What Donald Trump's quote on Billy Graham tells you about Donald Trump

On Wednesday morning, legendary pastor Billy...

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 3:45 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 3:45 PM

On Wednesday morning, legendary pastor Billy Graham passed away at the age of 99 at his family home in North Carolina. Encomiums from politicians -- many of whom Graham had known personally -- began pouring in almost immediately.

Here are five from well-known Republican politicians. See if you can pick out the one from President Donald Trump:

1. "Dr. Graham was a counselor to presidents, a pastor to the masses, and most of all -- a loving, caring, husband, father, and grandfather. May he Rest In Peace."

2. "We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family. Billy Graham's ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions. We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you."

3. "I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man. I was privileged to have him as a personal friend."

4. "The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man."

5. "Billy Graham lifted eyes toward heaven and instilled heaven's values in hearts. The world mourns this man of character, this man of God."

Trump's quote is #4 above. But, you already knew that.

(The other four are from, in order, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Vice President Mike Pence, former President George H.W. Bush and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and current Senate candidate in Utah.)

That quartet all sound like politicians and/or statesmen in their quotes on Graham. They adhere to an accepted vocabulary of how to mourn a public figure revered by a large chunk of the people who did, do or will vote for them. Their quotes aim to connect Graham to a broader, more universal truth -- whether that's about our shared values or our common humanity.

Set against that backdrop, Trump's quote stands out like a sore thumb.

The use of the ALL CAPS for one thing. The exclamation point at the end of "There was nobody like him!" The sentence fragment "A very special man." It's all, in a word, perfectly Trumpian.

If you like Trump, you view the fact that he doesn't sound like any past president (or, really, any past politician) as a great thing. All the past politicians have failed. So, why not put someone like Trump, who rejects all of their pomp and circumstance, in there?

If you loathe Trump, statements like this one drive you insane. His utter lack of statesmanship -- and seeming pride in that lack -- speak to why you believe America should have never elected him in the first place.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, it is impossible to conclude anything other than this: Donald Trump, in deeds and words, is fundamentally reshaping what it means to be president (and presidential).

There has never been someone who looked, thought or sounded like him in the nation's highest office. And, no matter whether he stays in office for four or eight years, he will have a major effect on how we think about who can be president and how a president can talk and act going forward.

BELIEVE me!

West Lafayette
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 76°
Crawfordsville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Delphi
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Monticello
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Logansport
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Warm Weekend Continues Sunday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events