President Trump: 2016 Election Damage Control

The day all Americans have been waiting for has finally arrived. The day after election day. This means the election is finally over. As most everyone knows, Donald Trump won, and will be the next POTUS.

By way of damage control, I wanted to extend brief thoughts on his victory. How did this happen? What’s the good news? What is the bad news?  One night is certainly not a lot of time to process this, but I have enough moving around up top to spill on to my keyboard. 

Anyone who follows me on social media can attest that I am not a prophet. I did not see this coming. I was expecting, not only a Hillary victory, but I was expecting a Hillary landslide. I did not think this election would be close.

I thought the logic was sound. This election cycle, it seemed to me more people who typically vote Republican were disappointed in their candidate than people who typically vote Democrat were upset with Hillary.

I understood many democrats/liberals found Hillary unlikable, so what it came down to in my mind was the moral argument of the “lesser of two evils”, and who was most likely to have more people refuse that tactic.

I figured, preelection, that more people on the Right would have religious presuppositions which would not allow them to practice the “lesser of two evils” voting style than those on the Left would have. Thus, I determined, more people who typically would vote Republican would not than vice versa, handing Hillary a smooth victory.

On top of this was the biased media coverage. I think one thing this election has proved is that the idea that liberalism dominates the media is no longer conspiracy theory, but reality.

Everything on the news, including polls, suggested a Hillary victory. Also, although her Email scandal was covered, it was not covered with the same ferocity as Donald’s sins were. Plus, the FBI found her not guilty enough to punish her…twice. This to me seemed to suggest, not only was the country pulling for her, the Government was too.

Even on social media, from Instagram, to Facebook, to Twitter, I saw so much anti-Trump rhetoric. The anti-Trump memes seemed to outnumber Hillary criticisms by something close to 3-1. All in all, I expected a Hillary victory, but I was wrong.

What I think we learn from this is very important.

1) Polls are not very reliable.

I was foolish and really bought into the polls this year. I guess 2,000 people really do not get to speak for 320,000,000, no matter how scientific the procedure was.

2) You cannot expect to know the country by peering into Facebook or, especially, by watching the news.

In Romans 11, when talking about the remnant of believers in Israel, Paul quotes Elijah diagnosing the state of Israel, Elijah discouragingly determined that he alone was left faithful to the Lord in all of Israel(4). Elijah felt outnumbered and discouraged. 

God replied by informing Elijah of the 7,000 people whom God saved by grace that apparently Elijah missed (5). The point is, often times there is simply more going on than we think. God is usually up to things behind the scenes we are blind to or are neglecting. Many times, we really do not know what is actually going on. 

 
How Did This Happen?

This is the question to ask over the coming weeks, at least for those of us surprised by the outcome. Many things play a role in this, but one thing I think needs to be brought up is that this happened because Americans are angry

Donald Trump is the manifestation of middle class America’s anger. This is where the media bias became its own worst enemy; this is where the term “silent majority” decided to vindicate themselves. 

For eight years now, America has undergone major political shifts in the culture. From homosexuality, to race-relations, to transgenderism, to “Islamaphobia”, to feminism, we have been taking shelter in a cultural whirlwind. Whether this is accurate or not, I think many middle class, white Americans have been feeling bullied. 

They have been called names for years now. Their students in schools are being forced to tolerate homosexuality or else be deemed “homophobic”. Parents are not allowed to have any kind of hesitancy in regards to open boarders without immediately being labeled “Islamaphobic”. On top of that, they were already “transphobic” for being worried the school bathroom signs will change.

Words have been completely made up to describe and bully people for years, all the while, these very people were said to be the bullies. After all, they are bigots.

I think America got tired of the name calling. They got tired of being called racist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, transphobic, refugeephobic, and all other phobia’s under the sun. They were told they hate women if they do not self-identify as feminist, buy into the gender-pay gap theory, or support a woman’s right to murder her pre-born baby. They could not just be wrong about about police brutality and a systematically racist justice system, they had to be racist. They could not just be wrong about border control, they had to be Islamaphobic. They could not simply be uninformed about healthcare policies, they had to hate poor people.

People could not simply be wrong about politics, they had to have a moral indictment on them as well.

Many have been saying this very thing. One who has said it best is pastor Douglas Wilson,

“Political correctness has been a device for the empowerment of crybullies, a gas-lighting trick that enables persecutors to wear the camo-gear of anointed victims. Given the fact that all public dissent on certain issues is routinely and savagely shut down, and this is done by tarring the dissenter as ‘racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.’ it was not surprising that progressives, having created by means of overreach their very own cultural echo chamber, were then persuaded by it. They clubbed everyone into silence and then pretended to themselves that such silence must indicate agreement.

My fear when Obama was first elected was that he was elected primarily because he was black (which made me racist). 

