Church Historian: ‘Trump is a Political Exorcist’

By John Zmirak Published on October 7, 2016

The Vatican recently reported a worldwide shortage of exorcists, the priests especially trained to emulate Jesus and the apostles in banishing spirits of evil. Recently, I had the chance to interview an historian who thinks that American political culture needs an exorcist — and might have found one. H. W. Crocker III is a popular historian best known for his book Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, A 2,000-Year History. He is also the vice president and executive editor of Regnery Publishing.

Unlike most historians, Crocker has real world experience in politics. He was a foreign policy advisor on the George H. W. Bush campaign for president in 1988 and a speechwriter for California Governor Pete Wilson during his first term (1991-94) and on his come-from-behind reelection victory over Kathleen Brown (Jerry Brown’s sister) that also saw Republicans winning a majority in the California Assembly and several statewide offices. His latest book is The Yanks Are Coming! A Military History of the United States in World War I.  Here are some snippets from our conversation.

Has there ever been another presidential election like this?

Well, the obvious comparison is with 1912, except that in this case the Bull Moose candidate, Trump, got the Republican nomination. The establishment Republicans (or the Bush/Kasich wing) are on the outside looking in.

How important is this year’s presidential election?

If Trump loses, I might move to Iceland.

You’re supporting Trump?


With no qualms?

None. Trump did what any smart Republican needed to do, which was build a new coalition with blue collar conservatives. Republicans can’t win nationally unless they redraw the electoral map — he does that. He’s the only one who could do that. After Romney’s defeat in 2012, I commissioned Rick Santorum to write a book called Blue Collar Conservatives, which showed what needed to be done. Trump apparently read that book and put it into play.


H. W. Crocker III

What about people who say Trump is too flawed to be president?

I say they are fundamentally unserious about politics — more concerned with manners than political reality. You’re not just electing a man, you’re electing an administration. And the reality is that every day of a Hillary administration will further the grinding under heel of the Constitution, with leftist bureaucrats fundamentally transforming America. Every day, by every conservative — or Christian — measure, things will get worse.

Can a Christian be a liberal in today’s sense of the word?

No. Liberalism is the Devil’s politics, and you can quote me on that. It makes the bad good and the good bad. The first Whig was the Devil, as Dr. Johnson said, and he was right.

And where does Trump fit in that picture?

Trump is a political exorcist, casting out demons from our body politic — and by demons I mean things like political correctness.

Isn’t that putting things a little strongly — to call political correctness demonic?

Political correctness is all about lies — lies like there’s no difference between men and women, or that killing an unborn child is morally neutral. The Devil is the “father of lies,” according to the Bible, and today there’s no shortage of lies that we’re supposed to believe.

And what does Trump do about that?

Let me put it this way: Republicans usually let Democrats, the enforcers of political correctness, set the agenda; they even grant them the moral high ground — and then they play defense or try to moderate Democrat proposals. Trump sets his own agenda — and does it the reverse of the normal Republican way. He plants his flag on the right and then walks it back as necessary, moving the center to the right. That’s an enormous advantage to have — and we haven’t had a president who could do that since Ronald Reagan.

Okay, if Americans do elect Trump. What comes after that?

Something less flamboyant: Eisenhower; Mike Pence — if he holds the Trump coalition together and restores the Nervous Nellie Republicans.

What about Christians — Catholics in particular, who have been leaning to Hillary, as some polls suggest?

Catholic voters need to prove they’re as pro-life as Trump. If they vote for Hillary, they’re not.

I’ve asked whether a Trump defeat could lead to increased persecution of Christians in this country. What do you think?

If Trump loses, that’s inevitable. The rule of law is already in jeopardy. The First Amendment is already in tatters. Hillary Clinton’s judges and bureaucrats would put the Constitution through a paper shredder. Hillary, in my opinion, will be a disaster on foreign policy. She already has been. She will be a disaster on the economy. But the people she really wants to crush are social conservatives; they’re the “deplorables.”

