I've waited to say anything about Election 2016 until having a chance to process it awhile. I realize I am on record as saying I was not going to vote - I agreed to abide by whatever came about. I don't really know that it's anybody's business though, and quite frankly it's beside the point. But I did want to write something down for posterity's sake, and I didn't want it to be a knee-jerk reaction. So here are my thoughts on the 2016 election in which Donald Trump was chosen President of the United States and Republicans in general scored pretty well across the board.
When I initially found out, I was pretty shocked. No, not shocked. I was dumbfounded. Blindsided. Numb. I did not foresee this happening in a million years. I wore black yesterday in mourning. I think I could have accepted just about any other of the top Republican candidates and I wouldn't have been surprised. Originally I expected it to be Jeb Bush. To think that Donald did this fair and square.... it simply does not compute in my brain.
Now, I say that not to knock anyone who may have voted for him. I am fully aware of the hatred for Hillary and the intricacies of party loyalty. I am just surprised because Trump has shown himself - in my opinion at least - to be a vile and contentious man with the maturity level of a spoiled second grader. He is not trustworthy. We know he is not going to play by the rules. Furthermore, this strikes me as almost the exact opposite of how I thought America would think and vote. I thought everyone was fed up with the ugly hand of big business lobbying and manipulating politics and running the country into the ground. Now it seems big business has gone from behind-the-scenes political powering, to literally moving right into the White House!! Boy do I feel stupid. A Facebook friend of mine (Jason Boyett) summed it up pretty well:
"Apparently everything I thought I knew about America was wrong.So for me anyway, this election isn't so much about just Donald and Hillary. And it's left me wondering if I know anything or anyone at all.
Apparently everything I thought I knew about Christians was wrong.
Apparently everything I thought I knew about politics was wrong.
This being the case, I guess Donald Trump is going to be the best president we’ve ever had, and not the worst. Please let me be wrong one more time."
Which brings me to the second area of concern/shock/surprise: the role of evangelical Christians in this election. Some statistics indicate as many as 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Don. Many people are crediting them with being the brunt of his swing; the muscle behind his madness; the very demographic he sailed his boat on. Again, I just do not understand.
I realize the weight of the hate heaped on Hillary in regard to her stance on abortion. I also know she has been occasioned to some serious lapses in judgment (deplorables, emails, etc.). How people can dislike her is not the problem for me. It's how these people can SUPPORT Trump! If President Obama had even thought about saying or doing pretty much anything Donald has said and done over the last 12 months he would have been run out of town. I mean, the list of detestable things Trump has said and done cannot even begin to be touched in any reasonable-length blog post, they're simply too many. And maybe it's wrong of me to think like this, but I'm not as surprised by people who don't claim adherence to the teachings of Jesus as their moral compass, BUT I AM BY THE PEOPLE WHO DO!!! The hypocrisy was evidenced almost immediately after the election in calls for people to 'finally' come together in unity. Hearing the same people who have done everything they could to oppose President Obama for eight years sounding the call toward oneness now that THEIR party is in the White House.... Well, let's just say it cast a long shadow.
Honestly, I find it sad to admit that I have lost a lot of respect for people I used to admire. I unfriended a number of people on Facebook. I know there's a popular meme going around that many don't unfriend people over politics or because they disagree. I wish I were that mature. Which brings me to the most disappointing thing for me about this whole ordeal......
It's no secret that I liked, and still like, President Obama. No, I don't agree with him on a lot of things, but I like him as the person I've been allowed to see and know him as. I'm also not ashamed to admit that I tend to lean a little left in my politics. My parents were democrats for as long as I can remember. I still don't understand why it is so seeminly un-Christian and even un-American to be a democrat. And I'm not even a true democrat. I've voted both ways and even third party many times. I don't claim to be a part of any particular party.
I guess I thought I was more at peace with things than I really was. I thought I was prepared to accept whatever the voters of America decided and not let it bother me or affect my daily life. However, now I'm wondering if I was more at peace with the idea of Hillary Clinton being president, than with just anybody. Not only that, but the governors and senators and congressman too.
So I felt like quite the hypocrite when I got up Wednesday morning and felt my heart sink into my stomach. I couldn't function for half the day. I'm hesitant to admit that I was even a little afraid for awhile. I just didn't think I would react so negatively. The fear was soon followed by anger and I was ashamed of myself. I had been sucked in and I wasn't even aware.
I suppose at this point I am into the grief stage of acceptance. The fear and anger are gone, and while there is still much that mystifies my little mind, I realize life will go on. But of all that went on in this election, the thing I was most disappointed in was myself. I wanted to be better than that. I wanted to take it in stride. I wanted to stand on the Solid Rock of Jesus and not be tossed about by the waives of emotion. But.... such is my life.
I know now I will get by. I don't really believe things will be as bad as many fear they will. Yet, at the same time, I'm also reminded that simply voting in an election is one of the easiest and perhaps least meaningful things we regular people can do to impact our culture. Who resides in the White House does not change anything about how I go about my life. It does not change the source of my strength or the moral compass I strive to follow. If anything, perhaps a Trump White House (or even Pence) might serve to shed some light on the difference between civil religion and that of Jesus Christ.
Things will likely be worse than some think. Things will probably not be as bad as others think. And I doubt I will ever know as much as I think I do. It's a crazy world out there, my friends. Peace out; and in.