Donald Trump’s narrow Electoral College victory came accompanied by a narrow popular vote loss and some worrisome exit polling.
Yes, 60 percent of voters had an “unfavorable” opinion of the President-elect, 63 percent did not deem him “honest and trustworthy,” 60 percent said he’s not “qualified” for the job and 63 percent felt he lacks the needed “temperament,” while 56 percent were either “concerned” or “scared” that he might win. (Hillary Clinton’s numbers were nearly that dismal.)
Religious believers and journalists concerned for their nation should contemplate whether a President has ever entered office with anything like that poor reputation.
Campaign 2016 was the ugliest since -- when? 1824? 1800? It damaged the stature not only of Trump but loser Hillary and husband Bill, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, even the Libertarians, the FBI and the Department of Justice, the American political system, and -- yes -- religious elements.
Amid the rubble, we also find all those caught-off-guard pundits, mistake-ridden pollsters, and news outlets whose prestige and influence are eroded by sensationalism and partisanship.
Some writers continue to proclaim the imminent demise of the Religious Right, that movement of evangelical Protestants, conservative Catholics, Mormons, some Orthodox Jews and other activists. As with frequent assurances that Trump could not possibly win the nomination or the presidency, that’s wishful thinking. Such efforts will persist as long as the issues do, for instance palpable alarm over religious freedoms.
On that, future Supreme Court appointments were “the most important factor” for 21 percent of U.S. voters but fully 56 percent of Trump voters.