Postmortem November 10, 2020

Well, that was interesting. I realized when listening to passionate Trump supporters and Biden supporters, when both spoke of “landslides” and “blowouts” for their side, that it was probably going to be close. Even with the polls showing Biden to be doing well, I thought Trump could still win.  Thus, I slowly exhale and breath. I relax, for now anyway.

For me, it’s still a bittersweet moment. Am I happy Biden won? Of course. Still, how could it be this close? What does it say about the 70 million or so people who voted for this guy, AFTER, actually experiencing him for 3 ½ years? It was one thing to sort of understand (extremely sort of) how people could vote for him in 2016 as an unknown quantity or a vote against, but now?  How was this possible?

Here was a man who was pathologically dishonest, had zero integrity, zero character, zero principles beyond “winning” and “power,” was racist, sexist, ignorant, without any humor or intellectual curiosity, rude, classless, angry, mean, narcissistic, and a complete bore.

He was never “pro-life,” until he decided to run under the Republican umbrella, nor a churchgoer or person of faith. He was a noted playboy, womanizer, and serial adulterer. He was also a terrible businessperson, someone who didn’t pay his bills, filed for many bankruptcies, and was basically a con man.

He made fun of handicapped people. He encouraged and incited violence. He was said to have called those who died fighting for this country “suckers” and “losers.” That’s what he called John McCain too.

For some reason, he scraped and bowed before Putin of Russia. He refused to criticize him, whether for election interference (in which he took Putin’s side- over our own intelligence services and a Republican led Senate report), for Putin’s poisoning of political rivals, or for putting a bounty on American soldier’s heads. If a Democrat had done the same, Republicans would have rioted in the streets.

What I’ve noted barely scrapes the surface of his failures, his lowering of every bar and semblance of decency and normality in American public/political life. He is, without doubt, the worst president of my lifetime. He was the second coming of George Wallace or Archie Bunker. He was the favorite of the white supremacy movement, nationalists (a heresy), and the anti-Semitic—the “Proud Boys.”

He separated children from their parents and caged them. He orphaned over 500 of them. He was completely antithetical to the Christian example whether as a person or leader.

To list every failure (Covid—over 200,000 Americans dead) and offense would take a book, let alone a blog post.

Imagine listening to the drunk guy at the end of the bar haranguing everyone and everything in sight. Imagine as he slaps his waitress on the rear and insults the bartender, as he regales everyone with his slobbering belligerent ignorance and mendacity, thinking to one’s self: “You know what, I like this guy—if he ran for president, I would vote for him.” Right, who would do that?

Well: Some 70 million plus Americans did just that.

This country is dysfunctional and broken. That those who call themselves “Christian” voted for this guy (or were silent during his time), is absolutely incredible. It means we are hardly done here. Much work remains.

So, am I happy? I suppose (I will take a moment to celebrate—cheers!). However, Trump should have never…ever…been president of…anything.  He wasn’t fit to be the elected dogcatcher of a small town.  Still, he was elected (mysteries abound). Thus, we first had to stop the bleeding. We first had to put out the fire. That has been accomplished (we hope).  But now comes the rest—the hard work. Now, comes the rebuilding. Now comes the reckoning.

This is not okay. We are not all right. There is something deeply wrong with this country. There is something sick and diseased in our body politic, our spirit, our history, and our soul. We are haunted and we must face our ghosts.  Many of those ghosts exist, in my opinion, because of Christian fundamentalist/evangelical theology, history, and political influence.

Trump was only the symptom. The sickness remains. And I’m not speaking of people. Trump supporters aren’t the enemy. They aren’t to be hated but pitied. Our churches and culture have failed them. This goes way beyond red or blue partisan politics.  I’m speaking of what Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:12.

Yes, take a moment and celebrate. Dance in the streets, pop the bubbly.  And then, get some rest. We have far to go.

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