Donald Trump clearly can't avoid the topic of his indictments since he will soon be indicted in four jurisdictions. He has to deal with it somehow and now he has decided how to spin it. He is going to say: "I'm being indicted for you." It's not exactly "Christ died for your sins," but it's in the same ballpark. Trump is going to be crucified, so you don't have to be. It makes no sense whatsoever, but it has a nice ring to it and many evangelicals will see the connection. Of course, very few people have hidden top-secret documents in their bathrooms, so most folks are not really in danger of being indicted for anything. Still Trump can make them feel afraid and be convinced that the deep state is out to get someone, somehow, for something, and since he "volunteered" to be the victim, then he is protecting them.
Trump has recently, and repeatedly, said: "They want to take away my freedom because I will never let them take away your freedom." Who is "they"? What freedom do "they" want to take away? The freedom not to get vaccinated during a worldwide pandemic? The freedom not to have to be accidentally near a transgender person on a bus? Certainly not the freedom to have an abortion, since that is a freedom he wants to take away. On the day of his third indictment, he posted to his boutique social media site: "I'm being indicted for you." He says that all the time now. It is a main theme of his campaign, maybe the main theme.
His platform seems to have migrated from the political to the pseudo-religious. Maybe Jesus is your primary savior but Trump is your backup savior. He will go to prison so you don't have to. This is so different from normal politicians who promise things about taxes, jobs, energy, environment, China policy, health care, crime, education, immigration, etc. Can you envision Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, or John McCain promising to suffer for you so you won't have to? And McCain, a former prisoner of war who was tortured in Vietnam, might have had a case, but he didn't try to make it. Trump's campaign has moved from the sphere of politics to the sphere of theology.
Trump's pitch, crazy as it may be, could work. Lorraine Rudd, who the Times interviewed at a Trump rally in New Hampshire, said: "If they can do it to him and take him down, they can come for me." Who's "they"? Why would "they" have any interest at all in some random 64-year-old woman in Massachusetts? Did she do something wrong? She may think that because she attended the rally, "they" have marked her as an enemy of the state and put her on "their" list. Steve Vicere apparently wasn't afraid of being put on some list. He drove all the way from his home in Florida to see Trump in New Hampshire. He said: "Everyday freedoms are being systematically taken away, and nobody ever gets held accountable." What freedoms are being taken away every day? The freedom to buy an incandescent lamp that will cost you far more in electricity than an LED lamp that lasts 20 or 30 years instead of 2 or 3 years? As to being held accountable, it's pretty amazing that Trump supporters even want to bring the subject up. But Trump's ploy could work because his true believers clearly believe it.
The only Republican who is willing to challenge Trump on his role as a savior is Chris Christie. He visited Ukraine and said: "As I'm walking around Ukraine, he's waltzing into a courtroom in Washington, D.C., to tell us that he's being indicted for us. For us! How lucky are we! That we have such a selfless, magnanimous leader. Because you know that the government was coming to get you and on their way to get you, lo and behold, they came across Donald Trump and they said, 'Okay, we won't get you, we'll get him, for you.'" The link above is to the Times, but only because they beat The Onion to it.
While Trump may be consciously or unconsciously setting up a comparison of himself with Jesus, actually a better comparison might be with L. Ron Hubbard, who created a new "religion," Scientology (which some people regard as a cult). Like Hubbard, Trump has raked in millions of "followers" and dollars from it. (V & Z)