The way to national greatness

Rob Slane  ·  Dec 01, 2016

I am writing this piece a couple of days after the confirmation of Donald J. Trump’s election to the office of president of the United States of America. Unlike the mainstream media, I was not surprised by this result. Having already witnessed firsthand the quiet but determined revolt against the cultural leaders in the Brexit vote, and seeing many of the same sorts of issues present in the United States, I expected that there would be another major shock. If Brexit was the First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Global Elites, the U.S. presidential election was the Second.

One of my favorite tweets on election night came from Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman:

“A terrifying night, and not just because Trump might win. It turns out that there is a deeper rage in white, rural America than I knew.”

Krugman had no clue of the frustration many ordinary people throughout the country have with the whole political system and with the direction the country is moving. Why didn’t he know? Because he, along with the rest of the cultural commentators, is out of touch with ordinary citizens.

Will these cultural elites learn a lesson? Yes, but it may well be a wrong one, amply demonstrated by Mr. Krugman again in a couple of later tweets on the same evening:

“I truly thought I knew my country better than it turns out I did. I have warned that we could become a failed state, but didn’t realize that it wasn’t just the radicalism of the GOP, but a deep hatred in a large segment of the population. How do we move forward?”

You see it? Deep hatred. He thinks people must have voted for Mr. Trump and not voted for Mrs. Clinton because they’re full of hate. For him, that can be the only explanation. No hate on his side, of course—nothing but white hats and love from them.

How can they move forward? Well, they could begin by questioning their base assumptions. That would be a reasonable thing to do. Or they could double down on their discredited ideology, insisting that it’s the people and not the model which must be dysfunctional (anyone familiar with Mr. Krugman’s economics will recognize the parallel). No prizes for guessing which course they will pursue.

This was like déjà vu for me, having seen it all before in the Brexit vote. As with the U.S. election, we had a ruling establishment, utterly oblivious to the opinions and attitudes of vast swaths of their own country, sneering at anyone who held contrary views, but finding themselves waking up on the next morning to a vote having gone against them that they thought was certain.

How did the British elite react? Many of them cried and maybe contemplated emigration or suicide. Then they went on a spree of labelling it a vote for hate, a triumph of small-minded, xenophobic, racist bigotry over the enlightened views of people filled with the milk of human kindness. And there I was, thinking I was simply voting for the restoration of national sovereignty!

The liberal establishment in the U.S. currently appears to be in the grip of the same inability to understand. They may well spend the next few months, if not years, hand-wringing and name-calling, and asking, “Why, oh why, oh why did this happen? How could this happen? Surely we had insurance against it happening.” But unfortunately their ideological blinders may—as in the case of Brexit—keep them from seeing the truth which is this: millions of people are tired of being told what to do by an aloof, arrogant oligarchy that is utterly contemptuous of them. And so the demonization will continue.

It may well be of interest to sociologists and historians studying this period in a hundred years or so to examine how it was that an ideology that portrays itself as being permanently white-hatted and only capable of good could have spawned such anger and division. Think about it. Back in the days when apparently we were all backward troglodytes, there was nothing like the animosity in society that there is today. Then came those preaching tolerance, diversity, and love, and where have we ended up? With a society more divided than ever.

There is a reason for this. They are attempting to usher in a Kingdom of Love, starting with the foundational principle of casting out God. But guess what? When you make that your foundational principle, you end up not with “love my neighbor as myself,” but “love myself as myself,” and all the selfish evils that inevitably follow.

Under this ideology, love itself is redefined. A society that makes God its foundation will see that love includes fidelity (7th commandment). Under the left-liberal version, fidelity is a bad joke. No one can tell us what we can and can’t do with our sexual organs, and it is considered contrary to love to dispute this.

Then when love has been redefined along these lines, the left-liberal utopians seek to unite everyone around their new definition of the Kingdom of Love by educating us (code for indoctrinate) into it. That takes in many, but when it fails to take in all of us, they fall back to demonizing and belittling those who disagree, branding dissenters in the new Kingdom of Love as haters, and screaming obscenities in the streets and on the campuses when things don’t go their way. Meanwhile, the rest of us are standing by saying, “This is what love looks like? Are you sure?”

A unified society, where people truly do love their neighbor as themselves, is not something that can be manufactured. It is something that must start from loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and then it is His love which flows through individuals into society. It is Christ in Whom all things hold together (Colossians 1:17), and it is Christ Who will unite all things, in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 1:10). All attempts to build a Kingdom of Love without Him will end not in unity, but in division; not in kindness, but in anger; not in love, but with vitriol and hostility.

Which actually presents us with a timely warning. It can be very tempting to shake our heads at the words and behavior of those in the left-liberal establishment and their disciples across America as they react with venom to a result they didn’t consider possible. It can also be tempting in the aftermath of a political vote in which the unpopular elites are given a good kicking to see this as some kind of deliverance. Yet it is not that at all. America may have been delivered from one kind of evil, but to what?

I believe that the choice Americans were offered in the presidential election is evidence that the country has fallen under the judgment of God. God’s judgments don’t come to us only in the form of war or pestilence or natural disasters—they sometimes come to us in the form of the leaders we are given, and the choice of candidates. The 2016 election was ample evidence of His displeasure, just in case we hadn’t noticed it before.

America is more divided than ever. Regardless of who you voted for, or whether you chose to abstain, you will no doubt acknowledge that the hostility on both sides has been cranked up to the breaking point. Not only that, but the swamp that Mr. Trump said he wanted to drain is much, much bigger than the one he identified as residing in Washington, D.C. You only need to see the votes to legalize assisted death, stupefaction, and the almost unbelievable California “porn law” to realize that.

Mr. Trump won’t save America. He can’t, by his own power, make American great again. Nor can any other president making grand promises (see Daniel 4:28-33.) Only a deep awakening of Christ’s people, much soul-searching and prayer, followed by national repentance, acknowledging that only Jesus Christ is great, will bring real deliverance.

Rob Slane lives with his wife and six home-educated children in Salisbury, England. He is the author of The God Reality: A Critique of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, contributes to the Canadian magazine Reformed Perspective, and blogs on cultural issues from a Biblical perspective at