Trump may cure this “nation’s excessive fixation with the presidency”

I welcome the perspective of George Will, a Never Trump conservative like myself, who has found “a few vagrant reasons for cheerfulness,” as he writes about in his trenchant Washington Post op-ed, “Trump is something the nation did not know it needed“:

“To see what is in front of one’s nose,” George Orwell wrote, “needs a constant struggle.” An unnoticed reason for cheerfulness is that in one, if only one, particular, Trump is something the nation did not know it needed: a feeble president whose manner can cure the nation’s excessive fixation with the presidency.

Executive power expanded, with only occasional pauses (thank you, Presidents Taft and Coolidge, of blessed memory), throughout the 20th century and has surged in the 21st. After 2001, “The Decider” decided to start a preventive war and to countenance torture prohibited by treaty and statute. His successor had “a pen and a phone,” an indifference to the Constitution’s take care clause (the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed”) and disdain for the separation of powers, for which he was repeatedly rebuked by the Supreme Court.

Fortunately, today’s president is so innocent of information that Congress cannot continue deferring to executive policymaking. And because this president has neither a history of party identification nor an understanding of reciprocal loyalty, congressional Republicans are reacquiring a constitutional — a Madisonian — ethic. It mandates a prickly defense of institutional interests, placing those interests above devotion to parties that allow themselves to be defined episodically by their presidents.

Furthermore, today’s president is doing invaluable damage to Americans’ infantilizing assumption that the presidency magically envelops its occupant with a nimbus of seriousness. After the president went to West Virginia to harangue some (probably mystified) Boy Scouts about his magnificence and persecutions, he confessed to Ohioans that Lincoln, but only Lincoln, was more “presidential” than he. So much for the austere and reticent first president who, when the office was soft wax, tried to fashion a style of dignity compatible with republican simplicity.

Fastidious people who worry that the president’s West Virginia and Ohio performances — the alpha male as crybaby — diminished the presidency are missing the point, which is: For now, worse is better. Diminution drains this office of the sacerdotal pomposities that have encrusted it. There will be 42 more months of this president’s increasingly hilarious-beyond-satire apotheosis of himself, leavened by his incessant whining about his tribulations (“What dunce saddled me with this silly attorney general who takes my policy expostulations seriously?”). This protracted learning experience, which the public chose to have and which should not be truncated, might whet the public’s appetite for an adult president confident enough to wince at, and disdain, the adoration of his most comically groveling hirelings.

Related

On postmodern conservatism

In The Federalist obituary to Peter Augustine Lawler, a scholar of political philosophy and American politics, Yuval Levin summarized the thread that ran through all of his arguments:

Modern life, he suggested, is characterized by an effort to invent a highly individualistic form of the human person. This kind of person should be capable of unprecedented freedom, and therefore perhaps unprecedented happiness too. But it isn’t really possible for actual human beings to be so thoroughly individualistic. So actual human beings can never really be quite happy while playing the role that modern free societies assign them. That means they will be restless, and eager for a different role. That restlessness is a source of endless anxiety, but also of hope—because it sends us searching for a way of life better suited to who we really are. It means modernity will always be producing its own critics and always live in a kind of creative tension with itself.

Lawler described himself as “postmodern conservative.” Levin explains this curious appellation: “What people usually call postmodern is actually hyper-modern, in that it extends the modern project of deconstructing nature through reason to its absurd conclusion of deconstructing reason itself. Conservatives, by recognizing the limits of the entire project from the outset, can see more clearly where it was right and where it was wrong.” In an essay that Levin highly recommends, Lawler writes:

Conservatives can be (perhaps the only) genuinely postmodern thinkers. The reason we can see beyond the modern world is that its intention to transform human nature has failed. Its project of transforming the human person into the autonomous individual was and remains unrealistic; we can now see the limits of being an individual because we remain more than individuals. The world created by modern individuals to make themselves fully at home turns out to have made human beings less at home than ever.

