Russian collusion, racism and bigotry, rumors of trysts, State of the Union boycotts. It seems no subject is off limits when it comes to accusations being hurled at President Donald Trump, both in his first year in the White House and for a year prior on the campaign trail.
But Trump has never been one to dodge a fight, whether in business, in politics or even on social media, says Stephen E. Strang, author of the best-selling book God and Donald Trump.
Even after Trump's 12 months in office and a lifetime in the spotlight, Strang says he remains an enigmatic figure for many.
"Liberals can't imagine how anyone could support the man while many conservatives see him as a game changer, a scrapper and someone who has an irresistible sense of purpose," Strang writes in God and Donald Trump. "He has an undeniable love for his country and the ability to fight for their values and beliefs, and that means a lot even if it's sometimes hard to defend his behavior."
From the start, Trump was a political outsider, Strang says.
"When the 2016 presidential campaign began, few Republican voters were willing to resurrect dead horses like Mitt Romney and John McCain," Strang writes. "Instead, after eight years of the most confrontational and disruptive administration in history, conservative and evangelical voters were looking for new blood, fresh faces and an energetic candidate who could energize the base and attract support from as many communities as possible."
Some of these early favorites included Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush.
"Eventually a total of 17 candidates made their pitch to the people, and debate platforms looked more like a Brooks Brothers showroom than a contest for the nation's highest office," Strang says. "When Donald Trump suddenly appeared on the scene, nobody really thought he would have a chance. New Yorkers knew Trump. He was one of their own, and so long as he seemed to be just another New York liberal and reality-TV celebrity, the media adored him. He was harmless. But the minute he declared his intention to run for the presidency as a Republican, he suddenly became a pariah."
The main thing in Trump's favor when he entered the race, Strang adds, was the fact that he was a total outsider. He was brash. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind. But there was something else in the mix that hardly anyone would have expected—Trump's support from the least likely of people.
"Trump received surprising early backing by charismatic Christian leaders," Strang says. "Also among his early supporters were old friends such as celebrity coaches, athletes, movie stars, rockers and media moguls. And unlike so many of the candidates who preceded him, Donald Trump refused to run from controversy and seemed to enjoy a well-publicized spat."
Strang is an award-winning journalist and successful businessman who began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. He later founded a Christian publishing house and media company while interviewing and writing about nearly every Christian leader in the country over the past four decades.
God and Donald Trump is published by Frontline, an imprint of Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 14 New York Times best-sellers.
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