Donald Trump consistently does what’s in his self-interest. We’ve come to know him and must expect that he will do everything he can to maximize his power and wealth, even as he stumbles and flails through the last days of his presidency.
I thank God that Joe Biden decisively won the election. Voters (both Trump and Biden voters) came out in inspiring numbers, and the election was well-run. There is no evidence of widespread fraud. More than 90 judges (some of them Trump appointees) have rejected his suits for a redo.
State and local election officials (in both parties) have resisted Trump’s intense pressure to discredit the results. In the tape of Trump’s phone conversation with Brad Raffensberger, Georgia’s Secretary of State, Trump even threatened him with criminal prosecution, but Raffensberger stood up for Georgia’s voters.
I also thank God that Congress and the President passed the $900 billion COVID relief package (including $13 billion in food assistance for hungry Americans and $4 billion in support for COVID vaccination efforts in low-income countries). Failure to agree on this package would have deepened hardship and misery across America.
As we approach the run-off election for Georgia’s two Senate seats, the Democratic candidates appear to be slightly ahead. Their victory would improve our prospects to move forward this year with a strong program to overcome the COVID crisis and then build back better from the economic crisis.
More than 11 senators and as many as 140 members of the House have now indicated they will object to electoral college results when they are read out on January 6. Most Republicans give some credence to Trump’s baseless claims, and Trump is urging them to contact their members of Congress. But after hours of theatrics, majorities in both houses of Congress are almost sure to affirm Biden’s election as President.
Trump still holds tremendous power and could do yet more damage in his last days as President. He seems to be doing nothing to improve the roll-out of COVID vaccines. He is encouraging “wild” street demonstrations on January 6, and he might find some pretext to call out armed forces to “restore order.”
In overriding Trump’s veto of this year’s defense reauthorization act last month, Congress blocked him from suddenly withdrawing troops from Afghanistan or Germany. But Trump appointed a group of his loyalists to top jobs in the Pentagon after the election, and he could order some international military action if he thinks it will serve his personal interests. This seems unlikely, but possible.
What can we do? If you have a Republican senator or representative, please call or email their office ASAP and urge them not to object to the results of the election. You will find any legislator’s email address and phone number on the homepage of his or her website.
For all of us, this is a time for prayer. Thank God for sustaining our nation and the world, and pray that God will guide President Trump, President-Elect Biden, members of Congress, and others in authority to serve the common good. We can also pray for peace of mind and a new spirit of cooperation among the people of our troubled nation.
The Book of Common Prayer offers this prayer for elections:
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.