If #Donald Trump remains in office, it will not be because he embodied good values. The best #values are tolerance, helpfulness and democracy. When their presence is high, the world does well. When they are threatened, the world trembles. The value that underlies all others is non-idolatry, having no idols on this earth. We shall come to that.

#Donald Trump is not a paragon of tolerance. Donald Trump may help his small circle of friends but he is distinctly unhelpful to those he insults and dislikes. And when it comes to democracy, Trump appears to be more foe than friend. Tolerance, helpfulness and democracy are arguably the values that have led to #Progress at every point in our history.

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Does Trump understand the American Revolution? Our war of independence not only established #democracy. It was waged because democracy was being flaunted by the British. Our founders created a democracy that included republican principles to ensure against mob rule. This has stood the test of time and one could argue that it has never been tested as much as now.

All over the world new democracies have sprung up, largely unnoticed, testifying to the unquenchable thirst for freedom among all peoples.

Donald Trump's tolerance problem

Donald Trump has given tolerance, that sterling value which is at once strong and open to all people, short shrift. He has insulted whole groups and directly besmirched persons as admired for their ethics as the former President of the United States. Those who value tolerance can find little in Mr. Trump that they can admire.

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#Helpfulness is about enabling all people. It is concerned particularly with the vulnerable. It champions education. It cares that all have the means to survive and the resources to build a better life. A President can be the president of all the people and care for all or he can divide people and designate some as failing or idiotic or otherwise not worth caring about. Donald Trump is on the downside of that either-or.

Donald Trump's root problem is idolatry

Donald Trump says he is a Presbyterian. Presbyterians are taught, as most Christians are, to have no idols, to serve God alone. Even a non-religious person is well-advised to make an idol of nothing on this earth. But if Mr. Trump worships anything, and I will be charitable and exclude the worship of money, he bows down before nation.

The chants of USA are often just patriotism. But in some they are a form of idolatry, of placing the US above everything. Nothing should be placed above everything. That form of worship is universally a cause of war. It makes people think in dangerously apocalyptic terms. It buttresses conspiracy theories. If any of this rubs off on your sense of Donald Trump, be my guest.

I forgive Trump daily. Anyone who consistently flaunts the values that are the foundation of goodness needs a boatload of forgiving.