Monday, October 3, 2016

Learning About Donald Trump


How well do you know Donald Trump?

Let’s find out.

Who said the following: “With the certainty of a sleepwalker, I am traveling the road Providence has set me down.”

1. Donald Trump
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Adolf Hitler
4. Barack Obama

Only two people on that list have claimed that God is directing them.  Of course, other prominent political figures have in the past, including Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, but were proven wrong.  At least, they haven’t made it yet to the White House, their chosen destination.

Answer: (3) Hitler.

Stone Jr.
The other choice is Trump.  His confidant and former advisor Roger Stone Jr. told a radio audience that “I think that he believes that he’s been put here at this time and place to save this country.  I don’t think he talks about it that way because, as you know, some non-believers would accuse him of being insane, but I think that there’s an internal guidance here that is very much a part of him.”

Thinking God is on your side will definitely cloud judgment.

Try this one:  About whom was it said after a speech:

“Every sentence was a lie, but I almost think an unconscious lie.  The man is a narrow-minded fanatic.  And he’s learned nothing.”

1. Donald Trump
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Adolf Hitler
4. Vladimir Putin

Maybe this will provide a clue: The Huffington Post kept track of lies during the first Presidential debate, held Sept. 26.  The tally at the end of the day: Trump: 16 lies; Clinton: 0.

The answer to the question, though, is (3) Hitler again.  The late Victor Klemperer, a Romance language scholar, who kept a now-famous diary about his experiences in Nazi Germany, wrote that observation after hearing the German Nazi leader in 1934 speak over the radio.

Isn’t it sad that many of you were no doubt sure the reference was to Trump, simply because he is well known for not telling the truth? 

Why can’t he be honest?  Maybe there’s a reason.  “Pathological liars have a pattern of frequent, repeated and excessive lies or lying behavior for which there is no apparent benefit or gain for the liar,” said Charles Dike, clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University and medical director of the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital.

One more question:  About whom was it written:

“The longer one knows him (her), the more one learns to appreciate and love him (her), and the more unreservedly one is prepared to devote oneself to his (her) great cause. “

1. Donald Trump
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Adolf Hitler
4. Mao Tse-tung

All four individuals, even those now deceased, on the list certainly have devoted followers.  Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is even willing to overlook Trump’s marital indiscretions by claiming everyone cheats.  Of course, Giuliani would know: he has been married three times, and left his wife and two children to live in Gracie Mansion while he moved in with the woman he would later marry. 

However, the correct answer to the question is (3) Hitler. Nazi propaganda guru Joseph Goebbels said that about his boss.

However, such a claim could explain support for Trump.  After all, the nonstop lies, terrible business decisions that led to multiple bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits, his failure to pay taxes, his unwillingness to release his tax returns seemingly would disqualify him for consideration by any sane voter, yet he commands the support of millions.

As psychiatrists have noted, his supporters won’t respond to facts.  After all, in politics, facts really have no appeal.  Confronted by solid evidence against their candidate, supporters will actually cling even tighter to their opinions in what is known as the “backlash” effect.

As a result, Trump’s supporters don’t know him at all.  They have projected their own insecurities and biases onto him, not caring what insults he hurls or falsehoods he tells simply because they believe in him.

That’s a concept Hitler would understand very well.

Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history with an occasional foray into American culture.  He also speaks regularly at various religious organizations throughout Florida.  He holds an ABD in American Studies from Case Western Reserve University and an M.A. in communication from Kent State University.  You can reach him at 

 He is the author of the famed novel The Unauthorized Biography of Nostradamus as well as The Last Testament of Simon Peter; The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information; Noel: The Lore and Tradition of Christmas Carols; and Comparative Religion for Dummies.  His books are available on, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers.  He can also be followed on Twitter.

In addition, you can enroll in his on-line class, Comparative Religion, at