From the very beginning of the 2016 primary election it became apparent that the roster of Republican candidates were in varying degrees strongly opposed to the Separation of Church and State guaranteed by the United States' Constitution. Then surprisingly an unlikely candidate with no religious right credentials shot to the forefront and never looked back. Now the Republican nominee for the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump is viewed with widespread fear and loathing in the body politic; yet there are credible warnings that he could still win the election in spite of currently sinking in the polls, because his opponent is herself regarded as a a flawed candidate. There is ample justification to fear the improbable event of a Trump presidency. It is reasonable to assume that in one fell swoop Christians who are unwilling to conform to the dictates of an ascendant religio-political power would find that conditions conducive to fulfillment of Rev. 13:15-17 confront them:

What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man

The year was 1977, and Mr. Cohn’s reputation was well established. He had been Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Red-baiting consigliere. He had helped send the Rosenbergs to the electric chair for spying and elect Richard M. Nixon president.

Then New York’s most feared lawyer, Mr. Cohn had a client list that ran the gamut from the disreputable to the quasi-reputable: Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno, Claus von Bulow, George Steinbrenner.

But there was one client who occupied a special place in Roy Cohn’s famously cold heart: Donald J. Trump.

For Mr. Cohn, who died of AIDS in 1986, weeks after being disbarred for flagrant ethical violations, Mr. Trump was something of a final project. If Fred Trump got his son’s career started, bringing him into the family business of middle-class rentals in Brooklyn and Queens, Mr. Cohn ushered him across the river and into Manhattan, introducing him to the social and political elite while ferociously defending him against a growing list of enemies.

Decades later, Mr. Cohn’s influence on Mr. Trump is unmistakable. Mr. Trump’s wrecking ball of a presidential bid — the gleeful smearing of his opponents, the embracing of bluster as brand — has been a Roy Cohn number on a grand scale. Mr. Trump’s response to the Orlando massacre, with his ominous warnings of a terrorist attack that could wipe out the country and his conspiratorial suggestions of a Muslim fifth column in the United States, seemed to have been ripped straight out of the Cohn playbook." . . .

‘He Brutalized For You’

The reporter from the Washington Post didn’t ask Donald Trump about nuclear weapons, but he wanted to talk about them anyway. “Some people have an ability to negotiate,” Trump said, of facing the Soviet Union. “You either have it or you don’t.”

He wasn’t daunted by the complexity of the topic: “It would take an hour and a half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles,” he said.

It was the fall of 1984, Trump Tower was new, and this was unusual territory for the 38-year-old real estate developer. He was three years away from his first semi-serious dalliance with presidential politics, more than 30 years before the beginning of his current campaign—but he had gotten the idea to bring this up, he said, from his attorney, his good friend and his closest adviser, Roy Cohn.

That Roy Cohn.

Roy Cohn, the lurking legal hit man for red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose reign of televised intimidation in the 1950s has become synonymous with demagoguery, fear-mongering and character assassination. In the formative years of Donald Trump’s career, when he went from a rich kid working for his real estate-developing father to a top-line dealmaker in his own right, Cohn was one of the most powerful influences and helpful contacts in Trump’s life.

Over a 13-year-period, ending shortly before Cohn’s death in 1986, Cohn brought his say-anything, win-at-all-costs style to all of Trump’s most notable legal and business deals. Interviews with people who knew both men at the time say the relationship ran deeper than that—that Cohn’s philosophy shaped the real estate mogul’s worldview and the belligerent public persona visible in Trump’s presidential campaign.

“Something Cohn had, Donald liked,” Susan Bell, Cohn’s longtime secretary, said this week when I asked her about the relationship between her old boss and Trump.

Trump’s Mobbed Up, McCarthyite Mentor Roy

Donald Trump’s brash and bullying style was learned at the heel of Roy Cohn, one of America’s most infamous lawyers.

They met at Le Club, a private disco on the Upper East Side frequented by Jackie Kennedy, Al Pacino, and Diana Ross, according to Trump: The Saga of America’s Most Powerful Real Estate Baron. Donald Trump, the young developer, quickly amassing a fortune in New York real estate and Roy Cohn, America’s most loathed yet socially successful defense attorney who had vaulted to infamy in the 1950s while serving as legal counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The friendship they forged would provide the foundation for Trump’s eventual presidential campaign. And in hindsight, it serves as a tool for understanding Donald Trump the Candidate, whose bumper sticker-averse declarations—undocumented Mexican immigrants are “criminals” and “rapists”; Senator John McCain is “not a war hero”—have both led him to the top of the Republican primary polls and mistakenly convinced many that he is a puzzle unworthy of solving. It may appear that way, but Trump isn’t just spouting off insults like a malfunctioning sprinkler system—he’s mimicking what he learned some 40 years ago.

