Yeah, that just happened. I expected a tighter race than much of the media predicted, but I still thought Hillary was going to win. I just did not think that Trump would be able to win all the swing states he needed, much less pierce the so-called “firewall” of blue states. Well, next thing I knew, Trump had won North Carolina and Ohio while leading in Florida. At around 11 p.m., it became abundantly clear who our next president was going to be, though I still stuck around till the wee hours of the night to see the final confirmation. Like many others, I grossly underestimated the grassroots support that Trump inspired and the level of shrewd political planning his team enacted.
And so Donald Trump is going to be our 45th president. I never in a million years thought we would reach this point when he first announced his candidacy, but he beat every traditional politician doing things his own unorthodox and frankly ridiculous way.
There are a ton of articles out there analyzing the election, but I’m going to jot down some thoughts about the election which may or may not be connected to one another:
Liberal hypocrisy and blindness: I predicted on Facebook when Trump took a pretty commanding lead that many on the left were going to blame racism, sexism, xenophobia, and the lack of education on the loss rather than self-reflect on their own shortcomings. And to no one’s surprise, that prediction came true: There are a lot of liberals out there who refuse to acknowledge that something might have been very wrong with their platform, their rhetoric, and their strategy but instead use the excuse that all these patriarchal white supremacists just made the whole election unfair.
What is ironic about this is that such an attitude is itself racist and also condescending to the very people they allegedly care about: Poor and lower middle-class workers who feel ignored. They seem surprised that these people are rather tired of being called “racists” and recipients of “white privilege” by millionaire celebrities, smug university professors, or clueless college students. It is also ironic because many of them have historically voted Democrat. As I’ve written before, Trump was not primarily buoyed by racists and sexists; he was being supported by blue collar workers in big numbers who felt like he was their champion (right or wrong). This is a big reason why he won the Republican nomination in the first place. What is so hypocritical about all of this is that many liberals are blasting “uneducated” and poor white workers as if their vote is supposed to be less legitimate. One may ask them why they were not similarly incensed that many uneducated and poor black people voted for Obama. “But that’s racist!” Indeed it is. It goes both ways.
Regressive leftist rhetoric and strategy is partially responsible for this: The regressive left is that growing segment of liberalism that finds virtue in policing other people’s thoughts, trying to destroy people for utilizing free speech, and elevating hurt feelings to the level of physical assault. It is a nonsense and weak-minded movement that has generated fantastically immature ideas such as trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions that currently plague college campuses and reduce the brains of millennials to infantile mushes. Their bullying tactics and hypocritical application of political correctness even worry classical liberals, and they eventually gave rise to an “alt-right” movement as a counter. However, the alt-right is not the only group that is sick of this bullying and name-calling; many people who don’t resort to the alt-right’s trolling and offensive tactics still have had enough of the arrogant and smarter-than-thou attitude of the left. Hillary’s “deplorables” comment is especially indicative of how so many progressives think, and those so-called “deplorables” just told the left to shove it by electing the crass Donald Trump.
A monumental rebuke of the media: It is no secret that the majority of the media leans left. This goes from news outlets to political comedy shows to Hollywood movies. And the media tried hard, very hard, to destroy Donald Trump while mostly defending Hillary or at least massaging her problems. In many ways, Trump gave them plenty of easy ammunition because he said and did stupid things. However, as Bill Maher admitted, the liberal media cried wolf too many times on people like George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. Maher conceded that he and the liberal media made a mistake being insulting towards them because they were “honorable” men with whom he disagreed, as opposed to the legitimately dangerous Donald Trump. The problem, of course, of crying wolf too many times is that people stop trusting you. The media was off with their polls, off with their rhetoric, and ultimately off with their connection with many Americans.
The Not-So-Affordable Care Act: The email mess was somewhat influential, though accusations that Comey is partisan is somewhat laughable considering the fact that liberals were praising him before that for excusing Hillary due to lack of intent. However, a more significant problem that really hurt Hillary was that insurance costs skyrocketed right before the election. I know middle-class people whose premiums rose 40+%. Bad timing for someone who would simply continue the ACA.
