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HomeOpinionOpinion | The Contagious Corruption of Ken Paxton

Opinion | The Contagious Corruption of Ken Paxton

Let me use an analogy I’ve used earlier than: Consider a frontrunner as setting the course of a river. It’s at all times simpler to swim with the present. Sure, you may swim towards the present for some time, however ultimately you’ll exhaust your self, and also you’ll both yield to the present or go away the stream altogether.

And what’s the ethical present of Trumpism? For Donald Trump’s supporters, techniques that may usually be totally unacceptable on ethical grounds as a substitute change into pressing priorities. On this ethical calculus, Paxton’s absurd lawsuit towards Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin isn’t a mark of disgrace, however somewhat a badge of honor.

Paxton’s aggressive loyalty to Trump, in different phrases, acts as a type of indulgence that grants him license in his private {and professional} life. Paxton’s acknowledged sins, together with his affair, are low cost and tawdry. But a constellation of Republican stars are rallying to his aspect, led by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ted Cruz and Steve Bannon. As a result of he’s a fighter. He goes to struggle towards the left, and if the age of Trump teaches us something, it’s that the present of his management flows eternally towards battle and self-interest, penalties be damned.

It’s onerous to overstate how a lot this ethos contradicts the Christianity that Paxton purports to proclaim. In reality, scriptures train that the function of the godly man or lady isn’t to yield to energy, however to confront energy when that energy is corrupt. The mission is to swim towards the cultural present. That brings me to one of the grievous abuses of scripture through the Trump presidency — the fixed comparability of Trump to King David.

Trump is flawed, his supporters acknowledge. However so was David, they argue, and God blessed David. Scripture calls him a person after God’s personal coronary heart. However David’s virtues didn’t excuse his vices. In considered one of scripture’s most memorable passages, the prophet Nathan not solely instantly confronted the king but in addition declared a harsh judgment for David’s sins. And what was David’s response? Repentance. “I’ve sinned towards the Lord,” he stated. He then penned a poignant, penitent psalm. “God, create a clear coronary heart for me,” he begs. “Don’t banish me out of your presence,” he pleads.

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