Trump & Obama: Egos & the Absence of Humility

Why now?  Why not two years ago?  You don’t have to be a “birther” (or former “birther” now — the “movement” just imploded) to wonder why it took so long for the President to do what most Americans would probably view as common sense — request the state of Hawaii to release his “long-form” birth certificate.  Apparently, once the President of the United States asked the Department of Health in Hawaii to make available the “long-form” birth certificate, the Health Department made an “exception” and released the certificate because of the extraordinary number of requests that had been made to see it.

After reviewing the previously released computer-generated form and the newly released “long-form” certificates, it is baffling why the President did not ask the Hawaiian government to release the “long-form” sooner.  With a bit more detail, it in fact indicates the exact same thing that the shorter certificate did — Barack Hussein Obama, II was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 and is therefore a natural-born citizen of the United States, eligible to hold the office of President of the United States of America.  The “birther” movement is now dead.  However, I doubt that we will hear from any of its more vocal proponents an apology or “I was wrong” anytime soon.  That would not fit the narrative. 

One could certainly speculate as to why the smartest man to ever occupy the Oval Office ever would let this issue fester for over two years.  I’m sure that the hubris that this administration has exhibited would have absolutely nothing to do with the President’s delay in releasing this information.  What could have been a simple request to release his birth records has become a distraction for President Obama.  We would not want him to be distracted as he tries to implement policies that further weaker our nation at home and abroad. 

But, why release the “long-form” birth certificate now?  Why not two years ago?  Was it menat to hurt Donald Trump and make him look foolish? (He doesn’t need much help in that category).  Was it to stop the “birther” movement from gaining any more steam?  I think these are legitimate political questions that need to be asked.  Only President Obama and his inner circle really know the answers to those questions. 

Instead of this being a non-issue, the White House, by its own words and actions, has continued to allow this story to have legs.  Not only that, but they have apparently fed the already massive ego of one Donald Trump.  He appears to be taking credit for single-handedly forcing the President to release the birth certificate:

“I’m taking great credit and you have to ask the president, ‘why didn’t he do this a long time ago? Why didn’t he do it a long time ago?’ When Hillary Clinton was asking, when everybody was asking, why didn’t he do it? It’s shocking. It’s shocking.”

Somehow I don’t think that the President of the United States would suddenly crumble in the face of the hot air coming from Donald Trump’s mouth, someone Mr. Obama alluded to as nothing more than a “sideshow barker” for a carnival act.  For once, I agree with the President.  Mr. Trump, while certainly a brilliant business man (if you overlook those pesky bankruptcies) is at heart a showman who has used the “birther” sideshow to gain momentum in his quixotic quest for the Presidency.  Of course, some might say that it takes a showman to know a showman.

By tapping into conservative angst about the President, Mr. Trump has been able to adeptly exploit the “birthers” and some Evangelicals.  I can perhaps understand how Donald Trump has intrigued many within the now dead “birther” movement, but I still cannot fathom how any conservative Evangelical could be enamored with Mr. Trump.

For conservative Evangelicals, the model of leadership — spiritual or otherwise — is none other than Jesus Christ.  As we have just come through the Easter season, we are reminded that Jesus came, not to be served, but to serve and to die on the Cross as a ransom for sinners. 

“And being found in human form, He (Jesus) humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8 ESV)

Whether in a President or Pastor, Evangelicals should look for leaders who exhibit a servant’s heart.  To have a servant’s heart requires a rather large dose of humility.  Unfortunately, in the case of both President Obama and Donald Trump, the dose is in woefully short supply!

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About Howell Scott

I have been a Southern Baptist pastor for the last fourteen years. Before entering the ministry, I was a practicing attorney in my homestate of Florida. I have been married to my wife, Brenda, for 18 years and we have three sons, Stephen, Jacob, and Andrew.
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