I have waited a few days to publish these comments in order to let the hype die down, reality sink in, and the tectonic plates to settle back into place. Now that there is a bit more calm—riots and fire not withstanding—here are a few notes on the 2016 election.
I was not surprised by the results of this election. I wrote back in May about the wildly unprecedented amount of support Trump garnered in the primaries, and I think I rightly analyzed who was behind it. While I was not quite confident enough to make a prediction at the time, I did feel Trump had a far better chance than either the delusional left or the GOP detractors (both establishment and the equally delusional among the #NeverTrump crowd) could see or admit. My feeling was right.
Though my feeling was right, I was a little surprised by how well the phenomenon succeeded in places that have not swung Republican in decades—Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania. This appears to be good on the surface.
This “silver lining” (if it can be called that) has a cloud around it, though. The alt-right-types boost did not occur uniformly across the country, and did not lead the victory in some places it probably could have. This is good, of course, in many respects, as we all should detest the fascism and racism inherent in much of alt-rightism; but it also means that the “victory” for conservatives must be short lived. Why? Because it comes mainly from older voters who will eventually die off not to be replaced. Second, because the big cities that always vote Democrat voted Democrat in even more intense percentages this election. As the old alt-righters die off, or don’t have a Trump to energize them enough to wheel themselves to the polls, you will not see the type of turnout in the rural areas again. They will stay home.
Aside from these introductory glosses, let make a few more substantial observations with comment on the 2016 election:
First, we will hopefully never have to consider the Clinton brand in politics again. Or Bush for that matter (though there is still a Bush in Texas politics, just starting out). The Trumpocalypse marks the end of the Clinton dynasty, and probably the Bush dynasty as well. I do not say necessarily that Trump caused this, but they at least coincided. I don’t think Chelsea will carry on the family tradition.
The real dynasty, however, that Americans should be concerned with is the one that ruled both Clinton and Bush dynasties: the Council on Foreign Relations. As North noted a couple days ago, this will be the first thing to watch for in the new great white hype. The moment Trump cracks here, you’ll know it was all a waste and a fraud. Those hoping Trump would fight the “New World Order” will be crying like Hillary’s staff last Tuesday night. They will have to mutter the political motto of shame: “but you said you’d still love me in the morning.”
Given that he’s already cracked in praising Hillary and Obama, and looks to be surrounding himself with many of the same old GOP establishment names, we ought not to be surprised how much a Trump looks like a Clinton or a Bush before it’s over.
If and when that happens, there will be a tremendous obligation on the shoulders of certain of his supporters. More on that in a minute.
Second, if Trump sticks to his word (not necessarily likely), the only time we should ever have to hear Hillary’s name in national headlines again will not be for another campaign or office, but for her trial.
This silence would be a blessing, although the wickedness she represents is still all around us—in national politics, lobbies, agendas, state government, local government, academia, school boards, and beyond. It is no time to rejoice or go to sleep. Ding, dong, the witch may be gone, but the wicked lives on.
Third, for all the talk about this “historic” election for women, Hillary actually drew fewer female voters than Obama did in 2012. It seems some ceilings are due to self-limitations.
But voter turnout was also down in general, lower than 2012 and 2008, but even 2004. You mean Trump vs. Clinton could not enthuse people more than the great snore that was Bush vs. Kerry? This speaks volumes about the poor quality of both candidates. Voters stayed home in droves.
Plus, remember the greatest thing that damned Kerry in the campaign? It was the repeated phrase, “flip flop.” Wonder if conservatives will have the integrity to nail Trump with that when he starts.
Fourth, those Christians—especially those within our closer circles—who admitted Trump is a poor candidate, compromised, unqualified, sinful, adulterous, unacceptably vulgar, etc., etc., but who nevertheless demanded we vote for him because Hillary must be stopped at all costs; and who promised that Trump will be the most checked candidate ever in office and then we will oppose his own wickedness and wicked policies once he’s in: you have a tremendous self-imposed obligation on your shoulders. You will now have to start showing your opposition to his character and unbiblical policies. You absolutely must not let your campaigning for him transform into apologizing for every evil he does once in office.
