After every presidential election since the first one in which I got to vote, I have posted some thoughts on this blog or in various other places on the ‘net. You can read the 2004, 2008, and 2012 posts on this site; the 2000 post and a longer 2004 post have apparently been lost to the mists of time. This is my 2016 wrap-up.
Like most of the country, I was stunned by the candidates’ reversals of fortune over the course of the evening. Like many others, I sat and watched the live forecast by the New York Times update, amazed as the needles on the win-probability, popular-vote, and electoral-college gauges ticked slowly, inexorably to the right. And like many others, I am now exhausted physically from a late night and exhausted emotionally from witnessing what will surely be remembered as one of the most amazing political events in American history.
Beyond that, though? I really don’t have much to say. I’m not happy about many of the results that we saw last night, but it has been almost a year since I had much hope of that. My musings won’t add much to anyone’s ability to process what has happened.
So, instead of waxing on, I’ll point everyone to some essential reading material as we all try to move forward, to comprehend what just happened, and to continue to function as a people. Some of it addresses Christians, some the broader “right,” and some attempts to speak to everybody. Regardless of a particular piece’s target audience, if you want to understand what is motivating millions of Americans, including those you don’t know and don’t see everyday, I’d suggest reading everything below.
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance—a truly excellent book that I am working through now. It is obvious that this is going to be required reading before anyone can conduct a real, complete, and informed autopsy of last night’s results. See also Vance’s short reaction piece in the New York Times today, Outside the Liberal Bubble.
- Votes and Prayers, by yours truly—a shameless plug for my own pre-election musings on this site on the topics of voting and praying for our country.
- May God Bless President Trump, by David French—thoughts by attorney, writer, and major in the United States Army Reserve David French, who briefly considered running as a third-party candidate in opposition to Trump, and whose family has faced withering attacks and bigotry from many different directions over the last year. h/t Andy Naselli
- Dear America, This Is Important — Trump Did Not Win Because of Racism, also by David French—digging into the data. While it’s important not to put too much weight on exit polls, the data do tell a story, and that story needs to be part of the discussion.
- Some late-night thoughts about the most stunning election of my lifetime, by Denny Burk, theologian and professor. h/t Andy Naselli
- Two Concerns for the Religious Right Under President Trump, by Collin Hansen, editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. h/t Andy Naselli
- President Trump: Now What For the Church?, by Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
- Bonus 1: Watch the Erasmus Lecture delivered recently by Dr. Moore on the topic, Can the Religious Right Be Saved?
- Bonus 2: Listen to Pastor Nathan Lino preach a two-part sermon series on how Christians should think about electoral politics as exiles in this world. Part 1, Part 2
Please pray for America and all her leaders. They need it.