President Trump?

I have not posted much about the current election cycle in the United States. However, my most-read post in the first year of this blog asked and answered the question, “Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?” My statement that Trump is not the Antichrist is probably the nicest thing I have said about him this year. I do not want Donald Trump to be Commander in Chief of the nation’s armed forces. I do not want him to represent the American people in the eyes of the rest of the world. I do not want him to have one more success for which he can boast.

But I can imagine worse things happening than Donald Trump being elected President this November. If Trump wins enough delegates in primary elections to be nominated by the Republican Party, but then is denied the nomination through legal procedures by the party’s leaders, the Republicans will bring severe trouble upon themselves. Whether Trump runs as a third-party candidate or not, the people who have voted for Trump in the primaries are unlikely to support the Republicans in the general election. Some of them might not vote at all in November, but others are likely to vote—and probably not for Republicans, especially not for incumbent Republicans. Even if Trump falls slightly short of the necessary 1,237 delegates in Cleveland, his failure to win the nomination will confirm the beliefs of those who voted for him—and beliefs of many who did not vote for him—that American democracy is a sham and that the American government is no longer (in the words of Abraham Lincoln), “of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

I do not want Donald Trump to be the next President, but I would prefer him in the White House over the disillusionment and anger of his supporters should he lose the nomination. Indeed, if Donald Trump is nominated by the convention delegates, supporters of Trump are more likely to vote for other Republicans, granting the party control of the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the White House. Control of Congress for the next several years might be worth the headache of President Trump.

I do not fear a President Trump because I still believe in the Constitution of the United States. Its system of checks and balances can prevent a bad President from causing much harm to the country. The President cannot create legislation (except when his proposals are adopted and proposed by members of Congress). The President can only approve or veto legislation, and a supermajority of Congress can override the President’s veto. Even the officers appointed by the President to serve in his Cabinet of advisors must be approved by Congress. Only Congress can declare war, and treaties made by the executive branch of government must be approved by the Senate. If the President tries to use his authority to work against the will of the Congress, the court system exists to correct the imbalance. Perhaps because of Donald Trump the practice of issuing executive orders that counter legislation passed by Congress will finally be challenged; then this aspect of executive authority will be clarified for present and future leaders.

Past Presidents have learned that they cannot even control their own branch of government. Thousands of career government workers fill offices in the executive branch; they continue doing what they believe is best no matter who sits in the Oval Office. Cabinet secretaries and sub-secretaries change, but the department workers continue in their jobs, often doing the same things no matter who is supposed to be in charge. The inertia of bureaucracy will stifle any President’s efforts to make large changes to government—even if that President is named Donald Trump.

Of course Christians do not put their trust in kings and princes. No President can save the world, and no President can destroy the world, no matter what is said in political debates. All authority comes from Above, and all who gain power must ultimately answer to the Source of their power. Meanwhile, godly people respect those with authority in this world because of the Source of their power; we respect them even when we disagree with their opinions, and we respect them even when we dislike their personalities.

We live in interesting times. I realized this weekend that, when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debate one another this fall, they are likely to sound like a political debate between Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd in an early episode of Saturday Night Live. Perhaps the prayer of every American Christian needs to be: “May God not grant our land the leaders we deserve.” J.

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5 thoughts on “President Trump?

  1. I’m no fan of Trump myself. Your ending struck me: ““May God not grant our land the leaders we deserve.” That’s my prayer. I wonder what the next four years will be like but I will trust in God.

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  2. Salvageable, you have certainly presented this issue in clear, logical, and positive tones. We disagree only in this: I am a Trump supporter. Above that, I am a Republican since that is the only vehicle in which a Conservative can ride these days! But I am woefully disappointed in what appears to be “dealers” behind the scenes. The stop-Trump agenda has brought together some strange bedfellows. And after this year’s election I will be looking for new leadership in the GOP, or in some other arena. It is amusing to see how much flack can be thrown at Republicans “schemes,” while acknowledging the unfairness going on among the Democrats with hardly more than a smirk. I never cease to be amazed at how little accountability is demanded of some people. At the end I will be with you for the good of our cause. A heart breaking scripture is Psalm 106:15 in which we are told that God gave the people what they demanded but with leanness of souls. Sad.

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    • I agree with you regarding dealers behind the scenes. I have felt the mood of the voters wanting a change in government–it made me seriously consider running for Congress myself. Maybe Trump’s election will open the doors to more people who feel like it isn’t worth bothering becoming involved because the insiders are in control no matter what the rest of us do. J.

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  3. All trust in God is, of course, the right answer. However, I am battling my own cynicism over politics. I do think the balance intended by the writers of the Constitution were a good idea. Maybe it will take a President Trump to shock the rest of the government to sense. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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