For “Scripture Sunday”:
Trump Takes Over—Now What?
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
“After eight years of liberal policies and programs dominating the American political and social scene, could a new presidential administration make a difference in America’s direction?
Interesting times are ahead as America struggles for its identity and future in a population divided between fiercely opposite and contradictory visions. Will the new president follow through on his promises?
America and the world watched transfixed as the roller coaster 2016 U.S.presidential campaign finally came to its conclusion on November 8. The surprises and revelations continued right up through election night when billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the presidency.
Perhaps not since Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860 has a U.S. election laid bare the deep divisions among Americans. It became, more than any other election in recent memory, a contest between two visions of America. Supporting Mr. Trump were those who saw him as a political outsider not beholden to the power elites, a candidate with a new vision for America that rejects the overreach of a hyper-liberal agenda that attacked traditional Judeo-Christian values.
Hillary Clinton, a social activist since the late 1960s, campaigned on a promise to continue the Obama vision of federal government solutions to most of America’s problems at home and subordination of U.S. interests abroad as a recipe for peace and stability while continuing his progressive social agenda of government health care, support for gay rights, and open door immigration policies.
The clash of values escalated tensions between the heartland’s traditional values and the progressive vision popular on both the East and West Coasts. Liberal progressives even admitted as much. “We have two cultures in this nation,” said MSNBC political analyst Nicole Wallace. “Millions of Americans feel alienated by the cultural elites on both coasts. They are tired of being talked down to.”
Donald Trump tapped into the anger and frustration of millions of Americans fed up with a progressive, socialist, ever-bigger-government path and growing government hostility toward traditional American values.
For much of his campaign, Mr. Trump did not sound “presidential.” And his repeated attacks on the prevailing philosophy of cultural progressives enraged the mainstream media, who in spite of their claims of objectivity could not resist bashing the Republican candidate at every opportunity.
Many voters took note of the media piling onto Mr. Trump mostly for things he said, some of which were indeed egregious, while largely ignoring Mrs. Clinton’s actual misdeeds. Afterward, some mainstream journalists admitted as much. “We in the media considered his remarks worse, but it is obvious the average voter did not see it this way. They saw her email scandals as equally incriminating,” admitted MSNBC’s Wallace the night after the election.
In the election post-mortem, some observers pointed out how the Democratic Party, long seen as the friend of the working class, appears to have turned on its base of voters by promoting economic policies and regulations that effectively closed American factories, moved millions of jobs overseas and imported millions of immigrants to compete with American workers for scarce jobs. Mr. Trump campaigned on a platform of building a wall along the southern border and bringing jobs back to American shores.
With personal wealth of more than $3 billion, Mr. Trump was able to self-finance his primary campaign and much of his presidential campaign. His disavowal of financial allegiance to any political party or interest group proved intoxicating to millions of voters disgusted at the huge campaign contributions to both Democrats and traditional Republicans from special interests.
How will he govern? What is his agenda?
With his election accompanied by Republican control of both houses of Congress, Mr. Trump is seen to have at least a two-year window of opportunity to bring about the changes his administration seeks. Leading U.S.conservatives are urging him to act without delay.
“The historic opportunity he and the Republican Party have been given by his stunning victory of November 8 will not last long,” wrote conservative commentator Pat Buchanan in a Nov. 10 column. “His adversaries and enemies in politics and the press are only temporarily dazed and reeling. This great opening should be exploited now.”
Reinvigorating the economy?
As has been the case in most recent U.S. presidential elections, economic issues were again at the forefront of concern for most voters.
A return to strong economic growth is at the core of Mr. Trump’s economic plan. Through a program of tax cuts on corporations and individuals, regulatory reform and other economic incentives, he wants to increase the growth rate of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product to 3.5 percent per year from the present rate of 1.5 and create 25 million new U.S. jobs over the next decade.
His tax cut plan, outlined on his website, would focus tax cuts on working and middle-income taxpayers. According to his plan, a married couple making $75,000 a year with two children would see their annual income taxes drop by 30 percent. His carrot-and-stick approach to corporations would cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent (one of the highest rates in the world) to 15 percent (to encourage corporations and jobs to move back to the states), but hit American companies operating overseas with a 10 percent tax on repatriated earnings—strong coercion for them to move back.
Mr. Trump also placed the blame for the loss of American jobs on globalization policies that he says have “pushed American jobs out of the country.” He has pledged to protect U.S. jobs and create new ones with policies that encourage new business formation while encouraging existing businesses to maintain their U.S. workforces. His plans also include rolling back unnecessary regulations that cost corporations and their customers billions of dollars.
In campaign speeches across the industrial heartland, he severely criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its ideological cousin, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), as job killers. He has vowed to renegotiate trade deals on terms more favorable to America, while also threatening stiff tariffs on companies that move jobs overseas and bring their products back into the United States.
Could these plans reinvigorate the stalled U.S. economy? Some conservatives have spoken against protectionist measures. Others point to how bad things have been, with economic growth averaging an anemic 1.55 percent the last eight years and tens of millions of Americans being out of work or underemployed.
Resurgence of traditional values?
