Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Trump has Won, but God Still Rules
There is no "lesser of two evils."
Not according to Biblical theology, anyway. Evil is evil; period. In God's eyes, at least.
In the eyes of America's voters, however, it appears Donald Trump seems the lesser of two evils. At least if you consider what a lot of evangelicals have said during this excruciating election season. Many Christ-followers, Christian websites, and evangelical celebrities spent the past few months parsing through the ways they could avoid voting for the worst sins of either Trump or Hillary Clinton. And as we saw last night - well, early this morning, for those who stayed up - evangelicals decided Hillary's sins are worse than Trump's.
If you look at the poll numbers, Trump did not win the popular vote. And Hillary only won by a couple hundred thousand votes, which isn't much, considering the 110 million votes cast. Instead, Trump won the Electoral College, which is how America's presidency is officially determined.
Considering how divided America has become in recent years, and considering the fact that somebody - almost certainly either Trump or Hillary - would win this election, it was mostly a 50-50 chance that either of them could.
And one of them did.
Not that I'm celebrating with the victor and his supporters. But I'm not mourning with the loser and her supporters, either. I didn't like either of these major-party candidates, I believe both of them were equally unqualified to be president, and I'm still content with my write-in vote for Scott Cubbler. No, I didn't think Cubbler had any shot of winning, but at the same time, I figured I personally couldn't lose by voting against the two major-party candidates. The likelihood was that, in my mind, at least, America was going to end up with a bad president of one flavor or another.
You know; six of one, half a dozen of the other. Potato, poe-tah-toe. Thing One or Thing Two.
Frankly, not only am I surprised that Trump won - proof itself not in Trump's ability to sway voters, but in the media's delusional embrace of polling data - but I'm surprised at how gleeful some his supporters are, and how devastated some of Hillary's supporters are. How emotionally invested were these folks in their candidates to be so flush with reactionary fervor today? Or have a lot more people been secretly rooting for their favorite rhetoric-spinner behind closed doors? And giving misleading answers to pollsters?
Yeah, I can't hide how pleased I am that our mainstream media got this election so wrong. And so publicly wrong. Serves them right for being so flagrant with their cowtowing to the Democratic party, especially when its nominee has so much egregious - and probably criminal - baggage. For years, conservatives complained that fairness had become a foreign concept, from big city legacy dailies to the major networks. Now it's undeniable.
I'm also pleased that it looks like the Supreme Court will be stocked with a few more conservative justices in the coming years - at least if Trump stays true to the list of nominees he promised during his campaign. But if we're grasping at straws (since Trump's credibility as an elected official is utterly unproven) I'd also have been pleased with Hillary's less toxic personality, and I'd have been more comfortable knowing how much of a liar she's proven herself to be. With Trump, he's so rogue, nobody really knows if - or when - he'll throw up his hands, fold his face into one of those ear-to-ear grins, and tell us this was all a colossal ego trip for himself, and now that he's won the biggest race known to mankind, he's done with Washington. Except for his newly-opened hotel there, of course.
Which, of course, might be a scenario many evangelicals would enthusiastically welcome, since that would make Mike Pence president.
Nevertheless, both Hillary and President Barak Obama are today calling on all of us Americans to let by-gones be by-gones, and fall into formation behind Trump as he transitions from Trump Tower to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
So, in the spirit of bipartisanship, burying the hatchet, the common good, and plain old American unity (whatever that is anymore), consider the things we American voters still have in common:
For example, some have complained that Donald Trump won with the hefty support of sexists and racists. But do you realize Hillary Clinton's campaign was based on sexism and racism? She wanted people to make her the first woman president, which is a very sexist notion, as if presidential gender really matters. She said that only she could provide racial reconciliation. Which was particularly odd, considering that many in the mainstream media are begrudgingly acknowledging that Trump couldn't have won without the support of blacks and Hispanics, especially in Florida.
Even though I didn't vote for Barak Obama, I did think it was kinda cool that America had finally elected a black man to the Oval Office, since I hoped that Obama would be a sort of balm on our nation's color-scarred history. But as far as symbolism is concerned, Obama didn't live up to that hope, did he? So what makes Clinton think she could live up to whatever symbolism a female president ideally represents?
Second, we Americans are more like-minded than stratification-obsessed liberal elites like to presume. One look at the county-by-county election map, for example, shows that rural and suburban voters in New York State, for example, have a lot more in common with most rural and suburban voters in Texas than we previously thought. They voted for Trump, while urban residents in each state's biggest cities voted for Hillary. Which, actually, should make conservative activists anxious, as America's rural areas continue to lose population, while urban areas continue to grow.
Third, even though lots of folks are either happy or angry today, recall that neither major-party candidate was popular with voters before yesterday. After all, votes don't necessarily mean popularity. Republicans are happy today that they won, but how many of them are actually pleased that Trump is the person who got voted into the presidency? Indeed, I think one of the reasons why I'm neither dismayed nor happy about Trump's win is because I didn't want either him or Hillary to win. Remember: There's no such thing as the lesser of two evils, at least according to the Bible.
As I just indicated, religion certainly comes into play here, since many evangelicals - like me - couldn't bring ourselves to vote for Trump. But many other professing Christians did, at least at the behest of some of the biggest celebrity names from our evangelical industrial complex. So we still have a problem within the Christian faction of the American electorate that troubles both folks like me, and the liberals who mocked the duplicity with which people who claimed to follow Christ also followed somebody who said He didn't need to confess anything to God.
Okay; yeah, so, that's actually a big area of divisiveness, and it will likely be an easy one for many evangelicals to now ignore, since Trump won. But at least we never-Trumpers are willing to give Trump a chance to prove us wrong. If he manages to survive these next four grueling years in the White House, he will have had a golden opportunity to evolve into the kind of president America needs, instead of the kind of belligerent narcissist he's been proud of being up until now.
I've been praying that he, his wife, and his children would come to saving faith in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now I'll be praying that God would use Trump for His glory and for the benefit of the United States.
In as merciful a way as possible.