As I write this Donald Trump has become the 45th President of the United States of America. In Washington there have been passionate demonstrations both for and against President Trump. He is certainly more of a Marmite president than any other I remember. So far his campaign has been characterised by controversy, policy by Twitter and ‘forthrightness’. Please take this opportunity and join with me in prayer for Donald Trump and his family. I pray that his time in office will be characterised more by wisdom, graciousness and fairness for all.
One of the great by-lines used by President Trump is the ‘forgotten people’. This concept of the forgotten people is usually spoken about in the context of the bureaucratic elite – in the words from President Trump’s inauguration address: “… politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.” Later on Trump again refers to the forgotten people no longer being forgotten. I read of one American who said he was in Washington for the history … “This is the first president that I voted for that won”. Yet further on, President Trump characterises the forgotten: “… mothers and children trapped in poverty, an education system that leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge and the crime and gangs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much potential.” This is a message which not only resonates with the forgotten but also with those who love and care for their neighbours.
I pray that the Trump administration will not forget the ‘forgotten’ and neither generate a new cadre of forgotten!
The image of the elite and the forgotten reminds me of my first job of managing a unionised workforce. I remember one of my shop stewards giving me a booklet from the TUC (Trades Union Congress) – I think this was published in the name of the General Secretary, Hugh Scanlon, one of the famous trade unionists at the time. I was impressed by the organisation diagram he used. Instead of the normal pyramid with the Chief Executive at the top and the workers at the bottom he drew an inverted pyramid with him at the bottom and the workers at the top – a powerful symbol and one which I thought Hugh believed in. We are blessed in the URC by also having a General Secretary who understands he exists to serve the church and not the other way round.
Blessings from your servant,