Nothing Donald Trump can say will please some people; they don't even like it when he keeps his mouth shut. It was his responsibility, rivals and reporters claim, to correct the New Hampshire man who said in his presence at a "town hall" meeting yesterday that President Obama was a non-American Muslim. Everyone was reminded of the example Sen. McCain set back in 2008 when he corrected a woman at one of his events who had described Obama as an "Arab." Unlike McCain, of course, Trump has been a "birther," one of those doubting Obama's right to be President on the ground that he was born outside the United States to a non-American father. I don't know if he's renounced those views, but he certainly didn't renounce them yesterday. Now that I think of it, I wonder whether repudiating birtherism should be added to the list of things Trump could do to alienate his hard core of support. I don't mean to suggest that all Trump supporters are birthers, but I'd guess that a majority of them don't trust the President for one reason or another. To them, for Trump or any candidate to repudiate birtherism would be like telling them they have no right not to trust the President. From their perspective, McCain's condescending correction of a concerned citizen probably proved him an establishment stooge and a poor excuse for a patriot. It probably made him look weak.
These days, one person's factual correctness becomes another's political correctness. Many Americans probably feel just as entitled to believe conspiracy theories as they are under the Constitution to believe any set of religious myths. In such cases faith counts more than facts and anyone who appeals to facts is just trying to tell everyone else how to think. In that context, it's interesting to see that, whatever Trump's own faith may be, his campaign manager is a Christianist. Corey Lewandowski told the Washington Post that the real problem with Obama is that the President "is waging a war against Christians in this country." There's no room for ambiguity here; whether you're familiar with the label or not, if you believe that the government is "waging a war on Christians," you're a Christianist, the intellectual equivalent of Islamists -- most of whom, after all, claim to defend their religion against a global attack. For his next performance, Trump should be asked whether he agrees with his manager's belief, and if so, why. That'd keep the reporters and opinionators happy for another day, at least.