World politics in recent times has been dominated by just one word: Trump. This post will probably be one of my least coherent ones simply because there are just so many things one could say. So please indulge me and forgive the verbal diarrhoea.
- Speaking from a Singaporean vantage point, one of the key ideas I think we must recognise is that media plays a hugely influential role in shaping our opinion of affairs. Also, because no media is ultimately balanced, knowing where the bias lies is crucial. I don’t think it would be unfair to say that (at least with regards to international news/politics), our main source of information leans left/liberal – and some by quite a fair margin. Think CNN for example.
- Directly related to this, it’s no wonder there’s this ‘deification’ of Obama and ‘demonisation’ of Trump. That’s not to say Trump is an angel, not by any means. But really, I would propose he is more nuanced than the caricature painted of him. The reverse logic is true with regards to Obama by the way.
- One of the most persistent arguments I’ve heard from friends as to why Trump won the election is because he played to the disgruntled crowd (the forgotten America); those who had lost jobs. The argument goes that having Trump as president won’t solve this problem because it is a global competitiveness issue. *oversimplification, but no time to elaborate* Again, while it’s probably true this was a factor, it was not the only one. It may not even be the deciding one. The fact is: Trump enjoyed the support of a huge block of the evangelical Christian community.
- This last point probably baffles most of my (especially Singaporean) Christian friends. How in heaven’s name does a Christian support Trump? He, of the uncouth, vulgar, lying etc. variety (caricature!) So, I for one am glad I wasn’t in the position to choose. However, I think the reason why we Singaporean Christians don’t understand their choice is quite simple: we aren’t in their shoes. Our brothers/sisters in the USA who find the liberalising, secularising, of their country appalling … and one might even legitimately present a case, who feel the weight of the persecution as Christians in the country.
- Meaning: they chose Trump not for his person, but for his policies – because they did not like where their country was going ideologically, not merely economically. Can you separate the man from his policies? Not going there for this post. Suffice to say, Trump is carrying out almost exactly what he promised in the elections: pro-life Supreme Court nominee, defunding Planned Parenthood, securing the borders etc. Some of these are directly related to the Christian community.
Much more on my mind, but for now, let me state clearly: this is not a post defending nor supporting Trump. I feel however, he ought to be given a chance. 4 years will judge if America can head in the right direction under his leadership. I for one thought the last 8 weren’t great by any measure (whether morally, economically, globally etc.) anyway. I know I would be in the minority, but that’s my opinion.
One final thought, and I’m playing the devil’s advocate here: we are all very much like Trump. Really. And I’m not speaking in hyperbole.
One final thought, and I’m playing the devil’s advocate here: we are all very much like Trump. Really. And I’m not speaking in hyperbole. I think the great danger of Trump-bashing is that we pick on an easy target. And by comparison, we feel self-justified. We forget that Trump is a reflection of who we are.
Who are we, you ask? Sinners. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one…” Romans 3:10. We all fall short of God’s standard. And we all need forgiveness, cleansing, salvation and transformation. We need God’s gift. And this gift, amazingly to some and shockingly to others, is offered freely to all who would receive it – even Trump.
You see my Christian friends, I understand all the negative opinions and perceptions with regards to Trump. And I am on your side when there are legitimate issues to critique him for/about. But the one emotion I wonder if Jesus would have towards him would be this: compassion. After all, Jesus did say He came to seek and to save those who are lost. Luke 19:10