Levin continues: “The solution to this problem is not to abandon modern life and its fruits (as some conservatives might want to do) but to recognize its limits and address their consequences by finding ways, within modern societies, to treat people as more fully relational beings.” In National Review, Lawler argued:

So to be postmodern and conservative is to take our stand somewhere between the traditionalists and the libertarians. The traditionalists focus is on who each of us is as a relational being with duties and loyalties to particular persons and places. The libertarians — or, to be more clear, the individualists — focus on who each of us is as an irreducibly free person with inalienable rights, a person who can’t be reduced to a part of some whole greater than himself or herself. A postmodern conservative is about showing how a free person with rights is also a relational person with duties. The truth is that each of us is a unique and irreplaceable free and relational person.

Resources

Living in the time of Trump

Marco Grob.jpg

Photograph by Marco Grob

Since the 2016 presidential election, nothing has provoked more needful thought than the following essays on living in the time of Trump.

ABC: Religion & Ethics (March 31, 2017)
A Sanctuary Politics: Being the Church in the Time of Trump (PDF)
by Stanley Hauerwas and Jonathan Tran

Christians in America can no longer differentiate between America and God – something scripture calls idolatry, which is precisely what President Trump wants of Americans.

National Affairs (Spring 2017)
When Character No Longer Counts (PDF)
by Alan Jacobs

One of the most surprising developments of the 2016 election was the wholesale abandonment by many conservative Christians of a position they once held almost unanimously: In politics, character counts. But if character no longer counts, what criteria should matter to Christian voters assessing potential leaders?

National Affairs (Spring 2017)
A New Awakening (PDF)
by George Weigel

Since election day, Americans of all political persuasions have been asking themselves two questions: What happened? And now what? The answers will be found only if we dig into the subsoil from which our present discontents have emerged. The challenges we face are far more than economic or even political. To overcome our moral-cultural crisis, we will need a new Great Awakening.

Political journalism is broken

campaign2016-media-88089

My eyes are sore from reading the copious analysis that poured in after the election of Donald Trump to 45th president of the United States. Jim Rutenberg, a media columnist for The New York Times, earns my respect for his self-flaggelating account of why political journalists failed to understand the American electorate.

From “Criticism of the New Media Takes on a More Sinister Tone”

We can debate whether the “corporate” news media is as left-leaning as critics claim. The answer, as I see it, is more than they’ll admit to themselves and less than conservatives claim.

But there is little question that it is out of step with Mr. Trump’s die-hards on the issues upon which Mr. Trump won them over, especially immigration and trade. And this tracks across the ideological divide in the mainstream media.

For all their many differences, the right-leaning editorial board of The Wall Street Journal and the left-leaning editorial boards of The New York Times and The Washington Post share the beliefs that global free trade is generally beneficial and that the United States needs to create ways to legalize the undocumented immigrant work force.

The newsrooms of The Times, The Journal and The Post operate independently from their editorial pages. But their coverage certainly does not start from the premise that an immigration overhaul would unduly reward the original sin of illegal border crossing or that free trade deals threaten our national sovereignty.

Then there are big attitudinal differences that come from the fact that the biggest American newsrooms are in major cities.

“One of the reasons the national media initially missed the rise of Trump was because so much of it is based on the coasts,” said Joanne Lipman, editor in chief of the USA Today Network, which Gannett formed in December, in part, to combine the sensibilities of the 110 newspapers it owns throughout red-state and blue-state America.

There also tends to be a shared sense of noble mission across the news media that can preclude journalists from questioning their own potential biases.

“The people who run American journalism, and who staff the newsrooms, think of themselves as sophisticated, cosmopolitan, and, culturally speaking, on the right side of history,” Rod Dreher, a senior editor at The American Conservative, told me. “They don’t know what they don’t know and they don’t care to know it.”

Mr. Dreher lives in Louisiana and has worked at five major city newspapers across the country. He does not support Mr. Trump but says he understands why his supporters are so frustrated. As far as he’s concerned, mainstream journalists are “interested in every kind of diversity, except the kind that would challenge their own prejudices.” Those include, “bigotry against conservative religion, bigotry against rural folks and bigotry against working-class and poor white people.”

