God, Politics, and You
I am a lifelong Republican. There, I said it. Before you render judgment, please (I mean please as in “I implore you”) read this article.
The November, 2012 elections are the most important in your lifetime. It doesn’t matter whether you are 18 or 90. The country rests delicately on a tipping point. There are those pushing with all their might to make sure we tip over into a new national social order, and those fighting just as hard to make sure we do not fall into that abyss. Then, there are those who really aren’t sure why we stand at the precipice of either a new social order or an abyss here in the U.S.. More importantly, they don’t really think whatever happens will actually change their lives all that much. To them, republicans and democrats are twiddledee and twiddledum.
I write to all three groups. I hope the following thoughts resonate with every reader, regardless of your personal political persuasion. Please bear with me as I set the stage for discussion.
The left has its passionate advocates, as does the right. I am an unapologetic republican and for every one of me, there are more democrats! I fight a losing numerical battle. So it is not just with a passing academic interest that I reach out to readers who may not be as committed as I to the philosophies guiding a republican government.
The country is tired. Left, middle, and right, our citizens are pleading for sanity. They want the rancor to end. They yearn for leadership. Neither party is providing the salve they seek.
After the 2008 election, the progressive left interpreted the results as a mandate to pursue an unbending, non-negotiable leftist social agenda. After the 2010 elections, the hard core right interpreted the results as a mandate to pursue an unbending, non-negotiable conservative economic agenda. The art of compromise was abandoned by activists and leaders in both parties.
Ironically, the partisan politics that have dominated the political scene in D.C. have not only highlighted the dysfunction in that city, but actually proven that there really are major differences between the two parties’ governing philosophies. In other words, your considered vote really does matter.
So as this narrative turns the corner and heads into the land of specificity, please bear this in mind. Both the left and right have their radical fringes. Neither party can claim the high road.
There are certain lightning rod issues that immediately prompt heated, spirited debate. A woman’s right to choose the destiny of her unborn child is perhaps the poster child for such (impassioned, occasionally mean-spirited) dialogue. To make my case for what ails us at this moment in time in the United States, I am stepping into the breach (sorry, that was irresistible) and using this highly emotional issue to make my point.
The rhetoric (and political fallout) stemming from President Obama’s recent decision to force all businesses (including religious based concerns) to include contraception related expenses in their health care coverage is a case in point for how divided our country has become. It is also a perfect example of how an issue can become distorted by those who seek to use events that play on the electorate’s emotions and cloud the more far-reaching constitutional consequences of politics driven by a passionate social agenda. A constitutional discussion (prompted by a decision regarding contraception) has been completely co-opted by those who wish to use the abortion debate as a campaign wedge.
The separation of church and state was not an accidental addition to our Constitution. Leading up to the emigration from Europe that led to the formation of our colonies, there was no line drawn between politics and religion. For centuries after the death of Christ, it was hard to separate a king from God! Our founding fathers not only sought to ensure that we would never be subjected to the whims and autocratic tendencies of an absolute monarch, but they made it crystal clear that all Americans would have the right to pursue their religious beliefs without interference from their government. This is one of our fundamental constitutional rights.
Now, it is well known that the Catholic church promotes abstinence as God’s only sanctioned form of birth control. Further, the church also condemns abortion as tantamount to the taking of a life. On the subject of abortion, the nation is very much divided. There are those who believe passionately that abortion equals murder. And there are an equal amount of those just as passionately committed to the right of women to control their own bodies, and to keep the government out of their reproductive organs (in a manner of speaking).
The fact that I have to provide this background is symptomatic of the emotional quagmire in which we find ourselves on this topic. The issue at hand is whether the President has overstepped his legal authority by imposing his social belief system on businesses, and in particular, businesses with religious connections. Opine Needles believes he has. I am Opine Needles. I believe he has.
The problem is that the main stream media, the progressive left, and opportunists looking for a divisive wedge have all turned the issue into a women’s “right to choose” debate. The all-important constitutional issue has been lost in the highly charged voltage of abortion politics.
Folks, we have a law. We can argue all day long whether Roe V Wade was social engineering at its Supreme Court worst, but the argument is a waste of time. In fact, the entire dialogue is a misdirected conversational arrow.
We need to focus on the role of the federal government in our lives. Full stop. Do we want to live in George Orwell’s world? You see, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t support government overreach when it suits your personal beliefs, and then protest when the government oversteps its bounds when you don’t like what it has done!
