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Various comments and reactions to the election have kept my mind running overtime. I’ll hear a word or phrase, and my thoughts fire off a response or run off along a tangent. I may have an organized and coherent message, at some point, but for now I’m just jotting down the various random thoughts.

  1. I learned, years ago, that a 2-party system was a good thing because multiple parties often prevent clear majorities in elections. Lately, I have heard talk show hosts and personal friends decry the current state of the Democratic and Republican Parties, in that they are essentially the same. As a child of the 60’s and 70’s, I have find organizational loyalty, generally, to be a bad thing. That applies to denominations as much as political parties, to corporate management as well as union leadership, and to celebrities as much as trendy religious figures. Institutional loyalties take the place of those few loyalties I believe we ought to have, the first and highest being to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  2. All through this election season, endlessly unendurable as it was, I often questioned the seeming identity between the Republican Party and conservatives and the Democratic Party and secular progressives. In my understanding, party members serve the party, but ideologues serve ideas. I’m not really any of those things, however people might judge my opinions. I attempt to serve Christ and hold to the ideas that arise from his teaching, i.e. from the Bible. In that light, since people like me were so influential at its founding, I support a traditional, historic view of our nation and its government, based on a plain reading of the U. S. Constitution and other key documents like the Declaration of Independence. The state of faith and freedom, as directed by the party faithful on both sides, isn’t remotely what it once was in this country, and neither party deserves our loyalty as a result.

  3. Not so long ago, I came across this posting, and it describes me pretty well, in its conclusions anyway. The difficulty is finding someone to represent me when, in fact, no one can represent me well,…except me! Voting for a representative is always a matter of the least objectionable choice. In the election, just past, the nearest choice was no one. I didn’t see any candidate on the ballot at any level that came very close to what I believe politically (I don’t expect them to be Christians) or wanted to look out for my interests. Had my name been on a ballot, I doubt very many would have voted for me.

  4. I just finished Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver, and I have discovered that I am an elitist, but in an old sense of the word (I have almost nothing in common with the current crop of elitists who dominate most of our culture, media, education, and government). I believe we should prohibit voting by anyone who cannot pass a basic civics test, the sort of test a person seeking to become a citizen should pass. I want to discriminate, but not against the poor or a particular race or community; I want to discriminate against people who don’t understand our form of government well enough to know what a President’s job is and what it is not. I want to discriminate against people who blame the President and his party for what the Congress run by the other party have done. I want to discriminate against anybody who doesn’t know the most basic ideas found in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights, ideas that have good consequences if we follow them. Other ideas, much espoused by candidates and media, will have bad consequences, and most voters don’t know enough to see a difference.

  5. I had been looking for this quote, and a friend included it in an email, yesterday: Professor Alexander Tyler, writing just prior to America’s birth, tells us: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the treasure.  From that moment on, the majority will always vote for candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.” Here is where poorly educated voters are the greatest threat because they may vote in what they perceive as their own best interests without knowing that they’re “killing the goose.” Free enterprise is the goose that lays golden eggs of prosperity. The government taxes the eggs to pay for necessary things like a military, police and fire protection, and a reasonable amount of government overhead. In time, the government grows and uses increased taxation to get money to buy votes, in the name of helping people. Thus begins the slide toward socialism and the end of both liberty and democracy itself; we’ve already been sliding for awhile, and with the incumbent and president-elect, the slide just got steeper!

  6. Having said all that, how do we change, not further in the same direction, as Obama wants? How do we turn this run-away train around? Voting for a third party candidate is Pyrrhic. It may preserve the integrity of the voter, but it doesn’t advance the cause unless the candidate truly has a chance to win. We haven’t always had the same two parties, but to shift the balance, a candidate must actually strive to win with a reasonable chance to do so. Ralph Nader is a joke; Ross Perot helped put Clinton into the White House because he had a axe to grind with George Bush. I believe a grassroots movement of committed “believers” (who believe in the candidate and his platform) can change the landscape, but that was not the case with any of the third party candidates, this go round. I’m not convinced that Ron Paul really had “a fire in his belly” either.

  7. A serious alternate party effort must shed quirky fringe ideas, or it won’t be taken seriously. It may challenge assumptions, but it cannot cling to an idea that a clear majority rejects. Politics, of necessity, requires compromise. A person need not nor should not compromise his or her own integrity, but they must be willing to compromise and choose which issues will enable a win. Social conservatives are an available constituency; they passed the marriage protection amendment in California, of all places, despite Obama’s victory overall. I usually claim to be 90% libertarian or classic liberal, but libertarians insist on drug legalization, an almost sure loser with social conservatives. The threat of Islamic radicals and terrorism cannot be ignored in the name of an isolationist ideology if victory is the goal. It is for such reasons that I chose not to “waste my vote” on a third party candidate, although I respect those who voted otherwise.

  8. If any effort to change the party landscape is to succeed, involving people such as me/us, then we need to recognize the genuine fear, that some have, of Christians imposing theocracy on the country. The efforts of the so-called Christian Right raised that specter in the minds of those who cherish their immoral lifestyles and humanist values. I know that few of us, then or now, actually wanted to run the country, but we must go out of our way to emphasize freedom. We want to be free to worship and to live our traditional lifestyles without government intrusion, without government schools trying to reeducate our children, and without the bogus “separation of church and state” interpretation of the First Amendment, particularly used to separate us from our legitimate participation in all rights of citizens. I don’t want gay marriage so forced upon us that we may no longer teach what the Bible says, but we may have to permit “civil unions” as an alternative. I want to end the bogus notion that pro-abortion is pro-choice, but I am willing to allow the laws to stand, so long as we are truly free to persuade women not to use them (at least until a consensus of our citizens finally understand). I want to be free to bring men and women to Jesus Christ, without some multicultural, relativistic nonsense making it illegal.

  9. For any of this to work, we need to recognize that the final answer is not political. Christians have dropped the ball, when it comes to outreach. Most simply don’t do it. For any of this to matter, politically or spiritually, we need to do the work of persuading people of the value of faith and of the value of freedom. This is not a media job. This can’t be done with books or television or talk shows, not alone anyway. Only “we the people” can do it.

  10. Which brings me to my last “random thought,” and one of my constant concerns. We must be civil, simple, but solid. We cannot afford to be harsh, angry, or adversarial; that approach may make us feel good but it doesn’t work. You can’t badger people to understand. We need to be simple and direct. The ideas we advocate are simple, but we need to express them simply, too. People get lost in complexity, and they won’t remember what we tell them. That’s why parties use “talking points,” in order to get their point across. Finally, we need to know our stuff so we can teach accurately. People are ignorant, including many of “us,” because a left-leaning media and educational establishment have kept them ignorant. I’m learning just how deep this problem runs, ironically right back into a segment on the right, industrial interests, who have long sought a pliable workforce. This is the key to much of the immigration issue, as well. We have knowledge on our side, but only if we educate ourselves and learn how to share it. I am convinced we will find a willing and receptive audience if we do this right. I believe truth is on our side, whether we’re talking politics, liberty, or faith.

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