Names mean something. Maybe the name of our current president was foretold. Handel’s “Messiah” quotes 1 Corinthians: “For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Donald Trump is a huge wake-up call. His election produced that stunned feeling when you first wake up like you are disorientated from reality. You must have been asleep — or maybe you were dead. Trump’s wake-up call has now been going for forty days and forty nights.
To wake up is to realize that our democracy is in a state of dangerous dysfunction. The evidence was clear long before Trump’s election. What do you call a government in which 90% of the members of its House of Representatives are embedded in “safe” seats, who never are questioned by their constituency, who never are required to give an accounting of their activity? I don’t think you call such a government a democracy, because it is not.
If Trump doesn’t wake us up, what will? Trump’s election is a symptom of a deeper problem. In the big picture, the problem is not the Democratic Party or the Republican Party or gerrymandering, or big money in politics. These are all aspects of system dysfunction. The big question is: What is the root cause of our republic being so weak? Here is the sad fact: our democratic republican system of self-government is dysfunctional because it is lacking the informed and engaged citizenry that it needs in order to function as it should.
To be raised incorruptible is to see the truth. The election of Trump should make informing and engaging the citizenry a big campaign. Here is what we need to envision and pray for: a great civic awakening that will refresh our republic — a movement focused on civics education — focused on building an informed and engaged citizenry.