Everybody was wrong. The media, the pollsters, the Clinton campaign, and myself, in my last column. In January, Donald Trump, with no history in government or the military, will be inaugurated as our 45th president. Some people are elated. Others are terrified for their lives.
How did this happen? Well for one, the DNC was so focused on electability that they elected one woman so mired in corruption, so distrusted by the American people, that she lost to an orange bully. Perhaps the voters did not embrace Trump but just rejected Clinton. I’m no socialist, but I have the common sense to realize that Bernie would have had this election in the bag. He spoke the language of ordinary Americans. Trump spoke this language too, but from the gutter. He added in a uniquely Trumpian mix of racism, misogyny, conspiracy theories, and scapegoat politics. He convinced enough people that he was attuned to their struggles and their anxieties.
And maybe he is. Maybe he just said all those things to get people to the polls, and once he’s in office he’ll start to act like a reasonable statesman. But you’ll have to excuse me for thinking this is unlikely. I saw his acceptance speech, good stuff, and if that’s the President Trump we are going to see, all the power to him. But that does not change the fact that this election has brought out the worst in people. People are terrified and angry at the prospect of a Trump presidency, and I don’t blame them or belittle their fears. There have been reports of harassment and attacks on black people, Hispanics, Muslims, and women less than a week after the election by people emboldened by the president elect. On the other side, mob violence has coalesced into a group pulling a Trump supporter out of his car and beating him. I have criticized Trump from the beginning, but attacking his supporters and voters will only strengthen his regime.
But as much as people are protesting now, as fiery as the rhetoric has been on both sides, as many times as we’ve heard how important this election is – people apparently didn’t care. If they did, more than just 55% of eligible citizens would have voted. This is the lowest voter turnout in 20 years. So, perhaps apathy is our biggest problem.
I have seen calls to unity, and backlash against calls to unity. As a nation, we are in need of healing and reconciliation. And no, not in the sense of “Trump is our president, so quit whining and accept it.” Trump supporters have the right to say that, but his detractors have a right to tear him shreds.
So now what? Well, for one, anyone who feels endangered by a Trump presidency should look into their own second amendment rights. Not for a violent insurrection, but for self-defense against hard-line racists who may feel emboldened or vindicated by a Trump victory.
Conservatives, proceed with caution, whether you have supported this man or not. I have not trusted him to protect life or respect the constitution, and I am not about to until he gives me solid reasons otherwise. I don’t know what his foreign policy will look like, but if it looks anything like what I fear, I would cordially like to welcome Democrats back to the anti-war movement; I know it’s weird after becoming so comfortable with Obama’s drone strikes and Hillary’s hawkish impulses.
What will I do? Same thing I have been doing. I will continue to pray, continue to write. I will continue to speak up for the unborn, the poor, the constitution – against racism, against war, against complacency. No matter who is my president, Christ is my King.