I’m going to take a break from my usual posts and address…you guessed it…the elections. Before you click off this post (because you are so sick of election stuff) just know that I am not pushing a party agenda or talking trash in any way. This is meant to calm the common rhetoric we’ve seen since Tuesday. I say it’s common because there are always protests following elections and in some cases, states try to leave the union (like Texas four years ago). So as an American Government teacher, I wanted to provide some information that may just calm some people down.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong about my predictions for election night, but I was not surprised. I’ve been telling my students for nearly two years that the national political trend predicts a Republican candidate as President. A look back through election results dating back to 1968 shows that the results from 2016 are right on schedule. No political party has dominated our government for an extended amount of time since 1968. When a party controls either branch of government for a long amount of time, that is known as a party era. One has not existed since the Democratic Era between 1932 and 1968 where Eisenhower was the only deviant from the party. Prior to that era, the Republicans controlled the Executive from 1860-1932 with only a few Democratic presidents in between.
While there have been 6 Republican presidents compared to 3 Democrats since 1968, the time difference is not so big. Republican presidents have controlled the white house for 28 years and Democrats for 20. More importantly to note, most of the time Congress, as a whole or at least one chamber, is controlled by the opposing party so those presidents are at a political stand still for a portion of their term(s).
-1968-1976 Nixon (R) and Ford (R)
-1976-1980 Carter (D)
-1980-1992 Reagan (R) and Bush Sr. (R)
-1992-2000 Clinton (D)
-2000-2008 Bush Jr. (R)
-2008-2016 Obama (D)
-2016-? Trump (R)
A lot of factors play in to this phenomenon: One, overall our nation is fickle in their political support. Popular and political culture changes with the seasons. Two, party loyalty is stronger than ever. Those who regard themselves as Republican or Democrat truly bleed red or blue and are becoming even more polarized. Three, there is an ever growing number of independent voters whose votes are up for grabs each election. Four, there are more swing states (ones who could vote either party) since 1968 than in prior decades.
While the election results may be a surprise to some, the current power switch is nothing new. More than likely the trends will continue and no single party will run our nation for a long amount of time. Most importantly, its all over and we can move on past the bickering and mud-slinging towards unity. Love him or hate him, Trump is our president and he is probably the least partisan one this nation has ever had. Only time will tell if that is good for us or not.
I call on my Christian brothers and sisters to continue in spreading love and encouragement. No matter our leader, our mission has not changed. We are, and always will be, about our Father’s business. Let’s help to bind wounds and stand for truth. The sun will continue to rise and the seasons will come and go as they always have until that glorious day that our Savior calls us home. No matter what color people think they bleed, Jesus Christ bled and died for us and that is what matters most. We need to speak life and hope and break down political, race, and gender lines that only serve to hinder and divide us.
Pray hard and love much!