A Movement of A People: Trumpism as the New Exodus

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 June 21, 2017|
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Exodus. It is 1,500 B.C. It is a hot day east of Memphis at the edge of the waters. With the Egyptian army at their backs and the sea in front of them, certain of the Hebrews hesitate.

“Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”

America today is in Egypt. The great industry of ordinary men and women has been idled to fill the granaries of the administrative state with the fruits of globalism. The misery of this once enviable middle class—now the working (when it can) poor—is plain to see in statistics of opiate addiction, broken and half-formed households, failing education, and retreating health.

Trumpism is not an exodus to a new land, of course. America remains the Promised Land. Still, Trumpism no less overturns the order of the administrative state than the exodus of the Hebrew slaves overturned the order of Rameses.

Here we find ourselves, at the brink of the curling, salty waves. #NeverTrump conservatives, who trust not, hesitate before the waters. They long for reconciliation with Egypt. They fear they might die in the desert, on the way to a rebirth of self-government.


“What truly matters is not which party controls our government but whether our government is controlled by the people.” —Donald J. Trump, Inaugural Address.

Let the American people go, Trump says. But the heart of the administrative state, at one time at least theatrically committed to elections, has hardened. And just as the armies of Egypt pursued the departing sons and daughters of Abraham, the security and prosecutorial apparatus of the administrative state pursues the voters that cast ballots for Trump, hoping to restore their docile submission, by removing a President from office.

Here we find ourselves, at the brink of the curling, salty waves. #NeverTrump conservatives, who trust not, hesitate before the waters. They long for reconciliation with Egypt. They fear they might die in the desert, on the way to a rebirth of self-government.

The man who has brought them to the shore in the swelter of eastern Egypt has caused all this trouble. Don’t speak of the Promised Land, where it is, and how to get there.

Instead, #NeverTrump conservatives murmur: Trump is not eloquent and married thrice. He joked about shooting a man in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

There is truly nothing new under the Sun. Moses was “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” Exodus 4:10 He had a Midian wife, whom he divorced. Exodus 18:2 Moses murdered an Egyptian. Exodus 2:11-15.

#NeverTrump conservatives say they want someone else to lead them out of Egypt, a career politician—maybe a Cruz or a Rubio, someone, anyone but . . . him. They want an Egyptian. It is an impossible wish.

President Trump’s crudely fashioned extemporaneous remarks and Twitter habits, feed their discontents as they overlook the audience, imagining it must be themselves. They long for the orderly everyday elocution of Egypt, for which they have acquired a taste.

The call of Egypt is strong. When #NeverTrump conservatives lament a rude utterance or tweet, they signal they prefer the turgid and obfuscating speech that is itself a product of the culture of the administrative state. This has become confused with high discourse.

These modern speeches remind one of Edward Everett’s endless word train delivered at Gettysburg, and how Lincoln’s ten sentences were dismissed.

President Trump’s crudely fashioned extemporaneous remarks and Twitter habits, feed their discontents as they overlook the audience, imagining it must be themselves. They long for the orderly everyday elocution of Egypt, for which they have acquired a taste.


Yes, #NeverTrump friends forget Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg flopped. He didn’t even get a “He became President today” from the #NeverLincoln crowd. The Harrisburg Patriot & Union wrote:

“We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.”

Lincoln had few friends in 1863. He ran a disorderly White House, with an undisciplined child hanging about his neck (while he worked!) and scream-fests with Mary Todd. He was known for vulgar jokes, in which he delighted, to the shock of New England prudes, who figured good Christian abolitionist style abjured scatological humor.

Lincoln’s America too was stuck in Egypt. It was deeply sick, divided over, of all things, whether property should exist in a man, and further divided between two amoralities: whether one shouldn’t care either way (Copperheads) and whether one should retreat from the abomination of slavery into the vanity of religious isolation (radical abolitionists).

Only a minority of the country was committed to union and the great moral struggle before it. It is a singular blessing that this rump of support for union did not mistake the rustic elements of Lincoln’s daily conduct for the meaningful struggle in which the nation was engaged. They pushed forward to a new birth of freedom.

Lincoln’s America too was stuck in Egypt. It was deeply sick, divided over, of all things, whether property should exist in a man, and further divided between two amoralities: whether one shouldn’t care either way (Copperheads) and whether one should retreat from the abomination of slavery into the vanity of religious isolation (radical abolitionists).


#Resistance and #NeverTrump conservatives parallel too the divisions of the Civil War. #Resistance is, obviously, the Democrats’ revival of the Rebel Yell. And #NeverTrump conservatives are either indifferent to the administrative state, as were Copperheads of Chicago and Detroit, or engaging in a cloistering pantomime unaware, as were the radical abolitionists of New England, that it is as impossible to escape moral struggle by being above it as it is by being indifferent to it.

And here we are, at the blistering margin of the Red Sea. The Egyptians are close behind.  3,500 years ago someone had to go first. According to the rabbinic midrash, Naashon went first, walking in head-deep until the waters parted, and the others followed. Today, a small number of scholars and writers and the dwindling American middle class have gone first. They are the Naashons of this movement.

