Trump fails to denounce KKK and defends Mussolini tweet

Donald Trump did two interviews this morning. In one (see above), he refuses three times to denounce support from from David Duke and the KKK. In the other (see below), Trump defends his decision to tweet an “interesting” quote from Benito Mussolini. Yes, that Mussolini–the fascist dictator who took Hitler’s side in World War II.

Do I even need to comment on this? If I did, would it change anyone’s mind about the man who is poised to clinch the GOP nomination for president of the United States? It’s hard to believe, but it really does look like the party of Lincoln is ready to nominate a man who doesn’t have the moral clarity to denounce the KKK. I would argue that anyone who needs a primer on the KKK is not qualified to be president of the United States. As Russell Moore writes:

I have said elsewhere that the debate for social conservatives going forward will be whether one can support someone like Trump in the general election when the alternative is a pro-choice liberal. That debate is unfolding right now in earnest. As I type, the hashtag #NeverTrump is trending on Twitter while others like Hugh Hewitt are arguing that it may be necessary to vote for Trump in the general because of Supreme Court appointments.

These reckless and indefensible comments from Trump today make one thing clear. We can expect to see more conscientious conservatives who will never support Donald Trump, not less.

As for Christians, our obligation to denounce these remarks is clear. I agree with Kevin DeYoung:

11 Responses to Trump fails to denounce KKK and defends Mussolini tweet

  1. Ike Lentz February 28, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    I don’t understand why voting against Trump would be a hard choice for any rational human being, regardless of party. If it comes down to voting for either Hillary or an obviously insane, racist, hateful demagogue, it’s only a hard decision if you’re too caught up in party politics to use common sense.

    • Ike Lentz February 28, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

      Follow up question for Hugh Hewitt: would you vote for Hitler if he promised to appoint a conservative judge? How repugnant does a candidate need to be to cancel out the appointment?

  2. Brian Holland February 28, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    I know I’m going to lose some people here, and my comment probably won’t make the cut, but Trump is the scum of the earth! There’s no polite way to say it. We need a president that can help us bring about healing, and racial reconciliation, after 7 going on 8 years of Obama. And Obama, btw, attended a racist “church” for 20 years until it became politically inconvenient for him, and the media gave him a pass on it, just like they did with the with the new black panther party endorsement, and dropping charges of voter intimidation in Philly.

    I don’t think Trump is a racist, but he certainly is not ashamed to get the votes of some truly racist people. This all makes me wonder of he isn’t a plant to try and help Hillary win. I also hope there is still a role for Ben Carson to play, since his campaign has 0 chance…

    • Ian Shaw February 29, 2016 at 9:51 am #

      I agree about Carson, but he’s not going to tow the party line. And that’s a shame. The smartest person in the room is usually the quietest.

  3. Jay Hall February 28, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    As I type, the hashtag #NeverTrump is trending on Twitter while others like Hugh Hewitt are arguing that it may be necessary to vote for Trump in the general because of Supreme Court appointments.

    There is no evidence that a Trump Supreme Court nominee would be any more conservative than a Sanders or Clinton nominee. He said his pro-abortion sister would make a great Justice, after all. Does he even know what originalism is? Count me in the “Never Trump” crowd. If that leads to a Hillary Clinton presidency, so be it. Taken together, our nation has survived 16 years of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. We could survive four years of Hillary. At least her policies and Supreme Court appointments would be in the Democrats’ name. I don’t want Mr. Trump’s disastrous presidency to sully the name of the Republican party, although it might be too late for that.

  4. bobbistowellbrown February 28, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

    Sang this in church today:

    When we walk with the Lord
    In the light of His word
    What a glory He sheds on our way
    While we do His good will
    He abides with us still
    And with all who will trust and obey
    Trust and obey
    For there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus
    But to trust and obey

    That is all Christians can do at this point.

  5. Mike Lynch February 28, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    I won’t be voting for either if Trump is the nominee. It’s not that hard a decision to make.

  6. Christiane Smith February 29, 2016 at 4:42 am #

    I will do what I did last time . . . I will look at the issues and policies supported by the candidates and try to determine how they will affect the people without power in our country. These people without power don’t belong to any base and likely will have no opportunity to influence the mind of a candidate AFTER that person is in power.

    In the end, the key for me will be the issues and the policies and how they will impact those who already suffer . . .
    a. Will those policies help these folks? How?
    b. Will those policies hurt those folks? How?
    c. Will those policies at least do no harm to those folks, in which case their lives will not be made worse than they are now?

    Personalities come and go, especially in the political world, but IF these personalities show malevolence towards the people who are already in need, then I would question why I should support that FOR ANY REASON, even a good ‘single issue’.

    I will look at the reality of what is happening. I will examine the candidates from many sources, not just the ‘friendly’ ones. I will listen to the Catholic bishops consensus, as they will have done what I do, but from the perspective of the Church’s most deeply held compassion for the ones Our Lord holds close to His Heart. I will examine my conscience. I will pray. And, if there is a candidate that does not show malevolence towards the marginal populations of our country, then I will consider voting for that candidate. In short, it’s a process. I imagine many Christian people undergo a similar process, and I know it is not easy, if it is accomplished with good will. Not easy. No.

  7. Gus Nelson February 29, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    Denny: I agree Trump should have immediately denounced the KKK -that’s too easy,
    but these are two different things: Mussolini was a bad actor, but you’re bad for quoting him?. . . not seeing it. Nietzsche said God is dead and we killed him. Hmm – interesting. Am I now subjected to guilt by association? I don’t know what the Mussolini quote was and it’s not in your article. But let’s not equate these two things so hastily.

  8. Ian Shaw February 29, 2016 at 9:49 am #

    I would ask “how can any evangelical vote for this clown?”, but I forget that many of us make “foolish” decisions from time to time. He’s appealing to their fear and anger. Not a good way to make a decision.

    For as much as people are declaring that they’d never vote for him, answer me this- if it came down to Hillary and Trump, you’d be stuck with a lesser of two evils vote and unless for some miracle Rand Paul runs third part and gets a landslide vote turnout, you’ll all be voting for Trump, because to conservatives/evangelicals, it’s going to be “anyone but Hillary”

  9. Elliot Svensson March 2, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    I called-out somebody in a different context today regarding the genetic fallacy. Trump seems to be defending this position: I don’t care where it came from as long as it’s good.

    But criticism for this quote isn’t a candidate for the genetic fallacy, because the message was a moral one: Better. And when a person says something about morality, it’s important to know what else they say about morality because of Biblical test of a prophet’s verifiability outlined in Deutoronomy 18.

    In this case, the “prophet” would be Mussolini and the supposed “message from the LORD” is whatever he says is good. Did the other things he said turn out to be good? If not, then he’s not a credible source for what’s good.

    The genetic fallacy is for ideas that are all independently verifiable, not for moral statements.

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