My two cents’ worth on the US Presidential election:
1. If you’re looking for reason for optimism today, look at the post-election speeches delivered by President-elect Trump
(that was my first go at typing that), Secretary Clinton
, and President Obama
. All three speeches were gracious and positive, all looked to a peaceful transfer of power, and all give reason for (a limited amount of) hope. If you believe that the right words spoken at the right time can make a real difference, then be thankful for these words. Sure, they’re ‘just words’, but it’s a very positive start. Thank God for America’s Founding Fathers, whose theology led them to reject tyranny and establish a system that would allow for a peaceful transition between leaders, even leaders who oppose and dislike each other. What’s more, thank God for the Founding Fathers who were so opposed to tyranny that they carefully installed checks and balances, and the separation of powers, which we now hope can control (or at least mitigate) Trump during his presidency.
2. People on the Left claiming that this election was ‘a victory for sexism, racism, misogyny, this-phobia, or that-phobia’ are in danger of missing the point. Sure, Trump has been awful and embodies many of those negative traits. But I believe that most people who voted for him don’t endorse or share those views. Many voted for him because (a) Hillary Clinton is a deeply flawed person and a deeply flawed politician, and the Left has to take responsibility for nominating her (rather than, say, Bernie Sanders); (b) They feel abandoned and disenfranchised by the political system. They feel left behind and voiceless. They’ve been sold a faulty bill of goods called ‘The American Dream’, and their failure to achieve that dream has left them desperate enough to take this measure. Trump was (as Michael Moore put it) “the human molotov cocktail that they’ve been waiting for” and “the human hand grenade that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them”. Whether or not Trump can deliver for them is another matter. But to dismiss this result as a victory for hatred is to miss the massive divide between ‘average people’ and our ‘cultural elites,’ as well as missing the reality of how many people in the Western world feel about their lives right now. We live in a fallen, broken, hurting world. Thank God that he has given us real answers and real hope.
3. If you’re a Christian, remember with thankfulness once again that Jesus is seated on the only throne that ultimately matters, he will be there for ever, and he will never let us down. Praise God that “the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales” to him (Isaiah 40:15). And remember that “the king’s [and President’s] heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1) Speaking through the Old Testament prophet Hosea, God said that those who reject his good rule over them will eventually face the consequences. “They sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind,” God said of Israel. (Hosea 8:7) Of course, America is not Old Testament Israel. But, without knowing or predicting what this will look like, America may very well be about to reap the whirlwind. But every other superpower in human history has come and gone. Why should America be any different? And why should those of us who know the Lord of human history have any reason to fear? If that’s what we’re living through, we shouldn’t be surprised. Then again, maybe God isn’t done with America as a world superpower just yet. Who knows?
4. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4) Pray for Donald Trump. Pray, pray, pray for Donald Trump.
5. Jesus says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.