"If you aren't with us, then you are against us."

By Scott Tibbs, March 13, 2019

I warned in 2016 that the cult mentality surrounding Donald Trump would last deep into his presidency if he was elected, and Republicans would not be permitted to dissent if someone who had been a lifelong New York City liberal pushed policies that most Republicans would oppose if Barack Obama proposed them. Well, it turns out I was right. For far too many in MAGA-world, it is all or nothing.

One popular social media personality recently scolded libertarian-leaning Republican Senator Rand Paul for opposing Donald Trump's decision to declare a national emergency to build a wall on the border. Of course, it is possible to support building a wall while opposing the President moving money around that Congress has not appropriated to build the wall. But that is not enough. Either you support President Trump in his declaration of a "national emergency" or you are an enemy.

Yes, of course the power to declare a national emergency has been abused. Yes, of course executive power has been abused. It was abused by disgraced ex-President Clinton, and it was most certainly abused by Barack Obama. Too many Republicans were silent in the face of these abuses, though plenty of Republicans and conservatives did stand up against them. But the abuses of the past do not automatically provide cover for Donald Trump to declare a frivolous "emergency" to get the funding he failed to get from a Republican-controlled House and Senate in 2017 and 2018.

This is not conservatism. This is a dangerous cult mentality. This is idolatry. If MAGA-world cannot abide principled dissent on policy and declare those who disagree to be "against us" despite agreement on scores of other issues, then they are not supporting Trump as a political leader. They are devoted to him like a Messiah. Christians, especially, must categorically reject this mentality. This includes Christians who support Trump's declaration of a national emergency, because rejecting a cult mentality is much more important both spiritually and for the future of our liberty than any specific policy.

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