A longtime friend of Trump’s who was introduced to the candidate by Cohn told me it’s a shame that Cohn’s not alive to see the chaos his protégé has wrought.

“He would have just loved what’s going on right now,” the friend said. “Roy liked upsetting the establishment.” . . .

He moved to Washington, where his first assignment was to prepare the indictment of Owen Lattimore, an expert on China and professor at Johns Hopkins University who had been accused of being “the top Russian espionage agent in the United States” by Senator Joe McCarthy.

The charges were ultimately dismissed, but Cohn’s aggressive performance left a lasting impact on McCarthy, who named him chief counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (Robert F. Kennedy was assistant counsel.) . . .

When McCarthy was finally censured, in 1954, Cohn was thought to be finished, too.

He moved back to New York City and joined the law firm Saxe, Bacon & Bolan. But instead of fading into obscurity, Cohn became a socialite with a roster of high-powered, famous, pious, and allegedly murderous clients.

He represented Andy Warhol, Studio 54, Roman Catholic Cardinals Francis Spellman and Terence Cooke, and mafia leaders Carmine “Cigar” Galante and Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno.

Cohn’s tactics were thought to be so unethical and dishonest by the legal establishment (he was eventually disbarred) that Esquire dubbed him “a legal executioner.” . . .

When Cohn first got ahold of him, according to his friend, “Donald was a bit of a political neophyte.”

It was Cohn who helped transform him. “His early political training came from Roy,” the friend told me.

Cohn, a registered Democrat, was a Reaganphile. On the grand piano in his law office rested a framed photo of the former president and a letter of thanks he sent to Cohn. He and his law partner, Thomas Bolan, who could not be reached for comment, fundraised tirelessly for his 1980 campaign.

According to Trump’s friend, Cohn acted to “recruit Donald and Donald’s father for Reagan’s finance committee.” In an 1983 Times report, Trump was characterized as a Reagan supporter and was said to have visited the White House “several times.” There’s a picture of the two together, shaking hands. Trump, his hair darker and fuller, in a pinstripe suit and shiny, light pink tie; and Reagan, looking duller by comparison.

Today, Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again!” Which was Reagan’s slogan in 1980. Trump has claimed he invented the slogan and trademarked it in order to prevent other candidates from using it in speeches. “I mean, I get tremendous raves for that line,” Trump told The Daily Mail. “You would think they would come up with their own. That is my whole theme.”

There is insufficient evidence on which to arrive at an informed opinion; but reasonable questions might be raised by some of the associations mentioned in this last report. There is an intriguing Roman Catholic connection, including the administration of Ronald Reagan. During his presidency there were no overt signs of authoritarianism in the Republican Party; but as Roman Catholic influence has increased over the years this has changed, with deliberate legislation designed to perpetuate Republican governance. Roman Catholicism is a hierarchical and authoritarian ideology that encourages activism, which has bred the right-wing extremism exhibited by the Republican Party. Historically there are glaring instances where Roman Catholicism has either created fascist governance or at least made accommodation with it. It should be noted that Pope Francis is pulling the hierarchy in the opposite direction from right-wing extremism; but this will not change the inherent authoritarian nature of the religion.

What you observe of Donald Trump reeks of fascism and racism. There are reports about his family background and his reading habits which make the connection and increase the menacing aura exuded by the man:

Donald Trump’s KKK connections go back to dad Fred’s arrest at Klan riot in 1927

Racism reportedly runs in the family, when it comes to the Trump Klan.

Trump’s late father, Fred Trump, was arrested following a Ku Klux Klan riot in Queens in 1927, according to a bombshell report that further suggests unusual ties between the 2016 front-runner and the notorious white supremacist group.

Fred Trump Sr. was among seven men arrested following a May 30, 1927 brawl between members of the KKK and the New York Police Department, according to The Washington Post, which unearthed news articles from the June 1, 1927 edition of The New York Times. . .

When asked to comment Sunday on the latest details surrounding the incident, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign sent a link to a story from September 2015 story in which the Republican mogul ardently rejected the report. . .

“He was never arrested. He has nothing to do with this. This never happened. This is nonsense and it never happened," Trump said about his father in the September 2015 article. "This never happened. Never took place. He was never arrested, never convicted, never even charged. It's a completely false, ridiculous story. He was never there! It never happened. Never took place."

The resurfacing of the report comes at an inopportune time for the bombastic billionaire, who last week received the endorsement of former KKK leader David Duke.

On Sunday Trump repeatedly refused to distance himself from Duke and the KKK and initially declined to disavow the support.

