Former President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has become a figurehead of the far-right, largely due to his social media trolling and his raving defenses of his father.
In an op-ed for The Atlantic, Peter Wehner—a former speechwriter for Presidents Reagan, H.W. Bush, and W. Bush—skewered Trump Jr. for a recent speech he delivered at the far-right youth organization Turning Point USA's annual AmericaFest conference.
Trump Jr. called on the largely evangelical audience to reject the notion of "turning the other cheek" that Jesus suggested and to instead embrace mercilessness in "canceling" Democrats.
Trump Jr. said:
"We've been playing T-ball for half a century while they’re playing hardball and cheating. Right? We’ve turned the other cheek, and I understand, sort of, the biblical reference—I understand the mentality—but it’s gotten us nothing. Okay? It’s gotten us nothing while we’ve ceded ground in every major institution in our country.”
That didn't sit well with Wehner, who warned against the Trumpian doctrine of "ruthlessly, mercilessly, and vengefully" practicing politics.
Wehner had particularly harsh words for Trump Jr., beginning his op-ed:
"Donald Trump Jr. is both intensely unappealing and uninteresting. He combines in his person corruption, ineptitude, and banality. He is perpetually aggrieved; obsessed with trolling the left; a crude, one-dimensional figure who has done a remarkably good job of keeping from public view any redeeming qualities he might have."
He went on to note the erosion of decency and civility in the GOP:
"It’s worse than that, really; the ethic of Jesus has gotten in the way of successfully prosecuting the culture wars against the left. If the ethic of Jesus encourages sensibilities that might cause people in politics to act a little less brutally, a bit more civilly, with a touch more grace? Then it needs to go."
People applauded Wehner's assessment.
God this is so good. https://t.co/PM5uKDHv2n
— Emily Betohausen 💉🕺🏻 (@silly_emily3) December 27, 2021
That is a thing of absolute beauty. https://t.co/ZXjP74zBf3
— Bee Gutjahr (@pixiemenace) December 26, 2021
Like a poem https://t.co/94y4OvJPQO
— Michele Madigan Somerville, she/her (@NYpoet) December 27, 2021
Peter ain’t wrong. A little too kind, but not wrong. https://t.co/g5CmoyHShr
— Changfucius (@TheChangfucius) December 27, 2021
Sadly, few expect evangelical conservatives to grapple with the dissonance between Christ's teachings and Don Jr.'s commands.
How does any Evangelical condone the Trumps after this? https://t.co/Wwmyf1v6Or
— Bob Lederer (@BobFLederer) December 27, 2021
What's sad is, all the supposed Christians who insist TFG literally came from God, will keep twisting their reality bubble to explain this all away. https://t.co/UU2KGuOpWp
— Toots THEE Redhead of the Unseelie Sidhe (@TootsTheRed) December 27, 2021
“We’ve turned the other cheek, and I understand, sort of, the biblical reference—I understand the mentality—but it’s gotten us nothing. Okay? It’s gotten us nothing while we’ve ceded ground in every major institution in our country.”
The “evangelicals” will still kiss his ass. https://t.co/ZnZpuJWDmz
— Daryle Lamont Jenkins (@DLamontJenkins) December 27, 2021
Trump Jr. has yet to respond to the op-ed, but has been trolling John Cusack on Twitter.