I admit it – I am disappointed with the results of this election. Not because I think Hillary Clinton would have been a great president – her flaws and sins are many and varied. It isn’t because a republican will be president – I think Clinton is more of a republican than Pres. Trump. Will he be good or bad at this? He believes he is the greatest at everything, but honestly, none of us knows. I hope that, for the sake of our country, we will support any good ideas that come out of him and work together. We all have seen what has happened in the last 8years – Congress decided to block everything that Pres. Obama has wanted to accomplish, and it has been really bad for us as a country.
No – my disappointment comes from the fact that slightly under half of America thinks that a person like Donald Trump is a good person and a good choice. To be clear – he is not a Republican – he is immoral, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic and a narcissist. He believes that making fun of people who are, in some way, not as “perfect” as he is is appropriate behavior. He is also a pretty bad businessman. He thinks that sexual assaulting women and bragging about it is the same as locker room talk. He believes – somehow – that he will force Mexico to build a giant wall. I think at this point Mexico might build a wall to keep us out! How will he make them pay up? Will he point or shoot missiles (that is the reason for the picture) at them? Will he deport everyone of Mexican descent after he clears out the Muslims?
Everyone knows the Pres. Trump is all of these things, and they still voted for him. We know all the reasons why – we know that Sec. Clinton has major problems and was a very weak candidate. We know that many people – white men (and some women) especially – are angry at jobs moving out of the country – a problem that Mr. Trump has contributed to. We know that many people believe that not being allowed to say racist, sexist, horrible things whenever you want to is somehow about political correctness and an infringement on their right to free speech. This election is as much about fear and bigotry as it is about jobs and lost hope.
I am afraid for our country. Not because of who our president will be – presidents are largely irrelevant. No, I am afraid because of all the posts and statements from Trump supporters saying that they would rise up in violent rebellion if he wasn’t elected. I am afraid because I believe this will happen soon anyway once we find out that he will probably not do much of what he has promised. I am afraid of how many people will now carry guns and use them on the people they hate.
I am also hopeful, because I believe that the slight majority who did not vote for him will now be mobilized to make sure that we, as a nation, protect the civil rights of all of our people. I believe that there are voices that will not be silenced, and there is a silent majority that cares deeply about justice. I believe that love will ultimately win, but it sometimes needs a nudge. We have been nudged – now what? Peace (I hope).
Steve Ohnsman has been the pastor of Calvary UCC in Reading, PA for over 17 years. He holds a BA in Religion & Philosophy from Wilmington College (OH), a M.Div. from Drew Theological Seminary (NJ), a D.Min. from United Theological Seminary (OH), and a Ph.D. from Alvernia University (PA).