Well that didn’t take long

Reince Priebus Drain the Swamp

Although Donald Trump is the President-elect, individual votes nationwide are still being tallied. It’s now clear Hillary Clinton beat Trump in popular vote totals, currently by a margin of over 650,000 votes. Once all the numbers are in, her (non-winning) margin of victory will likely be close to one-million votes more than the Electoral College winner– Donald Trump.

So be it. Our founders implemented an Electoral College for good reason, and after more than 240 years, it is still a much-needed system. No one wants to see Presidential contests where candidates must only appeal to America’s 20 largest cities.

Conservatives everywhere are still “high-fiving” each other over Trump’s improbable win. Evangelical leaders are patting themselves on the back and admonishing their flocks to pray for the President-elect with a fervor hardly seen after Barack Obama won in 2008, and was re-elected in 2012.

Everyone is waiting breathlessly to see just how wonderful the Trump Presidency is going to be – well, everyone except for several hundred-thousand protesters across the country… along with a couple of million who’ve signed petitions compelling the Electoral College to reflect the popular vote instead of the rules.

So, what will a Trump Administration do to “make America great again”? Well, it’s looking like “not so much” of what the Republican nominee long promised. In just the last few days since his unexpected victory, Trump’s already backpedaled on several campaign promises.

Apparently, he now likes parts of Obamacare, instead of the full repeal he repeatedly promised his rabid supporters. And, he won’t be appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, as those throngs of sign-waving fanatics were assured. His “wall” may be part fence; with now some possible form of illegal alien amnesty being considered.

All of this and he is just getting warmed-up.

Despite the millions of voters who believed he was the “agent of change” they had been waiting for, yesterday Trump signaled he no longer intended to “drain the swamp” of Washington D.C.

President-elect announced Reince Priebus– the current RNC Chairman and Chief’est the of the RINO herd– will serve as White House Chief of Staff. Not the woman who masterminded his winning campaign, Kellyanne Connway. You heard that right, “Mr. Outsider” has hired the ultimate Washington insider to manage his White House and set his agenda.

Priebus, who took seven ballots to be elected Chairman of the RNC in the first place, obviously cut his deals with Trump months-ago. even prior to the Cleveland. The same Reince Priebus who used thug-like tactics to silence any opposition to Trump at the GOP’s nominating Convention. And, that same man who largely carried Trump’s water during the campaign’s dark days as multiple sexual-assault allegations surfaced.

Priebus, a good friend of House Speaker Paul Ryan, is set to steer the Trump Presidency along strictly-moderate GOP (RINO) lines. Look for many more “recalculations” of campaign promises to trickle-out in the coming weeks.

Actually, Trump’s pick of Priebus shouldn’t be all that surprising… just look at his transition team. Yes, he has some solid conservatives on it; but he also has a plethora of Washington lobbyists guiding him on whom to hire for his administration. Does anyone honestly think these ultimate-insiders are going to advocate for a revolution when it comes to the future government of the U.S.? Not on your life!

With the very establishment, inside “the swamp” calling the shots, don’t look to any real change in the way D.C. does business. The special interests will be protected at all costs, and the average Joe will just have to understand that this is the way things are done.

And, it is only a matter of time until evangelicals are sorely disappointed as well. If they really think Trump will be a strong advocate for traditional marriage, the unborn, and religious freedom in America– think again. None of these crucial social-issues have even been an after-thought of his “first 100 days” plan.

I hope and pray I am wrong about this, but actions speak far louder than words, especially in politics. Trump’s actions thus far do not inspire a lot of confidence regarding such crucial issues to the conservative, pro-family, and/or Christian agendas; let alone do they appear to be a priority in configuring Mr. Trump’s administration.

On top of that, Trump has also hired Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart, as a chief counselor. The same man who, coincidently, veered said media outlet into an “alt-right” populist swerve, which is fomenting ugly extremism. So, here we have the voice of the establishment whispering in one of Trump’s ears; and the voice of far-right extremism whispering in other. This will not end well, mark my words.

