Donald Trump took the oath of office a few moments ago, and became the 45th President of the United States. The country has another President unfit for the office.
By this point, though, that’s hardly a new thing: we’ve had Presidents who’ve committed all manner of wrongdoing before, during, and after their terms in office. None have been as openly proud of their vile behavior as Trump, but then again, it’s been a few decades since the country as a whole was as proudly accepting of evil as it is today–perhaps since segregation. It is predictable, although hardly desirable, that the President mirrors the nation.
And the man who holds the office generally has. Ours is a representative government, and its leaders usually do provide a passable representation of their constituents–this is the blessing and curse of self-government.
It is foolish, then, to fall into the trap of populist rhetoric that “the people” need to take back their government. They have it; it wasn’t Sparkles the Election Fairy who installed the one we have. The people are precisely the problem. Washington (and state governments) aren’t corrupt and putrescent because they’ve lost touch with the people. They reflect the people. We are governed by corrupt liars because the people chose to be, and they have chosen another one for President.
Trump isn’t the problem. Obama wasn’t the problem. The Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court aren’t the problem. All those are symptoms of the underlying problem: the American people have turned their back on God, become wise in their own eyes, and set their imagined knowledge of good and evil ahead of God’s standard. Pray for those in government, new and old, but do not neglect to put prayers and effort to the task of turning the American people back to God. The people, not their leaders, are the source of our decline. Where the people go, the government will follow.
It may be that God in His providence will bless our efforts and restore our nation. He may not, or He may work through other means–He is sovereign in both ability and authority. All frightening (although perhaps justified) speculation aside, only God knows what the next four years hold, but we do know there is no better way to spend them than in working for His kingdom. It happens, but not by chance, that working toward that end is also the most straightforward way of making America truly great.
What then? Remember, for the next four years and after, that the President isn’t the problem: sin among the people is. May God bring revival.