It’s anyone’s guess if we’ll see free elections come 2020. It is best admitted right now we should not get ahead of ourselves. As we are assured in the Sermon on the Mount, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Put another way, in the same gospel, do not borrow trouble from tomorrow.
Right now, keeping ahead of Donald Trump’s lies and knee-jerk reactions to every perceived slight is the sort of full-time job that kept Toronto Star writer Daniel Dale busy during the election.
However, culture writer Dana Schwartz is here to lend us a hand to at least predict the sort of responses we can expect from Trump over the next four years (eight if…well, you know…):
How to predict Donald Trump's response every single time: pic.twitter.com/qSvSuqzDjp
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) January 15, 2017
It seems full-proof. It can be tested against Trump’s existing reactions to stimuli. It certainly stands in stark contrast to Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer. You don’t have to subscribe to Niebuhr’s theology to see that one approach is far healthier than the other.
If is often said that actor Christopher Walken is a genre unto his own. Donald Trump is at least that. It is possible the world has never seen such an example of ego, hate, disregard for others, dishonesty, hypocrisy, insecurity, and complete lack of self-awareness in one person before.
One has to reach back to some of the great tyrants of history to even get an idea of what a man like this can do to others when in a position of power. Scary thought, even if the worst of what has been written is an exaggeration.
Trump’s type is not unfamiliar, however, as David shows in Pslam 5, where he is definitely speaking of the Trump-type when he says,
“The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood.”
If that were true, Donald Trump would disappear in a puff of divine retribution on the day of his inauguration, if he had not been beamed up already. But the sentiment is sweet, all the same.
Prayers won’t save us from Trump, or from the Republican Party that created him. Only we can save ourselves.
The old saw, “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible or Quran (though similar thoughts are expressed) and predates it (you have to look to the Greek playwright Sophocles for the earliest example) but it is a good thought to have in the back of your mind whatever your religion (or lack of it).
Our own action is required first and foremost, whatever thoughts you have of divinities. The key is that we do know by now what to expect from Donald Trump, and his reactions are never healthy or intended for the common good. They will benefit Trump and those who cater to his every whim and no one else.
Democrats, however disheartened they may be by the events of this election, by Russian hacking and the FBI’s interference and Republican voter suppression and the media’s tacit approval of Trump’s lies, must get up and return to the fight, or the struggle for our freedom is over before it began.
There is no great mystery here and the stakes are simplicity itself: this is good against evil and that Edmund Burke probably did not say “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” does not make it less true.
If you haven’t yet, get up now, and fight.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.