A week ago, the nation was shocked.
That’s right, it’s only been a week since the longest, strangest, most depressing election that any of us have ever experienced came to a surprising end. By surprising, I mean that everyone was shocked at the outcome. Stories are coming in that even the president-elect wasn’t expecting to win.
But win, he did. The dye has been cast, and we have roughly 60 days to get used to saying: “President Trump”.
Which begs the question, as citizens of a nation, and as citizens of a Kingdom, where do we go from here?
I know that we ask this question every 4-8 years as a new President is installed, but this time it feels different, because this election was a competition between the most disliked presidential candidates that we’ve ever seen.
Because of that, we are seeing an interesting mix of emotions amongst our fellow citizens. Going from left to right: we are seeing large scale demonstrations against the idea of a President Trump spring up in large cities and around universities. I understand why that would be so, because it was a shocking result. Shocking results usually result in visceral reactions. I understand people are upset, and even understand that they want to demonstrate to give voice to their frustration.
Even though I understand those feelings, and without wanting to infringe on your right to speech, assembly, or to redress grievances…knock it off. By demonstrating in an antagonistic way, by resorting to violence to the point where the demonstration in Portland was deemed a riot, and by stomping your feet and declaring that the President-Elect is #NotMyPresident, respectfully, you’re being childish. We live in a Democratically elected Republic. Guess what happens sometimes…your guy/gal loses. I know…it sucks sometimes…but yet, here we are.
Guess what else though. Hashtag campaigns do not have the force and effect of law. Declaring that Trump is not your president does not make it so. He will be president, and the sooner you reconcile yourself to that fact, the better you will be.
I say this as someone who would lean to the left of center on the political ideology spectrum; your temper tantrum antagonistic protests betray your cause. If you want to compete in the arena of rational ideas, then you have to have a rational reaction to adversity. Time to grow up, kids.
We are also seeing many people, who perhaps reluctantly voted for one candidate, or chose to vote for neither, celebrate not the result of the election, but celebrate that this convenience store burrito of an election is mercifully over. To my friends who find themselves here, enjoy a well-deserved break. The next couple of months, create some distance from the politics surrounding the transition. Yes, who gets appointed where are important decisions, but those concerns can keep until January. Because in January, we have some work to do. We are called to honor our leaders, but we are also called to hold them accountable. We are called to be advocates for the marginalized, the sojourner, the forgotten, and the downtrodden. Just as you spoke against the departing administration, your call to do the same hasn’t changed. Get some rest, dear friend, we’ve got some work to do.
To my friends who are celebrating the Trump win. Congrats. Being a part of a winning campaign is fun. Remember one thing though, not everyone is excited as you are. In fact, there are many of us (coyly raises hand) that still have deep concerns about the President-Elect, and those concerns have not been softened because he won. Ultimately, we are citizens of a kingdom, which means that we need to be cognizant of our brothers and sisters in Christ that carry concerns as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ who are hurting because of the election. Not everyone in the country and the kingdom is having as much fun as you are.
Finally, to the people who feel like the election of President-Elect Trump has given license for them to speak ill of minorities, to threaten those who didn’t support your candidate, to become hostile to your fellow man, or to overall be a heinous jerk…knock it off. Decency didn’t go out of vogue last week. The fact that people of all races are image bearers of God didn’t return void because of what happened at the ballot box. Spray painting abhorrent symbols and slogans on walls continues to be vile, and racism didn’t stop being racism on Wednesday.
The gospel message is not dependent on who is in the oval office. So if by some off the wall chance you are reading this, and you’ve shoulder checked someone with a deeper tone of melanin than you, or said/written wretched things to people wither audibly or digitally, do me a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian, because my Bible says that none of those things are a part of the fruit of the spirit.
Ultimately, we are called to pray for our leaders, and I will continue to do that. Ultimately, we are called to hold leaders accountable, and I will continue to do that. Ultimately, we are citizens of a Kingdom primarily, and those objectives supersede the desires of a nation.
— Phillip L
*Image by brownpau via flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/brownpau/3955056653/)