Wednesday, April 13, 2016

2016 Primary

This has to be quick.

Point 1: I must vote.

Romans 13 says "be subject to the governing authorities." Well, not only does that mean being a responsible citizen, and civically engaged, but it means that because America is a constitutional democratic republic, every one of us IS the government, inasmuch as we vote to elect our representatives who rule on our behalf. So we have an ethical obligation to vote to promote godliness and reject evil.

1. I cannot vote the lesser of two evils. If it's Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton in November, I can't vote for either one of them by arguing that it's worse if 'the other one' gets in. It's unacceptable if either one wins, and I will not positively endorse either one. If you had to choose between Satan and the Antichrist, would you vote for either of them? No, you would refuse on principle and deny the "either-or" choice you've been faced with. It doesn't matter that they're not the same person, they're functionally the same thing and you can't vote for that.

2. I can't not vote, per the above Romans 13 discussion. Delegates are apportioned based on how many people live in the districts where people vote. That means that the delegate count goes to the candidates as if everyone voted, meaning that if you don't vote, you're letting everyone who does vote, vote on your behalf. You delegate your responsibility to the people who aren't too apathetic to vote. If they choose evil, that means you chose evil. You let them represent you without speaking your dissent.

3. The only conclusion then is that if it's a choice between two godless visions for America, then I must either write in a candidate, or - if that's impossible where I happen to live - literally write in to my representatives, announcing my dissent.

This is not about changing the future or influencing the election. It's great if you can. But this is about standing up for righteousness. A vote for righteousness, and against evil, is never wasted. Are we trying to glorify God, or worrying about whether we can feel important/like winners?

Thankfully, there is a choice. This election, I'm happy to see that there is at least one candidate running that doesn't make me cringe over his position on any policy that I know of. I won't go into every little detail of why, here, but that candidate is Ted Cruz.

Here are the main, non-policy-related reasons for my endorsement:

1. He might actually be a Christian. He doesn't have to be, to be a good candidate. And a true believer may not be a great leader. My understanding is that Ronald Reagan was a believer, but he wasn't altogether savvy in managing people in his administration. Cruz is a politician in a good way, in that sense. But to the point: his priorities are God first, and everything else second, which is a sight to see when nearly every politician in the country seems to be political for the sake of being political (also known as "establishment" politics).

2. What most encourages me in this regard is twofold. He can a) actually give credit to his opponents, without acting like the campaign is a zero-sum game that means he has to put everyone else down, in order to win. This is shown in his C-SPAN video calling Mitch McConnell a liar, where he gives credit to Bernie Sanders for opposing crony capitalism, and credits Marco Rubio for his defense of Israel. Second, he b) has self control. Compare how he reacts to being personally attacked, to how Donald Trump reacts to ... well, anything. One of the main words I can think of to describe the difference between the two, is that one lacks self control, and the other is self controlled. Christians who are evaluating someone else's profession of faith should take both of these two points under consideration. They, especially the latter, demonstrate spiritual fruit. And even if they don't prove that Ted Cruz is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and calm with a spiritual calm, they definitely make him stand out as a candidate. Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who doesn't feel compelled to lie or ignore the accomplishments of his opponents lest it conflict with his narrative? Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who doesn't lash out when attacked, but keeps his cool and doesn't let his enemies see all the cards he's holding?

3. His track record is consistent in one key regard: he holds the policy positions he does based on what the Constitution and the Law allows him. Why is he for deporting illegal immigrants? Because federal law requires it. It's not that he necessarily thinks that's the best solution to the issue moving forward, but he, unlike Obama, Trump and Hillary, recognizes that you can't just take whatever position on an issue you want, regardless of what the law says. If a candidate opposes deporting illegal immigrants, at present, then that candidate is advocating for violating federal law as President. In a Constitutional Republic, what we should do, is to change the law. Then go about being lenient with regards to who to deport. Otherwise you're lawless. And the candidate who disregards the law can't be trusted because you can't know what they're going to do -- the law is no indication.

That's why Cruz shines. Immigration isn't even a huge issue for me personally - I live in the Mid-Atlantic, and my career will not be one that cheap labor competes with, so I'm not being directly hurt. But I am so impressed by Cruz's submission to the law, that this alone makes him the best possible candidate in decades. You can actually trust him, because he will be limited by the law. He SELF-limits. This is another sign he's possibly a true believer. Obama selectively chooses when to disregard the law. Cruz would not. This is one of the biggest points of frustration that people have with Obama. And we have a chance to elect a candidate that will actually be beholden to the law and the will of the people, not to an agenda that he will pursue relentlessly at the cost of weakening the foundations of government.

This will suffice for now. I wanted to post to have something on the record.

~ Rak Chazak