Friday, October 30, 2020

Trump as Moroni?

[I shared this on facebook and though it deserved a more permanent place. As someone who specializes in military history and published extensively about Moroni and the Book of Mormon, I am uniquely qualified to comment.] 

People are spazzing out about Mike Lee's comparison of Trump to Captain Moroni when I think it was pretty good. Lee's comparison was pretty narrow to begin with, by pointing to a specific scripture that Trump is not seeking power but to tear it down. 

Trump has been a disruptive outsider against the Washington establishment. That word was used so much in 2016 that I thought I should start a restaurant called the establishment. I don't like the phrase deep state as it sounds fairly conspiratorial, but entrenched bureaucracy is what I use. We just had a Homeland security official come out as this deep throat type member of the resistance. The phrase resistance itself is rather arrogant as these people somehow thing that their intransigence is part of a noble effort to stop a dictator when they are really partisan hacks undermining the people's elected representative.  Even though he worked for Trump who was elected by the people, he bragged that he was part of this noble resistance. Nikki Haley wrote that people as high up as the Secretary of State thought it was their duty to contain and control Trump, as though the people were too dumb to choose a President and executive policy.  

Trump is draining a swamp that fights back on a constant basis, so comparing him to a stronger fighter figure and using a specific scripture where he is fighting the elites of his day is a good comparison. 

Most who object to the comparison do so because of their political opposition to Trump. But they are doing so by ignoring the narrow comparison above, and instead use the hagiographic depiction of him as a military stud muffin that ignores the real critiques of Moroni. 

The political opponents of Trump should realize that the political opponents of Moroni could credibly make even worse arguments against the latter. They could say he was an angry individual that preemptively seized territory in a time of peace, relied upon deception to win his battles, rejected peace offers to instead call his interlocuter a child of Hell and then threaten to arm child soldiers and pursue a war of extermination against that opponent. He threatened a coup against the government when it suited him and before he figured out all of the facts and seemed like a warmonger. While its not written down, my knowledge of military culture makes me suspect if we were on campaign with him we might find him laughing at the locker room humor similar to an Access Hollywood tape.   

We rightly revere Captain Moroni as a spiritual hero. But like Jessica Rabbit, he was written that way. A sober examination of his life and critical assessment of his policies, and most importantly, his fighter attitude against the entrenched opposition to his single minded goals, suggest that Trump is a fighter comparable to Captain Moroni.


LL said...

They are different in time place and person, but they both arrived at tipping points and each raised his own "standard of liberty".

I'm not a fan of Sen. Lee, who takes a lot of money from Google and acts on his master's wishes, but neither is he a Quisling in the way that Mitt (Pierre Delicto) has shown himself to be.

With that disclaimer in mind, I think that Captain Moroni and President Trump both have that warrior ethos. Both stood up in times of great trial to be counted.

LL said...

PS - Warrior leadership almost demands a pagan ethos that underlies it. I think that a case can be made of a prophet-leader as in the case of the stripling warriors, but that appears to have been an exception to the rule, an outlier even in the Book of Mormon. As you note, Captain General Moroni did have that pagan ethos, while standing for righteous principles. The book was written to soften him, but his brittle edge of charismatic command comes through the pages.