Reflecting on the Election
It looks like Alec Baldwin has a secure gig on SNL for the next 4 years…
In all seriousness though, I am deeply disappointed with the results of this election. Not just that Donald Trump was elected, but with us as a nation. I am disappointed that the white majority has forgotten that their families, too, once were immigrants. I am disappointed that the white majority is so quickly supplementing the already dismissive #alllivesmatter with #notallwhitepeople. Racism is alive and well in the USA. I am disappointed that misogyny and rape culture have been brushed aside as locker room talk. I am disappointed and fearful for for the rights of my LGBTQ friends and family. I am disappointed that we have not come further. But I am not surprised. This has all always been there. It has just been better hidden in recent years. This campaign has stripped off the facade of a “kinder, gentler America” and revealed the truth of what is in our hearts.
I say white majority, but the reality is that the white majority will soon cease to be. We will be majority minority by about the middle of the next century. For those whose majority is being eclipsed, fear has won the day; fear of change: fear of loss of perceived power, fear of loss of cultural dominance, fear of “the other”. Failure to see this, to acknowledge and address these fears has been a failure of the power elite for a long time. I think that Hillary’s failure to recognize these fears, to instead characterize those who were responding to Trump’s message as “deplorables” was wrong headed and wrong hearted.
Eight years ago we elected Barack Obama, who ran a campaign based on CHANGE. His eight years have been full of change. Positive change for the marginalized, for the LGBTQ community, for non-whites, for women and to some extent, for immigrants. This election has been a backlash by those who have perceived these changes as a threat to their way of life. I live outside of a large metro area in an area made up of farms, farms and more farms. It has been clear to me that Trump’s message of “Make America Great (White/Male) Again” was resonating in my little corner of Ohio. I don’t think that the majority of the people in my little part of the world are evil. I think they are scared and scared people do scary things.
I am heartbroken by the results of this election. But I am also convicted that my voice needs to be louder than it has been for those who are being negatively impacted by this election. I cannot pick and choose when to speak up for the marginalized. Silence and complacency are not options.
The Jesus I know and love will not allow me to sit idly by in silence. My compassion must encompass all: not just those who today have had their fears reignited by the election of Mr Trump, but also those whose fear has elected him. God’s love is extended to all. There is no room for hate among his true followers.
Loving your enemy, blessing those who persecute you, has never been easy. But we must. We must all grieve first. But there is a time for all things. First we grieve. We don’t try to rush others through the process of grieving. Then we get up and get back to work: Loving the unloved and unlovable. Binding the wounds of the broken and hurting. Protecting the weak. Speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.