In his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump spoke to the concerns of millions of Americans who feel their traditional values have been trampled by a wave of progressive thought over the past several decades. Even many who saw him as morally objectionable nevertheless voted for him as what they considered the better alternative.
By all accounts, left-leaning judges and the U.S. Supreme Court have been the ideological ally of the progressive movement. President-elect Trump’s administration will have the opportunity to change that with the immediate appointment of a conservative to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Mr. Trump may have the chance to increase the conservative stature of the court with the replacement of three other Supreme Court justices over age 80, two of whom take liberal stances. But it remains to be seen what he will do.
In the national debate over abortion, pro-life advocates see hope for the eventual overturning of the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that has led to the murder of some 60 million unborn children in America. Proponents of traditional values will work to find just the right case to again bring the issue before what they hope will be a more conservative, pro-life court.
“We are going to appoint great Supreme Court justices … These will be justices of great intellect … And they will be pro-life,” Mr. Trump said at a gathering of Christian conservatives in June 2016. During the campaign he released a list of 21 conservative judges he could nominate for the court.
Mr. Trump has voiced a strong commitment to the Second Amendment right to bear arms. His campaign platform calls for “national right to carry”—legalizing open-firearms carry in all 50 states. Using familiar Trump-style language, his website says, “Law enforcement does a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all the time.”
Rebuilding national defense
On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump pledged to put American interests first, a position dear to millions of Americans but anathema to the left and those who feel America should simply “play nicely in the sandbox of nations.”
His platform calls for a resurgence of the U.S. military, reversing a trend that has seen a gradual reduction of U.S. Army forces from about 550,000 when Barack Obama took office in 2008 to a projected 460,000 by 2017. He has called for an immediate 85,000-troop boost to the Army, rebuilding the U.S.Navy to 350 ships, and growth of the Marine Corps to 36 full-strength battalions. He plans to pay for this by eliminating wasteful defense procurement practices and unnecessary federal programs.
In foreign policy, Mr. Trump has said that his administration would end current policies of regime change and nation-building, while working with Arab allies in the Middle East to erase the ISIS threat. He wants a new approach to Russia, thinking that he can work with Russian President Vladimir Putin to ease tensions. (However, some are quite troubled at the idea of a Trump-Putin friendship.)
Mr. Trump made illegal immigration a central campaign issue, focusing especially on illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America. While many observers are skeptical of his plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration, most see his call for stricter vetting of immigrants as gaining traction under his administration.
It is his position on the immigration of Muslims into the United States that has drawn perhaps the greatest fire. In the face of recent terrorist attacks by Muslims in Europe and the United States, Mr. Trump has called for tougher background checks on immigrants from predominantly Muslim nations. President-elect Trump sees his role as commander in chief as doing what it takes to maintain national security, both internally as well as around the world.
Strengthening of Europe?
While not as widely reported, Mr. Trump has argued that America’s NATO allies in Europe and such Asian allies as Japan and South Korea shoulder more responsibility for their own defense, including paying what he terms their fair share of military costs.
His rhetoric has European leaders worried. Coming on the heels of the late June 2016 vote by the United Kingdom to exit the European Union (see “Brexit: What Does It Mean for Your World? ” in our September-October2016 issue), European leaders have stepped up their calls for a European defense force, one composed of soldiers from all or most of the EU nations.
This has prophetic implications. For nearly half a century, Beyond Today and its predecessor publications have predicted the rise of a major power in Europe, one formed as an outgrowth of the present European Union.
With a population in excess of 450 million and a larger combined economy than that of America, this superpower could act as a roaring lion on the world stage, exerting power and influence across the globe. Bible prophecy reveals, in Revelation 17, that such a power would be mainly controlled by 10 national leaders who “give their power and authority” to a strong dictator the Bible refers to as “the beast.”
Interesting times ahead
One thing is for sure: Interesting times are ahead as America struggles for its identity and future in a population divided between fiercely opposite and contradictory visions. Will the new president follow through on his promises? Will the nation make real changes for the better, or continue its pattern of decline?
The nation and the world will be watching the new Trump administration. In turn, you also need to be watching Europe and the world, taking particular note of how the American people and other nations and leaders react to potential major shifts in American policy. The future of the nation—as well as your personal future—could depend on it!"
When Respect is Gone, Rebellion Prevails
We must learn to practice honor and respect for those in authority—even if we disagree with them.
As I watched the looting, rioting, burning down of buildings and setting of cars on fire, I was so saddened. They did not get the verdict–or recently the president–they wanted, so they decided to destroy innocent people’s places of business, putting people out of work. Some were quoted as saying it looked like a war zone.
So where did all this anger and destruction come from? They will say it was from a verdict they did not like or the selection of the current president. But the real reason behind all this destruction comes from Satan. Satan is the author of destruction and when a mind is controlled by him, there is no sound reasoning. They are his tool for destruction.
