Trump Understands His White, Evangelical Christian Supporters
My Trump loves the letter “T”, and – regardless of what he learns about the cross and its symbolic power – he prefers to see the letter “T” when he encounters crosses as necklaces, tattoos, car stickers, etc.
Pence will soon be moving on to his post-politics life; so, without him as a Christian foil in the comic strip, I look forward to moving on to writing about Trump’s shortcomings as a leader rather than playing in the gulf between Trump as a public figure and his Great White Wall of support from American evangelical Christians.
One of my favorite experiences raising a secular family is when my daughter was little and pointed out the window as we were driving through suburban Las Vegas. “Look! That building has a “T” on top of it!” That is not a direct quote, but I hope the paraphrasing captures her excitement at seeing a letter of her recently-mastered alphabet perched on top of a big building.
And that was the day that she learned what a cross was and what it meant.
So, I return to the fertile cartooning ground of making fun of the gap between Trump and his evangelical base. For someone as egomaniacal and apparently unreligious (at least in his public behavior) as Trump, I wouldn’t be surprised if he recognized his supporters’ crosses as the “T” that indicates Trump enthusiasm.
I hope there is a broad and public reckoning over white Christian support for someone who personifies the opposite of their professed values over the years of the Religious Right.
In the meantime I will make cartoon jokes about that contradiction and hope I’m not the only one laughing.
I wouldn’t be surprised if face masks that feature Trump’s face already exist; I didn’t check, because for me it’s beside the point whether they exist or not. And I don’t want the comic to be influenced too much by stuff that’s already out there. I think Bill Watterson said that he resisted looking up reference photos when drawing dinosaurs because he was after something bigger than accuracy. I’m paraphrasing big time, and I’m not looking up that quote either, for the same reason!
I like joking about Trump’s narcissism, but it’s just as fun to explore evangelical attitudes as I lived them when I was a kid growing up in the Bible Belt during the Satanic Panic 80s. Mike Pence may or may not share these views, but the Pence in Trump After Trump embodies what I see as the American evangelical’s strange blend of piety and naïveté.
But all of this is just a setup to get to a joke about Trump’s most reliable source of political support, which is the white evangelical. I grew up as an Oklahoma Christian, so this fact about the support base of our amoral, divisive president is both disappointing and not surprising, which is a great source of comic strip punchlines!