When Richard Nixon’s presidency went down in flames in the wake of Watergate, Billy Graham almost went down with him. The man who had established himself as “America’s preacher” had been very close to Nixon–almost too close for many people’s comfort. Although Graham had previously shown few qualms about wading into politics, seeing his reputation dragged in the dirt chastened him, and he vowed to never get openly involved in the political arena again.
Apparently his son, Franklin, has forgotten that lesson. Ever since becoming operating head of his father’s ministry, Franklin has used that legacy to carry water for the religious right. Like many of the nation’s so-called moral guardians, he took it to another level in 2016. He not only refused to disavow Donald Trump in the wake of the “Access Hollywood” tapes, but crassly declared that it didn’t matter as much as ending abortion and rolling back marriage equality.
So the Supreme Court trumped everything else in Graham fils’ eyes–including, apparently, respect for women. Would Graham fils be of the same mind if a so-called man talked this way about his sisters, Anne and Ruth, or his daughter, Cissie? I would hope not.
No cause is so important that we must throw basic standards of decency out the window to further them. But that’s exactly what Graham fils was suggesting. He was telling his followers to vote to put a man in the people’s house after he talked in a manner that would get him kicked out of their own houses.
A month after Trump’s upset victory, as concerns that Russia had put a giant thumb on the scale for Trump ramped to a fever pitch, Graham fils wondered if somebody else had hacked the election.
He’d already answered that question–at least in his mind–on the day after the election.
So God hacked the election in favor of a man who plastered a private cell phone number on social media, mocked the disabled, condoned violence at his rallies, and reveled in treating women like dirt, among other things? Not likely. And did he inspire a hostile foreign government to hack into Democratic computers and expose innocent people to identity theft? Not likely.
All of this, and much more, would be enough to prove beyond any doubt that Graham fils has dragged his father’s legacy in the dirt while turning Trump into an Orange Calf. But in case you needed more convincing, Graham fils himself provided even more evidence on Wednesday. In a breathtaking interview on MSNBC, Graham fils told host Craig Melvin insisted with a straight face that Trump has never lied.
Melvin pointed out that The Washington Post has documented over 8,100 false or misleading statements by Trump in the last two years. In a display of deflection that would do Trump proud, Graham fils suggested that it was the media who were making things up.
Well, I don’t know how to reconcile that, because I don’t know. You have a fact checker for the president but I don’t know if you have a fact checker for the media at the same time.
Melvin pressed Graham fils on it, trying to get him to acknowledge that Trump has “said things that aren’t true.” Incredibly, Graham fils claimed that he didn’t think Trump was “sitting there behind the desk trying to make up lies.” He claimed that while it seemed Trump may have “misspoken” a few times, we’ve all misspoken before.
Um, Franklin? If you think over 8,100 false or misleading statements can just be dismissed as misspeaking, your moral compass is severely warped. And your father is probably turning in his grave.
Not surprisingly, Twitter was not amused.
Perhaps the most brutal response, however, came from Roland Martin. Watch here.
In typical style, Martin told Graham fils, “If you can’t own up to the constant lying by Donald Trump, go sit the hell down!”
Apparently the criticism must have gotten to Franklin, because he saw fit to post this to Facebook.
Wait a minute. So when the media calls out Trump’s lies and outrages, it’s merely hurling “dirt clods” at him? Apparently Graham fills subscribes to the Trumpian line that any critical coverage of Trump is fake news.
And here we thought the media was merely doing its job by holding Trump to account. Silly us.
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