Faith Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion Politics

Not everyone in Utah welcomes Trump’s visit today

President Trump speaks about tax reform Nov. 29, 2017, in St. Charles, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in St. Charles, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Donald Trump will be stopping in Utah for a few hours today, his first visit there as president.

While there, he will take a tour of Welfare Square and meet with officials from the LDS Church. This has been standard practice with recent U.S. presidents of both parties, including both Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

He’s also expected to sign an executive order at the state capitol, shrinking national lands by some two million acres. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, there will be a protest at 10:45 across from the Capitol grounds, with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance saying the reduction is an “egregious assault on America’s public lands” and “an appalling affront to Native American tribes.”

Today we have a guest post from historian Devery S. Anderson, one of many Utah residents who is not pleased with Donald Trump. Devery’s words point to the deep divide in the nation that Donald Trump’s presidency has exploited and fed, as he lists the presidents many crimes and asks Trump supporters to account for themselves. –JKR


Devery S. Anderson of Salt Lake City, Utah

A guest post by Devery S. Anderson

I know what I see–but what do you see?

When Trump retweets far-right, anti-Muslim videos, I see a bigoted, hateful person whose very obvious anti-Muslim colors (not just anti-radical Islamic terrorist colors) are coming out. Trump supporters–what do you see?

When Trump utters a racial slur during a ceremony honoring Native Americans, in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson of all people, I see a racist. The Navajo Nation saw what I saw and issued a response. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump attacks the media, and calls demonstrable facts “fake news,” I see a man who thinks his base is stupid enough to ignore facts—I actually see him insulting them and having no respect for them. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump says Time Magazine called him and told him that they were considering making him Person of the Year, and then Time responds and says that is not true, I see a liar.Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump says Obama wiretapped him, yet there is no evidence to support that, and it has been denied by the FBI and others, I see a liar. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump rose to political popularity in 2011 by claiming, against actual fact, that President Obama was not born in the United States (a claim he is supposedly resurrecting as I write this), I see a racist liar who was and is just out for attention. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When sixteen women accuse Trump of sexual assault, and his own recorded voice reveals him boasting of doing the very things he is accused of, I see a sexual predator. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump said he was going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, and the moment he became president he decided America would pay for it after all, I saw a man who would say anything to con people into voting for him. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump was hit with lawsuits claiming he conned and cheated people out of their money with his phony Trump University, and settled those suits for $25 million, I saw a conman who got caught, and by settling the suit, essentially admitted that he is a conman and cheat. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When numerous Republicans, like Mitt Romney (who called Trump a “phony and a fraud”), Senators Corker, Flake, and McCain, among others, have been highly critical of Trump for his antics, behavior, Tweets, and what he is doing to the nation, I see the “left wing media” and “sore loser” arguments swiftly go down the drain. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump constantly came down on Obama for playing golf, and made the claim that as president, Trump would never play golf because the work of the country is too important, yet he is now on track to triple (yes, triple) Obama’s golf-playing, I see a hypocrite who, once again, simply lied to his fans. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump constantly makes personal attacks on people, most notably women, I see immaturity and a sad demeaning of the office of the presidency. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When the New York Times in June published a list of hundreds upon hundreds of demonstrable lies by Trump, I see what was already clear to me–that Trump is a pathological liar. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump’s staff and cabinet have experienced an unprecedented rate of turnover, I see chaos. Trump supporters, what do you see?

When Trump just happened to surround himself with people who have so many ties to Russia (as the investigation has shown), I can’t possibly write it off as a coincidence. I see collusion, and I believe it is closing in on Trump’s inner circle. Trump supporters, what do you see?

As we know, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Take this and so much more, and I see a very disturbed and bad man who is simply trying to turn the presidency of the United States into a cheap reality show, one who cares little for the people who elected him, and cares more about enriching himself and family while he is in this office.

Trump supporters, what do you see?

I know what I see. I see it so clearly.


Devery S. Anderson is the author of Emmet Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement and numerous books and articles about Mormon history. He lives in Salt Lake City.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.


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  • Crying liberals, many commenting on the Deseret News, against our POTUS, will not welcome him to Utah.
    But most responsible U.S. Citizens love and support him, and will vote for him in 2020!! MAGA! TRUMP 2020!!

  • The facts say you are wrong

    Donald Trump approval rating averages
    25 Nov 2017
    Approval: 38.8%
    Disapproval: 56.8%

    Oh yeah – you voted for him – you’re responsible.

  • “Devery S. Anderson is the author of Emmet Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement and numerous books and articles about Mormon history.”
    Having written numersous books and articles about Mormon history, have you seen any characters in history that better fit these allegations? Liar, hypocrite, predator?

  • The leaders of the LDS Church demean themselves when they agree to meet with a man like D. Trump, and they also demean Utah and all of its citizens. It’s — to use Trump’s own formulation — SAD.

  • I am going to come clean. I was a huge supporter of trump. Now i feel like a fool.
    Trump was my hero and I looked up to him.
    I wanted to be like him. Then I found out he denied he ever said those words to Billy Bush about what he did to women.When I found out he denied saying those things I was angry. I wanted to hit a minority person. I thought Trump was one of us! This is awful!
    When the Billy Bush tape first appeared all my friends wanted to vote for him. I mean he was a real man.For myself, i wanted him to run for office every four years until he died.He was behaving the way real men do and what women really want. Now I am discouraged. I hope he admits he really did say those words so I can support him again.

    Maybe he can run for Prophet one day!

  • Let me see, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, Eddie Long, Marcus Lamb, all christian leaders, many of them I suspect who agree with your version of christianity.

  • For anyone who has not read it, I highly recommend Devery S. Andersons book on Emmet Till. It is not unrelated to political movements we see today.

    And just to chorus; I see the POTUS as the author & historian here does.
    And I see the POTUS as most Europeans do.

    When the next US-led war breaks out, (pray it does not), I will go outdoors and scream at all enablers and I will cry. And I will NEVER be able to understand how you could elect a misogynist, authoritarian, empathy-disabled brute. The warnings have been legio. I pray most damage is reversible, but I believe that this is hoping too much.

  • Responsible citizens support:
    -A tax break on private jets?
    -Increasing tax burdens on the middle and working classes to enrich the ultra wealthy?

    -Attacking access to healthcare for about 8-10 million Americans?
    -Despoiling national park land and selling it off to political cronies?
    -Making life easier for polluters and predatory lenders?

    Um, no.

    The level of public trust people have in Trump is at the same level as gas station sushi.

  • Anterograde amnesia is a common affliction among people like you.

    “a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past,
    while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.”

    Evidently you have lacked the ability to form new memories since November 2016. So sad.

  • “Gas station sushi?” Do you eat it often? Um, explains your diarrhea of the mouth, so sad!! TRUMP 2020!

  • Given the fact that Flynn flipped like a pancake and is singing like a canary, it will probably be
    Mike Pence 2018 (or if he gets mired in that mess, Paul Ryan 2018) followed by Any Fresh Faced Democrat in 2020 (preferably Cory Booker)

  • Not with glee – just as the best indication available – certainly better than the unsupported “most responsible U.S. Citizens love and support him” offered by someone who presumably doesn’t recognise a “no true scotsman fallacy” even when uttering it.