In 2009, a tall, good-looking, dark-haired comedian wearing a green and yellow Wallabies jersey strolled the streets of New York introducing himself to random strangers as the Prime Minister of Australia. Although the comedian looked nothing like the short, balding, bushy-eye-browed Australian who was in office at the time, most people bought it. Unsuspecting Americans shook hands with the imposter, took group selfies with him, and congratulated him on his alliances with the US. Others commended him for Australia’s fine wines.
One southern belle who was asked if she had seen the charlatan on TV, responded with a definitive, “Why yes, I have, and I think he’s doing a wonderful job.”
The comedian had Americans fooled. Why? Because American citizens for the most part are not that interested in Australian politics and it’s highly likely they have never tuned in to an Aussie election campaign.
Australians, on the other hand – and the rest of the world for that matter – can’t get enough of the Clinton vs. Trump parade that has been playing itself out on every news channel for the last 18 months. The US election campaign has been fodder for talk shows, memes and parodies, and more than a few shout fests on Twitter. Even my 14-year-old daughter, who has never expressed any interest in politics, is fascinated with the theatrics that have formed so much of the US presidential campaign. Last night, she spent a full hour watching CNN so she could be up-to-date on the latest coverage.
Thanks to a connected global community, most of us Aussies have been mesmerised by what a New Yorker journalist described as a vaudeville act. It’s the greatest show on earth at the moment and a face off between two hugely entertaining and controversial presidential candidates, which some commentators have predicted will change the course of history in drastic and unprecedented ways. If Trump wins some have suggested the world and its systems and US diplomatic relations, will come crashing down. If Clinton wins then according to one Republican supporter at a Trump rally, “Evil will prevail.”
Whatever the outcome of Americans turning out to the voting polls across their nation, of one thing we can be certain: God won’t be surprised and ultimately … He’s in control.
So what’s our role as believers in Australia and around the world? It’s simple … we pray. Despite our divided opinions and loyalties and political persuasions, scripture is pretty clear, we need to pray for our leaders. Why? Because all of us, including the President elect, need wisdom from above.
Besides prayer, the mindful believer should stay informed and not swayed by popular opinion, conspiracy theories; celebrity endorsements or by whoever shouts the loudest. Whether the polling booth is set up in the USA, Australia or elsewhere, taking the time to research party policies, in whatever country you are in, makes good common sense. It’s all available online. Once equipped with knowledge and then being led by the Holy Spirit – Christians can go into their national polling booths knowing they have done their best to cast an informed vote. The rest is up to God.
In a matter of hours the world will wake up to the knowledge of exactly who is the most powerful leader in the so-called “free world.” The show will be over and the implications of America’s presidential choice will begin to reverberate as he or she gets down to the serious business of guiding a nation.
But regardless of whether it’s Clinton or Trump, the Creator who was powerful enough to form worlds with mere words will still keep our planet spinning, and our sun shining. He was here before Trump or Clinton came into being, and He’ll be reigning long after their names have been forgotten.
In this knowledge we can all be at peace – God is the final act.