Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
The polls were wrong; the pundits were wrong; even many of his supporters didn’t think he could actually win. But he did.
Not only was he an unconventional candidate–having never run for public office; having never been in military command like other non-politicians who have been president–with qualities that, you would think, would prevent him from being elected to anything (being brazenly “politically incorrect” in his words and deeds). He ran what most experts were calling an inept campaign. He raised little money, ran few ads, had no ground game to get out supporters, dispensed with the high-tech lists and analysis that was supposed to be the hallmark of a 21st century political campaign. In the weeks before the campaign, he had rallies in solidly democratic states that he supposedly had no hope of winning instead of battleground states that he might hope to win. But he won.
As readers of this blog know, I didn’t like Trump and wrote some critical things against him, as I did with Hillary Clinton, whom I also didn’t like. But I have a lot of sympathy with his supporters, especially the working class folks in rusted-out cities and boarded-up small towns, people the Democrats used as their base, only to do nothing for them. Meanwhile, the Republicans supported the policies that helped big business while putting their ex-employees out of work. Like them and lots of other Americans, I was weary of our cultural and economic elites. I shuddered to think what things would be like if those elites were even more firmly ensconced as our lords and masters in a Hillary Clinton administration.
Hey, maybe Trump actually represents that Christian Democratic synthesis of economic liberalism and cultural conservatism. But I worry about the character issues. I worry about authoritarianism. I worry about the fascist synthesis of authoritarian government, a state-controlled economy, and demagogic nationalism. There is always lots to worry about.
But I find myself strangely hopeful. Trump’s election is being called a revolution, an uprising, a movement–of a piece with Brexit and other populist political causes–and maybe, in the unlikeliness of this victory, we will experience the further unlikeliness of a national renewal.
So I wish the new president the best, I hope he will turn out to be a great president, and I will pray for him, as Scripture tells us to do.
What else is there to say about the election and our president-elect? What is your reaction?