Providence and Politics

The name “Spirited Reasoner” ought to suggest more than mere observation and logical analysis of current events. The first part of that name—Spirited—should remind us of the need for proper direction in our thinking. A higher purpose.

I grew up in a household steeped in Judeo-Christian morality, where my mother often reminded me of the sin of pride, especially the dangers of boasting and self-promotion. “Pride goeth before destruction,” she would say, quoting the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Story after story, prophesy after prophesy, in the Old Testament describe the fate of rulers whose cruelty and vanity led to their ultimate downfall. Then, in the New Testament, Jesus warns his disciples not to pray like the Pharisee, who look down on the lowly Publican.

Given my upbringing, you can understand why I felt so certain that the glory days of Donald Trump would end in the ultimate destruction of his cause. What I failed to grasp prior to January 6 was the Biblical character of his fall.

I confess that the November election results left me somewhat underwhelmed. Why, I asked myself, would God not make His point by allowing Donald Trump’s opponent to win a blowout victory at the polls? Didn’t the very closeness of the results in several swing states open up the opportunity for his supporters to claim, as they did, that the election was “stolen”? Some of them even equated the Trump presidency with the Second Coming. What happened to the Biblical warnings about pride?

Then, on January 6, we saw destruction with our own eyes.

Here’s the part that seems supernatural. If Joe Biden had won the election by some obviously blowout margin, even in the swing states, then America might never have learned the names and faces of the leaders of the crazy fringe groups who stormed the Capitol. We wouldn’t have seen them with their flags, their logos and sweatshirts, their zip-cuffs and military gear. If Joe Biden had won in a landslide these crazies would have hunkered down in their backyards and militia fields, waiting for another opportunity to strike.

But now, all because it was their chosen moment—that by preventing the counting of Electoral College votes they could elevate their savior from President to Fuhrer—they showed their faces to us. One by one the FBI is rounding them up, placing them under arrest. America can now read the threats they wrote in their social media posts.

As in the case of Hitler’s Kristallnacht, when Hitler quickly blamed other groups for the destruction his party had caused, right wing leaders in the United States have tried to claim that Antifa, an extreme left-wing group, had secretly infiltrated the crowd on January 6 and were the ones responsible for the violence. Unfortunately for the proponents of that argument, the rioters provided us with tons of evidence to the contrary, airing lots of social media footage, including selfies. We can see for ourselves who stormed the Capitol. It wasn’t Antifa.

Pride did indeed result in destruction. And it all played out in a manner my human brain could never have predicted.