As if the presidential election cycle wasn’t divisive enough, the protests and rioting following the results last month have been saddening to watch.
Politics was inescapable this year and it permeated every aspect of life it seemed, from Halloween costumes to television shows and ads to late-night comedy routines to endless rants on social media. But perhaps the most disturbing aspect of watching the election demonstrated an insatiable need of Americans to put their faith in something concrete, something that promised them the world.
When Donald Trump won the presidency, the rioters sprang into action, celebrities took to Twitter to talk about their mental breakdowns, liberal news anchors assured their viewers this was not a dream. The tears of Hillary supporters splashed across the pages of newspapers everywhere and don’t forget about Planned Parenthood, who immediately started soliciting donations (in the name of Mike Pence, the Vice President-elect) and forcefully declared no one was going to shut them down.
What if Hillary had won? Would the nation still see rioting in the streets? Would news anchors have on-air meltdowns?
It’s more than understandable to be devastated if your candidate loses a race, especially a hard-fought race like the US presidency. But there weren’t riots after President Obama won, twice. There weren’t grief counseling at universities or safe spaces to soak up tears.
Donald Trump’s supporters believed that he would take on the corrupt system of entrenched government and get it out of their lives. They wanted to be freed from burdensome regulations, from being forced donors to Planned Parenthood, and to have a good job to support their family. Millions saw in Trump someone who would shakeup the system.
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Hillary Clinton’s supporters saw in her a savior, like Obama, someone who could give them a utopia of women’s “empowerment,” free abortions, and free college.
Politicians aren’t gods. They aren’t miracle workers. They are humans just like everyone else. Some can give an appearance of hope and offer solid policy initiatives, declare they will end every human rights injustice, and take back overseas jobs, but in the end, they may or may not be able to fulfill their promises.
When people put all their faith and trust in a politician, they are bound to end up disappointed and facing despair. They will lash out, lose control over their emotions, become despondent and angry. This is not unlike what is happening in the streets of this nation now. There is no hope for these people.
First Lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey in her last interview before leaving the White House that “now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like.”
But hope doesn’t come from humanity, from politicians. It comes from God. But in this ever-increasing secular society, hope is misplaced.
Politics is important. Government is necessary. But neither should replace what gives humanity their true hope and peace, which is the love of God, the focus of this very Christmas season. This is where the ultimate truly lies.
It may be hard to see during tough times but the quicker we realize that government can only control so much and that our culture must change, then we can get to the real work of instilling true hope in the next generation.