Election Reflection

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in a restaurant in Hawaii, enjoying a meal with my wife and several lifelong friends.  I knew it was election night, and I had no desire to hear anything about the results.  Some of my friends were Trump supporters, and others were Clinton supporters.  I knew, no matter the outcome, some were going to be disappointed.  To my utter surprise, it was the Clinton supporters.

Since then, I have kept silent about the election – and its aftermath.  But now, two weeks later, I feel compelled to express my own opinions and feelings about the outcome.  You may agree with me.  You may disagree with me.  Fine.  I’m not out to change anyone’s mind.  I’m just expressing my own thoughts.

First, let me say that there probably were few people more surprised than me at the result.  While I am certainly more pleased that Mr. Trump, and not Mrs. Clinton, is going to be our next president, I honestly did not expect him to win.  I probably put too much faith in the media and polls, and not enough faith in the clear dissatisfaction that I had sensed among most of the electorate.

Yes, I did vote for Donald Trump, and I am going to provide some reasons for my vote.  Before doing so, however, if you consider me deplorable, a racist, a misogynist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a bigot, or any other of the hyperbolic epithets thrown at those who voted for Mr. Trump, let me just say this:  that’s a YOU issue.  If you are willing to automatically call me and half (or at least nearly half) of the remainder of the country’s voters such names, it is you who is deplorable; it is you who is the bigot; it is you who is intolerant.

Now, I will certainly be honest and say that I voted for Mr. Trump not because I considered him to be my ideal candidate (I supported Ted Cruz in the primaries), but because I believed Mrs. Clinton was unfit and unqualified to be the president.  Again, you may disagree with me about this.  That’s fine.  I respect your opinion.  I would just request that you respect mine.  Unfortunately, and sadly, there seems to be a shortage of respectful disagreement these days.

I voted for Mr. Trump in large part because of whom he chose as his running mate – Gov. Mike Pence.  By all accounts, Gov. Pence is a man of character and integrity.  He has championed conservative causes, and stands for conservative values.  He is steady.  He is levelheaded.  During the campaign, much was alleged about Mr. Trump’s lack of judgement.  In my mind, he exercised great judgement in selecting Gov. Pence as his running mate.

I voted for Mr. Trump because he stated he would appoint strict-constructionist judges to the Supreme Court.  Will he?  I don’t know for sure.  But I do know for sure that Mrs. Clinton would not if she would have won.  Am I hedging my bets?  Perhaps.  But the odds are in my favor.

I voted for Mr. Trump because he is not a career politician.  I, like so many others, was (and am) tired of people in Washington, D.C. pontificating about, crafting legislation impacting, and implementing regulations directed at, private sector businesses and industries, when they have little (if any) experience in these arenas.

I voted for Mr. Trump because I understood that I was voting for a president, not a king.  While the executive branch of our government certainly has power, this power has limits, and it is balanced by the legislative and judicial branches.  If Mr. Trump tries to exceed the limits of his executive power, he, like President Obama (at least in some instances), will experience pushback, maybe even rebuke, from Congress, the Supreme Court, and most importantly, the voters – think mid-term elections.

I do not think that President-elect Trump has any moral high ground on which to stand.  He has said and done things that I find morally reprehensible.  But so has Mrs. Clinton.  So, for me, it came down to this – I either vote for the morally bankrupt person who at least espouses political positions closer to my own, or vote for the morally bankrupt person who falls on the opposite side of the political spectrum.  This is not a decision I exercised comfortably, and one I hope I don’t have to make again.  I guess we’ll see in 4 years.

Anyway, these are the main reasons I cast my vote for Mr. Trump.  Again, you can agree or disagree with my reasons.  That’s fine.  I really don’t care.  Whether you are pleased, displeased, or indifferent with the outcome, my hope is that you will at least give him a chance to lead before turning against him.

Sadly, some in our country have not, and admit that they will not, accept the outcome of the election.  Like spoiled little children, they throw fits that they call protests.  Quite honestly, many look more like riots to me.  They scream, they yell, they whine, they cry, they insult, they name-call.  All because their candidate lost an election.  To those people I say, “Get over it!”  I lived 8 years with Barack Obama as my president.  I was not happy either time he won.  But he won fair-and-square.  The electorate spoke.  He won the majority of Electoral College votes.  Not once did I say, “He’s not my president.”  Not once did I take to the street to protest.  Not once did I call for abolishment of the Electoral College.

The Bible instructs Christians to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  Thus, over the past 8 years, I (and many others I know) have repeatedly prayed for President Obama.  I prayed that God would grant him wisdom.  I prayed that God would grant him grace and mercy.  I prayed that God would grant him favor.  Trust me, it wasn’t easy.  After all, I vehemently disagree with him politically.  Nonetheless, I did so.  I would ask, indeed challenge, supporters of Mrs. Clinton (and other Trump opponents) to do the same.