In a week the transfer of political power in the U.S. will have occurred and I hope to return my attention to the other serious thoughts that concern me. This election has disquieted me at a fundamental level, not because a Republican won, but because Donald Trump won unfairly and unjustly. From the Primary’s very beginning his major tactic was to use lies, insults, and libelous innuendoes and threats. Because those outbursts were sensational, he got much more than a fair share of media attention. His bombastic approach unleashed the simmering anger and discontent bubbling below the surface in some segments of our society since the financial meltdown of 2008. (That Obama’s administration saved us from that near disaster was forgotten.)
Trump shouted that our system of government was “broken” and “rigged” and only he could “fix it”. He made the outlandish claim that he knows more than the generals. Toward the end of the campaigning the public learned that our information systems had been hacked by the Russians, secrets stolen and misinformation fed in to discredit Hillary and aid Trump. Despite all that, Hillary won the popular vote by millions but the presidency went to Trump because of the Electoral College system. When all intelligence agencies agreed that Russia was responsible for the hacking, Trump publically criticized the agencies, defaming them as unworthy of our trust . . . and thus playing into Putin’s efforts to undermine our Democracy.
The man slated to become our next president I believe to be a disastrous choice for this country, which is founded on such high principles and ideals. With the change in power there will be a dramatic shift of the central focus: from humanitarian concerns for the health and well being of people and our planet to power, appearances, and profit.
* * *
I sometimes like to explore the Psalms and re-write contemporary versions of the thoughts they contain—on seeking something appropriate for here, my attention was drawn to Psalm 10, which I took directly without modernizing but condensed using two translations, NIV and GNB.
Psalm 10: 1-7, 11, 14
1 Why are you so far away, O Lord?
Why do you hide yourself when we are in trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He is proud of his evil desires
he blesses the covetous and rejects the Lord.
4 In their pride the wicked do not seek the Lord,
in all their thoughts there is no room for God.
5 The wicked man succeeds in everything
he is haughty and Your laws are far from him
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will shake me,
I will never fail or have trouble”.
7 His speech is filled with curses, lies and threats
he is quick to speak hateful evil words.
11 He says to himself “God doesn’t care, he has closed his eyes”.
14 But you, O God, do see—and will call him to account.
* * *
On a more hopeful note I turn to a few verses from
13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
I, too, have a hard time accepting the Trump administration. It seems that systems designed to make democracy possible have been twisted in many troubling ways. I am not sure why this has happened, and I share your sense of betrayal and injustice. But I also find myself puzzling once more over the free will problem: in a world in which mankind has free will, some always use it in an unexpected and disastrous way... I think the situation reminds us that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. I always hated that slogan, but the details so far suggest that it is failures of vigilance that got us in this situation.ReplyDelete