Do we get the leaders that we need or the leaders that we deserve?

President-elect Trump will make a good leader. Campaign rhetoric and bluster aside, he has shown enough compassion to suggest that he will — for a hard-nosed conservative — be sensitive to the people’s needs. Not that his rhetoric has no substance: he comes across as genuine, if not a little too genuine, but he appears to learn (and quickly) from his mistakes. Before you all throw up your arms in the air in dismay then, he may be what America needs. But will he make America great again?

Having thrown the handbook out during his campaign (probably more like only just received the handbook now), one suspects that he will stick to a tight script in office. He has never had any military experience. Coupled with no political experience, his will be a tall hill to climb. The learning curve is steep.

In many ways we do get the leaders that we deserve. A brash leader for a brash and proud nation. But we also get the leaders that we need: a hard leader for hard times. And make no mistake, these are (and will be) hard times. Many don’t yet realise just how hard. They soon will. They soon will realise that times are going to get very, very hard. Sure, just as in the days of Noah — they’ll be eating, and drinking, and marrying. [This is a terrifying prophesy, suggesting that outwardly everything will seem like business as usual.] But the profligacy, the good time, is over. It hearkens back to the days of President Reagan — only worse. Moreover, it may represent a paradigm shift (the boot’s on the other foot) and we should “party” like its 1989?

We are at the very steps of unprecedented global financial chaos and conflict — it is that simple. And all the solutions that man will throw out in response, in the coming months, will fail. That much is sure. The election of a U.S. president who looks to be focusing increasingly inwards (on domestic issues) is probably the appropriate choice right now. And that is what won Mr Trump the election. America needs to look after America.

[I sure hope that we do not see any threats made to Mr Trump’s personhood. I wish him well and pray for him as I pray for all our leaders (whether they seem agreeable or not). But the days are surely evil. Yet bright we must shine, as declares Ephesians 5 (emphases my own).]

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The presidential battle was unprecedented in rhetorical style and substance and notable for flagrant abandonment of any pretense to the rules of public discourse and demeanour. It is a testament to the character of both candidates that they made it through to the vote. Is it going too far to say that running — for both candidates — was an existential necessity? It was hard and brutal. It leaves the distinct impression that this is the way that public life will be, for the foreseeable future.

We are witnessing the irrevocable decline in the great republic that we call America. It will not go quietly, yet it will not be completely destroyed. But it will never be the same again. And perhaps that’s a good thing. Within the next half-decade — yes, that quickly — American power will wane remarkably. And there’s nothing Mr Trump, Mrs Clinton, or anybody else can do about it. The remnant nation will be a significant player in the globe, but it won’t be the significant global player.

America will no more look to be global leader — after the tremendous upheaval that is coming, she simply will not have that ability. She will resign to confirming herself within the continent rather than on the global stage. Yes, she will be great again. But she will be regionally great, not globally great. [She may need Mr Trump’s wall after all]. The Republic is dead; long live the Republic. And out of the chaos — it won’t be pretty for the next 5 years (there will be global financial chaos and military conflict) — will arise a new beacon, from the east. No. Not the far east. Not Russia or China, for they too will see their power reduced commensurately. But Israel. Yes, Israel. That now tiny nation will be the new world leader — and Jerusalem that light on the hill. [Take a good look at the world now, for it will soon be no more.]

One final thought: it will be interesting to see how President Obama adapts to the President-elect and manages his own withdrawal from office, as much as it will be to see how the President-elect adapts to his new found status. First impressions are that Mr Trump was somewhat humbled by the grace shown to him by the American people. And so while there are great headwinds for the nation and the world, we are at least off to a good start. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how the people respond to a Trump presidency. First impressions here are less than favourable. But sometimes we need to take a step back before we take steps forward. This is a lesson that America, perhaps for her very first time on the global stage, is about to learn.

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