It didn't have to end this way. This was a ruinous last act that backfired on Trump and defamed America’s reputation as a beacon of democracy
Earlier this week, a political contact of mine in Texas wrote me while on her way to Washington D.C. to show her support for President Trump’s last-ditch effort to thwart Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
I originally met this contact at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. We have kept in touch ever since. She is my window into the community of Texas evangelicals and I am her window into the State of Israel that her church fully supports.
She asked me for my prayer and blessing for her journey.
I wrote back that she should travel there safely, stay safe while in D.C., return home safely, but most importantly to be at peace with the outcome.
The outcome I was referring to was the inevitability that Trump’s long-shot challenge would fail miserably. The safety I prayed for was from the inevitability of the rage and violence that erupted. The angry citizens that stormed the US Capitol. The gunshots. The bloodshed. The deaths.
My contact is safe and sound but awash in tears. It didn’t have to end this way — for President Trump either, whose legacy is now marred by the desperate pretenses he used to avoid admitting defeat. It was a ruinous last act that backfired on him and defamed America’s reputation as a beacon of democracy.
I had a different, more disconcerting conversation with another friend last week, an Orthodox Jew from the east coast, who contended that if Congress fails Trump, the president should impose martial law to stay in power.
I was flabbergasted.
As much as we approved of Trump’s policies on Israel, his Supreme Court picks, and his hard-nosed style versus Iran, do we really want to live in a country under martial law? Like Venezuela? Or Cuba? Where a leader who disputes the outcome of an election, or despises his opponent can stay in power — and potentially abuse it — for as long as he wants?
Shlomo Hamelech says in Mishlei (8:15), "Bi Melachim Yimlochu." Kings rule through the chochmah of Hashem and also, by choice of Hashem.
It was G-d’s will that Barack Obama became president. It was G-d’s will that Donald Trump succeeded him. It appears to be G-d’s will that Joe Biden will be sworn into office in two weeks.
We must say thank you to President Trump and appreciate all he did for us without buying into his every Tweet, hook, line, and sinker. I can name half a dozen Republicans off the top of my head, who given the chance, will build upon Trump’s accomplishments, and maybe even rally support for them through persuasion, rather than intimidation and ridicule.
Maybe they’ll get the chance in 2024. Maybe not. Until then, for those in tears that we’re stuck with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the next four years, I’ll paraphrase what I said to my Texan colleague earlier this week.
I’m going to pray for Joe and Kamala that they lead wisely and honorably. I also pray for President Trump that he can make peace with the verdict of the nation and that he goes home, to Florida, or New York, or wherever else he chooses to call home, quietly.
Oops! We could not locate your form.