It’s a pretty sweeping generalization. But a considerable percentage of the country believes it. An even larger percentage of Mr. Trump’s voters do.

No matter what happens on Nov. 8, the notion isn’t going away. American newsrooms will be making a big mistake — and missing a huge continuing story — if they fail to adjust their coverage to better illuminate the concerns of Mr. Trump’s supporters well beyond Election Day.

Doing so might begin to build up trust in the news media, which the Gallup Organization reported as hitting a new low in September.

From “A ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ Lesson for the Digital Age”:

All the dazzling technology, the big data and the sophisticated modeling that American newsrooms bring to the fundamentally human endeavor of presidential politics could not save American journalism from yet again being behind the story, behind the rest of the country.

The news media by and large missed what was happening all around it, and it was the story of a lifetime. The numbers weren’t just a poor guide for election night — they were an off-ramp away from what was actually happening.

No one predicted a night like this — that Donald J. Trump would pull off a stunning upset over Hillary Clinton and win the presidency.

The misfire on Tuesday night was about a lot more than a failure in polling. It was a failure to capture the boiling anger of a large portion of the American electorate that feels left behind by a selective recovery, betrayed by trade deals that they see as threats to their jobs and disrespected by establishment Washington, Wall Street and the mainstream media.

Journalists didn’t question the polling data when it confirmed their gut feeling that Mr. Trump could never in a million years pull it off. They portrayed Trump supporters who still believed he had a shot as being out of touch with reality. In the end, it was the other way around.

It was just a few months ago that so much of the European media failed to foresee the vote in Britain to leave the European Union. Election 2016, thy name is Brexit.

***

The unexpected turn in the election tallies immediately raised questions about the value of modern polling: Can it accurately capture public opinion when so many people are now so hard to reach on their unlisted cellphones?

“I think the polling was a mess,” Stanley Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, told me Tuesday night. “But I think a lot of it was interpretation of the polls.”

Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist, said on MSNBC, “My crystal ball has been shattered into atoms’’ because he predicted the opposite outcome. “Tonight data died,’’ he added.

Regardless of the outcome, it was clear that the polls, and the projections, had underestimated the strength of Mr. Trump’s vote, and the movement he built, which has defied all predictions and expectations since he announced his candidacy last year.

And that’s why the problem that surfaced on Tuesday night was much bigger than polling. It was clear that something was fundamentally broken in journalism, which has been unable to keep up with the anti-establishment mood that is turning the world upside down.

Politics is not just about numbers; data can’t always capture the human condition that is the blood of American politics. And it is not the sole function of political reporting to tell you who will win or who will lose. But that question — the horse race — has too often shadowed everything else, and inevitably colors other reporting, too.

***

What’s amazing is how many times the news media has missed the populist movements that have been rocking national politics since at least 2008. It failed to initially see the rise of the Tea Party, which led to the Republican wave of elections of 2010 and 2014, which was supposed to be the year the so-called Republican establishment regained control over its intraparty insurgency.

Then, of course, there was Mr. Trump’s own unexpected rise to the nomination. And after each failure came a vow to learn lessons, and not ever allow it to happen again. And yet the lessons did not come fast enough to get it right when it most mattered.

In an earlier column, I quoted the conservative writer Rod Dreher as saying that most journalists were blind to their own “bigotry against conservative religion, bigotry against rural folks, and bigotry against working class and poor white people.”

Whatever the election result, you’re going to hear a lot from news executives about how they need to send their reporters out into the heart of the country, to better understand its citizenry.

But that will miss something fundamental. Flyover country isn’t a place, it’s a state of mind — it’s in parts of Long Island and Queens, much of Staten Island, certain neighborhoods of Miami or even Chicago. And, yes, it largely — but hardly exclusively — pertains to working-class white people.

What will happen on November 9th?

Max Lucado serves as Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. While some people fear that the apocalypse will occur on Election Day, Lucado offers a much-needed reminder about divine sovereignty that gives me peace with the outcome:

We are really ready for this presidential election to be over. We’re ready for an end to the rancor and tackiness. Voters on both sides feel frustrated, even embarrassed by it all. There is a visceral fear, an angst about the result. What if so and so wins? When we wake up to November 9, post-election, when the confetti is swept away and the election is finally over, what will we see?

