very expensive cars. They have the right to their religious beliefs and practices under the Constitution. They’re only wasting their own money.
But televangelist Trump is wasting tax money, on his golf habit, his expensive family, and his idiotic wall. People choose to give money to televangelists. People have to pay taxes or face possible penalties of fines and prison terms, although Republicans have minimized that risk substantially by starving the Internal Revenue Service.
This is unacceptable.
Christians are, and should be, free to waste their money with voluntary contributions to charlatans who offer them absurd promises and comforting lies. They should not be free to inflict this bad habit on the rest of us.