Hillary Clinton lost the US election because she was talking about glass ceilings to people who were simply worried about keeping a roof over their heads.
That’s the take home message from the stunning Trump upset. And as the dust settles (even as its kicked up again by angry protestors in major cities) the thinking liberals will realise that there was more to it than racism. Michael Moore, the leftie’s lefty, said as much when he predicted this back in July. To the boos of a studio audience he explained how Trump simply had to take the four states that Romney lost in 2012, states such as his home state of Michigan and Ohio, aka the once proud working class states now known as the Rustbelt.
The New York Times has, belatedly, listened to those who in 2008 and 2012 voted for Obama, who this time voted for Trump. As Moore says, these guys voted for a black American whose middle name is Hussein, so it can’t all be about race. Unless of course you think it is and the collapsed working class is not the brand of dispossessed that you wish to champion.
So when we say no one saw this coming, yes they did. And while Catholic Journal, First Things didn’t necessarily see the election result per se, it has been speaking about this issue for years, namely the collapse of the bedrock socially conservative communities of America, and the simultaneous rise of the liberal, elite, post-religious, class. And not only that collapse, but the deliberate hastening of that collapse by a secular regime that has little time or love for the mediating institutions of our society such as religious communities. The secular elite are happy with religion, as long as it never enters the public square and threatens their hegemony, speaking truth to power.
Now it would be one thing to belong to that elite, post-religious class and recognise the existence of the other, but that’s exactly what it didn’t do. It acted like they didn’t exist, pretended that they were on the wrong side of history. The ruling class of the US, and the UK, has overseen the spectacular hollowing out of the mainstay of its society. We are headed for a post-societal age. Can the elite ruling class eat enough organic humble pie to admit it, to perhaps change? I doubt it.
RR Reno, editor of First Things, has constantly highlighted the difference between an elite community that can junk Jude-Christian institutions and frameworks, and a marginalised society in which such institutions whither and die.
So, for example, if I told you about the woman who has been married three times, has six kids from blended family backgrounds, and has just divorced her abusive, drinking husband, you would expect her to be lining up for food stamps. Except her name is Angelina Jolie, and no doubt she will be paid further millions from some trashy news show to tell her story.
But that same woman in Nowheresville? Well she is in deep trouble, isn’t she?
That’s the problem with the post-religious ruling class in our Western nations. It loves social experimentation (although surprisingly it champions it without necessarily living it), because the safety net of money, status and networks is its insurance policy. And that goes for secular progressive and secular conservative alike. But for everyone else? Well it’s a bottomless pit.
So take time to read the fall out from the media on why Trump won. I think he’s a chump, but you’d be a bigger chump not to learn the lessons, and how perhaps here in Australia we can avoid the same societal collapse, unless of course the train has already built up enough head of steam and there is no stopping it.
As a Christian I am not a pessimist nor an optimist, Jesus has risen from the dead. There will be a cataclysmic societal change one day that will look like this:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev 21:1-5).
Does that mean we sit around and do nothing? No, it means as God’s people we model new creation. As the church of God we offer an alternative society that looks like diversity and unity, grace and truth, the dispossessed and those with possessions sitting down together; a community of verve and love as a witness to this groaning embittered culture.
And this means that our hope is not in progressives or conservatives, in Trumps or Clintons, in Leaves or Remains but in God alone. All things will be made new. The things you cherish and the things you despise. And the people you cherish and the people you despise too.