Then I take it that, given what’s at stake in November, you think it’s a time for prayer and fasting.

 You better believe it — at least the prayer part. On the fasting, we’ll have plenty of that in our future if the people elect Hillary.


John Zmirak is a Senior Editor at The Stream and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism (Regnery, 2016).

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  • Christa Belle

    What a wonderful, honest, straight forward and I believe truthful article! A breathe of fresh air! I know I will be voting for the Trump/Pence ticket!

    • marianknight

      Please read my comment above .

  • You’ve got to consider what the alternatives are, and that is what John’s interview just helped us to do.

  • john appleseed

    Trump is closer to being the demon!
    The most ego-maniacal, dangerous, hypocritical, grudge-bearing, left-leaning, gaffe-tastic, profanity-hurling, indecisive, ignorant, tantrum-prone crybaby in GOP primary history.

    Multiple reasons to oppose evil clown Trump:
    He has had multiple bankruptcies, has praised multiple brutal dictators, has multiple ridiculous conspiracy theories, has had multiple adulterous affairs, has multiple positions on each of multiple issues, has multiple left-wing policy ideas, has donated big bucks to multiple leftist politicians, & has encouraged violence multiple times recently.

    And Hillary is a crooked, habitually-lying, radically pro-abortion & pro-perversion leftist with no accomplishments & a disastrous record as Sec. of State.

    I see both candidates as the judgment of God descending on the US. We have rejected him & have embraced every kind of sin. The US is even exporting sin all over the world, from Hollywood’s filth, to Obama linking foreign aid to countries accepting his pro-abortion & pro-perversion demands. Even here in the Philippines, Obama has been pressuring the government in this way.

    • john appleseed

      “But you never-Trump people will give us Hillary for president!”
      Please stop trying to blame the only people in this country who live up to their principles for the acts of those who do not.
      There is evidence that 12 million Democrats crossed over in open primaries & voted for Trump. Put the blame where it belongs: On open primaries, the RNC — who pulled every underhanded trick in the book to nominate the choice of the Dem cross-overs, instead of Cruz, who got the most Republican votes — & of course, the people who voted for Trump.
      We tried to give the GOP a moral, Constitutional conservative, & they rejected Cruz.
      I will not vote for the presumed “lesser evil.” I will obey God, regardless of the consequences.
      President Hillary or President Trump will NEVER be sovereign. Only God is sovereign. And if GOD says “America, for over 40 years you have gone into the womb and hacked defenseless babies to pieces; now I’m rendering YOU defenseless and sending people into YOUR home who want to hack YOU to pieces,” IT WILL HAPPEN, Trump or no Trump, wall or no wall!
      America is under God’s judgment. You need to stop fearing Hillary and start fearing HIM!
      It’s time to REPENT, not to defend the indefensible Trump.

    • marianknight

      Well written John . Please read my comment above .

  • Orwell’s Oracle

    Lenin had a term of endearment for people like Crocker and Zmirak… “Useful Idiots”. Naive collaborators with pure evil. As a politically conservative Catholic who has voted Republican out of necessity for nearly forty years, I must reluctantly admit that Republicans most certainly deserve the pejorative… “The Stupid Party”. Politically speaking, that is.

    Pogo was most certainly right… “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

    • Lorenz

      For John Appleseed, I would have preferred Cruz as well. Orwell’s Oracle, would you like to explain your claim that a Trump/Pence presidency would be pure evil? How would they persecute and try to exterminate the Christian faith and how a Clinton/Kain presidency would not? Are you saying that the damage would be the same? Trump claims to be pro-life and some dispute that. Pence claims to be pro life and I have no doubt that he is. Both Clinton and Kaine claim to be pro abortion, same sex marriage, pro transgender and I cannot guess what other immoral policies they would also try to implement. As Crocker says, Trump is standing his ground with the establishment and 4th estate (mainstream media) attacks and this is the first time any candidate has shaken things up so much and if he loses it may be the last. I agree that he may not be an ideal conservative but this can be the opportunity to stop the damage and maybe even repair it in the future with leaders like Pence and Cruz.

