Like many of you I have spent the last week trying not to read too much about the election while reading everything that flits across my tablet screen. Trump’s victory has been hailed as a major victory for everyone in America, except of course the Democrats.
In fact, if I had a favorite article from the last week it would have to be this one from CNN which compiled the 24 often conflicting reasons Trump won. It was social media but it wasn’t social media. It was the millenials but it also had nothing to do with them. It was the Democrat’s fault but not really. I loved the subtle humor and satire there.
If you have read as much as I have you know this election defined the reemergence of uneducated whites or probably not. And if not them, then certainly rural farmers had their day. . .or didn’t. And if not, then certainly white supremacists are now, well supreme, or really not at all. If not them then the Evangelicals but not really. And if not them then definitely the Republican party won. . .or maybe just conservatism in general.
None of this has convinced me.
It seems to me that in an election when both candidates had approval ratings below %45 and when the deciding states were all within 50,000 votes and when one candidate won the states and another candidate won the popular vote and when half of eligible votes sat the thing out that this wasn’t an election that was about anything except the huge leadership failure in American culture that has been building up for years.
I want you to hear that last stat again, half of eligible votes did not vote! And yet I have been unable to find one article in the deluge of information about them. HALF of Americans said “NO!” to the entire system but nobody is talking about them. Who are they? Where are they? Why are they? These questions are being entirely ignored by the media.
But these are the questions that defined the election right up until Tuesday. I found scores of articles about the non voters before Tuesday but after the victory, they seemingly have disappeared from my news feeds.
Yet they are still out there. And they sent a powerful message to the country, a message far more powerful than the 18,000 or so voters in Wisconsin or wherever. Their message was, “no confidence.” They have no confidence in the Republicans or the Democrats or the Libertarians, or the Green Party or even pretty looking Independents like Evan McMullin.
They have no confidence in any type of Republic style government. They don’t believe in the value of voting, whether it be for a President, a Congressperson, a State governor or down ballot measures like sales taxes.
This should be alarming to us. It certainly is to me as one who pastors these people. I should add I am not one of them. I did vote and I took every ballot measure seriously including the one that changed two words to the city constitution to make it more intelligible.
But the fact I am surrounded by people who don’t have any confidence in this system scares me to death. It means a far more serious revolution than the victory of a reality TV star President may not be far away. Donald Trump’s victory probably did nothing to pacify their strong antipathy.
And if I were a Republican or a Democrat or a Libertarian or the Green Party or even a pretty Independent I would use this election as a mandate to start listening to those %50 of people.
Let’s hope the entire media, from the mainstream to the “new” to my friends who insist on posting ridiculous memes, gets their act together and starts listening to them.