On a blog concerned with democracy would be wrong not to acknowledge the moment of the election of President-elect Donald Trump. You may not agree with my reflection. You may read the American election differently. I appreciate that there will be some spectrum of opinion on the outcome. But I will say this – speaking for myself: My prayers are with my American brothers and sisters. My prayers are with the millions of Americans who have felt so disfranschised, and who have been so determined to say “no” to the power over their lives held by the big banks, corporate interests, Wall Street, and career-politics in Washington, as to take the risk of casting their vote for Mr Trump. I also recognise that the concern for the welfare of babies in utero introduces a life and death factor which would have moved significant votes away from Hillary Clinton. I pray and hope that all these concerns may now be democratically represented.
My prayers are also with the millions of Americans who are now facing the fear of racism and violence freshly invoked by the election campaign, and whose safety, livelihoods and families are threatened – for some by emboldened prejudice and xenophobia and for others by fears of deportation. It is difficult to be philosophic when you are one of a vulnerable, targeted demographic. The call of the Gospel and the prophetic mantle upon the Church inescapably align us with the needs of the most vulnerable.
My prayers are with those whose votes did not win the day, their having hoped that a Clinton presidency would bring the U.S. the prosperity and stability all its people hope for.
My perspective is that this election has given voice to a great spectrum of anxieties and aspirations, and a great cry of distress. The campaign has itself created new anxieties and animosities – on every side of the political debate. It has brought to light perhaps something of the darker side of the American experience. I hope that having brought these things into the open, a hunger for new ways, for the common good, for better representation and a better society might lead to a brighter day and a better future.
Of course the wider world will be impacted by repercussions from this election. Indeed as Australians we may have our own concerns in the light of it. But right now I would simply ask that we consider the needs and concerns of all our American brothers and sisters in our prayers. I hope that from afar we can join our prayers with the prayers and hopes of all Americans, who have now expressed their hopes and fears in this historic vote.