After 596 days of active campaigning, the 2016 presidential election is over, or nearly over — and the race is decided except for the shouting. The pundits, including this author, were very, very wrong, and Trump won decisively in the Electoral College despite narrowly losing the popular vote. Because Clinton’s voters were spread evenly throughout red and swing states, her lead in the polls (the polls were only off by around two points, a normal error, and she still leads the popular vote) did not translate into wins where she needed it.
When Clinton concedes tonight or tomorrow morning, Trump will be by far the most openly personally immoral President-elect in US history. He’s made a habit of boasting of his fornication, adultery (saying adultery was not a sin), and even sexual assault, routinely refused to pay his creditors, dragged his opponents through frivolous lawsuits (even trying to have an elderly widow’s house condemned so he could build a parking lot), and built his fortune by oppressing the poor and foreigner. Recent revelations show that he also appeared in pornographic films, tried to force his second wife into doing pornography, and made a habit of using his power as owner of several pageants to leer at young contestants while they were dressing. His policy positions are entirely schizophrenic — for all of his life he was a dyed-in-the-wool leftist, right up until he decided to run for president as a Republican. Since then, he’s started giving a few nods to more conservative rhetoric, but also falls on most sides of most issues. He is untrustworthy, immoral, unstable, and utterly unfit to be President — but he will be President.
The country will likely face hard times, as it would have if Clinton had been elected. We’ll see right away how closely Trump intends to hew to his promises, as the new President will be called on to nominate a new Supreme Court justice (Merrick Garland was always a placeholder, to force the Republican Senate into confirmation if Clinton won). Conservatives are now relying on a man who boasts about breaking his promises to his wives to keep his promise to the country; they are forced to trust that a lifelong leftist and pathological liar is telling the truth about his positions just this one time.
Time will tell. For now, the future is uncertain, and our country will be led for the immediate future by a deranged narcissist. Surprising as this may be to us (well, it was surprising that it was this deranged narcissist), none of it came as a surprise to God, and none of it upsets His plans. Perhaps Trump will shock the world once again and be a sane and rational leader — or perhaps he’ll do what he’s done his entire life until now. In either case, the Lord reigns and is present with His people. Nothing — no election, no President, and no Congress — can change that.
For Christians, that is enough. I think of the words of the hymnwriter John Newton:
Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned,
No changes of season or place
Would make any change in my mind:
While blessed with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
All prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.
Whether the next four years bring blessing or disaster, we know that we will face adversity before the Lord returns to set all things under his feet, but God is with us. Let us take heart, prepare to be more than ever a light in a dark place, and take the adventure that Aslan sends us.