Monday, November 14, 2016

Five Personal Take-Aways from the Election

I've come up with five personal take-aways from this election so far. These are just my intuitions to do with as you will.

1. There are many kinds of forgotten.
No matter who lost this election, there would be a major part of the American populace who felt left behind. Those who are terrified right now and those who are protesting are the left behind of this election. Unless the system actually does get rigged, I have little doubt but that they will be back.

2. This is the age of transparency.
Whether he actually is or not, Trump seemed more transparent than Clinton. Whether she actually is or not, she seemed sneakier than Trump. She didn't have press interviews. She was calculating behind the scenes, as her leaked emails seemed to show. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered in the 90s. It doesn't seem to work in an age when nothing seems to remain a secret.

3. Hate trumps love.
Not of course for God, not of course for Christians, but for the majority of fallen humanity. Jonathan Haidt has put it well when he says that conservatives understand human nature better than liberals. I thought during the election that if there were a strength meter for slogans like there is for passwords, "stronger together" and "love trumps hate" would have come out pretty weak. "Make America great again" says, "Fight for freedom! To the death! Storm the Bastille!" Liberals just aren't very good at slogans that appeal to the majority of men.

4. Charisma beats competence.
I know that many will question whether Clinton was truly competent, but she certainly looked more qualified for the job on paper. In part this was an election of "leader" (understood as the propensity to gather followers) versus "manager." She had all the data. She followed her spreadsheets.

But it is charisma that starts revolutions and movements. Few will follow a manager into battle (although managers seem essential to actually winning battles). The night before the election I listened to rousing speeches from Michelle and Barack Obama, but was bored to death when Clinton started speaking--even though I thought she was a much safer candidate than Trump. Reagan beat Carter. Bush II beat Gore. Charisma wins.

5. There is no divine right to the presidency.
In the last couple months of the campaign, I kept thinking of a statement tucked in the emails of Colin Powell, probably stolen by the Russians and passed on to the public through Wikileaks. Powell said, "Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris." I don't know what her attitude really is, but someone has done a really good job of giving us the impression that she thought she deserved the presidency, like it was her turn, her "divine right." I certainly got this impression in 2008 when Obama sped past her.

Did Democrats give her a pass because it was "her turn"? If so, they did so to their detriment. Biden probably would have won. Certainly Bernie would have.

I mean no one any offence. I hope you will excuse me for putting down some of my reflections in electrons. I welcome civil push-back.

1 comment:

Patrick Bowers said...

Ken, this is a nice run down, but I would like you to do a post on how this election was an example how the Church is not to function as a way to be a witness to the world (or in our case to the USA). I think that may be more helpful to building up the Body which is so divided over the out come of the election.