Bizarre Twitter rants? Megalomaniacal, aggro-narcissistic behavior, diva complex, a toddler’s petulance, victim complex – but enough about Kanye West.
This is why cults of personality are horrible. People are following Donald Trump around for millions of reasons, but for some reason his almost Kanye-level childish behavior is a turn-on for them. These two mononyms – Kanye and Trump – share myriad parallels. For instance, they’re both entertainers. They’ve both had money problems – Kanye begs for Zuckerberg to bail him out like the Saudis bailed Trump out.
But Trump is the ultimate petulant rapper. While he freestyles on the campaign trail, he’s beefing with the Pope.
On Thursday, while Pope Francis was on a flight back to Rome from Mexico, he was asked about immigration issues facing Mexico. Then, a reporter asked Pope Francis about immigration in the US and the rhetoric surrounding the southern border. The Pope said this:
“A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
The right wing freaked out. Donald Trump freaked out. How dare the Pope question Trump’s faith? The Pope is a hypocrite – the Vatican is surrounded by walls!
Here is the exchange in full:
Phil Pullella, Reuters: Today, you spoke very eloquently about the problems of immigration. On the other side of the border, there is a very tough electoral battle. One of the candidates for the White House, Republican Donald Trump, in an interview recently said that you are a political man and he even said that you are a pawn, an instrument of the Mexican government for migration politics. Trump said that if he’s elected, he wants to build 2,500 kilometers of wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, separating families, etcetera. I would like to ask you, what do you think of these accusations against you and if a North American Catholic can vote for a person like this?
Pope Francis: Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus.’ At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.
Do you get that? It’s ok for Donald Trump to accuse Pope Francis of being a “pawn” of the Mexican government, but it’s horrible for the Pope to suggest that people be kind to one another. This is at the heart of this freak-out. Maybe Mr. Trump just needs a safe space to say what he pleases without fear of argument or contradiction.
Yet just a week or so ago, Donald Trump questioned Ted Cruz’s faith. “[N]ot too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, okay.” And here, “[h]ow can Ted Cruz be an evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?” Is that “disgraceful“, too?
Now – the Vatican walls. Believe it or not, Pope Francis didn’t build them, nor is he suggesting heightening, strengthening them, or pulling them out into St. Peter’s Square. After all, the Vatican is a 100-acre medieval city-state, and all of those had walls. And gates. I knew Trump was regressive, but I didn’t know he’d make America great again by sending us back into the economic heyday of 12th century feudal Europe. Tax cuts for nobles, cut off the serfs, and beef with the clergy. Trumpamagne.
But re-read the Pope’s microaggression that so hurt Donald Trump’s and the right’s tender fee-fees. “A person who thinks only about building walls”. Well, here’s a picture of the Italian/Vatican border:
There are no customs checks, no passport controls, and no immigration checks (Vatican citizenship is unique in the world where there is no citizenship by either jus sanguinis or jus soli – only jus officii; granted when you are recruited to do the work of the Holy See). There’s a knee-high gate with two access points on either side of the square.
Donald Trump is talking about building 2,000 miles of wall to keep out Mexicans and Central Americans, but also to forcibly expel 11 million people, including their American-born kids. This is next-level xenophobic authoritarianism, and not remotely comparable to the Vatican’s medieval walls, which date to the 16th and 17th centuries.
SNL didn’t make Kanye’s stage exactly the way he wanted, and he flipped out like a toddler.
The Pope said that people should be kind to one-another, and the right wing freaked out like babies.