I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won’t on November 9, 2016. “The LORD can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).

On one occasion the Lord turned the heart of the King of Assyria so that he aided them in the construction of the Temple.[1] On another occasion, he stirred the heart of Cyrus to release the Jews to return to Jerusalem. [2] Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be the mightiest king of his generation. But God humbled and put him in “detention” for seven years. [3] “The kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations” (Psalms 22:28).

Understanding God’s sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace. When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can then choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands we bend our knees, we select prayer over despair.

Jeremiah did this. He was the prophet to Israel during one of her darkest periods of rebellion. He was called “the weeping prophet” because he was one. He wept at the condition of the people and the depravity of their faith. He was so distraught that one of his books was entitled Lamentations. But then he considered the work of God. Note the intentionality of his words:

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:21-23)

Imitate Jeremiah. Lift up your eyes. Dare to believe that good things will happen. Dare to believe that God was speaking to us when he said: “In everything God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

Many years ago, I spent a week visiting the interior of Brazil with a long-time missionary pilot. He flew a circuit of remote towns in a small plane that threatened to come undone at the slightest gust of wind. Wilbur and Orville had a sturdier aircraft.

I could not get comfortable. I kept thinking that the plane was going to crash in some Brazilian jungle and I’d be gobbled up by piranhas or swallowed by an anaconda.

I kept shifting around, looking down, and gripping my seat. (As if that would help.) Finally, the pilot had had enough of my squirming. He looked at me and shouted over the airplane noise. “We won’t face anything I can’t handle. You might as well trust me to fly the plane.”

Is God saying the same to you? If so, make this your prayer:

Dear Lord, 

You are perfect. You could not be better than you are. 

You are ever-existing. You exist because you choose to exist.

You are self-sustaining. No one helps you. No one gives you strength. 

You are self-governing. Who can question your deeds? Who dares advise you? 

You are correct. In every way. In every choice. You regret no decision. 

You have never failed. Never! You cannot fail! You are God! You will accomplish your plan.

You are happy. Eternally joyful. Endlessly content. 

You are the king, supreme ruler, absolute monarch, overlord, and rajah of all history. 

An arch of your eyebrow and a million angels will pivot and salute. Every throne is a footstool to yours. Every crown is papier–mâché to yours. No limitations, hesitations, questions, second thoughts, or backward glances. You consult no clock. You keep no calendar. You report to no one. You are in charge.

And I trust you.

Circle November 9 on your calendar and write upon it the words:  Our good God rules the world.

[1] Ezra 6:22
[2] Ezra 1:1
[3] Dan. 4:28-34

Vote your character and your conscience

Matthew J. Frank, Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute, and Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary, have written the most clear-sighted reflections that I have read on the ethics of voting in the “electoral annus horribilis of 2016.”

Here are excerpts from Frank’s article in Pubic Discourse, A Vote’s Consequences and a Voter’s Conscience“:

The question—“If your vote were decisive, what would you do?”—invites us to think of the civic function of voting as though everything hung on that one vote each of us casts. This invitation, to vote as if the weight of the world were on my shoulders alone, is what I refuse to accept.

The reason I decline the invitation is not just that the weight is not on my shoulders. It is that this is really an invitation to a kind of consequentialism in the ethics of voting. I don’t intend to plunge into the philosophical debate between consequentialist and deontological ethics, which is not in my field anyway. I mean to make a much more informal and homely point: it is wrong to think of a vote not cast for Leading Contender A as a de facto vote cast for Leading Contender B.

***

We conservatives are not in an ordinary political situation. In past elections, some of us might not have had our first or even our second choice among Republican candidates on the November ballot for president. . . . This time is different. “Not making the perfect the enemy of the good” is not the right adage for calculating what to do in our present predicament. Nor is “choose the lesser of two evils” the right way to think. That way of thinking really only works when at least one of the choices is in fact not really evil.

