If you’re contemplating writing a novel, avoid the amateur cliche of designating a principal character as “The Chosen One.” From Luke Skywalker to Neo (in “The Matrix”) to Harry Potter it’s been done and overdone and done to death. But this isn’t a novel, this is far worse, this is real life. So when Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, amigo numero uno of the so-called “three amigos,” referred to Donald Trump as “The Chosen One,” it was a case of bad life imitating bad art.
Like most Republicans currently in the thrall of Donald Trump, Perry is not a stupid man, rather he is made to look stupid as a direct consequence of Trumpism, a disease for which apparent stupidity is one of the tertiary symptoms. A characteristic of this stupidity is what can best be described as sycophantic one upmanship, the near pathological drive to prove just how utterly one can humiliate oneself in the supine, obsequious competition for Trump bootlicking. Perry became the latest contest winner by referring to Trump as “The Chosen One.”
“God’s used imperfect people all through history,” Perry told the Fox News host Ed Henry, “King David wasn’t perfect, Saul wasn’t perfect, Solomon wasn’t perfect.” Don’t forget Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler while you’re enumerating the imperfect, Rick.
Perry goes on: “And I actually gave the president a little one-pager [because that is the most Trump will read in one sitting] on those Old Testament kings about a month ago. And I shared it with him, I said, ‘Mr President, I know there are people that say, y’know, ‘You said you were the chosen one.’ And, I said: ‘You were.’ I said, ‘If you’re a believing Christian, you understand God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet and our government.’”
This is a familiar trope from the religious right, commonly employed to justify the awful people who populate it. The rationale goes like this: King David, who was imperfect, lusted after Bathsheba, so he sent her husband Uriah the Hittite on a military suicide mission. When Uriah the Hittite was duly killed in that mission David duly took possession of Bathsheba. Ergo, God can use any asshole, including – fill in the blank.
So in Rick Perry’s little world, God is able to use a child-raping, pussy-grabbing, woman-assaulting, money-laundering, pathological-lying, nation-betraying, disability-mocking, valor-stealing, hate-inspiring monster like Donald Trump. Well maybe God can, but I can’t. Such a man should have never been president in the first place. Shame on Rick Perry, and shame on anyone who suggests that Donald John Trump is “chosen” – for anything but prison.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.