By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32) (Emphasis mine)
Starting on election night and continuing through the next day, I received a number of calls telling me I had been right after all: the people of this country would elect Donald Trump President. I didn’t support Donald Trump nor did I vote for him, but I believed from the moment he declared he was a candidate for the office of President, he would get the office.
It is not that I have the gift of prognostication. I’m not a Prophet but one didn’t have to be to read the psychology of this country. Nor did I have a Damascene moment. It should have been clear to everyone that Trump had opened the reservoir of racism in America, and there were those drinking from its poisoned waters.
It was clear too, that along with drinking from those waters, many in America had decided to be afraid of those different from themselves and had a particular nostalgia that had them yearning for an America when white people were the most important people, America was universally recognized as the most important country, women and people of color knew their place and there were booming factories in cities, big and small. They believed that Trump could and would bring that America back. They’ve been conned.
And while they and Donald Trump will not admit it, America is still a great country. It was before Donald Trump and will be after Donald Trump. Even more importantly, God is still God.
I refuse to join this newly formed club of “woe is us” because Trump will be in the White House. But nor am I one of the recently surrendered whose mantra is give Trump a chance. All of a sudden those in the Republican Party are talking tolerance. “We’re all Americans” and “Let’s be fair” is now acceptable language to those of the far right. Where was that language when Obama won the White House? Did we hear that sentiment from Mitch McConnell? Is that what the “birther movement” was about?
As for this kinder, gentler Donald Trump, I don’t think his core believers will allow that palimpsest. They want the Trump who attacked people with ad hominems, disparaged minorities, and demeaned women. They want the Trump that has promised to destroy Obama care and Isis in the same hour. They want the Trump that lit this fire of exclusionary nationalism burning in their hearts.
But here’s the dilemma, we’ve got to hope Trump does well for the country so our communities will do well. We’ve got to be more engaged in local politics than ever before, we have to stop employing the false measurements we’ve used against each other that impede and destroy unity. Measurements rotating around irrelevances such as what church we attend or what college we went to or where we live or what we do and they don’t do for a living. None of that was ever really important, less so now.
So what happens herein? We certainly should not be living in fear. Trump and those with him are just men, most times not good men but men none the less. They should not give us a spirit of fear.
The battle is the Lords’, isn’t that what we always say? Either we believe it or we don’t. Take the instructions given in 2 Chronicles 20, verse 17″..set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you…fear not , nor be dismayed…”
Think about it.