      • Orwell’s Oracle

        I guess you missed class the day they discussed the concept of hyperbole? A guy named Jesus of Nazareth used this to great effect in trying to drive home important soteriological points to those whose “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” were shall we say, less than perfect. Not sure if you watch TV or read the news, but any candidate for “leader of the free world” who encouraged his wife (third) to pose nude as a way to promote “his brand”, and brags about how fame allows you to fornicate with married women as well as “grab their” genitalia , who may have engaged in sex with an underage girl and then forced her to have an abortion, and who utters a lie at least every week of the year ….qualifies as evil in my book. Whether he is pure evil, or simply garden variety evil I will leave up to the opinion of each objective Christian. Because only CINO’s (Christian’s in name only) can excuse the mountain of rotten garbage that is Trump’s record and with a straight face that he is the “lesser of two evils”. He is every bit as evil as Clinton (take your pick), and anyone who would vote for either has an eternal reservation in Hotel Hell.

        • Lorenz

          Orwell’s Oracle, you very conveniently see out of only one eye. Bishop Fulton Sheen once said something to the effect that evil does not equate with sin. He said a sinful person who cheats, lies, steals, fornicates is sinful but not evil. An evil person is one who seeks and works to destroy the good. Now Donald Trump has his sins and much of them are public and whether he has repented and is remorseful is between him and the lord. The lord taught us not to say brother let me remove the log from your eye when you have a log in your eye. You must first remove the log from your eye. We are all sinners. In regards to evil, Hillary Clinton is evil. She fully supports the abortion holocaust and will now work to silence those who criticize it. Through her aggressive support of anti-marriage and gender ideology she has destroyed many families and individual lives and seeks to destroy many more and will ruthlessly destroy those who speak against her. She is largely responsible for the chaos in Libya and Syria and while at the same time taking Saudi money for her foundation and selling them arms while they conduct a brutal war against Yemen. Admiring the terrorism and multiple rapes going on in Europe, she wants to vastly increase the amount of Islamic migrants to America which will quickly become a public safety issue for the American people. You cannot two presidential teams and those who seek to help and evil candidate to office by attacking a sinful candidate are participating in not sin but evil.

          • Orwell’s Oracle

            “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king” (Erasmus)
            Seeing with one eye is better than having both eyes closed. You miss the point, which often happens when anger and rage replace reason. Here… let me try to make it clear and simple, as you appear to suffer from either Clinton derangement syndrome, or Trump cult worship. Clinton and Trump are both cancerous tumors on the body politic. Debating whether lung cancer or rectal cancer is the lesser of two evils is rather beside the point. They both are going to kill you. You sound like a Pharisee attempting to justify Herod over Caesar. Sad… so very sad.

          • Lorenz

            You are not in the land of the blind so your limited vision and intelligence is a handicap. The author of the article put forward well backed up reasons on the dangers of a Clinton candidacy. You have not intelligently rebuked any of his arguments but only respond with vitriol and name calling. The author of this article has methodically explained the dangers of a Clinton presidency in this and other articles and others have commented well on them. So don’t vote. People like Mr. “Benedict Option” Rod Dreher may certainly agree with you but his theory that you can just tune out and live your life without being persecuted erroneous and wrong.

          • Orwell’s Oracle

            So you borrow your intellect and reason from blog writers? Not able to conduct research yourself and come to your own conclusions? I could write pages on how Trump is unqualified to be either the Republican nominee, or more importantly, the president. But kool-aid drinkers like thee, would simply roll out another tired talking point about Clinton. But your double standard is so obvious, that one must wonder what moral standard you use for reference.

