Today I came across this article at The Stream titled “Trump is Under Attack, and Not Just by Human Critics.” The author, John Zmirak, senior editor at The Stream, offers a jaw-dropping explanation for Donald Trump’s woes: demonic attack. He writes:
Given the profound evils that Trump has promised to confront, from Islamic terrorism to Planned Parenthood, from the persecution of Christians to the chaos on our country’s borders, we should not be surprised that he is being assaulted. No, I don’t mean by liberals, misguided people whose policies are poorly reasoned or based in raw emotion.
I mean by principalities and powers. By the spirits who (in the words of the prayer to St. Michael the archangel) “roam the earth, seeking the ruin of souls.” If you think (and you’d better) that your soul matters enough to Satan that he will bother to send you a tempter, just imagine the horde he dispatches to batter the president. They goad him to say foolish things, make rash decisions, and most of all to cave on his core principles — then fight like a tiger over trivialities.
Now as an orthodox Christian, I accept the existence of non-human spiritual agencies. That said, I’m going to look for evidence before I start invoking them. In other words, Ockham’s Razor wins the day. For example, if I can explain a seizure by appealing to a natural condition like epilepsy, then I call a medical doctor. But once the patient begins to levitate, emit projectile green vomit, and recite Latin backwards, then I call the exorcist.
So what’s the evidence that demons are “goading” Trump to “say foolish things, make rash decisions, and most of all cave on his core principles…”?
To start off, I need to ask: what core principles did Trump exhibit in the past? The misogynistic principles that brag about grabbing women by the crotch, which state that flat-chested women can’t be “a ten,” that objectify and sexualize one’s own daughter? Or the narcissistic principles that deludes one into thinking he’s always the smartest person in the room (“I know more about ISIS than the generals do!”) and never needs to apologize? Or the …
Let’s not belabor the point. Ever since he was a child, Trump has demonstrated narcissistic, impulsive, and amoral tendencies. So if you want to attribute his current failings to demons, you’ll need to extend their malevolent actions back to the nursery.
So no, there isn’t any justification for invoking demons to explain Trump’s horrible performance. The last four months have done nothing but provide ever more evidence that seventy year old narcissistic leopards don’t change their spots.
As for the Christian conservatives like Zmirak, they provide a sobering illustration of the backfire effect. That is, the more the evidence mounts that Trump is fundamentally unfit for office, the more they entrench into their conviction that it is the fault of somebody else: the media, the liberals, even the demons.