I have had a couple of days to reflect and read what a wide diversity of the wise and not so wise have had to say on the matter (following on from my initial reaction post). I am talking about the Donald Trump elevation to the US Presidency, and this against all odds, of course. While the shock waves continue to be felt, the sky has not fallen in yet (and as the current President noted – the sun rose the next day). Mr Trump has even begun to sound presidential and Hillary and Barack (to their credit) could not have been nicer.
I am conscious there are those close to me who look upon the result with horror and, as I said in my first “results” post, this is not a time for tr(i)umphalism but rather of healing. One of the reasons why I feel more comfortable than they about a Trump win is that I preferred this to a Clinton win (for the reasons I gave – see here). But be under no illusion – I have grave reservations concerning his character, which will inevitably impact on his presidency and will only be softened if he is surrounded by good people in positions of power and influence and the “checks and balances” the US Constitution imposes. Being the skeptic I am, I have no doubt he has milked Evangelical concerns over abortion and the Supreme court, and has struck a chord with America’s blue collar workers over jobs and security – but will he deliver? While some have focused on his misogyny and other unpleasant traits, I can’t help thinking about some of his failed enterprises, e.g. Trump University, where the innocent and disempowered have suffered. When Zacchaeus met with Jesus, he restored four fold to those he had cheated. Until Trump does likewise, he will not have my full respect. As for which administration would achieve the most good, the question that an intelligent voter should be asking, imho and for reasons already argued, I decided, on balance, it would have to be Trump’s, and this had little to do with personality and a lot to do with policy.
There are lots of posts I could share, but for starters let me cite one lady’s rant over some of the things that Trump’s detractors fail to get when people voted for him in their hordes. These same voters were labeled deplorable (at least 50% of them) by Trump’s opponent, no doubt giving rise to an indignant backlash by them who aren’t somethingbadist. It seems to me we have parallels to this with people voting UKIP in the UK. As for many Christians, and this bothers me more – because we are meant to be loving and united (right), many have failed to recognize the concerns why other Christians who decided to vote Trump, despite doing so with a heavy heart. The “I’m a Christian and I voted for Donald Trump. Here’s why” article is as good as any I have seen explaining this. Perhaps the biggest adverse reaction I have received to date, reminding me friends may see things a lot differently, was when I shared something Franklin Graham posted on his Facebook page:
“Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep asking “How did this happen?” “What went wrong?” “How did we miss this?” Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor. Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up. While the media scratches their heads and tries to understand how this happened, I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country. President elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are going to need a lot of help and they will continue to need a lot of prayer. I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help advise and counsel him as he leads the nation. My prayer is that God will bless America again!”
I am not an apologist for Franklin Graham, but his words resonated with me even if it caused some of my friends to see red. I did pray, like many others, for God’s will to be done, whether it be a Trump or a Clinton victory. While I did not pray as much as I should have, the whole point about prayer is expecting God to answer, even if not in the way we expect. The “progressive” agenda point is a sore one for many. The way Trumpism fails to address the needs of minorities, appears biased against the poor and is too parochial, are reasons some “Progressives” might cite for being progressive in the first place. They may point (with disdain) to detractors being more concerned with what happens before birth than what happens after. It is a big subject and, before people have a go at me, it is one I will address in a future blog, given some Christians from my “stable” equate progressiveness with ungodliness and ultimately regression, while other Christians look upon those who oppose “progress” as being bigoted and prejudiced, who give Christians a bad name. In an earlier blog, I gave as an example the “transgender” agenda, e.g. institutions may be / are forced to allow people to use bathrooms aligning to the gender with which they wish to be identified. One recent example of the concern I and others share, who are on a similar theological wavelength to me, is a story reported as: “Obama Moves To Protect Planned Parenthood Funding, Permanently”. That this raises alarm bells is an understatement.
It is early days and Mr Trump has yet to take over. I know some of my friends are worried that his Vice President, who they see as a Christian extremist of the nasty kind, will oversee the operation in making key appointments, that a climate change denier will be given the environment brief and some of the lobbyists and members of the political elite Trump purports to despise are in line for top posts. Even so, I am confident there will be some good appointments made as well as some less good. There is already signs of Trump back tracking on some of his more outrageous proposals (a good thing maybe e.g. re. Obamacare) but will he deliver on what he has promised in terms of the economy and security (the two biggies maybe)? Time will tell. In the meantime I recognize the need for healing and reconciliation among disgruntled Christian friends as well as in a much wider world, in order to work for the common good. We live in perilous times, and there is much suffering inside and outside the USA that needs to be tackled. As for me, I must talk, argue and blog less and watch, pray and do more; and focus on my gospel preaching community activism. One thing I am sure of; President Trump can’t save America; only God can!