Last night, Georgia’s 6th Congressional District and South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District followed. Time is running short to follow. Egypt is a false promise. We need your help, now. The waters and the Egyptians will not wait forever.

About the Author:

Jay Whig
J. Whig is an attorney practicing in New York and a resident of Connecticut specializing in insolvency and restructuring. Opinions are his own.
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26 Comments

  1. Mike D'Virgilio June 21, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Nicely done!

  2. Jack June 21, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    How many miracles will it take to sustain this rebellious generation? Even Trump’s eventual crossing the Red Sea (Escaping the clutches of the establishment deep state) will only last so long. His bringing of Ten Commandments (Health Care and Tax Reform Bills) will be shattered at his feet. These people will continue to worship the idol of the state and demand more signs and wonders and food and safety. They are not worthy of the promised land (a renewed America) and by the grace of God they may be purged or we will all die.

    Trump is more like Moses than Jesus, but the same generation demands signs and wonders:

    The Sign of Jonah
    (Luke 11:29-32)
    38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

    39Jesus replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

    41The men of Nineveh will stand at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now One greater than Jonah is here. 42The queen of the south will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and now One greater than Solomon is here.

  3. Milton Orgeron June 21, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    A small quibble on an otherwise good article. Moses did not divorce Zipporah, although “sending away” is the literal term for a divorce in the Bible. Much more likely Exodus 18:2 is Moses sending his wife and sons out of harm’s way to his father-in-law (with whom he seemed to remain on good terms in Exodus) at a safe distance from the trouble Phaorah was sure to cause Moses, and possibly for them to escape death at Phaorah’s hands. Read on a few verses and you will see that after the crossing of the Red Sea, Jethro came to Moses with his wife and sons, now that the Egyptians had been safely disposed of (Exodus 18:5-7) and offered Moses sound advice gladly received for leading the multitude without being consumed by minutia and lower level disputes (Exodus 18:13-27). Hardly the type of father-in-law/son-in-law relationship that would continue after a divorce.

  4. Sam McGowan June 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    This could be a good article but the author forgets that Lincoln sought to impose his will at the point of a bayonet. As a New Yorker in Connecticut, this is to be understood but it doesn’t make it right. Remember that Lincoln lost almost half a million men in his quest to impose his will on the seceded states.

    • hub 312 June 21, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      If only recent American presidents understood how to fight and win a war as well as Lincoln did.

    • NDForever June 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      It was the Constitutional Nation’s will, not Lincoln’s. He was merely the vehicle for it. “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war.”
      Not, “I”.

  5. AEJ June 21, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Great article!
    Did you ever see a blowout tide?
    I spent the winter of ’93 at my father’s summer house in Cape May County, NJ which was on one of the back bays. In March, the Nor’easter that was the Blizzard of ’93 caused three days of incessant wind and the bay that normally has 20+ ft of water in it was reduced to dry land. For three days and nights, regardless of tide change, you could have walked across it if you’d wanted to. When I saw that, I knew that was how/why the Israelites had been able to cross.
    “…and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided”
    A strong east wind came out of Pennsylvania on Nov 8, 2016.
    MAGA
    This is no myth!

  6. msher_1 June 21, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I applaud the piece and agree with every word. Nicely written, too. As powerful as the “Flight 93 Election?” Maybe. But I think Anton’s analogy got there first and probably cornered the market.

  7. Peter S Rieth June 21, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Great article. Great analogies to both the Old Testament and Lincoln.

    President Trump needs to announce martial law – that sounds just as audacious as parting the Red sea, but the effect would be equally positive: it would rescue us from slavery.

  8. DanPhillips June 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    You had me until Lincoln. Have you ever considered that we might not be dealing with an overweening administrative state now if Lincoln hadn’t prevailed then?

    • Steve Mitton June 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      Lemme guess, you’re a Southerner, right?

      • NDForever June 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm

        Yes, and I’m sure he still refers to the Civil War and the Northern War of Aggression.

    • NDForever June 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      Rubbish.

    • Nano June 22, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Our Constitution established that a man’s “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is not a state’s rights matter, it is a federal matter to which all the states signed. Because of the Constitution, slavery was a federal matter, as is abortion and 2nd amendment rights.

      • DanPhillips June 26, 2017 at 7:57 am

        Nano, first of all, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is a Declaration thing, not a Constitution thing. Second, no one now thinks slavery was a good thing, but slavery could not have been unconstitutional because it is explicitly acknowledged in the Constitution. The Constitutional issue that was at issue was the right to secede.

  9. kalendjay June 21, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Great article, and consider more of what the Liberator Lincoln had to endure. Namely, a fractured, effectively four party system that gave him a smaller proportion of the popular vote than Trump: A Democratic party that refused to confront its own ‘Social Justice Warriors’, such as the Filibusteros (Southern financed marauders who wanted to take over the Caribbean to enlarge slavery), the plantation invasion of Kansas territory, Southern preachers who portrayed slavery as biblically sanctioned mercy to the slaves, and opponents of industrialization. Not to mention opponents to the Constitution itself, which does NOT and NEVER sanctioned secession.