Hillary must be really, really unlikable: Buried under the rhetoric that Trump is supported by racists and other ___ists who suffer from 50,000 phobias is the assumption that most people who voted for Trump gleefully did so. This is simply not true; many viewed this as a distasteful choice but found Hillary to be worse. Considering that this is Donald Trump we’re talking about, that speaks volumes about how shady the Clintons seem and how alarming her stance on abortion was, among other things. I know people who have always hated Donald Trump yet cast their vote for him because they just could not believe that she would be okay with third trimester abortions.
Over-dramatic reactions continues to show leftist immaturity: I keep seeing Asian-Americans like me claim that they feel unsafe and afraid. Some have even called out for Great White Saviors to help shield them, and hilariously, virtue-signalling white males were happy to show how macho, enlightened, and just they are by promising to stand up for them as a humble acknowledgment of their white privilege. Well, that’s news to me; I don’t feel less safe, and I don’t live in this fantasy that everyone is now out to get me. It’s this sort of knee-jerk demonization of the opposition that gets old really fast and shows how out of touch many liberals are of the real reasons why they failed.
It’s not only some Asian-Americans; all sorts of people are claiming the world is ending as we know it, that Trump is going to usher in an era of fascism, that all their minority friends will be deported by next month, etc. This kind of emotionalism is just silly.
Christians who are overly upset about this need some serious self-reflection: Christians should not only not put too much hope into elections like this, as I wrote before, but they should really think about why they’re so upset that Trump won. I’ve long said that I don’t think Trump is a true conservative and that he’ll probably be bad for conservatism in the long run. However, given that the other choice was Hillary, who would do nothing but promote things like abortion that Christians should absolutely have a problem with, I’m puzzled by the level of teeth-gnashing that is going on. I had already made my peace with either of these people being president even though I voted for neither, and so I watched the election results with amusement and ambivalence. Christians who are panicking need to get a grip and re-order their priorities.
If Christians should be alarmed by anything, it’s an explicit connection with Donald Trump: I do not fault Christians for making the unpalatable choice of voting for Trump due to certain important issues. I do fault some Christians for failing to make a clear case why they’re voting for Trump and failing to distinguish their policy decisions from the faith that they preach. Christians should have never tried to defend Trump’s stupid words and actions and instead should have rebuked them in no uncertain terms. Granted, many liberals are being immature right now and it seems that no amount of reasoning is going to break through to some of them, but the risk to the witness of the Church is great. Christians need to make clear that those people Trump has disparaged are welcome in churches and welcome to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
That said, it is silly to blame Christians for this election: There are many people, including Christians, who are blaming evangelicals (mostly “white evangelicals”) for Trump’s victory. It is true many evangelicals voted for him, but they certainly were not the only voting base. More importantly, many of these critics fail to explain why Christians should have instead voted for Hillary Clinton. I can understand an argument to vote third party, but many of these same critics claim that voting third party is throwing one’s vote away or even a vote for Trump. This is again an example of angry liberals not really reflecting on their own party’s failures.
Christians should try to pray for Trump and to be instruments of healing: We have just elected a president who is… rather less than qualified, and the country is bitterly divided. First off, the Bible commands Christians to pray for our leaders, and that includes Donald Trump, even if people like me think he’s a bozo. If he’s a Christian like some say, then let us hope that the Holy Spirit matures him very quickly. If he isn’t (which, let’s face it, is likely), then we should still pray that God gives him wisdom and also pray for his salvation. Secondly, Christians should pray for unity and also act it out. This does not mean that we do not deliver harsh truths, but it does mean that we try to engage in civil dialogue and be forthright with the Gospel message.
The Republicans now control the presidency and all of Congress, which is actually risky: Obama’s first term started with him having a super majority in Congress, which is how he was able to ram the ACA down everyone’s throats. However, the American people who awarded him that advantage took it from the Democrats quickly; they lost several seats in the mid-term election and lost the House before losing the Senate by the end of Obama’s term. Now they’ve lost the presidency despite running against a very polarizing figure. The lesson is clear: the American people can be fickle, and perceived mistakes can be punished with a vengeance. The Republicans can either do some good work and prove they’re capable or screw around and draw the long-term ire of the country. With young people increasingly brainwashed into hating Republicans by our universities, this is a very important time for Republicans to prove their mettle.
And so one of the most absurd election seasons ever has ended. Back to important things like college football :).