Late Friday night, Hollywood actor Jon Voight lavished praise on President Donald Trump in two short Twitter videos. The actor said Trump has made “every move correct,” that the nation is “witnessing triumph,” and that Trump is “the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.” While Hollywood seems determined to demonize the president, this hyperbolic defense of Trump is refreshing, but it is far too early to judge Trump’s presidency in this way, much less compare it to Lincoln’s.
“People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our President has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy, for he’s battling the left and their absurd words of destruction,” Voight began. “I’ve said this once and I’ll say this again, that our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln.”
To my fellow Americans. Part 1. pic.twitter.com/srw4zXCRKJ
— Jon Voight (@jonvoight) May 25, 2019
“I’m here today to acknowledge the truth. And I’m here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our president has made his every move correct,” the actor added. “Don’t be fooled by the political left because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president.”
He then declared, “Let us stand up for this truth that President Trump is the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. God bless America, and may God continue to guide this nation. Much love.”
To my fellow Americans. Part 2. pic.twitter.com/uhqpbzwHhS
— Jon Voight (@jonvoight) May 25, 2019
Trump himself retweeted these videos, thanking Voight.
Thank you John, so nice! https://t.co/cfcXpzjYn7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2019
Voight was entirely right to point out that the left uses “absurd words of destruction” against Trump, accusing him of everything from obstruction of justice to treason. Indeed, the president has been charged with inciting “hate,” he has been blamed for the actions of terrorists who despised him, and he has been the subject of an assassination fantasy featured in The New York Times.
Voight was also correct to acknowledge that America is “stronger, safer, and with more jobs” than under Barack Obama. He was also correct to mention the “solid ground” from America’s forefathers and the “moral code of duty” from Abraham Lincoln.
However, many of the actor’s claims went too far. First, while America is “witnessing triumph” economically, even the most ardent pro-Trump sycophant should admit that our nation’s politics is embroiled in nasty partisan vitriol. A culture obsessed with attacking Trump — either in The Handmaid’s Tale or through protest after protest — is not healthy. Demands for Trump’s resignation and impeachment are rampant.
By all means, Trump has achieved things Republicans — and all Americans — should cheer, from tax reform to expansions of religious freedom to cutting burdensome regulations to reversing the disastrous Iran Deal to standing with Israel to restoring the biological meaning of “sex” in federal law. His reforms have likely boosted the currently booming economy.
Americans should hesitate to compare a sitting president — or even a recent president — to historical giants like Abraham Lincoln, however. The actions of each president reverberate after his term has expired. James Buchanan is widely considered one of the worst presidents in history, since his actions and inactions helped inspire the Civil War shortly after he left office. (He even lobbied the Supreme Court for the horrifically racist 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford ruling.)
The true horrors of Barack Obama’s presidency are still unraveling today. His social experimentation with transgender identity has helped spread confusion and medically dangerous redefinitions of sex. Iran has been breaking the conditions of the Iran Deal, just as news broke that the Obama administration secretly sent money to Iran. The results of “spy gate,” the Obama administration’s decision to spy on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, are slowly coming out.
It is possible that future Americans will look back on Donald Trump as a great president, but barring some absolutely horrific turns of events, he will never be faced with the daunting task of reuniting a country riven apart by civil war. With all respect to the current president, I don’t think he will have the opportunity to become as great as Abraham Lincoln, and I think that is a very good thing for the country.
In an age of hyperbole, it makes sense that Jon Voight would go too far in praising Trump. He probably felt the need to balance out the ridiculous hyperbole of liberals slamming Trump as a fascist or a Nazi. Even so, that does not make this actor right. If Trump will be as great as Lincoln, Americans won’t truly know for at least a decade. Let’s have some perspective in these turbulent times.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.