As we start our fourth year, we thank God for His Grace, and all our readers for your support.
A man who thinks the whole world revolves around him has been helped into the White House by millions of evangelical Christians.
These are my own personal thoughts, not necessarily shared by my Schuman Centre colleagues, and probably not in line with a lot of my YWAM colleagues in the US. And definitely not with the 88% of American evangelicals who have made this victory possible.
I believe we see the end of the Pax Americana era and the start of a new era of global instability. I may be totally wrong in my views and would be delighted to discover that a year or two from now.
I understand the evangelical concern about Clinton-I'm no fan of hers either and probably have worn a grey armband had she won. We were facing a lose-lose situation either way. I also understand the concern for a more conservative Supreme Court. Trump has a good man as VP - although a cynical perspective would suspect Trump of using him to get the crucial evangelical vote.
However I believe this win has created new realities, with much greater consequences for the whole world, not just America.
Trump's triumph has huge implications for us in Europe. When you see who is rejoicing you can realise how serious it is. As I wrote before, the vodka will be flowing in the Kremlin; Sarah Palin has joyfully linked Trump's win with Brexit; Wilders, Le Pen and Orban will also be smiling broadly today.
The forces of disintegration, polarisation, discrimination, xenophobia and destabilisation will have a field day.
We will now have for the next four years a post-truth, post-values, bullying narcissist in the White House. A man who thinks the whole world revolves around him has been helped into the White House by millions of evangelical Christians. It will take a long time to get used to this.
Here are five areas I see where we will be affected in Europe:
1. Society. With a man in the White House who talks about women, Mexicans, handicapped, plump, Muslims,...the way Trump does, who can feel safe anymore? He sets the standard for others to follow. We have seen it after Brexit in Britain - hate language is ok because the Brexiteers used it. Instead of solidarity and common good, respect and human dignity, we will see increased division. Trump is re-writing the American motto from E Pluribus Unum to E Unum Pluribus. While UEFA campaigns for respect on the field and against racism, Trump with millions of evangelicals supporting him is leading in the opposite direction.
2. Politics. Extremists, populists, nationalists and isolationists in Europe will all be heartened by Trump's success. They have forgotten the lessons of the mid 20th century and are destabilising European democracies old and new. Anger is breeding anger. Trump's isolationism will end the long period of
Transatlanticism. We are moving now into a multi-polar world, the end of Pax Americana. The term 'loose-cannon' has been often used to describe Trump - coming from the days of sailing ships armed with cannon which need to be firmly anchored to the deck. If one became loose and began to slide around the deck it would cause untold havoc, as has been the case within the Republican Party ( Miley Cyrus soundtrack here: (he) came in like a wrecking ball...)
3. Defence and security. Trump will be the first president not fully committed to NATO and especially to Article 5 which states that an attack on any member state will be considered an attack on the whole. This is going to encourage more adventurism and aggression from Putin, and heightens the possibility of a Crimea-type move on the Baltics. Europeans need to step up to the mark to take more responsibility for our own defence. However, calls for an EU army responding to Trump's vacillation on NATO lack a viable base, given Germany's historically-based reluctance to lead, and Britain's withdrawal from the EU. Trump's flirtation with Putin is extremely alarming; as is his disregard for international rule of law, indicated by his comments about possibly recognising Russia's claim to the Crimea. Putin's interference with the elections with cyber-warfare, wikileaks etc, shows clearly his preferred candidate.
4. Economy. Experts says this would have probably suffered whoever won, but the immediate response of the markets this morning indicate that the financial world is not confident about this particular businessman being in the White House. Economists predict American economy and thus global economy to slow down with a Trump win. Europe doesn't need this. While parts of Trump's announced policy are in line with Republicanism (lower taxes), his opposition to free trade is not.
5. Environment. Trump will likely try to block the Paris agreement and does not accept the idea of global warming. The US has long held out on global cooperation before Merkel managed to persuade Obama on the desperate need to act. Here's one very real scenario developing that an isolationist president unwilling to listen to others could miss: the polar ice cap is melting at an alarming rate, making minerals newly accessible and the fish are moving north. This is shifting geo-political relaities and Russia and China are very aware of this. A shipping route could open up across the top of Russia - as Henry Hudson tried to discover 400 years ago. The biggest Chinese embassy in the world is in... Iceland! Watch this space.
Despite all the above, there is hope! God is still sovereign although that does not mean that everything that happens on this planet is his will. To the contrary. He will continue to work out his purposes. He will continue to use crooked sticks to hit straight - which is why he can use you and me.
Christianity is all about death... and resurrection; exile... and return.
We continue to pray: May your will be done in America and Europe and on earth! Amen.