Amid mounting pressure to reject the comments, however, he eventually took to twitter to condemn the support.

Donald Trump's ex-wife once said Trump kept a book of Hitler's speeches by his bed

According to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump once told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that her husband, real-estate mogul Donald Trump, now a leading Republican presidential candidate, kept a book of Hitler's speeches near his bed.

"Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler's collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed ... Hitler's speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist," Marie Brenner wrote. . .

When Brenner asked Trump about how he came to possess Hitler's speeches, "Trump hesitated" and then said, "Who told you that?"

"I don't remember," Brenner reportedly replied.

Trump then recalled, "Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of 'Mein Kampf,' and he's a Jew."

Brenner added that Davis did acknowledge that he gave Trump a book about Hitler.

"But it was 'My New Order,' Hitler's speeches, not 'Mein Kampf,'" Davis reportedly said. "I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I'm not Jewish."

After Trump and Brenner changed topics, Trump returned to the subject and reportedly said, "If, I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them."

In the Vanity Fair article, Ivana Trump told a friend that her husband's cousin, John Walter "clicks his heels and says, 'Heil Hitler," when visiting Trump's office.

All of the reports above sound a clear warning about Donald Trump's unfitness for the presidency of the United States of America by his character and life experience! He has demonstrated this by frighteningly reckless speech since he has burst upon the world stage in his presidential bid. A sampling is quoted below from:

10 Reckless Donald Trump Statements on Terrorism and National Security

#3: Kill Terrorist Families

Statement: “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

Response: Donald Trump supports killing innocent people and committing war crimes. Killing the family members of ISIS would result in the deaths of innocent women and children. Donald Trump has no regard for our basic principles or humanitarian law.

There is a targeted and smart way to hit ISIS, which is what the Obama Administration is doing. Donald Trump doesn’t understand the difference between a reckless strategy, and a smart one.

Donald Trump’s plan to kill innocent people will not defeat ISIS. Killing innocent families runs counter to international law, our principles, and would enrage the world against the U.S. Resorting to such barbaric attacks would bring the U.S. down to the terrorists’ level, hurting our reputation and leadership role in the world.

Precision bombing and intelligence will effectively identify and eliminate the threat without incurring too many civilian casualties. The overkill Trump suggests is an insult to our military and intelligence professionals.

#4: Torture

Statement: “Torture works. Ok, folks?” You know, I have these guys – ‘Torture doesn’t work!’ – believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.

Response: U.S. national security experts, military officials, and the intelligence community agree that torture does not work. People who have been tortured have given false information to make the torture stop. We don’t find out that information is bad until after we’ve spent millions of dollars and lost lives chasing false leads. It doesn’t work and it goes against our values, which is why the U.S. does not and should not use torture.

Torture often produces false information. We get much more reliable information from standard interrogations conducted by our experienced career interrogators. Every time we see an American give a forced confession in North Korea or at the hands of ISIS before a beheading, we get absolute proof that torture doesn’t work.

Torture fundamentally contradicts the Constitution and our values. It harms our global reputation, which is a key component of American strength. By using torture, the U.S. throws its lot in with Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

Waterboarding inflicts “severe mental pain or suffering,”13 which distorts memories and is unnecessarily cruel. In response to the rhetoric from Trump on torture, the current CIA director, John Brennan, has said he wouldn’t allow CIA officers to waterboard terrorists. Donald Trump’s thoughtless approach to national security and support for torture would hurt U.S. interests.

Trump made these statements during his rise to become the nominee for President of the Republican Party. His present slide in the polls is not directly related. Even if it becomes increasingly unlikely that he wins the election, it is astonishing that majorities of the Republican electorate in the State primaries were untroubled by them. This is a clear sign of what can and will happen in the not too distant future. Economic conditions are unlikely to be greatly improved. Financial hardship and the fear of jihadist terrorism could provoke an extremist backlash in the body politic. If there is a dramatic change in Trump's prospects by election day and he wins the presidency, he seems to promise an administration wholly in tune with the end-time despotism prophesied for the United States.

The Donald Trump candidacy has opened up a huge fissure in a Republican Party already divided by a struggle between the Establishment and Religious Right extremists, which can be laid directly at the feet of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The division also reflects a contest within the Roman Catholic Church that has existed ever since Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum, albeit by intellectual argumentation rather than virulent controversy as is now raging within the Republican Party (Cf. Learning From Catholicism’s Loyal Trouble-Makers.)

