I heard the phrase “post election stress disorder” on the news the other day and I instantly became angry. As someone who has suffered tremendously with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder due to actual life threatening events, I was offended and frustrated that the media decided to mock those disabled by PTSD and apply the same “diagnosis” to people who are distraught about the election results. Yes the fate of this great nation is determined by who won this presidency, but people are suicidal and overwhelmingly despondent because their candidate did not win. I cannot fathom how intellectual and educated adults can begin to fall apart based on the results of an election and see this as a “healthy and appropriate” response to the disappointment they are feeling. Especially when many of us who have had to put up with a leader for the last 8 years who has destroyed the fabric of this country, denouncing everything she stands for and leaving us actually vulnerable to unspeakable evils, reacted in a much different way, accepting what was, knowing what was coming.
Then I sat back and began to really try to understand the irrational and seemingly psychotic and histrionic responses of those whose did not win. Listening to stories of people who actually believe President-Elect Trump is going to round up their children and kill them, who think that they are going to have go into hiding because of reasons that I can’t even begin to rationally understand, annoys and angers me. But I began to wonder what was really behind such bizarre and delusional responses and beliefs. I have heard the things that Mr. Trump said in his past, and I have heard the spin the media used as well as the rhetoric of the Democratic party and their constituents utilized in an attempt to garner enough votes to win, but I never heard any of the things these people believe are real, and that worries me. But more than that, the realization that these people are so enslaved to their worldviews and that they truly feel traumatized by the election of an imperfect but much less dangerous candidate, I can’t help but feel somewhat sad for them.
I also view this situation from a different perspective, that of a Christian who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and the only Savior of His people. From that perspective, I realize that these people who are suicidal, who are terrified and living in a bizarre and delusional reality regarding what will happen next month, don’t believe that way. To them, Hillary Clinton was supposed to be their savior, was supposed to rescue them and provide for them and keep them from the things they believe are harmful. In the same way these individuals believed Barack Obama was the salvation of the black community, they believe that she is the salvation for all women. This belief must go deeper than the basic belief that she will bring positive change to their lives in order for their reactions to make some kind of sense. I realized that these people truly worship Obama and Clinton on a level that supersedes rational thought and reason. In the face of truth and facts, they still clung to their “savior” with all they had. They have replaced the true hope, redemption, and salvation that comes with a relationship with Christ with a human person that will never give them what they desire at the core of their being.
The saddest part to me is that these people do not yet realize that they are placing their hope for salvation and redemption on idols, on people who do not have their best interest in mind when they make decisions because they are solely focused on getting what they want. The blinders that have been placed over the eyes of the people who voted for and are emotionally and physically crushed by Clinton’s defeat, are completely obscuring their ability to see what is plainly right in front of them. There is no hope for redemption, for healing, for salvation, outside of Jesus Christ. There is no peace, no love, no life without Him, yet so many people are desperately trying to fill that void with anything and everything they can because they do not want to believe that He is the answer to what they are asking for.
These are people who are so lost and so broken by the things in their lives and in the lives of other people that they are desperately seeking relief from the burning pain inside that is desperately crying out for healing. They are hurting and begging for meaning and purpose and an understanding of why this world is the way that it is, but they are running away from the person who can soothe that pain as fast as they can. This is what breaks me when I think of the people who have attempted suicide or who are having psychological breakdowns because Clinton didn’t win. They are so desperately looking for any other salve that will quench the fire inside other than Jesus, that their minds and bodies cannot resolve the internal conflict between truth and what they want to be truth, and I don’t know how to help them. I can speak truth, and demonstrate love as I always have, but I can’t break through the fear and desperation that is permeating their minds now. All I can do is pray for those blinders to be removed, for their pain to cease, and for the words that will lead them towards the true Healer and Redeemer. Without Him, the pain will not go away, the chaos will not cease, and the burning fire of fear and terror will never be quenched.