Can Donald Trump Take Up the Mantle of Jerry Falwell?


Since announcing his bid for president, Donald Trump has been the victim of many strained comparisons. The conservative columnist Ann Coulter argued that he’s “like Reagan,” the writer Thor Benson likened him to Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, Ohio Governor John Kasich implicitly compared him to Adolph Hitler in a television advertisement, and author J.K. Rowling even weighed Trump against her Harry Potter villain, Voldemort. But perhaps the most surprising comparison came from Liberty University president, Jerry Falwell Jr., on Fox News Channel last week: “I think Trump reminds me so much of my father.” The senior Falwell was a fiery televangelist, founder of Liberty, and a prominent leader on the religious right, who registered millions of evangelicals to vote before his death in 2007. Trump is best known for a reality TV show and luxury real-estate developments.