Doing this will be difficult for you, even though it is right. It will be difficult because you invested so much time and energy in his win, you actually admired certain qualities about his do-whatever-I-want leadership toughness, and you now, to some extent, no matter how much you acknowledged his sins, see him as “my guy.”
You defended Trump at all costs during the campaign, and your great temptation will be to defend him at high cost now, too. This is because of the same reason you supported during the campaign: anti-leftism. If the main reason you supported Trump before was to beat rabid leftism, guess what? Rabid leftism and leftist anti-Trump mania didn’t leave with Hillary. It’s still here, and will still try everything it has—media, spin, scandal, old clips, academia, tax returns, corruption allegations, etc., etc.—to bring him down. You will be in the position of ignoring what you said before because of the same impulse to defend Trump—because, you will reason, “If we don’t, these rabid leftists will win. Do you want another Obama or Clinton to take the White House in 2020?”
And so the game will go on, and the compromised blind will keep leading the compromised blind into the ditch. You guys who willfully closed your eyes for the campaign, better open them and start leading people out of the ditch and back into the true advance of Christian principles in politics, which will mean tremendous and sustained critique of Trump and his policies.
If you do not, we’ll know you were either not in earnest before, or have chickened out once under pressure.
Fifth, take a good look at the election results, numbers, and demographic results compared to those in 2012 and other recent elections. The truth is, not much is really that different. The same fundamental divisions are with us as have been for a long time. Trump was able to energize some dormant voters, or at least get some “blue dog” Dem-types to flip, but he only won because Hillary failed to do so for herself in key places. The election hung upon a relative pittance of votes in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida.
This is true for almost any election: 90 percent or more of voters are always on one side or the other no matter what and will never change. The difference in any election is made up by a small minority to show up in a select few places.
This single point makes American presidential elections a huge joke. No matter how much the media or compatriots may sing about a “mandate” in any election, one never truly exists, not even in a modern “landslide” like Reagan 1980 or Obama 2008. It’s another delusion. White Houses can change and we can inaugurate new dawns, new mornings, or new hopes, but at the end of the day, the urban centers still vote 70 percent liberal and the rural areas 70 percent conservative, and the two are roughly equal in number overall. That a handful of voters in national elections move either way or stay home may decide the residents of the White House, but has not yet put a single dent in the problems of “liberty and justice for all.” This includes the problems in the inner cities, the blind socialism of farm subsidies, public schools, the military industrial complex—not to mention abortion and a hundred thousand other issues.
Not a dent.
Christians and Christian conservatives absolutely must get their eyes off the national delusion and start looking to local solutions and local resistance to Federal tyranny. If we don’t, we’ll be the asylum inmate who keeps trying to empty the bathtub with a teaspoon while the tap keeps pouring. Insane.
Finally, if either Trump or Hillary had been elected, Christians who care about the biblical law of liberty would have been facing tremendous challenges, just different sets of them. With Trump, the greatest danger will, I think, result from an attempt to get tough on crime and terrorism: there will be a tremendous ramp-up in the police state, and since it will no longer be Obama behind it, Republicans will be far less likely to resist further erosions of the Fourth and Fifth amendments, and others. This has the potential to be a liberty-destroyer, and Christian conservatives will be cheering it on like they would a declaration of war on Iran to “defend Israel.”
The second greatest danger under Trump will probably be whatever damage his protectionism and potential trade wars will do to the economy. I have not thought through this completely yet, so won’t risk any details, but there is potential for a yuge ripple effect—more than even the most charismatic of leaders can just comb over. Plus, any tremor in this economy could start the earthquake of another recession, which will undermine Trump’s greatest boast and greatest appeal and probably lead to a Dem sweep in 2020.
As I said, it is hardly time to get happy, rejoice, or go back to sleep. The witch may be gone, but the same evil is ever present. The devil presents himself as an angel of light, and we must be vigilant.