***

Now, however, we really do have two evils to choose between—or to decline choosing. Neither Trump nor Clinton has a single redeeming characteristic that recommends him or her to the presidency of the United States—at least none that is not decisively outweighed by some other damning characteristic. Clinton’s much vaunted “experience” is a career record of ghastly misjudgments in foreign policy, paired with a consistently authoritarian and illiberal “progressivism” in domestic policy, seemingly intent on unraveling the social fabric that makes a decent society. And there is no need to rehearse her and her husband’s history of dishonesty, corruption, and irresponsibility, capped most recently by her obvious breach of the statutes protecting national security secrets.

As for Trump, was there ever a candidate more obviously unqualified for high public office, as measured by his dearth of relevant knowledge and experience, his willfulness and self-absorption, his compulsive lying and inconsistency, his manipulative using of other people, his smash-mouth rhetoric and low character? For anyone professing conservative principles, the first problem with Trump is that he is not one of us, has never been one of us, shows no sign or capacity of becoming one of us, and hardly cares to pretend to be one of us. Even “what about the Supreme Court?” has no grip on my conscience when I try to imagine Donald Trump in the Oval Office. I cannot trust him to choose judicial nominees wisely, and there are other things whose cumulative weight is greater even than this variable.

We haven’t even the consolation of thinking of Trump as a certain kind of Republican who is not actually conservative but who at least recognizes our vocabulary when he hears it. No, Trump would not know a conservative principle if it kicked him in the shins. This is a nominee who, in my estimation, cannot earn my vote even as a “lesser evil” or an “at least he’s not Hillary” candidate. I waver between believing that his defeat would be the worst thing to happen to our country and believing that his victory would be.

***

After a lifetime of studying politics, I have finally, thanks to the electoral annus horribilis of 2016, arrived at an ethic of voting that I can defend against all rival ethics. It is simply this: Vote as if your ballot determines nothing whatsoever—except the shape of your own character. Vote as if the public consequences of your action weigh nothing next to the private consequences. The country will go whither it will go, when all the votes are counted. What should matter the most to you is whither you will go, on and after this November’s election day.

Neselli organizes his blog post, “Can You Vote for Donald Trump With a Clear Conscience?“, around various questions:

  1. Does Donald Trump have good character and policies?
  2. What does voting entail?
  3. What is a clear conscience?
  4. So can you?

Here is an excerpt answering the third question:

Your conscience is your consciousness of what you believe is right and wrong. You have a clear conscience when your conscience does not accuse or condemn you for doing “wrong” but instead commends and defends you for doing “right.”

I placed quotation marks around “wrong” and “right” because your conscience could be wrong. Conscience is not infallible. It operates according to your moral standard, and your moral standard could be wrong. Some people support and practice abortion with a clear conscience, but their conscience is based on an immoral standard, namely, that it is not wrong to kill a baby in a mother’s womb if that baby’s mother so chooses. It is possible to sin with a clear conscience.

So can a person vote for Donald Trump with a clear conscience? Yes. But that doesn’t make the action right in God’s sight. Your conscience may tell you that voting for Trump is right while another person’s conscience may tell them that voting for Trump is wrong.

Sometimes you need to calibrate your conscience. Just like you need to calibrate a scale if it registers 150 pounds when you actually weigh only 145, sometimes you need to adjust or train your conscience to function according to God’s moral standards. You do this primarily by educating your conscience with truth. Some people may support and practice abortion with a clear conscience because they don’t understand scientifically that human life begins at conception.

But abortion is a relatively easy issue. It’s like the big E on the eye chart. Many ethical issues are more complex, such as whether and how to practice capital punishment or just war. Or whether to vote for Donald Trump if his opponent is Hillary Clinton.

People may reasonably disagree about how to strategically vote in America’s democratic republic:

  1. Will your conscience condemn you for not voting—for failing to act as a responsible citizen for the good of your family, community, and country?
  2. Will your conscience condemn you for voting for Hillary Clinton—for supporting someone who is arguably worse than Donald Trump (e.g., enthusiastically pro-abortion)?
  3. Will your conscience condemn you for voting for Donald Trump—for supporting the person I describe in the first part of this essay?
  4. Will your conscience condemn you for voting for someone else—for essentially “wasting” your vote on someone who has no chance to win?

