by Gallagher & Schleicher
Maybe it’s the summer heat and the inevitable impact of the daily social-media firestorm. Or it could be garden-variety temptation. In any case, we’ve got the devil on our minds, and while he may reside in the details, we’re wondering: What if he were in politics?
Whether as mayor, school board trustee, governor, member of Congress or as a contender for the White House, how would charming ol’ Beelzebub act out on the campaign trail and then once in office?
Readers, please help us answer the following inquiries…
Would his official comments speak to unity and communion, while his personal tweets and campaign remarks emphasize divisiveness and fear?
What percentage of his time at the mic would be unavoidably consumed by prideful boasting?
Would he seek to win election with the aid of other evildoers or compete fair and square?
Would he attempt to motivate the undecided by persuading them that everyone else looked down upon them?
When he won, would he extend a hand in peace to the vanquished, or a fist of threat?
Would he tell you the truth about how many showed up to his swearing-in ceremony?
Would he express public dismay whenever his followers engaged in the violence he had inflamed?
Would everyone who got close to him end up smelling like, well, soot, while he seemingly managed to remain unsinged?
Would he invest a great deal of energy in persuading you the earth isn’t really burning but that the smoke in your eyes comes from China?
Would he respond to mass murders by “monitoring the situation” and promising fixes he knows either will make no difference or that could never become law?
Would he persuade the most public of Christian clergy to swap their souls for a bowl of earthly influence and the chance to bask in his reflected glory?
Would he brag of crimes he had gotten away with and others he could in the future commit?
Would he spend meetings among his advisors exploring how deeply they were willing to humiliate themselves in parroting his praises?
Would he seek re-election based on demonizing his opponents, knowing few would vote for him a second time out of affection?
Would he persuade the downtrodden that he was their hero, while making a hell of a profit along the way?
Would you be unable to resist watching him on TV, even though you loathed him?
Would he be unable to ever admit to having made a mistake, much less seek forgiveness?
Would he turn a blind eye to misdeeds of the world’s cruelest dictators, because at some level he envied them?
Would he get a particular thrill when his policies caused children to suffer, figuring that there is no better way to motivate his enemies to bend to his will?
Would he be hindered by the incompetence of his staff, because few in their right mind would be willing to list him on their resume as a past employer?
When it came to re-election, would it prove true that the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t?
Would he be especially gifted at trafficking in contagious lies and conspiracy theories?
Would he take the Lord’s name in vain, twice, at a political pep rally to test how much the Most Reverend William Franklin Graham III would let him get away with?
Would he see a baby orphaned by a hate crime as a thumbs-up photo op?
One final question…if the devil were on the ballot, would you vote for him? How about twice?
David Gallagher is a transplanted Texan, living and working in London and tweeting at @TBoneGallagher. David Schleicher is an attorney splitting his time between Waco and D.C., blogging at ContranymTimes.com. This piece originally ran in the Sunday, August 18, 2019 Waco Tribune-Herald, where the Davids are on the Board of Contributors.