This year’s election has been interesting to say the least. Everyone laughed when Trump began running, turning to shock at the way he debated from the primaries up through the presidential debates, and finally to an odd mix of shock, horror, and relief when he was elected. I think I can safely say that I am somewhere between shock and relief. Catholics were subjected to an extraordinarily difficult task this election. On the one hand, we knew that on no account could Hillary Clinton be elected. The damage that she would cause to this country, morally speaking, would be catastrophic. Personally, between Bengazi and the email scandal, I found it impossible to trust her with foreign affairs as well. On the other hand, the only candidate that stood a chance of beating her was Donald Trump, a man who demonstrated clearly that he wasn’t one to stand by his word and possesses the remarkable ability to alienate and anger huge communities of people without a care. Usually, that is reserved to those who loudly proclaim their loyalty to the Catholic Church. So we were faced with a dilemma: vote for a third party candidate for whom winning the presidency is a virtual impossibility and therefore possibly hand the presidency over to Clinton, or vote for a man who may very well cause the United States to be destroyed from the outside. I decided the latter was the better defensive option.
One thing that I’m noticing though in the aftermath of the election is the fact that the Hillary supporters are assuming that those of us who voted for Trump are happy that he is the president-elect. Which is something that I find strange. In this election, so few people supported either candidate on their own terms. A great deal of the population voted for either side simply as a defensive measure, to prevent the other candidate from entering office. It still confuses me how we as a country got to the point where only 50% of the voters actually supported their candidate. The other 50% simply hated their candidate less. I’m reminded a little of a couple of quotes, one from the Grinch: “Given the choice between the two of you, I’d take the seasick crocodile,” and the other from the Riff Trax to Revenge of the Sith: “It’s like saying, you know, of the three times that I’ve been stung in the eye, that one was the best.”
I’m not saying that I hate the man or regret choosing him, but I would have liked to have had a better option. For now though, he has surrounded himself with some good people, others not so much. I’m of the mindset to wait and see. No one, I think, knows quite what he’s going to do. Perhaps not even himself. So we’ll wait and see what he does. Work with him. It’s about the only option that we have at this point.