The right-wing Roman Catholic ideologues who have reigned supreme in the United States for decades are hoisted on their own petard:

An Appeal to Our Fellow Catholics

In recent decades, the Republican party has been a vehicle — imperfect, like all human institutions, but serviceable — for promoting causes at the center of Catholic social concern in the United States: (1) providing legal protection for unborn children, the physically disabled and cognitively handicapped, the frail elderly, and other victims of what Saint John Paul II branded “the culture of death”; (2) defending religious freedom in the face of unprecedented assaults by officials at every level of government who have made themselves the enemies of conscience; (3) rebuilding our marriage culture, based on a sound understanding of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and (4) re-establishing constitutional and limited government, according to the core Catholic social-ethical principle of subsidiarity. There have been frustrations along the way, to be sure; no political party perfectly embodies Catholic social doctrine. But there have also been successes, and at the beginning of the current presidential electoral cycle, it seemed possible that further progress in defending and advancing these noble causes was possible through the instrument of the Republican party.

That possibility is now in grave danger. And so are those causes. . ."

The signatories are revealing, the two most prominent being Robert P. George and George Weigel. Before Donald Trump burst on the US presidential election scene, the Republican Party under the domination of the Church of Rome's Religious Right surrogates was clearly on course to establishing the end of time theocracy prophesied in Rev. 13:14-17:

Republican candidates appeal to religious conservatives

From opposition to abortion and gay marriage, to support for Israel and the fight against the Islamic State, Carson and other Republican candidates -- Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee -- drew repeated ovations at the event co-sponsored by the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

"I believe 2016 is going to be a religious liberty election," said Cruz, a Texas senator who had many backers at the mega-church; Fiorina, a businesswoman, told the crowd that "people of faith make better leaders."

Bush, the son and brother of previous presidents, talked about a "faith journey" that has included a conversion to Catholicism, "a partnership with Jesus Christ" and a commitment to a "culture of life."

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who rode religious support to a narrow win in the 2012 Iowa caucuses, touted his long-time support from evangelical groups, while former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher Huckabee denounced abortion as "uncivilized savagery for which we must repent."

Each of the Republican candidates is seeking to appeal to a constituency that has major influence in early delegate contest states such as Iowa, South Carolina and Texas.

The idea is to "connect candidates and their messages with people of faith who are potential voters," said Timothy Head, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. "The conservative Christian vote still remains the largest political constituency in all of American politics."

Among the issues that surfaced during the forum: Abortion, the role of faith in political life, attempts to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood and religious liberty in the wake of the Supreme Court sanctioning gay marriage.

2016 race: Why a Tea Party president is a real possibility

When the Tea Party began in 2009, even those of us at the heart of the movement couldn’t have predicted how it would permanently alter America’s political landscape. Just six years later, it’s undeniably at the heart of American politics in spite of countless attacks from the political establishment and from the national media. Because of the Tea Party’s strength and influence, candidates who call themselves conservative must prove their bona fides to successfully court any grassroots support at all. . .

America’s political landscape has been forever changed, and it’s a testament to the health and vibrancy of our democracy. The Washington establishment can bristle, smirk and even curse all they want, but a Tea Party president is now a very real possibility.

'So much for what might have been! Nevertheless, the statement that "America’s political landscape has been forever changed" is an undeniable fact. Moreover, the Democrats are not willing to cede religion in politics to the Republicans. President Obama has been greatly influenced by Roman Catholic activism, and has a Roman Catholic vice-president. He has contributed to the erosion of the wall of separation between Church and State by the faith-based initiatives of his Administration. Hillary Clinton is likely to outdo Obama:

Religion and the 2016 Presidential Election: How Important is Faith to Candidates?

The separation of church and state is expressed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, yet most Americans believe the two must intertwine when it comes to the presidency. Candidates answer questions about their faith both on the campaign trail and during presidential debates. They pander to specific religious denominations, depending on which part of the country they're visiting.

Come Election Day, faith may decide who unseats President Obama. . .

Clinton, a self-described Methodist, told a New Hampshire crowd last Wednesday that she keeps a group of faith advisors closer by and fights to separate political ambitions from personal values.

"I get a scripture lesson every morning from a minister that I have a really close personal relationship with," Clinton said. "And, you know, it just gets me grounded. He gets up really early to send it to me. So, you know, there it is in my in box at 5:00 a.m."

"I have friends who are rabbis who send me notes, give me readings that are going to be discussed in services. So I really appreciate all that incoming."

Hillary Clinton has chosen Jesuit-trained Roman Catholic Tim Kaine, said to resemble Pope Francis, as her running mate. The nation cannot escape from Roman Catholic, and Jesuit, influence. If Clinton wins the presidency it remains to be seen whether or not the progression of the nation towards theocracy will be much slower than under a dark, authoritarian Donald Trump administration. In any event the handwriting can clearly be seen on the wall.