Over a cup of ice coffee; I would share with you that I was not totally surprised by the electionn of Donald Trump. It has always been my belief that there was always a chance that he would win. News analysts have pointed out several factors that contributed to his victory. First, he spoke to blue-collar workers in those states that make up the”Rust Belt.” These are those voters who felt left behind during the country’s economic recovery. They felt ignored by federal government; by the Democratic Party, which originally was their party. They now see it, and the government as supporting Big Business; and immigrants. They claim to not recognize the country they live in; and they were mad as heck! They were looking for anti-political establishment figure, and found him in Donald Trump. The irony is that it was these same blue collar workers who helped to elect Bill Clinton to the Presidency. Reports are out there that he told Hilary’s campaign staff not to ignore the workers in states, like Michigan, but he was ignored. There were other factors also that contributed to Clinton’s defeat; she just had too much baggage, from her e-mails, to her cozy relationship with the Wall Street establishment; a lot of people just could get excited about her enough to go out and vote for her.
Now the country waits to see what a Trump Administration means for us, for minorities, for immigrants, and for those workers who have pinned their hopes on him. There are already sizable protests on both coasts of the country; with people crying out: “Not my president.” The fact of the matter is that come January, 2017, Donald Trump will legally, constitutionally, be the President of the United States. We can either accept that fact or be responsible for the ending of the political experiment that is the United States of America.
What is the Catholic Christian response to this situation? First, to pray; pray that the Holy Spirit will invade the hearts of our political leaders, changing them from hearts full of anger and disrespect for the other side; to hearts geared towards cooperation for the sake of the nation and all its’ people. That political and social discourse will be with respect for people on the other side of an issue. That there will be a new commitment to make government work. We then must also be willing to stand with the poor, the disenfranchised, the immigrant; and where necessary, speak “truth to power;” but in such a way that respects the political process, in a way that promotes civil discussion and cooperation. I would highly recommend reading an article by Fr. James Martin, SJ, in the Jesuit magazine, “America.”
Well, my mug of iced coffee is empty; and believe it or not, I am about ready to pass out. So I hope to see you again, over a cup of coffee.