It was indeed another Brexit moment: Donald Trump winning the race to become the 45th President of the United States of America. It was a result that very few thought would really happen; greeted by some with joy and by others with dismay. The latter included: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and J. K. Rowling, who all tweeted their sadness at the result of yesterday’s vote. “Gonna cry my false eye lashes off tonight.” was Katy Perry’s first response. Other reactions recorded in the media included:
“He’s a threat to the present and future immigrants of the country.”
“Pretty scared right now, I won’t lie,”
“This can’t be real.”
Just as some in Britain are refusing to accept the outcome of the democratic vote for Brexit, there are those in the USA, who are already protesting on the streets after losing the election.
Looking back over the campaign, Donald Trump said some terrible things about Latinos, immigrants, African Americans, women and the disabled. Yet his victory speech showed a calmer, more conciliatory, some even suggested a more presidential, side. In her losing speech, Hillary Clinton said that America “owes Donald Trump an open mind and a chance to lead.” Even President Obama said this morning, “We all go forward with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens.”
It’s true that if Donald Trump follows through on some of his more extreme election promises, life will become much harder for some, particularly for minorities, but surely it behoves us all to give Donald Trump a chance to start again. Wouldn’t we want that for our self? And who knows, the reality of political life may bring a swift end to some of his wilder ideas?
Turning from politics for a moment, it seems to me that some people’s deep-seated fears and horror over Donald Trump’s victory do show a concern for minorities, but also a sense of helplessness, in that our lives are subject to the ebb and flow of political changes and world events, and in our human frailty we have no defence. However, we are not without hope in this world. There is one greater than the presidents and politicians; one who knows and cares for us individually. Psalm 46 reminds us that when the unexpected happens:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, … The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. … He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” (Psalm 46)
Because He is there, working unseen on our behalf, we can live and let live. We can accept the decision of our fellow citizens, and continue working to make this a world fit for all.