For Trump true-believers it’s easy to see God’s hand behind their candidate’s improbable triumph and to view his looming presidency as a miracle – an unmistakable blessing from the Lord of history. A bare majority, however, voted against the president-elect and it’s more difficult for them to reconcile recent results with old assumptions about Divine Providence directing our destiny. Our most significant leaders from every era concluded that fate favors America, but why then would a higher power force a polarizing, unpleasant choice between the two least-admired major party nominees in history?
That’s the most pertinent, painful question raised by the publication of my new book, THE AMERICAN MIRACLE: DIVINE PROVIDENCE IN THE RISE OF THE REPUBLIC. Its pages recount a long history of seemingly random, irrational occurrences that worked powerfully and consistently to America’s benefit. In this context, is it so unreasonable to hope for the best from the unexpected elevation of Mr. Trump?
If he beats the odds (again) and achieves a successful presidency, it could stand as a powerful rebuke to the poisonous politics of personality, which Trump himself proudly practiced, and that made the 2016 campaign such an unwelcome ordeal. After two nominees devoted most of their energy to discrediting one another, four years of growth and reform could teach the public that national progress doesn’t depend on a dauntless, visionary leader for the government as it much as it relies on the private character of countless ordinary citizens. After eight years of “hope and change” in which Barack Obama’s followers saw some movement toward the left, the frustrated minions of the nationalist right now get our own chance to “make America great again.” It’s perhaps fortunate that all the ferocious sniping between Trump and Clinton so seldom focused on ideology or agendas, leaving plenty of room for a new president to seize the opportunity for compromise, reconciliation and consensus.
Skeptics see no chance that a President Trump would ever embrace such healing and collaborative leadership. But the startling, sometimes illogical course of The American Miracle shows that much stranger good things have happened frequently in our past. And chances are they will again, very possibly in the near future.
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AT KEY TURNING POINTS IN HISTORY, AMERICA CATCHES EVERY BREAK
The history of the United States displays an uncanny pattern: at moments of crisis, when odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress. Historians may categorize these incidents as happy accidents, callous crimes or the product of brilliant leadership, but the most notable leaders of the last 300 years have identified this good fortune as something else – a reflection of divine providence.
In The American Miracle, bestselling author and radio host Michael Medved recounts some of the most significant events in America’s rise to prosperity and power, revealing a record of improbabilities and amazements that demonstrate what the Founders believed all along: that events unfolded according to some master plan, with destiny playing an unmistakable role in lifting the nation to greatness. Among the stirring, illogical episodes described here:
*A band of desperate religious refugees find themselves blown hopelessly off course, only to be deposited at the one spot on a wild continent best-suited for their survival
*A beaten army, surrounded by a ruthless foe and on the verge of annihilation, manages an impossible escape due to a freakish change in the weather
* A famous conqueror known for seizing territory, frustrated by a slave rebellion and a frozen harbor, impulsively hands over a tract of land that doubles the size of the United States
*A frontier carpenter discovers gold at virtually the same moment a government clerk nearly 2,000 miles away defies the president and risks arrest to secure American control of California
* A weary solider picks up three cigars left behind in an open field and notices the stogies have been wrapped in a hand-written description of the enemy’s secret battle plans—a revelation that gives Lincoln the supernatural sign he’s awaited in order to free the slaves
When millions worry over the nation losing its way, Medved’s sweeping narrative, bursting with dramatic events and lively portraits of unforgettable, occasionally little-known characters, affirms America as “fortune’s favorite,” shaped by a distinctive destiny from our beginnings to the present day.
MICHAEL MEDVED’s daily three-hour radio program, The Michael Medved Show, reaches 5 million listeners on more than 300 stations coast to coast. He is the author of 12 other books, including the bestsellers The 10 Big Lies About America, Hollywood vs. America, Hospital, and What Really Happened to the Class of ’65? He is a member of USA Today’s board of contributors, a former chief film critic of the New York Post and, for more than a decade, cohosted Sneak Previews, the weekly movie-review show on PBS. An honors graduate of Yale with Departmental Honors in American History, Medved lives with his family in the Seattle area.