The Triumphal Entry was a bust. Jesus was riding high in the polls. A few days later, his numbers were in the tank. What happened? Where were his political advisors? I’m no expert on running for office, but if I were his campaign strategist, I’d offer him this advice:
1-GET A BETTER SLOGAN. ‘Repent, the Kingdom is Here!’ is catchy, but not cool. ‘Pick up Your Cross and Follow Me’…is a bit of a downer and too many words for a baseball cap. How about ‘Make Israel Great Again!’
2-RELAX WITH THE FACTS. It’s ok to hyperbolize. Everyone knows that winners shade and evade; distort and distract. So… manipulate the facts. Twist the data. Make the numbers work for you. And whatever you do… be sure to accuse your critics of spreading fake news.
3-BULLY THE BULLIES. Herod, Pilate, Caesar…bad guys are everywhere! You need to show us that you can stand up to them. Throw more punches. Fling out more insults. Make your rivals cower. Meek and humble doesn’t win elections. Quit telling people to love their enemies, turn the other cheek, and go the second mile.
4-PROMISE PROSPERITY AND FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL. That’s what the people want. You should say ‘Blessed are the rich…NOT the poor!’ It’s great that you healed a few sick people. Why not promise healing for all? Better yet…eradicate disease forever.
5-LOOK A LITTLE MORE KINGLY. You rode into town on a donkey? Really?! Where’s the platinum-plated chariot? You wore a simple servant’s tunic? Really?! Where’s the designer tie? You need to look like a King if you want to be a King.
6-WIN OVER THE RIGHT. God-fearing people are your most likely base of support. You need to convince them that you’re one of them… and that you’re going to save them. (Calling them ‘hypocrites, blind guides, whitewashed tombs, and a brood of vipers’ isn’t helpful.)
7-BE THE CHAMPION OF FAMILY VALUES. That’s your space! Everyone knows that you believe in the family! But…for goodness sake… stop telling people “If anyone loves father or mother more than me, he’s not worthy of me.”
8-COZY UP TO A FEW HIGH-CAPACITY DONORS. (But do it discreetly). Elections are won with big cash and major endorsements. Probably not a good idea to tell the rich young ruler that he had to ‘give it all away’ before he could follow you.
9-BUILD THE WALL (AND MAKE ROME PAY FOR IT.) Make it hu-u-uge! The Syrians, Samaritans, and Romans are taking over our country! Don’t say that our temple is supposed to be ‘a house of prayer for all nations.’ It’s our temple! Don’t say that people from the East and West are going to sit at Abraham’s table. It’s our table! Quit making Samaritans and tax collectors the heroes of your stories.
10-HANG ON TO YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE! There are lots of questions about where you were born. You say ‘Bethlehem.’ Lots of people say that you’re from Nazareth. Why so many questions… better have proof or ‘the Birthers’ will get you.
GOOD THING JESUS WASN’T RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!