            And only the willfully blind can fail to find chapter and verse of well documented (“well backed up reasons” as you would say) reportage regarding Trump’s serial dishonesty, adultery, misogyny, personality disorder and outright ignorance of history, law, the constitution, our founding, philosophy….need I go on? An utter, shameful and shameless fool. Clinton has her own set of disqualifications, serial dishonesty being one she shares with your raving 70 year old adolescent. Zmirak has been belonged to the Trump magical thinking crowd for many months…a Faustian bargain that was certain to singe his soul like every other sad apologist that we see demeaning themselves on TV every other day in support of The Orange One (Carson, Giuliani, Christie, Hannity, Ingraham, etc. – note four of five are “Catholics”). Just remember, Lorenz. When Clinton is sworn in next January 20, and the senate (and Judiciary Committee) is in Demoncrat hands, you and the other millions of gullible kool-aid drinkers are going to own the results. You and Trump. Shame!

        • Ana

          You seem to forget that Jesus forgave sinners, even those who murdered him. Some of the most prominent people in the bible were sinners. Some even murdered or were accomplice to murder, but were forgiven and later used by God to fulfill his will. Moses, Paul (Saul), and King David spring to mind.

          • Orwell’s Oracle

            You must be a Methodist? United Church of Christ perhaps? Or just our garden variety Cafeteria Catholic? Selectively quoting scripture to justify sinful behavior is so indicative of the current state of pop-theology and psycho-babel, that it hardly deserves a response. But you caught me at a weak moment. I had to suffer through the latest installment of news regarding the Republican candidate for Sexual Predator in Chief…oops…President, so my blood pressure is quite high at the moment.

            But, in the order of your comments….

            1. Let’s stipulate for the record that EVERYONE is a sinner. I think the Bible says that somewhere. So what is your point? Trump is a sinner and you believe he should be forgiven, because…? But Clinton is also a sinner, and she should not be forgiven, because….?

            2. Jesus can, and will determine who is forgiven and who spends eternity in Hell. Not you, and not me. I have no reason to “forgive” Trump as he has done nothing to me personally, and therefore your idea of forgiveness is one of those silly evangelical bumper sticker slogans that the self-indulgent use as a “get of of jail card”. Pop-theology writ large.

            3. And as for your final point…oh wait, you really did not have any point, unless you are one of the severely delusional (Jerry Falwell, Jr. comes to mind), who believe God sent us Trump as a stand in for Christ. Sort of a pre-millennialism teaser?

  • Are you kidding me? By whose authority does Trump cast out these demons. I thought Jesus made it pretty clear that demons don’t cast out their own. This completely ignores that Trump aligns with the Left on the LGBTQ issue. He aligns with the Left on the 2nd amendment. He has yet to prove he’s reformed on abortion. Who knows where he stands on tax Policy? It changes hourly.

    Hillary is not the problem, only a symptom. The Left is the cancer killing us. The only way to cure what ails us is to defeat Leftism. We don’t do this by voting in a Leftist by a different name. You don’t help alcoholics by telling to switch to a different alcoholic beverage. Hillary is Everclear and Trump is moonshine. Neither is the answer and ignoring reality doesn’t make the situation any better just as it doesn’t make men into women.

    • marianknight

      Well written


    All in this coalition! Let’s share 3 Scriptures coordinated as below to account for:
    1. Matthew 10:8, Jesus commanded, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye received, freely give”, (note these 4 direct action verbs)
    2. John 14:12, “I (Jesus) tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me (Jesus) will do what I have been doing, he will do greater things than these, because I (Jesus) am going to my Father.”
    3. Ephesians 3:20, “….According to His power that works in us”.
    Born-again believers have Jesus resurrection power already deposited in us – in our spirit (Ephesians 1:20) Just lay hands on people in the name of Jesus, greater things will be answered. We’re commanded to take direct actions unto needed people (must have equal full faith) instead of begging God to heal, cleanse, raise, or cast out…… Amen!

    • marianknight

      Well written and scripture has been well quoted

  • climate3

    Chyle, I think you meant to say that Trump NEEDS an exorcism.

