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Trump has created unprecedented opposition, which may lead to a day of political reckoning — particularly if he IS the Antichrist, writes Norm Sanders.

ORDINARILY, the party which has just won a presidential race is overjoyed. Not so this time. Trump has outraged many moderate Republicans to the point where former presidential candidate Senator John McCain is in open revolt.

Of course, Senator McCain is still smarting over Trump calling him a coward because he was a prisoner of war.

McCain is not alone in his animosity. Trump lacerated a lot of rivals in the primary race and memories are long in politics.

Trump is not a politician, which he made perfectly clear in the primaries and has exhibited since as president. He is a businessman, a CEO used to making decisions, which are implemented without question. His disdain for political reality is what distresses Republican strategists. GOP number crunchers have done the sums. The fact is that only a small percentage of Americans voted for Trump. Voting is not compulsory in America. 212,000,000 people were eligible to vote in the recent election but slightly more than half went to the polls. Trump got 26% of the eligible vote, which works out to be 17% of the total population of 315,000,000.

It is obvious that significant numbers of Democrats didn't vote. For one thing, many Bernie Sanders supporters stayed away. For another, Hillary Clinton had a lot of baggage. It seemed like a choice between the mad and the bad.

All this means that almost 50% of the eligible voters are ripe for the picking if they can be persuaded to vote. The name of the game is “energising the base”. Here is where the Democrats can make huge gains over the Republicans, whose base was already secure. That the Democrats are awakening from their slumber is shown by the huge turnouts at anti-Trump rallies. The Republicans hope they go back to sleep before the 2018 elections.

All the seats in the House of Representatives become vacant every two years, as do half the seats in the Senate. Republican control of Congress could be very much in jeopardy if an anti-Trump sentiment prevails.

Cracks are starting to show in Trump's base. Many fundamentalist Christian supporters are uneasy with Trump and are even wondering if Donald Trump is the "Antichrist". They are concerned that Trump might be the long-prophesised “Beast of Revelation” who brings on the Apocalypse. They point out that the Bible says the Antichrist will be a charismatic celebrity, a "big talker", a "smooth talker" who will convince people that he alone has the solution to every problem. The Beast will claim to be a dealmaker and a master negotiator. He will be an intimidator and a militant lover of power who will foment turmoil in the Middle East.

Sounds like Trump, alright.

On 16 September 2016, the National Religious Broadcasters hosted an “evangelical debate” on the 2016 election. One of the speakers was evangelical radio talk show host Erick Erickson, who decried Trump's "carnal ways".

Erickson said:

“God never asked his people to choose the evil.”

At the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington on February 2, President Trump offended many Christians by taking the opportunity to belittle Arnold Swarzenegger for being 

“... a total disaster on The New Celebrity Apprentice.

Arnie quickly responded with a 17-second video tweet:

“Hey Donald, I have a great idea: why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job and then people can finally sleep comfortably again!"

The Antichrist vesus The Terminator.

President Trump has been churning out a flurry of executive orders ever since setting foot in the White House. His base has been impressed but, in reality, executive orders can often be ineffective. In the first place, they are not law. Congress makes laws. Executive orders pertain to operations of agencies within the Federal Government. One order instructed the Department of State to ban travelers entering the U.S. from proscribed countries with disastrous results when it was ruled out in court.

The typical Trumpian response was to call the George W Bush's appointee a "so-called judge". He has chosen to take on the entire judiciary system and the Constitution at the same time. As the president is now learning, executive orders are subject to judicial review and can be struck down if unsupported by statute or the Constitution.

Another of his frustrations is "the wall". Mexico flatly refuses to build a wall. Mexicans burned an effigy of Donald Trump while Mexican President Peña Nieto's popularity has risen sharply over the confrontation.

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox Tweeted:

'Mexico is not going to pay for that fucking wall.'

Trump has been quiet about the wall ever since he threatened to put a 20 per cent tax on all imports from Mexico. This became a PR disaster, once Americans realised that the price of tequilla and Corona beer would rise.

And then there is the Trump-Turnbull conversation. Americans are actually a polite nationality, so long as the subject is not religion, politics or gun control. They were shocked when President Trump rudely hung up on Malcolm Turnbull. Americans have a very warm regard for Australia and Australians. Some of this is because Australia has entered wars alongside the U.S. for 100 years. Many American GIs have good memories of rest and recreation leave taken in Australia. In addition, Americans still feel the centuries-long urge to move West. Many are now standing on California beaches squinting into the setting sun towards Australia. I know, because I cast off from America and sailed a sloop to Hobart. (Now, as a boat person, I would end up at Manus Island.)

The Trump nastiness to Turnbull was front page news in the U.S. and dominated the airwaves, adding to the uneasiness of the electorate.

What Trump has accomplished in his brief term of office is to create an unprecedented coalition of people who want political revenge. If they can't take it out on him directly, they will take it out on the Republican Party — even if some Republicans don't like Trump either.

The day of reckoning will be the first Tuesday in November, 2018. However, if Donald Trump is the Antichrist, it could come sooner.

Norm Sanders is a former University of California professor and retired Australian Federal senator.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

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