Clifton Jolley: Being the Chosen One doesn’t guarantee you’ll do the right thing

(Evan Vucci | AP file photo) In this March 24, 2017 photo, President Donald Trump, flanked by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, is seen in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, during the announcing of the approval of a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

“I am the Chosen One.”

— Donald Trump

Just hours before U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson reminded us that “Presidents are not kings,” outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry beat her to the punch on Fox News by declaring that although our president may not be a king, he probably is a messiah.

Perry said he told Trump: “Mr. President, I know there are people that say you said you were the chosen one, and I said, You were.”

A religiously illiterate younger generation may be forgiven if they confused the unambiguous messianic declarations of Perry with “the chosen one” of the Star Wars saga: Anakin Skywalker.

Although our children may have misunderstood Perry’s and Trump’s reference, they have stumbled on the truth. Anakin Skywalker — father of Luke Skywalker — was chosen to deliver his world from the Sith (Republicans), but he fell into the Dark Side (Republicans) to be reimagined as Darth Vader (Trump) the Son of the Morning who descended as Lucifer.

OK, the allusion isn’t perfect. Because Trump has never exhibited the promise of Skywalker, nor been so profound and powerful as Vader. But you get the point: Being the Chosen One doesn’t guarantee who you are or what you are supposed to do.

Which is why there have been so many of them.

Among those claimed to be “the chosen one” (for a variety of missions both sacred and profane) have been Adam (in the Qur’an named Adam-I-Safi), LeBron James (look it up), wrestlers Jeff Jarrett and Drew McIntyre (one of the best ways to become “the one” is to be popular among Trump evangelicals or wrestling fans … which sometimes is one-in-the-same), Muhammed (most religions think their guy is chosen), Jesus (of course), and so on.

What evidence do any of these congregations have to anoint their guy?

Well, Vader looks great in that black getup, and he can do those cool mind-meld tricks to kill people.

Trump? He doesn’t have any cool clothes, he looks anything but chosen in a golf shirt, and he doesn’t have enough of a mind to meld anything. But, as Alan Dershowitz recently warned on Fox News, Trump as president is “more powerful than a king.” Nevertheless, Trump evangelicals claim he has the divine right of kings. Which Trump also seems to believe … especially when it comes to “first night right,” which was a king’s divine right to sleep with a bride before the groom got to … which Trump has taken one better to sleeping with any woman willing to bear the indignity.

So, maybe being “the one” or “a one” is less important than believing you are. And getting Rick Perry to believe you are. Even though Perry betrays an ignorance of God’s commandments as profound as his ignorance of the agency he headed (the name of which he sometimes couldn’t remember).

King David and Saul and Solomon, Perry ignorantly points out, were not perfect. And Trump is not perfect. Perfect!

But none of those other guys were president. And all of them were kings.


Rick Perry appears to believe all American presidents were ordained of God. Which is evidence he knows no more about presidents than he does about God.

“Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” — John 18:37, KJV

If being “the one” is as described by Jesus, then Trump is even less a president than he is a king. And as Judge Ketanji Brown concluded, he ain’t no king at all.

Clifton Jolley

Clifton Jolley, Ph.D., is president of Advent Communications, Ogden.