  • marianknight

    Trump is no exorcist but needs an exorcism .
    Before ascending into heaven , Jesus said , In Mark 16 : 16-18
    The Great Commission
    …16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive outdemons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.”… I have seen the Lord Jesus Christ myself during an evangelist outreach in August 77 . I saw him as I see a person but only 10,000 times more intense , I saw Him for over one hour . Since that time till now I have seen 1000s of healings and deliverances ,and exorcisms in Jesus Holy name and in the power of the Holy Spirit . To be an exorcist and a healer , one must be a person of great , faith , prayer , fasting and obedience to God and His Words and Commands . One must lead and live a life that please God and is a blessing to your family, neighbours , society country and the word. Humility is the bedrock of the Christian life and Jesus Christ showed it where He gave all glory ,praise and honour to God the Father , before and after working great miracles or preaching ,or teaching . He was obedient to God the Father and did His will unto death.
    When one has to be an exorcist one has to be called by God . This is not for the faith hearted as one does serious and very dangerous spiritual warfare with the fallen angels who are very powerful and very intelligent . If one was to use their own power they would surely be badly assaulted , attacked , be badly beaten and loose ! BUT when one is Holy , Obedient to God and His commandments , and not broken the 10 commandments , fasted and prayed and know well the “Rites of Exorcism “ and the Bible passages then one can start the spiritual attack against the devil and the fallen angels, and win . This may take seconds , minutes, hours ,days , weeks or months . Depending on the time , the state of the possessed and what are the reasons .
    Again there are two important laws that one must follow “ You must love the Lord your God with your whole , heart , mind ,soul and strength ! “ and then Jesus adds your neighbour as yourself “ Jesus said if you can keep these commandments you will keep all . That is all the 623 Deutronical laws given by God to Moses .
    When you see the past , present life of Donald Trump where do you see any love for God or for neighbour ? or any belief or Holiness ? or service to the poor and the needy ? His life is nothing about doing the will of God as a Christian does . His whole life has been aimed at getting rich and making money and using this money to buy what ever he can . He has had three wives and has admitted to being unfaithful to them and committing adultery . He has abused and ridiculed women .He has been very prejudiced against black, Hispanics and others . Her has cheated the contractors who did his projects and did not pay them . He has not paid his taxes for 20 years after having 3 large bankruptcies . In 1995 he showed a loss of 916 Million U$ . He has not generated wealth by producing goods and services as most US Billionaires do .He has given nothing to charity , but has in fact used the rules and the laws to his advantage and not that of the “ Common good “ of the US Citizens . He has been prayed for and prayed with but it has been like pouring water on a ducks back . Can this man be an exorcist ? Definitely NOT . He has the pride and the arrogance of the devil himself . His first love is money and his god is the demon Mammon .He care nothing about the poor and needy the sick and the dying .Those whom Jesus said are His and Him . His great love is for pretty and gorgeous women to touch , kiss group without their permission and to believe that as a ‘ celebrity “ he can get away with these attacks on the fairer sex .
    I am a preacher to the Non Christians , a healer , deliverer and an exorcist . I believe and state that Donald Trump is not an exorcist , have never been one and may never be one . In fact I wish to state that with is great pride an arrogance he has hurt , and cause great and grievous harm to many people . I believe that he needs , healing , deliverance and an Exorcism ! from evil and the Devil himself . He is a liar , thief , who has not paid his contractors and employees and to sum it all up as Michael Bloomberg s, the self made Multi Billionaire said about Trump “ I know a CON when I see and hear one “

    • Robert Malit

      who are you to judge? Only God can judge.

  • DoctorDJ

    “You’re supporting Trump?
    With no qualms?

    Then you are as big a fool and bigot as he is.

    “Liberalism is the Devil’s politics,…”

    Congratulations. This is the stupidest thing I’ve read all day.

  • Davy Buck

    Harry is a jewel!

  • Thomas J. Ryan

    I was wondering what happened to HW Crocker. He became scarce after the Iraq War when he found himself in opposition to most traddies.

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