David Griffey at his blog Daffey Thoughts, notes the similarity between Mark Shea and Donald Trump:
By that, I don’t mean Mark supports or likes Donald Trump. Quite the contrary. Mark routinely takes on Trump and Trump’s supporters the way Mark does most things: in the same manner as Donald Trump. In fact, that’s my point. If you want to be brutally honest, you’ll admit that Mark Shea is simply a Catholic Internet version of Donald Trump. If you visit Facebook or similar Social Media sites, you’ll see that Mark is far from the glaring exception. Go onto most Internet sites, including major media outlets, read the comments and you’ll see Donald Trump all over. And in some cases, such as Daily Kos or Salon.com or even such esteemed sites as the Huffington Post, you might find published editorials that aren’t much different.
I hate to say it, but my boys are correct. Donald Trump is the candidate that the Facebook generation deserves. And it isn’t because of a few radical exceptions to the rule. It is the rule. We are the generation that liberal society has been striving for over the decades. From the 50s through the 60s and 70s and beyond, Trump is what we’ve been aiming at.
Just look at Mark Shea as an obvious example. Mark is familiar to most Catholics on the Internet and is highly regarded by many. And yet, not only does he resemble Trump in his approach to topics and interaction on his various sites, he does so as a representative of the Catholic Church. At least Trump just represents politics. And yet Mark is quite the hero for many Catholics. For many non-Catholics, too. Including those who are quick to attack and bemoan the Trump phenomenon.
How can I be so heartless and judgmental to compare Mark to Trump? Or compare others on Social Media to Trump? Easy. I read. I listen to Trump and what people criticize him for, and then visit various Facebook pages, including Mark’s, and I see no difference. Trump, beyond the policies he advocates – when we can figure them out – is brash, crude, rude, vulgar, sinful, mean spirited, ill-informed and simply a lousy person because of how he interacts with others and treats others who dare disagree with him.
So how is that different than Mark, or even Mark’s own followers? Or the followers on any one of a million sites? For instance, Mark’s own lack of substance and knowledge of topics he comments on outside of Catholicism is legendary. Even those who support him and agree with him have hung their heads over his approach to such topics as the Death Penalty or Gun Control. The same is a common complaint about Trump. Mark thinks nothing of using the same language Trump is condemned for using. Mark attacks through name calling and condescension and scorn any who dare disagree, unless Mark happens to be friends with the violators. Mark isn’t even above making false and slanderous accusations against people, even to the point of libel.
But Trump says horrible things! He mocks people for things they can’t help. He made fun of Carly Fiorina’s looks. He talks about killing people. He talks about destroying other countries. So does Mark. One of his Facebook followers recently said that things would be better off if America was burned to ashes. Mark only disagreed because he said Americans, being the murderous barbarians that we are, would take millions of innocent lives with us. Mark justified his view of America by reminding us of the millions of Indians and Slaves who fell to our murderous, barbaric ancestors. Imagine if Trump or a Trump supporter produced the same dialogue about another country, like Mexico or China. Imagine the outrage and anger.
And Mark not only uses death and suffering to advance his opinions, he even has begun to mock people murdered by guns – if those same people were hard right wing activists. That might seem understandable to some. But remember, Mark and many others were shocked at how many celebrated the death of Osama bin Ladin or Hugo Chavez, saying that the only appropriate Christian response was to pray for their souls. Yet many of those same Catholics are rightly shocked when Trump appears so callous and cruel to other people in the world. Notice a trend? What about making fun of others like Trump does? Last election cycle Mark was forced by his own readers to remove a post he had submitted that made fun of Michelle Bachmann’s eyes and facial features. Sound familiar?
If you want to be objective, there is little difference between how Mark Shea approaches the modern debate and the way Trump does. Unless you blindly follow and agree with Mark, you see some glaring problems in his approach and his stances that are not unlike Trump’s. Ah, but that’s the rub. How can people honestly follow Trump despite his views and behavior? I give you Mark Shea. More than one Catholic on the Internet has railed against Donald Trump for multiple reasons, while at the same time endorsing and loving Mark Shea and similar individuals who approach.