Spirited Reasoners of my generation will remember the many bracelets and t-shirts we saw, especially during the 1990s, with the acronym WWJD, which stood for “What Would Jesus Do?” The meaning of the phrase was fairly obvious to those of us who grew up in a culture steeped in protestant Christianity. When confronted by a difficult social, moral, or political choice, the wearers were supposed to ask themselves that one question, then be sure they had determined the correct answer, before embarking on a final decision.
Fast forward to the year 2021. We discovered this past week that many of those who once asked the WWJD question now seem satisfied with the answer to a much less spiritual question: “What Would Trump Do?”
It seems that one of our two major parties no longer stands for the rule of law above the whims of a dictator. If events at the U. S. Capitol on January 6th looked like those of an illegal insurrection, we need only ask WWTD? The answer we receive to that question is rather simple. We simply deny that anything happened on the steps of the Capitol that day.
Nor does membership in that party stand for the preference of thoughtfully crafted policy positions. The only question that matters is the new acronym: WWTD?
Some Spirited Reasoners may quibble a bit with the last letter. “It’s not so much what Trump does,” they point out. “It’s what he says.” And to that I would respond, good point. Perhaps WWTS would indeed be a tad more accurate than WWTD. Yet, I’ve decided to keep the D in place for now, if only to remain as close to the original WWJD acronym as possible. We need to be reminded, I think, that we’re talking about a mob with tendencies to ascribe messianic powers to this man.
And so, if you continue to call yourself a member of the Republican Party the only principle you need to worry about is today’s answer to the WWTD question. Tomorrow’s answer might be different, depending on what the man ate for breakfast.