My erstwhile friend, Jim Banks, perplexes me.
His image is the perfect Christian father, husband, community servant and keeper of the faith to which most Christians aspire. He brandishes a ready smile, a hopeful optimism, and a humble attitude.
On the other hand, he publicly wholeheartedly supports the Philistine-in-chief and the less than Christian behavior that permeates the current administration.
We all know Trump’s challenged sense of morality. Unlike Jesus, Trump is as self-centered a human as ever has been born. Unlike the apostles, Trump is vindictive. Trump’s sense of charity is to divert donations into his own pocket.
So, I wonder what draws Congressman Banks to suck up to Donald Trump? And suck up he does. One look at Jim’s congressional website shows he is all in for Trump, among other things lavishing praise on the draft dodger-in-chief for his military prowess. A year ago Jim proudly posted a grinning selfie with the guy who puts children in cages as a part of his foreign-policy.
So why does Jim, model Norman Rockwell Christian boy, a self-styled paragon of virtues and high morality prostrate himself before someone who acts the opposite of Christ, more the manifestation of Goethe’s Mephistopheles?
Power and survival come to mind. Jim is riding the tail of the tiger, grasping tightly to the base (in two senses of the word) that is the Republican Party; secondly, Trump currently supports anti-abortion legislation. Anti-abortion forces in northern Indiana are the leadership the party. Cross them and you’re out the door. Just ask Dr. John Crawford.
So, because Trump allies himself with those who dictate woman’s reproduction through law and intimidation, Banks has no option but to keep his mouth shut on other issues, such as when Trump cozies up to the kleptocratic Putin who leads an ongoing assault on our nation. Jim is neither friend of Putin nor the Russian system of despotism, but Jim just keeps his mouth shut when national security is at stake because to criticize Trump is to threaten the goals of the Right-to-life movement and their sure revenge. Criticize Trump and Jim would find himself challenged from the right in a primary. The purists on the Republican right would label him a RINO and find some feckless apostle to “Crawford” him.
Jim is willing to eat the shit Trump and the RTLers dish up in order to protect his political future. It is textbook hypocrisy, classic expediency, the essence of Machiavelli’s immorality. Jim is more concerned with protecting his skin than our nation, he would rather avoid the fate of St. Bartholomew than act like him. He is engaged in a Faustian bargain. Let’s see if he can redeem his soul, or if he even tries.