Donald Trump And The New Great Awakening

As this election draws to its increasingly anticlimactic conclusion, I find myself becoming less and less worried about the prospect of a Trump presidency. I don't want to jinx it, but Trump is going to lose on November 8. More than likely he will lose very badly. Some projections have Hillary Clinton winning with over 300 electoral votes. While I am doubtful that it will actually be that big of a blowout, I am confident that Donald Trump will soon become nothing but a bug on the windshield of the American Political Machine.

In fact, the splattering of the Trump Campaign began last night as numerous women came forward with allegations that Trump had accosted them with inappropriate (and illegal) sexual advances. There is now video of Trump admiring the figure of a 10-year-old girl and there are numerous reports that he walked in on half-dressed teenage girls during his beauty pageants. The reality is, he's done. This will be the conversation for the next 4 weeks and he will have very little opportunity to change the narrative back to the necessity of fearing everyone who isn't a rich white man. The prospect of Donald Trump sitting behind the desk on the Oval Office once filled me with dread, but now, I recognize that Trump is sad little man who will soon be rendered practically irrelevant by serious minds.

So let's stop talking about Trump. Seriously, let's stop doing it. Let's talk about what happens AFTER November 8. While Trump will soon fade into irrelevancy, Trump has awakened something within the hearts of a sizable segment of the American population that will still be around on November 9.

Trump has given a rallying cry to those who long for the "good ol days" when white men held all the power and everyone else knew their place. He has lent credence to those who believe that America will be made "great" if we all put giant American flags on the backs of our trucks and carry our assault rifles into Walmart. He has given a voice to those who are convinced that "consent" is a made up term by the "Liberal Left" (I'm looking at you, Rush Limbaugh) and that the voice and bodies of women actually belong to the men in their life. He has emboldened those who harbor deeply imbedded racist tendencies and say stupid things like, "I'm not racist, but..." while believing that walls work and that minorities shouldn't be able to sit at the lunch counter. He has developed a following that is willing to look the other way on numerous reports of sexual assaults but will continue to assail Clinton for mishandling e-mails.

The Trump movement has co-opted the Religious Right and led Evangelical Christianity to a dark place from which it might not be able to recover. While I applaud those at Liberty University who are finally standing up to Jerry Falwell, I fear that it is far too late and way too little. In the same way, Trumpism has instilled the belief otherwise rational and compassionate people of faith that Jesus would be a card-carrying manner of the NRA (spoiler alert: he wouldn't be).
The blind trust and loyalty that so many have given to Donald Trump is dangerous. Not only for the individual, but for the Republic. The American system of Government is based upon the bedrock belief in a peaceful transition of power. We now have people who are threatening a "revolution" if Clinton gets elected and promising to "watch" the polls to ensure that the election isn't "stolen." It is reasonable to expect numerous reports of voter intimidation on Election Day.

But you know what? Trump has also awakened something else. He has awakened a deeper realization that Party loyalty can only go so far. He has awakened the commitment by so many to double their efforts to work for peace, reconciliation, and healing. He has given a voice to those who are finding the courage to say, "It's my body," not yours. He is giving a rallying cry to those who say, "The way of Trump is not the way of Jesus." He is instilling passion in those who are working on the front lines in the fields of education, mental health, and the prevention of gun violence. He is inadvertently reminding reasonable people that Love does indeed Trump Hate.

And this is what gives me hope for the future. I believe with every ounce of who I am as a human being that Love will win the day. Let's just hope Hate doesn't win the election.