My fear in regards to Donald Trump is that he was elected primarily because he was loud. Donald Trump is the massive pendulum swing of a tired, silent majority.

Trump is a caricature sketch of middle-America’s pent up aggression. Whether they are justified or not, they feel bullied, and they felt they needed a bully to fight back. 

Pastor Wilson also agrees with this sentiment, saying the motivation for the huge turnout of white, evangelical Trumpers was that they were “[T]ired of being harangued by self-appointed superiors.
He continued saying that Secularists “[T]ransformed America into a seething cauldron of identity politics, and the chaser was taunting white middle America into behaving like an identity group. Yes, you, you out-of-work coal miner. We want you to go back to your two-bedroom clapboard house and contemplate something edifying, like your white privilege. And if you were offended by that illustration… I want to be the first to congratulate you on your successful campaign for Donald J. Trump.

During the beginning of the Republican primaries, Trump quickly branded himself as a loud and proud, anti-political correct, insult machine, unafraid to say anything.

The other candidates thought they could win by taking the high road. They wanted to stick to the issues, not play insult games, and win with policy.

But many non-democrats grew tired of that. They felt the other side has been engaged in name calling for years, and much of America wanted to fight back.

Trump quickly branded himself as a powerful public figure who could literally care less about the names the media branded him with, and was willing to call them names back.

This is not to suggest men like Rubio, Cruz, Carson, etc. were afraid of public assaults, but Trump went out of his way to make sure the nation knew they could call him whatever they wanted and he would be unashamed and unmoved. That is what a tired, silenced, majority was drawn to.

Middle America did not want to take a high road, they wanted to meet the bullies with a bully, fight fire with fire, and follow someone who would embrace the Twitter insults, and wear them like a badge. And apparently, most of America believes they found that man in Donald Trump.

What this means for the anti-Trumpers is that name-calling and vapid platitudes of “love vs hate” may no longer be a wise strategy.

All over social media, from those I know who did not want Trump to win, I am seeing things like,

Well I guess hate won last night.

The rest of America can admire hate, I will continue to teach my children love.

Even on a more public scale the celebrities are chiming in with more name-calling. J.K. Rowling posted this on Twitter,

We stand together. We stick up for the vulnerable. We challenge bigots. We don’t let hate speech become normalised. We hold the line.” 

Katy Perry said, 

Do not sit still. Do not weep. MOVE. We are not a nation that will let HATE lead us.

Van Jones even called this Trump victory a “whitelash”.

Whether they are justified in this kind of rhetoric is irrelevant, please see that.

The point is this: accurate or not, name-calling is now an ineffective strategy.

There was a time when disagreeing with certain politics and being branded one of many possible phobia’s did make people cower. They do not want to look immoral or racist.

However, largely thanks to Trump, it no longer works.

Most of America who disagree with Liberal politics found themselves a candidate which served as their microphone to the nation. They are not intimidated any longer by being branded “racists” or “bigots”. The name branding is actually fueling and driving the movement. 

If the Democratic party wants to turn things around in four years, hateful rhetoric and name-calling needs to change. 

Orthodox Christians, and other religious groups like Mormons and Catholics can no longer be thought of as homophobic bigots. 

Conservatives cannot be branded transphobic, Islamaphobes, who hate women. 

They cannot call the majority of Americans racists, and then get angry when said Americans do not volunteer to play on their team. 

All of this is not to discredit all the other reasons for the Trump victory altogether. Hillary’s email scandals, Trump’s business tycoon reputation, the immigration policies, and many other things contributed to this. Lots of people are financially bleeding because of Obamacare, and the thought of repealing that was very attractive to many Americans who feel they will keep more money in their pocket, and still manage to find insurance. Obviously, there are a host of reasons that led to the Donald Trump victory. 

However, I do believe the suppressed anger of many silent Americans finally finding a channel to erupt through is a major player in this shocking turn of events. Cruz and Rubio would not differ very much on the platforms Trump eventually came to embrace. It was Trump’s personality that won this election. 

The Good News
As with any election, Jesus is completely sovereign. He can use Trump however He wants to. It is possible that Trump will be a great President. He could really turn things around.

It is also possible he, like Saul, was instituted for our judgment, and we have a miserable four years ahead of us. Anything from Trump repenting to Trump destroying is on the table. Jesus could destroy this country through our awful government, bless us through revival and reform, or maybe even accomplish something in between. 

Much more could be said in regards to policies and future possibilities. I could attempt to predict what will happen under Trump and a now Republican majority in regards to abortion, gay-marriage, Obamacare, foreign relations, national relations, immigration, the economy, etc. 

I’ll be honest, I do not expect much change. I do not expect any repentance. I do not expect this nation to climb from the ashes of secularism…

but I have already demonstrated to my humble readers just how much my political predictions are worth. 

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