On Tuesday, I braced myself for the disappointment of a Hillary Clinton win. I had thought that outcome was inevitable from the moment Donald Trump picked off every challenger for the Republican nomination, and boy was I wrong! I’ve been feasting on humble pie and crow ever since.
I’m still proud of my vote for Evan McMullin, and I feel like I can hold my head high that neither underwhelming major party candidate got my vote. But I can’t help but wonder: where do we “NeverTrump” conservatives go from here? In the immediate aftermath of the election, here are five things we can do.
1. Give President Trump a chance
I’m elated that Hillary Clinton lost, but I’m cautiously optimistic about a Donald Trump presidency. Will he deliver on the more reasonable of his promises? Will he continue his boorish tone? What will his leadership look like in the Oval Office?
Trump is a wild card for sure, but I’m willing to give him a chance. I’m praying that the best of his policies win the day and the worst of what he has to offer falls by the wayside—and I’m hoping against hope that the “alt-right” will fade into obscurity.
Let’s just say that I’m not boarding the Trump Train, but I’m driving alongside it in my own vehicle.
2. Be glad that Republicans have held the House and Senate
The news that both houses of Congress are out of Democrat control is the best, most comforting news of election night as far as I’m concerned. I watched those numbers with a great deal of interest, and I woke up relieved that the House and Senate remained in Republican hands.
Here’s my biggest hope with Congress: that they will be the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers meant for them to be in order to rein in Trump’s authoritarian tendencies. And I’m counting on them to work together to dismantle Obamacare and the other horrendous policies of the last eight years (yes, I’m aware of how that sounds).
3. Stay classy
Social media has been entertaining since the election, but in a train wreck sort of way. Trump partisans are gloating like nobody’s business, and many of them are terrible winners. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’ve seen plenty of posts acting like we’ve reached the end of the world, and sour grapes and sore losers abound.
We need to act in a different way—in humility and grace, no matter which side we’re on. Over at The Resurgent, Erick Erickson wrote eloquently to the NeverTrump crowd who didn’t see it coming:
We got this wrong. That does not make our ideas or concerns wrong, but we certainly [got] the election wrong and should not mince words about it. We should not be defiant in defeat, but humble and acknowledge we may have been wrong about other things too.
Let’s stay classy, y’all. (Oh, and can we all declare an end to the overuse of the word “deplorable”? It’s nothing to brag about.)
4. Remember that God is in control
This has been a mantra for me throughout this election season (and a difficult year in general), and I can’t write enough about it.
On election night, when certain people on social media became annoying, I got frustrated. But a friend and fellow church employee reassured me by text and helped me center on what’s important. She reminded me to keep my eyes on the eternal and not allow the things of this world to get me in the weeds, and I’m grateful for that advice.
We still don’t need to overspiritualize the results of this election; I still don’t believe it’s a prophecy fulfilled, and Trump isn’t some special agent of God. But God’s will was done, and He’s got this country in His hands. We should never lose sight of that fact.
5. Pray for our nation
Honestly, this should go without saying, and it’s something we should always be doing anyway. But in the face of dramatic change, we need to pray for our nation.
There’s some healing that some people need, so pray for them. Pray for unity among our citizenry. Pray for leadership for President-Elect Trump and Vice President-Elect Pence. Pray for Congress to act in the nation’s best interest. Pray for all our leaders to act in accordance with God’s will.
While we’re at it, we need to search our own hearts and repent in areas where we need to turn away from sin and back to God. And pray that God will be glorified by all of our actions.
This can be a defining moment for our nation, and if those of us who declared we would never vote for Donald Trump can help bring about goodwill, it can only do more good than harm. Here’s hoping our worst fears will be proved as wrong as our predictions about the election were.