Yes, the republicans have their share of what may appear to be neanderthals. But seriously, if one is being completely honest, there is an abundance of offensive thought in both parties, and neither one can realistically claim the high ground.
So, let’s bear in mind the Constitutional context for this next comment. The Obama administration has conducted itself with an undisguised contempt for our Constitution. Adding insults to injury, there are now leading democrat spokespersons who are suggesting that the Constitution has lived well past its sell-by date, and to continue to rely on the wishes of our founding fathers is to cling on to anachronistic irrelevancies.
Fellow Americans, I hope you can see the folly (and danger) of such progressive liberal thought. We live under a system of government that is the most exceptional, noble, and ongoing experiment in the history of man. Ours is an exceptional nation; one founded on the principles of free will (with free choices made by free people), the right to own property, defend oneself, and to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. The pages in the book of history are full of failed experiments, and invariably the failures begin when the people complacently watch their liberties be consumed by the voracious appetite of government. Much like a slow drip emanating from a faucet, the people are appeased until they wake up one day and find it’s too late; Big Brother has arrived.
The bottom line is that the democrats want to use the Federal Government to pursue a very aggressive social agenda. So, in addition to the highly volatile abortion issue, the democrat agenda involves, but is not limited to, a commitment to:
–a redistribution of America’s created wealth. Very simply, democrats fundamentally believe that the federal government should do what it can to create an equality of outcome for American citizens. Republicans believe the federal government should work to create equality of opportunity.
–implicit abolishment of right to work states, and support for strengthening of private and public sector unions. Republicans believe the business of America is business, and the unions are unequivocally the greatest cause of our unfunded pension liabilities (state budget shortages, and private sector bankruptcies).
–using the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to enact social policy in circumvention of Congress. The republicans want to de-politicize the NLRB.
–creating an unprecedented amount of appointed czars to promote social re-engineering, all in violation of explicit balance of power stipulations. Republican presidents have used the czar appointments, but never to the extent of the current administration.
–governing by “Executive Order” when pursuit of an agenda is unlikely to be supported by Congress. Again, the extent to which the President is pursuing a personal social agenda is unprecedented.
–creating a new (another new) world order in which the United States denounces any sense of exceptionalism, and apologizes for perceived offenses of the past. In the history of all great societies, there are heartless and brutal moments. The history of the United States is no different. But the fact is that we have been and remain the most generous nation in the annals of history. We are an exceptional country, and we should not cower in fear of all that thought represents.
–stymying the US oil and gas industry at every turn. While giving lip service to our need to be self sufficient, the democrats continue to make it very hard for our indigenous oil and gas industry to find more reserves. Republicans support a vigorous agenda for the development of our own hydrocarbons. And one note on the issue of hydraulic fracking; folks, all the science is on the side of the frickin frackers! This is a political red herring being thrust into the environmental limelight by those whose vision is clouded by their agenda. The federal government can preserve our wonderful national parks, our air, AND support the effort to develop our natural resources. This will not happen under an Obama administration. The fact that the Keystone pipeline has not been approved demonstrates the folly of the Obama administration’s oil and gas policy.
–profligate spending for perpetuity. The only way the democrats can hope to achieve their mission to achieve equality of outcome (by the way, it has never worked…ever, ever, ever….see the Soviet Union for your last large scale attempt) is to spend your money and mine, and since that is still not enough, to borrow even more money. The end result will be a worthless dollar, and a production class that has left the country. You don’t have time for me to list why this social re-engineering is so harmful to our economy and our values. I’d like to think most of you can park your emotions long enough to see the slippery slope on which the President has the US economy sliding.
So I draw to a close. As your choices begin to take form in the months to come,
of you I ask only this; place your passions to the side. Do NOT vote for President based on how you feel about abortion. We have a law. Shame on BOTH parties who play on the emotions of their supporters to use this divisive issue as an electoral lightning rod. There are so many important economic and constitutional issues at stake.
Focus on the tipping point. Decide what matters to you. Do you care that the Constitution is being attacked? What does the Constitution mean to you? President George Washington once said, “The Constitution is a guide which I will never abandon.”
So where do you come down on the issues discussed hereon?
Above all else, please make sure your views are counted. Make sure you vote!
THINK RIGHT. ACT RIGHT. VOTE RIGHT