Once again it's time to say goodbye to an old year and hello to a new one, with all the hopes for a brighter future that the New Year celebration usually brings. We in the U.S. just witnessed an ugly 2016 election with some of the seamiest, dirtiest, most outrageous partisan tactics at the highest level that we have ever seen. Many are still in shock over the results of that election, including me. (For those who follow my blog, you may have notice I have been missing in action for a few weeks. Actually I have been working on writing some books for children on themes of diversity and acceptance. I almost feel like it's too late for the current generation, but maybe the next generation can be saved if we start now.)
But back to the topic at hand.....we look forward to 2017 with some anxiety about what our newly elected president will bring to the office. How will out lives change? Will he settle down and become "presidential?" Will he carry out some of his most outrageous promises? Will he ever hold a press conference, or will he continue to govern by tweets? Will he repeal Obamacare? Will he build the wall? Just what can we expect from our new president and his cabinet in the years to come?
Americans wanted change and it's change they got. If early prognosticators are correct, Trump plans to reverse the direction we have been going as a nation on many key issues, such as environmentalism (by pulling out of the Paris agreement,) promotion of clean energy (by promoting the coal industry), and immigration (by curtailing further immigration of certain groups such as Muslims and deporting some who are already here.) Given his sudden flip flops on positions, it is hard to say which of these policies he will really implement and which were simply tools he used to get himself elected, and now that he is in office, has no intention of fulfilling. Remember his rallying cry? "Lock her up!" Looks like that's not going to happen either. But how many votes did he win from people who believed he would?
I have heard from several evangelical Christians, Franklin Graham being one of them, that the election of Donald Trump as president was the answer to their prayers. I understand where these people are coming from. They feel that one of the greatest evils of our society is the millions of abortions performed each year. They believe President Trump will nominate Supreme Court justices that will reverse Roe vs. Wade and make abortion illegal. It's understandable that Christians would feel this way. I do agree abortion is a bad thing and should be the last resort as a solution to an unwanted pregnancy, maybe only used in cases of rape and incest. But does God care more about unborn babies than he does about poor people who depend on Medicaid, that is likely to be cut under a Trump presidency? What about social programs that provide care for those babies who would be born if abortion is illegal? Is it okay with God for those to be eliminated? Does God turn a blind eye to the millions of people who will go back to being uninsured if Trump repeals Obamacare? Is God in favor of a nuclear arms race?
Neither party's platform holds the key to all moral issues. Republicans like to think they hold the high ground, but a quick examination of their policies reveals that they don't. It is true that God works in mysterious ways and "all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28.) Maybe Trump's election really was an answer to prayer, but only God knows the ultimate plan and whether President Trump will lead the American people to the Promised Land or if things will get so bad that we will all turn to God begging for forgiveness and deliverance.