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To my friends who have been supporting Trump:

Congratulations on your victory. You worked hard, and you managed to pull off the upset of the century.

But I need to ask: are you prepared for the way things are about to change? After all, for the past eight years you’ve often claimed the role of victim and cried out about persecution. But with today’s victory, especially since it’s looking like the Republicans will sweep both houses as well, those days are over.

You used to be able to watch Star Wars and identify with the Rebellion, but now that you’ve won, you’ve assumed the role of the Empire. What will you do with all of those Star Destroyers and Tie Fighters?

This brings me to the million-dollar question: what will you do with your victory? Will you treat the other side the way you feel like they treated you these past years? Will you use this opportunity to build up and renew things for everyone, or will you use it to oppress and destroy those who are different than you? My hope is that you will turn the other cheek and approach your newfound position with humility and mercy, and maybe even with a smidge of empathy.

The ball’s in your guy’s court now, and I hope to heaven that you were right about Trump being good for this country. I just hope it’s not true only for a certain segment of the population.

Only time will tell.

But here’s the thing. A LOT of people are incredibly freaked out by the man you just elected, and they presume that Trump will do just what he promised to do, just as you were freaked out about what you thought Hillary would do if she won. And can you blame them? If you’re honest, now you have to acknowledge that over the course of this campaign, your guy said some pretty hateful things about a lot of people of a variety of backgrounds. And with your guy’s inability to demonstrate remorse or even step back from things, he’s opened the door for others to feel free to be hateful too, in his image.

And that’s got a lot of people nervous, whether you think that nervousness is justifiable or not.

The point is, your guy’s got a lot of self-inflicted damage to overcome before half the country will come close to being willing to see him as their president. And it would help if you – as the victors now – recognized and owned that truth, because what you do on a personal level could make a world of difference. I know that the majority of you are good and decent people who have been fed up with the way things have been going, but now you are in the position to make things better for everyone.

It’s on you.

To both sides:

We need to be gracious, both in victory and in defeat. There’s more at stake here than simply getting our party into power, or getting our platforms passed. Living in China these past four years, I can tell you from experience that the world is watching closely. Will this vaunted democracy survive this shocking result? We must show them that it will, and that it will thrive in spite of everything that’s gone on these past several months.

To those of you who feel like tonight was a disaster of epic proportions:

I get that. In fact, I’m having trouble accepting that a Donald Trump presidency is actually a reality that is going to happen. Even as a lifelong Republican supporter, I’ve not been able to get behind Trump during the campaign, and I can’t fathom getting behind him now as president.

But ultimately, I have to. We all do.

The only thing that will make this experiment in democracy continue to work, the only way that it’ll be able to survive, thrive, and have any sort of positive repercussions around the world, is if the world sees us making it work. In this case, it means putting our support behind the president-elect, because he is the president-elect. Not for the sake of Donald Trump, but for the sake of the office that he will now hold. And as big as Trump may think that he is, that office is much, much bigger.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that we need to give Trump some sort of free pass to do whatever he wants to do. We still need to hold his feet to the fire, while doing everything in our power to keep him from setting the whole place ablaze. But we need to be united behind the essentials that bind us together, not behind the man sitting in the oval office. We need to give him a chance to show that a good deal of what he promised to do will turn out to have been campaign bluster, and that if given the opportunity, he’ll actually attempt to govern.

Only time will tell.

To my fellow Christians, especially those of us who claim to believe in God’s sovereignty:

Do we truly believe that God is in control? Sovereignty says that Trump only wins if God permits it. That means that our job now, whether we were #nevertrump or #draintheswamp, is to pray for Donald Trump while continuing to work in our little corners of the world to build the kingdom of God. Or, as my friend Shane put it, to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with (our) God”.

Just like we should be doing no matter who wins any election.

Finally, a brief note to my fellow Christians who were strong and vocal supporters of Trump:

Reread 1 Samuel 8. Remind yourself that sometimes God gives us what we ask for, not what we need. Remember that it often exacts a high price when he does.

Only time will tell.

Sola Dei Gloria.

 

 

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