People were hopeful when Mike Pence replaced Gov. Chris Christie as head of the transition team. But, now we know it was just Trump’s effort to distance himself from Christie’s ethical “BridgeGate” misgivings. As such, Trump effectively said “you’re fired!” to his loyal friend Chris Christie.

Now, it’s true that Trump later modifies his statements to fit his agenda. So, some of this may become moot. But, if your foundation is crooked to start with, you won’t have a straight building in the end. Trump is setting himself up to be just another moderate RINO in Washington D.C., not the “savior” so many hoped and prayed he would become.

Will Trump be running the show? Reports are out already asserting he doesn’t plan on living in the White House full-time. Does that mean he will be a part-time President? Will some kind of RINO “shadow government” be running things instead?

He promises to turn-over all business holdings to his children (as opposed to a truly blind trust that most Presidents have utilized). Three of his children are currently holding key positions on his transition team. Does anyone seriously believe he will stop talking with them once he becomes President? Or, is Trump mimicking misdeeds of the Clinton Foundation… you know, using political power to enhance one’s personal wealth?

Again, time will tell in these matters, but it doesn’t look good. Trump is leaving himself wide-open for Democrat opponents to hound him for as long as it works in their advantage. And, that will be quite some time if Hillary Clinton’s popular vote numbers continue to climb.

It seems naïve to trust that Trump will select Ted Cruz as his first Supreme Court nominee. Some theorize that many Senators will back the move just to get Cruz out of the Senate. But, I wouldn’t bet on it. The left nearly had the Supreme Court where they wanted it before Hillary’s shocking defeat. Do you expect them to surrender so abruptly? Given the reduced numbers of the Senate’s Republican majority, along “Twitchy Mitchy” McConnell’s signaling that he won’t abandon the 60 vote Cloture rule– it’s much more likely Trump must “wheel and deal” with the Democrats if he hopes to have a successful first SCOTUS nominee.

In this matter, ideology will not even enter into Trump’s equation. He will look to get an early “win” under his belt. So, expect some squishy moderate the Democrats can tolerate, and will probably vote their way at least 75% of the time.

Again, I hope and pray I am wrong, but Trump will require a whole lot of emotional maturing to be willing to chance losing his first-round SCOTUS pick.

So, at this point, all we can do is hang onto our hats, because the Trump-Train is going to hit some serious bumps on the track ahead. How much is left of the conservative, pro-family, evangelical Christian agenda remains to be seen. But, so far it doesn’t look like “happy days are here again”!

Russ Hepler

Russ Hepler is a pastor, teacher, political activist, author, and conference speaker with over 30 years of experience. He holds a B.A. from Messiah College and an M.A.R. from Evangelical School of Theology. He has been an issues’ advocate, a campaign volunteer for local, state, and federal candidates, Regional Field Director for PA Christian Coalition, president of a county chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life, local Republican Committeeman, and an elected member of a town council. He is also a former and current homeschooler and taught in a Christian school (middle school History and Bible) for a number of years. He was formerly a blog writer for The Federalist Papers Project with over 900 articles published. He has been a guest on the American Family Radio program Today’s Issues with Tim Wildmon and on the Bill Martinez Live radio show. One of his sermons – Father’s Day – Where Have All the Heroes Gone? – was featured on the American Pastors’ Network. His first book – Yes! We Can Turn This Nation Around! A Practical Guide for Christian Political Involvement – was published in 2012. It has recently been updated and expanded for 2016 – Yes! We STILL Can Turn This Nation Around! An Updated and Expanded Practical Guide for Christian Political Involvement. Both works are available at Amazon.com. He and his wife, Sherry, have founded Transformation 1202 Ministries to educate, encourage, and challenge people of faith to get involved in the political and cultural issues of our day. The ministry has a website, a blog, and a Facebook page: Turn This Nation Around.

1 Comment
  1. The author might consider having someone proofread his work before publishing it; the typographical errors, misuse of hyphens, and missing words make it difficult to read.

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