Many of the people who voted for Donald J. Trump, appear to have voted the way they pray. That is, I have often noted, with some bafflement, that there are some religious Christians (a minority, to be sure) who beseech the creator for specific “gifts.” They pray to win the lottery, or to pass the final exam, or to get the job. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with this, but it seems strange. Rabbi Treister always taught that, in the Jewish tradition, one prays to praise God, for thanks, or for the welfare of the community and others. So the concept of praying for specific, material benefits seems foreign to me.
Likewise, the idea of voting for specific, narrow, parochial, and often personal benefits strikes me as a little odd. For example, many of the voters who cast their ballots for Trump seem to have assumed that a Trump presidency would benefit them, personally. That is, by voting for Trump, they would keep their industrial jobs, would see their personal income increase, would feel personally safer, would not have to interact with unfamiliar foreigners in their daily lives.
While this kind of voting seems just as puzzling to me – perhaps because of my background in a Westminster-style parliamentary system, I always assumed that one voted for (or against) broader issues, relating to the community as a whole, and what kind of community one wanted it to be – what I really wonder is this: What happens when your god ignores your pleas?
I mean, there is no way that any Trump policy will be able to address the personal, individual needs and desires of 60 million people, so many – if not most – of his supporters are going to be terribly disappointed, as many already are. So what happens to people when, despite their most fervent prayers, their god abandons them?