In my November 10 post, Trump change, I reflected on the result of America’s November 8 presidential election. More, I wondered about the character of the Trump presidency, recognizing that it’s too early for me to tell, too early for me to arrive at a conclusion, any conclusion. Hence, as I wait, looking forward to what will be, what may be, I looked back and asked questions in regard to some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises.
Now, on this day after the day after the day after the day after Election Day, reflecting afresh on my November 10 point of view, I realize that my fundamental internal stance on that day was what I’ll term egalitarian idealism. In a word, believing in the God-given equality and respecting the dignity of all people, I gave Mr. Trump the proverbial benefit of the doubt.
This morning, I’m in a different place; one, in some abiding measure, the product of my responses to life’s disappointments, more akin to my typical skeptical, even pessimistic realism. In this light or perhaps more truly said, shadow, I ruminated on Jesus’ word from the Sermon on the Mount: “Beware of false prophets…You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7.15-17).
Prophecy, particularly of the biblical sort, is not a prediction of the future (which, I believe, is a common perception or rather misconception), but the proclamation of God’s revealed word to a community (which, in calling for a response from the people, bears within their choosing to obey or reject it future consequences).
I do not presume to cast Mr. Trump in the role of a biblical prophet. However, in the same way that I, in my November 10 post, looked at the substance of some of his campaign pledges, I think now of the spirit of his rhetoric. In this, Mr. Trump, as I perceive him and his words, fashioned his appeal on a homophobic, nativist, racist, sexist foundation, each element and all elements of which, in the brilliance of God’s love and justice, God’s unconditional benevolence and fairness for all, I believe to be bad fruit.
Given that a sufficient percentage of the electorate that cast ballots bought and ate of this fruit, I do predict that the future of America, indeed, the world will be difficult.