Donald Trump is winning the Republican Nomination.
Not by a small amount either. The Des Moines Register has him in the lead with 23% of the vote, followed almost kind of closely by Ben Carson at 18%. I have no shame in admitting that I watched with a sort of religious fanaticism The Celebrity Apprentice (maybe the largest casualty of this political season!), which has made me question again and again why so many people are suggesting that Mr. Trump be the leader of the free world.
It's not an unimportant question. What is it about this brash, in your face celebrity business man that has so many people's attention? What's going in on the psyche of the American voters that is on display for all to see with Mr. Trump?
Many of his supporters will tell you that they like that he is not like those who are in Washington right now. He is not measured. He is not calculated. He is not scripted. He is who he is, and he will always be that no matter what. Something about that personality is refreshing to the American voters. Something about authenticity is ringing a bell.
This is actually not a phenomenon within the Republican party alone. Take a look at Hilary Clinton's poll numbers before she took a defiant stand on the e-mail scandal she finds herself in and her numbers now. The more she tries to joke her way out of the story, the more the American voters are looking for someone else to take the torch. She's being in-authentic, and it's costing her.
Politics aside, perhaps the Church could learn something from that growing sentiment in the American electorate. Perhaps we are too packaged, too calculated, too measured in our handling of the gospel. Perhaps if we were just a bit more honest about who we were, more aware and articulate about our own faults, we would be more endearing to folks on the outside looking in? Perhaps if we were really quick to lay claim to our need of grace, others might see their need for it as well?
Who knows what will happen in the mountain of time left in this election cycle. Who knows who will actually win races when legitimate votes need to be cast. But what is happening in front of us is not unimportant, it tells us what our country is longing for. And at the moment, it would appear that authenticity rules the day. Perhaps it ought to rule us as Christians as well.