Satan is the supreme rebel who encourages rioting. He was the first rioter! Think about that. He encouraged the fallen angels to rise up and fight with him against God. Pride was Satan’s downfall! He looked and beheld his own beauty. He felt he could do a better job than God. So he inspired one-third of the angels to rebel and join him in the fight against God. Satan did not respect God and His authority, so therefore he encouraged rebellion! (Isaiah 14:12-15;Revelation 12:4).
What a blessing for mankind that Satan failed in his attempts to take over God’s throne. So now Satan works hard to deceive and influence mankind to join him in rebellion against God by stirring up disrespect and division.
The opposite of rebellion is respect and honor. First, you must respect God, who is in charge of the universe. And then you must treat others right by showing them respect and honor. That means no matter how much you disagree with those in charge, you will do no harm to them or their possessions.
Did you know that God requires us to show respect to those in authority? Paul states: “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience” (Romans 13:1-5, New Living Translation).
We should all be showing respect for all those in authority! That would include school teachers, leaders, employers, presidents and yes, policeman. That can be hard at times when we see corruption and unfairness, but here is the key. We can pour our hearts out to God for those you feel are abusing their authority. And, of course, you should never stay in an abusive situation.
Notice that if we show respect we can lead a quiet and peaceable life! Paul wrote to Timothy, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Wow! We can only have peace knowing that God is in charge of the leaders He is allowing to rule, and in His time, He will take care of it!
Isaiah 40:28 says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”
So show respect to those in authority and pray for them so you will be blessed." From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/when-respect-is-gone-rebellion-prevails
Well my helper showed up on Tuesday, so we got some more work done for a couple of days, then he went fishing again, which is his main purpose in life. but he says that he will be back tomorrow. We cleaned the two rooms of carpet in my house, fixed the water leaks in the mini-house (guest-house), and installed a very fancy ceiling fan in the living room there.
Roni, the neighbor dying of pancreatic cancer, was taken to hospital again. This time in really bad shape. She had been found passed out and in pain, so 911 was called. They took her to the nearest hospital, so I visited her a couple of times, but she was just lying there groaning. She wouldn’t eat for them, but I got some jello and ice cream down her. Then she was transferred to a nursing home in Huntsville (TX), and Hospice took over. Her sisters arrived from their respective states and we went to Roni’s ratty old shack to see what could be done, but they still haven’t decided what to do with the place. They offered it to me, but at my age, I really do have enough on my plate, let alone taking down the ramshackle buildings and getting rid of all that trash. Everything was so messy that we were wearing gloves and using hand sanitizer frequently.
I took some really strong horse-feed sacks down there to empty the fridge and freezer into them, and stapled them shut. Hopefully the local wildlife and stray dogs won’t rip into them before the trash man comes. Roni will be gone soon, her body is shutting down. The sister’s took any family things that should be saved, and told me to help myself to anything. I took ladders, levels, heaters and a shop vac. Reclaimed the microwave that I had given her also, we can use that for reheating coffee in the mini-house after it has been Lysol-ed! Then we put up No Tresspassing signs and I padlocked the door.
But Roni’s little cat is doing fine after her spay surgery, even thought she was pregnant she was feeling quite chipper the next morning. She is a really sweet tiny tortoiseshell cat, only 6 lb, too young and small to have had and raised 4 babies. She is a little lover and getting over her shyness. She is no longer called “Squeakers” which might have been off-putting to potential adopters, she is now “Puddin”. This is because she looks like a British Christmas Pudding. Dark brown with orange spots (dark rum pudding with light colored sultana raisins.) Roni’s other two cats are doing well in SPCA’s Cat Habitat in Petco. It was so great that I could rescue all three of them or they would have become homeless strays, littering all over the place. One cat makes 400,000 cats in SEVEN years. Every Litter Bit Hurts. Please spay or neuter your pet.
My van was put in the shop to get it ready for inspection, as it had the engine light on. O’Reilly’s put their computer on it, and they said it needed a new gas cap, which I bought. I reset the computer by taking the battery loose for 10 minutes, and the light went off. But there was another emission valve that it needed and I had to get the rear brakes done, too. I didn’t know that Roni’s sisters were going to pay for the repairs, they said it was because of all the things that I had done for Roni over the years. That was so sweet of them, I hadn’t expected that.
For the church potluck, I had planned on making a Vegan Wheatberry Chili with Black Beans, Sauteed Onions and Bell Peppers so that our vegan lady could have some, but she texted me that she wouldn’t be there for a few weeks. So I added some chicken, real chicken bone broth and seasonings. It never became chili as I didn’t have any chili powder, but it was all gone in no time flat. Eveyone liked it. Also ran a couple of cucumbers and an apple through my Salad Shooter, added some Non-GMO mayo, dill and seasonings, and that was well liked too.
The pastor’s wife was still absent with her bad knee, but she is able to stand on it now, so Pastor Bobbie said that she will be there next Sabbath. The Bible readings were Exo. 18:1-20:23, Isa. 6:1-7, and 9:5-7. The Teaching was given by Pastor Bobbie for the first time in three weeks, as he had been at home tending his wife, and it was about Spiritual Tests. “Be Patient and Let Yahweh do His Work.”
I may be wrong, but I think this is still February, but you would never know it here, these have been air conditioning days.