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It Was Pride That Done It

by Dr. Henderson Ward  
11/15/2016 / Politics

It is now exactly one week since Donald Trump was elected to be the next President of the United States, and volumes have been written, and spoken, as to why he won and Hillary Clinton lost. There is a lot of confusion and bad feeling all around, and a lot of charges and counter-charges are flying about with blinding speed. Nevertheless amidst all the spin and hype, some things are crystal clear. What we can be sure of, are two things.

First, Donald Trump won. Whether you wanted him to win, or not, is not relevant. He has won, and all fair-minded persons would wish that he does a good job on behalf of the American people, and assist globally in moving the world forward.

Second, Hillary Clinton lost decisively. It is true that she won the popular vote 61,047,207 to 60,375,961, but who wins the majority of the electoral college votes is declared the winner of the election , and Trump won the electoral college votes 306 to 232 (as it currently stands). The people have spoken, and given Donald Trump a mandate to preside over the USA for the next four years, and the world is watching to see how he carries out his mandate.

I want to offer a suggestion, nothing more than that, as to why Hillary Clinton lost, because I have been following her input into politics for a long time. This may not be the only reason she lost, but I think it is a very significant one.

When Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama in 2008, I said at the time that I thought she would never be President of the United States. I thought that when the next presidential term was over in 2012, she would be considered to be too old to take on such a demanding job, and the electorate would prefer a younger person.

In her loss to Barack Obama in 2008, Hillary Clinton took a posture that puzzled me. A loss is a loss, and she should have moved on from there, but she did not. Time and time again, Hillary Clinton brandished her millions of votes in Obama's face, as if to intimidate him into following her programme, her agenda, or else. Naked, internecine warfare was expected if Hillary Clinton and her millions of supporters were not mollified. Some of her supporters even broke with the Democrats and formed alliances to vote for Obama's opponent.

We know what happened in 2008. Obama won the presidency and went on to form his administration, and to stop Hillary Clinton from undermining his administration, he gave her the top job in his cabinet; Secretary of State.

It is my belief, I have no proof, that the offer to Hillary Clinton of the Secretary of State's job, was an effort to placate her supporters. Obama knew that a divided Democratic Party would make it more difficult for him to have a second term as president.

Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, worked very hard, and well, in carrying out her job, and she was a loyal, constructive, effective member of Obama's cabinet. But she never jettisoned the pride that she acquired following her lost to Obama in 2008. And it's that same pride that undid her in 2016.

Here is how Hillary Clinton's pride undid her in 2016.

Hillary Clinton never believed that Obama should have won the nomination in 2008, she thought he was unqualified, his political resume was a joke, and in any case a black man could never beat her in a fair fight in a party that is still mildly racist, and where nearly all the senior folks are Clinton's loyalist. Her attitude suggested that even though Obama won the presidency for two terms, she would do even better. That was her undoing in 2016.

Because Hillary Clinton, puffed up with pride, always thought that she could do better than Obama, thought that she was a better candidate for president than Obama, thought that she could win in places where he could not (thus proving her assertion), she ventured to win states that were not vital to giving her a majority of the electoral college votes, and thereby used up vital resources that she should have used contending for winnable states.

Hillary Clinton was never going to win Texas, a strong Republican State, but her pride drove her to say that she wanted to 'FLIP' Texas, and turn it blue for Democrats. Obama lost Texas in 2012 by 16% (Obama 41% - Romney 57%), and 2008 by 11% (Obama 44% - McCain 55%). Hillary Clinton poured a lot of resources into Texas, to try to tip it, but loss nevertheless, and received zero electoral college votes. She did better than Obama in Texas, 2016, in that she reduced the margin of her defeat to 10% (Clinton 43% - Trump 53%),

Had Hillary Clinton not bothered with Texas, and focussed the Texas resources on say, Florida and Pennsylvania, she in all likelihood would have won Florida's 29 and Pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes. These 49 electoral college votes, added to her 232 that she received, would have given her a total of 281 and the presidency. Hillary Clinton lost both Florida and Pennsylvania by tiny margins.

Christians know about pride, and how destructive it can be.

Because pride is so incapacitating to our walk with Christ, we are told clearly where God stands on this, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6). That "God resisteth the proud" should sober us up, and make us realise that pride is deadly and defeating, as Lucifer found out in his fall from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14), as Nebuchadnezzar found out in his transformation to a donkey (Daniel 4:33), and as the many throughout history that failed to heed God's warning.

The Bible says that, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18). In this context, pride is the forerunner to destruction in the same way that lightning is the forerunner to thunder. In the life of a Christian, pride has no place, and should be rooted out, and be replaced with humility, and meekness.

Christians are encouraged, yea instructed to, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:6), and, "Don't be proud, but be willing to be friends with people who are not important to others. Don't think of yourself as smarter than everyone else." (Romans 12:16 Easy to Read Version).

To be humble, in this context, is to be lowly rather than lofty in our attitude and approach, to associate with and assist the poor and needy, to be concerned with the issues that afflict the least of these my brethren, as Jesus called them, to live in a way that acknowledges that what we have come from and belongs to God, and what we may get is due to God's good favour. This is what humility is all about, and it is the opposite of pride.

It was Soloman who said, "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2).

Let all Christians free themselves of pride, and learn the lesson of true progress, that the Psalmist was right when he said, "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." (Psalm 75:6-7)

Enough said.

Books by this author you may wish to read.

Volume 1 Five tough facts to be faced

Volume 1 You must first identify him




Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2017

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