Today, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Regardless of your feelings on the topic, the reality is the same. At the end of today, Mr. Trump will be sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the next four years. We are watching history be made. So what am I supposed to tell my daughter about this man who will be our President?
First, I want to be honest with her, because I believe that is paramount in my relationship with my daughter. In the primaries, Trump was not my guy. In fact, he wasn’t in my top five. My worldview and his didn’t match up. During primary season, I never once thought of voting for him.
Second, elections in America come down to a binary decision. There is a part of me that wishes that there were multiple, viable parties to choose from. One day in the future, that may happen, but for the 2016 election, there were 2 choices. One issue, abortion, dominates my voting and thus there was only one real choice for me.
Third, politics is a dirty, dirty game. Every election turns ugly. Lately, I have been doing some reading on Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury. While we might like to think that everything after the Revolutionary War was all happiness and brotherhood, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Hamilton and Jefferson hated each other. Something about one hating the other’s ideas. Sounds familiar right? I would never want my daughter to enter the world of politics.
Fourth, Donald Trump is not a polished politician. Donald Trump said things that would have forever ended the candidacies of other men. He didn’t play the political games that others have in the past. He also said offensive things that, said to the wrong person, would have resulted with his teeth being handed to him.
Fifth, he won. The Electoral College is loved by everyone until it goes against them. I remember a few less than conservative publications before the election proselytizing that Trump might actually win the popular vote, but the Electoral College vote he would lose soundly. Then, since the victory was so shocking to the media and the political elites, had to come up with a nefarious plot to answer for it. This is why I will never allow my child to play sports that give everyone a trophy. In life, as in sport, there is winning and losing. You have to be able to handle both. There is maturity that comes from losing. Unfortunately, many of those who lost do not possess said maturity.
Sixth, you should pray for your leader. I saw a quote that summed up the angst in American politics well while writing this: “Wanting Donald Trump to fail is like wanting the pilot to crash the plane that we are ALL on.” Like it or not, he is your president for the next four years, and as he goes, so goes the nation.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
To put it even more simply, if Paul can pray for the Romans, then we have no excuse for not praying for Donald Trump.
Seventh, Donald Trump is not your Savior; or any other politician for that matter. Christians voted in overwhelming numbers for Trump this election. They had seen attacks on their religion become mainstream for the last eight years. Being that Hillary Clinton would have continued many of Obama’s policies, they saw only one real option. Christianity though, is not tied to a political party. Christianity is tied to the sacrifice of the Son of God for mankind. Christianity is based on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ and in living in right relationship with Him. There are certain positions that I feel must be taken due to my faith. There are also people I know who differ from me politically that would give me the shirt off their back if I asked. If we are ever going to heal this country, we have to stop yelling at each other first.
I hope, for my child’s sake, that Donald Trump’s presidency is a successful one. His is a unique presidency to say the least. Yet, we will all take part in the residual effects whether we voted for him or not. Christians, though we feel victorious now, would do well to remember that it is on our knees that we are saved and not through the ballot box.