Trump has won the election, which is nothing less than a disaster for the world. He doesn’t care about climate change and his policies will most likely kill millions of people around the world due to climate inaction. He is anti-immigration and wants to block out people fleeing from poverty and war, which might very well kill many of them too. And his willingness to engage in nuclear war is unprecedented, if his irrational rage makes him go crazy on Twitter, what will he do when he has nuclear launch codes at his disposal?
It’s not a mystery why he’s popular though. The American working class and rural population know that they have been screwed by the urban elite – poor Americans have almost seen nothing of the economic growth of the last decades. Of course, somebody who has benefited from that growth in a very unethical fashion is Trump himself.But people tend to see him as a successful businessman (which he’s not) who can save the American economy (which he won’t) by protectionism and putting America first, making it “great again”.
The fact that his policies are tremendously bad for the rest of the world don’t matter too much to them because it’s America that’s going to be great, not necessarily Mozambique or India. They could say things like climate change being a hoax (“invented by the Chinese” as Trump has claimed) or that Syrian refugees are terrorists. What this shows is not just that they haven’t taken the time to listen to those in the majority world who are already suffering from climate change or those fleeing from war, but also a lack of empathy to these people.
This is simply the sinfulness of human beings. Jesus clearly told us to love all human beings (Lk 10:42) and do to all as we would have them do to us (Mt 7:12), making no distinction between countrymen and aliens. He said that we should welcome the immigrant (Mt 25:35) and love our enemies (Mt 5:44). When we put ourselves or our countrymen before others and even rejoice in excluding immigrants from wealth and security as well as waging war against others, we go against the will of Christ.
Trump said in his acceptance speech “We will double our growth and have the strongest economy in the world.” That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s disastrous for the environment and for the poor. If everyone lived like the avarage American we would need five planets, which means that Trump’s vision necessitates that poor people are suffering. Christians, especially evangelicals, should be opposed to this thinking, yet it is rarely criticised.
Obviously it is easy to be discouraged when egoism, greed, racism and sexism seem to be cornerstones of success rather than failure and condemnation. But the Bible promises us “When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.” (Prov 29:16). Already a lot of people recognise the hypocrisy in evangelicals supporting Trump, and as his administration goes on that will be even more clear. As we’re entering this uncertain, insecure era of world history, let us tirelessly promote the Kingdom of God and concentrate on the good stuff, as Paul encourages us:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:8)