My friend Jay made an interesting comparison between the American election and the Israel described in the Bible (or the Tanakh). The First Book of Samuel describes Israel as nomadic tribes. They had the Ark of the Covenant, a gold-covered wooden chest that according to the tradition contained the two stone tablets of the ten commandments that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. This reminder of the pact between God and the Jewish people was a very holy object and only a select few could handle it. It was like a magical object, and when the Philistines stole it, it was as if God had been taken from the Jewish people.. Israel got the ark back, but they were still dissatisfied.
Israel didn’t have a king, but God filled that position, while the prophet Samuel was the last in a line of judges that had been the link between Israel and God. The people demanded a king, which was a sign they didn’t trust God. They wanted a physical person telling them they didn’t have to do anything themselves. God told Samuel to give the people a king, but he had to explain what that involved first. It meant that the king would require servants to provide a wide range of services, and the people would have to pay tax. The people still wanted a king, but Saul turned out to be a bad idea, and he was replaced.
The Americans are not in a unique situation, but that’s where it’s the most obvious at the moment. It’s about a human need to be taken care of. It wasn’t the people’s responsibility to change America eight years ago. That was Obama’s job. Many are sick and tired of the political elite now, and they voted for the candidate that promised to do something about the political corruption. People are still worried about the unknown, and many are worried about what Donald Trump will do. The most worrisome is still the fact that media, in Norway as well, preferred Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump was seen as the plague we had to avoid at all costs. When the plan failed the shock was even greater.
Change has to start with ourselves, and we have the same problem in Norway. We have had mostly Labour-governments since World War II, possibly exactly because we want others to make decisions for us. We have a rare right-wing government now, and people are predictably calling for a return of the socialist saviour. I admit that there are many troubling things about Trump, but it remains to be seen what he will actually do. I have a Facebook friend that shared something a friend of her had written, and he demanded that Trump voters revealed themselves and justified their support for Trump. That’s something I might write about later because how would you justify voting for Hillary Clinton?
We can’t expect authorities to adopt change. They have to contribute of course, but we can make major changes ourselves. We have a responsibility. The Americans don’t have to wait for Washington and I don’t have to wait for Oslo. I think it would actual be hard for governments to change things if we don’t start with ourselves. We are the change.
I can’t take credit for these ideas. I mentioned Jay as a source, and one of her friends, Phil Fletcher, is being the change in Conway, Arkansas.