  10. Em_ptySkin June 22, 2017 at 12:35 am

    We’re all Jews, huh? Henry Adams would be saddened that another historical allegory could not be found.

  11. Peter63 June 22, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I am all in favour of the Exodus; but is it HAPPENING?
    David Stockman, one-time adviser to President Reagan, makes the following (surely cogent) points.

    First he quotes President Trump’s own words: ‘They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice… You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history — led by some very bad and conflicted people!’

    Next Stockman: “The Donald has never spoken truer words than when he tweeted that statement last week. But he’s also never sunken lower into pure victimhood. What is he waiting for — handcuffs and a perp walk?

    “Just to be clear, the Donald doesn’t need to be the subject of a witch hunt at all.

    “If Donald Trump had a presidential strategy and the propensity to take command, he would have had all the intercepts of Russian chatter gathered up weeks ago.

    “He would have then had them declassified and made public. Then he would have launched a criminal prosecution against Obama’s hit squad — John Brennan, Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett — for illegally unmasking and leaking classified information.

    “This course of action would have crushed the Russian interference hysteria in the bud.

    “The entire affair was a rearguard invention of the Deep State and Democratic partisans. They became shocked and desperate for a scapegoat to account for the unthinkable election of Donald Trump.The entire affair was a rearguard invention of the Deep State and Democratic partisans.

    “They couldn’t accept that the unwashed masses elected an outsider and insurrectionist who could not be counted upon to serve as a ” trustee” for the status quo. And whose naive but correct instinct to seek better relations with Russia was a mortal threat to the modus operandi of the Imperial City.

    “Let’s face it, the Russian interference narrative was never rooted in anything more than standard cybernoise from Moscow.

    “After all, it didn’t take a Kremlinologist from the old Soviet days to figure out that Putin did not favor Clinton, who had likened him to Hitler. Moreover, Trump had correctly said NATO was obsolete and that he didn’t want to give lethal aid to the Ukrainians.

    “Finally, he had expressed a desire to make a deal with Putin on Syria and numerous other areas of unnecessary confrontation.

    “That wasn’t acceptable to the likes of raging Russiaphobe John McCain: ‘We must take our own side in this fight. Not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans. It’s time to respond to Russia’s attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common purpose and with action.’

    “The truth is Russia has no more attacked American democracy than did the North Vietnamese at the Gulf of Tonkin or the Spaniards on the battleship Maine in 1898.

    “More importantly, no one else in the world thinks Russia is a serious threat — except the bureaucrats of NATO who make a living concocting such threats. Throw in some nationalist politicians in Eastern Europe who are always eager to play the Russian card in their quest for power and attention.

    “But now we’re looking at the real possibility of a possible incident between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria.

    “Russia is now warning that any aircraft operating west of the Euphrates could be targets, after a U.S. Navy plane downed a Syrian jet over the weekend. The Syrian plane had supposedly attacked U.S.-backed rebels fighting the Assad regime, a regime Russia strongly supports.

    “Will Russia attack American aircraft over Syria? And how would Washington respond?

    “I thought the Donald said he would keep us out of Syria — which was the wise thing to do, incidentally. Meanwhile, U.S. and Russian aircraft are playing collision games over the Baltic. The other day, a Russian fighter supposedly came within five feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane.

    “This is just nuts. Has anyone thought this through?

    “It just shows the extent to which the Donald and his America First campaign has been hijacked by the neocons and the Deep State.”

    Or does it just show that, while Candidate Trump most bravely endured an ordeal of an election campaign, had magnificent policy-positions, and pulled off a miracle against gigantic Opposition in 2016 (almost as amazing as if a man with a pea-shooter had flattened the German Army in 1940), he failed over the same campaign period to work out a strategy for dealing with things if and when he became President?

  12. carl Jung June 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    the cucks, i mean #neverTrumpers, should not be encouraged to do anything other than fukk off. they can be counted on to betray America at every turn, as they have shown over and over. they won’t fight so what is the argument for allowing them in again?

    • Bartthedog June 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      And, now we hear three of the jackleg rinos won’t repeal Obamacare. What’s wrong with these people? They’re only representing themselves. Period. Well, ok. And their dem buddies.

      • carl Jung June 22, 2017 at 7:06 pm

        blackmailed and bought off.

  13. OkiefromMuskogee June 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    But will we have to wander in the wilderness for forty years? Seems like we’ve already been there for at least eight.

    • Skinner June 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Appears more like 30 to me…..

  14. NDForever June 22, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    A very good read. And insightful. Well done to the author.

  15. CincyGal June 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Love the idea that someone has to go first — and it was us! Those of us who supported Trump in the election and through the fire of malevolent hysteria since his election. Somehow, we have to convince those who can be convinced to come with us and disarm those who cannot follow. As for the malevolent mob … they have to be fought. Hopefully, not literally.

  16. Adobe_Walls June 24, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Very clever analogy.

Comments are closed.