Acting Gentlemanly in the Post-Election Uproar
No praise or repudiation of either candidate in what follows should be construed as an endorsement of one candidate over another.
I, for one, was surprised at the election outcome. I had commented to my wife after the first presidential debate that Clinton would be the next president. She acted presidential while Trump went on the offense. He was brash, condescending, and totally aggressive in what was a display of, dare I say it, anger. I, for sure, believed that Clinton was behaving well enough despite her flaws that she could have carried her campaign to victory.
By the second debate, Trump was branded as a sexual predator due to the surfacing of a video wherein he gloated about his behavior toward women. In that second debate, he came out timid, and more reserved. He was forced to acknowledge this behavior. Everyone from his VP to his wife denounced his conduct, and Clinton capitalized on the narrative to shape it in such a way that he was portrayed as the evilest human being alive. During this debate, he seemed to gather momentum after a brief period of contrition, but would it be enough?
I missed the third debate due to my ministerial duties. However, the options for President were not the most desirable, but I soldiered through and did my civic duty and voted with due deference to generations past who had sacrificed for me to have this opportunity. Though, I seriously considered exercising my option not to vote. The election is now over, and Trump is our President-Elect.
In my lifetime, I’ve had Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama as Presidents. As soon as George W. Bush I have prayed for our Presidents. Though, there have been times when I’ve been highly critical of their policies, parties, and persons. I came to the conviction that God required of me, not my criticisms, but my prayers (1 Timothy 2:1–4). Furthermore, I recall Paul’s response after he’d been rebuked following his revile of the high priest, “You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people” (Acts 23:5). Paul had spoken evil of the high priest who was clearly in the wrong, but being the God-fearing man that he was, God’s law was of greater import than being correct. No matter how evil the high priest was, God’s law required that evil not be spoken about one of the leaders of Israel. Taking this same principle, I’d endeavored not to speak unkindly of my governing leaders regardless of how wrong they are. I may talk about their actions, but not them as people for they too are made in God’s image as am I.
There are people on each side of the coin. Some supported Clinton because of the outlandish things Trump has done and said that seem bigoted and sexist. To cast them as baby-killers because she stands for abortion is unfair because I happen to know many who supported her that dislike her stance on abortion. They supported her because Trump was of such a character that they could not, in good conscience, support him. On the converse, many supported Trump because they could not support her due to abortion and other things, but this in no way implies that Trump supporters are bigoted and sexist.
The media was clearly biased in the whole election. They tried to shape the narrative, and they portrayed themselves as a priestly caste with greater insights and higher knowledge. They were arrogant. Now, they’re eating a large slice of humble pie. The media was wrong. They unfairly tried to influence this election and have lost credibility, but, sadly, their talking points have stuck.
While I have opinions that I’d wish to convey, I can only say that for better or worse, Trump will be my President. I will pray for him as I have Obama while reserving my personal judgment lest my prayers are hindered. I also won’t speak about either candidate’s supporters with straw-man arguments but will strive to pursue peace. No amount of protest will change what is, and no amount of vitriol does any good. God is watching, and He’s listening.