There isn’t a good option. That’s what makes this a quandary. But is there a least bad option? Some conservatives will argue that we must choose the lesser of two evils. Others will argue that they can’t vote for Trump based on principle (we must not vote for evil, even if one candidate is not quite as evil as the other) and strategy (take a long-term view and rebuild the conservative movement rather than let Trump destroy it under the banner of the GOP).

What should you do? It’s in a theological category called “disputable matters.” Disputable matters aren’t unimportant, but fellow Christians who are members of the same church should be able to disagree on these issues and still have close fellowship with each other.

But remember: It is a sin to violate your conscience—even if your conscience is mistaken. If your conscience tells you that it is wrong to vote for Donald Trump and you vote for him anyway, then you sinned. So unless you can vote for Donald Trump without your conscience condemning you, then you should not vote for him.

It’s also worth thinking about how your conscience has worked in the past. Many conservatives argued in 1998 that the Lewinsky scandal disqualified Bill Clinton as president, but some of those same people are planning to vote for Trump. What changed?

Related

Donald Trump’s might-makes-right ethic

Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, served in the last three Republican administrations and contributes to The New York Times. Wehner, like me, regards the “fulsome embrace of Mr. Trump” by evangelicals (James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Eric Metaxas, Robert Jeffress) as problematic “since he embodies a worldview that is incompatible with Christianity. If you trace that worldview to its source, Christ would not be anywhere in the vicinity.” In his op-ed, “The Theology of Donald Trump,” he writes:

Time and again Mr. Trump has shown contempt for those he perceives as weak and vulnerable — “losers,” in his vernacular. They include P.O.W.s, people with disabilities, those he deems physically unattractive and those he considers politically powerless. He bullies and threatens people he believes are obstacles to his ambitions. He disdains compassion and empathy, to the point where his instinctive response to the largest mass shooting in American history was to congratulate himself: “Appreciate the congrats for being right.”

What Mr. Trump admires is strength. For him, a person’s intrinsic worth is tied to worldly success and above all to power. He never seems free of his obsession with it. In his comments to that gathering of evangelicals, Mr. Trump said this: “And I say to you folks, because you have such power, such influence. Unfortunately the government has weeded it away from you pretty strongly. But you’re going to get it back. Remember this: If you ever add up, the men and women here are the most important, powerful lobbyists. You’re more powerful. Because you have men and women, you probably have something like 75, 80 percent of the country believing. But you don’t use your power. You don’t use your power.”

In eight sentences Mr. Trump mentioned some variation of power six times, to a group of individuals who have professed their love and loyalty to Jesus, who in his most famous sermon declared, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and “Blessed are the meek,” who said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness,” and who was humiliated and crucified by the powerful.

To better understand Mr. Trump’s approach to life, ethics and politics, we should not look to Christ but to Friedrich Nietzsche, who was repulsed by Christianity and Christ. “What is good?” Nietzsche asks in “The Anti-Christ”: “Whatever augments the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is evil? Whatever springs from weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power increases – that resistance is overcome.”

Whether or not he has read a word of Nietzsche (I’m guessing not), Mr. Trump embodies a Nietzschean morality rather than a Christian one. It is characterized by indifference to objective truth (there are no facts, only interpretations), the repudiation of Christian concern for the poor and the weak, and disdain for the powerless. It celebrates the “Übermensch,” or Superman, who rejects Christian morality in favor of his own. For Nietzsche, strength was intrinsically good and weakness was intrinsically bad. So, too, for Donald Trump.

Those who believe this is merely reductionism should consider the words of Jesus: Do you have eyes but fail to see and ears but fail to hear? Mr. Trump’s entire approach to politics rests on dehumanization. If you disagree with him or oppose him, you are not merely wrong. You are worthless, stripped of dignity, the object of derision. This attitude is central to who Mr. Trump is and explains why it pervades and guides his campaign. If he is elected president, that might-makes-right perspective would infect his entire administration.

Related articles by Peter Wehner