Last night, Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States.
I never saw this coming. Not in a million years.
Zac turned on BBC news coverage of the 2016 election as he folded clothes.
“Mom,” he called from the family room. “Trump is winning.”
I saw early indicators of it when I checked in yesterday afternoon. But I never thought it would hold. I’ve lived in blue states all my life, albeit sometimes in deeply red pockets of rural areas. I figured the established party, with someone who’s been a politician already, would win handily. Experience counts, right, like when you interview for a job? I was wrong.
Watching the BBC broadcast proved fascinating. The main female announcer – Kitty? Kathy? – caught the gist of what was happening pretty quickly. She mentioned she spent some time in southern Virginia talking to a conservative radio talk show host, a shock jock. He said we were witnessing the rebellion against the “wussification of America”.
Over and over, the trend analysis pointed out that white working class men came out to the polls in droves. They never felt they had a voice before now, someone who understood their troubles. Trump has pledged to bring jobs back to America and they liked that. Evangelical Christians voted for Trump because of his stand on abortion. Women who wanted to stay home with their children and not be forced back to work found a champion in Trump.
The broadcasters had an interesting take.
“Trump did this with his own money, without GOP backing. He’s thumbed his nose at the establishment. Look at the upset. We’re witnessing history here.”
They talked about this election like watching your little brother in his first scrap on the playground, surprised and a little proud when he takes his opponent down.
Yes. As Jonathon and I sat watching the coverage, dumbfounded, I mulled it all over. No, I didn’t vote for Hillary, either. But I can’t get excited about a thug as president.
I had to run outside today in spite of the rain. It felt like the earth was crying. I thought about my Facebook feed that ranges from people protesting the electoral college system to those thanking America, with pictures of unborn babies. How do we come back from such a divisive election season? How will we ever find middle ground, when we’ve discounted each others’ opinions and beat each other up for more than a year?
I dodged puddles, the streetlights hazy in the morning mist. I found myself considering the bullying tactics of Trump. Getting down to basics, how do we teach our children common decency in the face of someone who openly hates others who are different and incites fear of them? How do we tell young boys that it’s not okay to grope or assault girls? Never mind all the other allegations of swindling leveled against Mr Trump.
Because our president, our newly elected leader of the free world, has done all those things. You can say, “Oh, he doesn’t do that anymore.” Great. I need to see fruit. I need proof. I need him to take advice from the good people who surround him and get going on “making America great again”, whatever that means. My Christian friends say he is born again. Again, his behavior this entire campaign makes that a doubtful proposition.
This entire election process has driven me to my knees more times than I can count. I have prayed for Obama, for wisdom and strength. I will pray for Trump, too. Because only by God’s grace can America ever be great.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. – Proverbs 14:34