For years I have poked fun of the idea that Donald Trump wanted to one day be the President of the United States. When people asked me if I thought he could ever win, I would smugly say, “sure, either Donald Trump or Donald Duck or even better yet Mickey Mouse!” So, imagine my surprise on Nov 8th when he proved me and the rest of the world wrong. Although I had predicted a year ago that Donald Trump would be the Republican candidate, I did not see him winning the Presidency. In fact almost nobody did. One notable exception was Matt Groening the creator of the animated cartoon The Simpsons who predicted it in the ‘Bart to the Future’ episode 16 years ago.
I could not see how such a reckless politician could possibly garner enough support to kick Hillary to the curb. He insulted everyone in his path… his opponents, the media, every politician in Washington and even his own party. But it didn’t seem to matter. The more outlandish he became the more his star rose. This is what I missed. I did not realize how profoundly unhappy Mid-Western voters were with the status quo. The pollsters missed it, the pundits missed it and almost everybody else. Ironically one of the few guys that got the scenario right was liberal film maker and Trump foe Michael Moore. He had predicted that the white, jobless and broke working class living in America’s depressed ‘rust belt’ would carry the day and Trump would be the 45th president. Which is exactly what they did. Moore warned that with the steel mills and coal mines closed, these people would come out and vote for a guy who promised to bring their jobs back from China. Nobody has any idea how Trump can possibly do it, including him, but that didn’t matter. That was what they wanted to hear.
The big surprise to me was that 81% of Evangelical Christians voted for Trump. If you do the math, in the end they cast the deciding vote. Had they done the same thing in 2012 Mitt Romney would have been President, but they could not bring themselves to support a Mormon… even though he was moral and upright, had only one wife not three, and no mistresses at all. The tipping point for most Christian voters was that Trump said he would only appoint pro-life justices to the supreme court. (Romney would have done the same by the way.) We cannot however overlook the fact that most believers could never see themselves supporting Hillary who would have done exactly the opposite. I can’t help but think Trump just told us what we wanted to hear. In 4 years or even 8, don’t be expect Roe v Wade to be overturned. It won’t be! It is not the supreme court that has decided the fate of the fetus, it is the American people who believe killing their unborn children is their constitutional right.
Given my obvious affection for both candidates I managed to hold my tongue from commenting on the US presidential election for the entire campaign. The main reason I kept my opinions to myself was that there was nothing we as Canadians could do to influence the outcome. I felt a little like Crocodile Dundee when Sue Charlton asked him what he thought about world affairs. In his inimitable Aussie accent he said, “None of my business”.
Of course, what the leader of the free world does is everybody’s business. In a perverse way, any President of the United States becomes everybody’s president. We have been living in an age of Pax Americana for two generations. The global agenda is most often determined by our less than subtle neighbours to the south. Economic boons, recessions, depressions, wars and rumors of wars are most often birthed right next door. And The Donald, for better or worse, will be like no other US president in history. I don’t think it is an understatement to say that the world changed on Nov 8th. If Trump delivers on even half his promises America and the world will look totally different in four years. Like it or not, he will effectively dismantle the ‘Obama legacy’ of the last 8 years. For starters he promised to tear up; Obamacare, NAFTA, the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), the Paris Climate Agreement, the Iran Nuclear Deal, to ban all Muslims from entering America, build a wall on the Mexican border and to throw Hillary Clinton in jail.
Some high profile prophetic voices have compared Donald Trump to King Cyrus of Persia who released the Jews from 70 years of Babylonian captivity. Personally I think they are out to lunch and that Trump has far more similarity to King Nebuchadnezzar. He was the Babylonian king who brought them into captivity. He was an arrogant, self serving, narcissistic megalomaniac that believed he was the most important human on the planet and that everybody should bow down and worship him. In the interests of balance, Hillary was doing a very good imitation of the corrupt Queen Jezebel who along with her compliant husband King Ahab was trying to rid the land any semblance of godliness. Either way I do agree that a pagan king is about the right analogy. Please understand this, unlike ‘the prophets’, I am saying this tongue and cheek and do not want to be taken literally. My favorite election joke was this one; Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton decide to patch things up and spend a day fishing together. A sudden storm comes up and the boat capsizes. Who survives? Answer: America!
Who knows, maybe Trumpland will be the best thing to ever happen to the good ol’ United States of America. My greatest concern is that he is accountable to no one. No party, no team, no mentor. He only does what he thinks is right and for some strange reason thinks he is smarter than everyone else. But here is the most important thing to keep in mind. God knows the beginning from the end and there are no accidents in this world. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God”. Even more incredibly in the book of Daniel King Nebuchadnezzar himself concluded that, “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’ (Dan 4:17) Of course that was after God humbled him and made him graze grass on his hands and knees for seven years. That could be entertaining!
In the end God will always have His way. We have to believe that in some greater way there is a purpose for this abrupt turn in American politics. Our job in the meantime is to pray “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”