Originally Published on Patriot Post, November 3, 2016
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, the chief architect of the Declaration of Independence, penned one of the most iconic sentences in our country’s history:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This election asks one chief question: Do we still hold these truths to be self-evident? Do we still believe that the Creator, not the government, gives us the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? We must choose not between two candidates but between two ideas: Do we believe that an “all-knowing” government should manage our freedoms or that an all-knowing God has granted us our freedoms in the first place?
Some today say that they cannot vote because it would force them to choose between “the lesser of two evils.” Perhaps we should instead ask the questions posed by my friend Jerry Johnson, Ph.D., President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters: “Which candidate has the hope for the greater good? Which candidate has the right platform, the right promises and can make the right appointments?” Which choice has the hope of more religious liberty, more economic freedom and more international and domestic security? Which choice gives us a higher view of the rule of law?
Sometimes the hardest part of a decision can be asking the right questions. If we could but answer this larger question of “what,” the smaller question of “who” easily falls into place. We must first ask the “what” questions. “Do we believe that religious liberty should be upheld, that the lives of babies should be protected, that our businesses should be respected and that the security for our citizens should be a priority?”
If we answer “yes” to this first set of questions, we must then ask the “who” question. Mathematically, this is a binary choice in which only two options exist: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. We must ask, “Which person will protect and uphold those values more, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?” When we ask the right questions, the choice of Mr. Trump becomes obvious. Not because of the “who,” but because of the “what.”
Still, many voters feel that the personalities of Clinton and Trump have entrapped them in a “moral dilemma.” They believe that not voting, writing in a person who mathematically cannot win, or writing in a bogus option like “Mickey Mouse” is the morally neutral or even “righteous” choice. Yet, in actuality, this choice avoids reality. If completely honest with themselves, those who choose this self-righteous path may do so because the only qualified person they “believe in” is themselves.
To illustrate the concept of moral neutrality from inaction, let us turn the pages of history back to Ancient Rome. During the Roman Empire, the practice of “exposure” took place as parents placed unwanted babies upon cliffs or rocks in order for “fate” to decide the baby’s destiny. More than likely, “fate” would bring an animal to consume the child or severe weather would cause the child’s death through heat, cold or starvation.
Exposure in their eyes served as a way to both release oneself from the moral responsibility of being a parent as well as to absolve oneself of the guilt of neglect. It helped to justify one’s actions as simply “inaction” rather than neglect or dereliction of duty.
In a similar way, many today see that not voting serves as a morally neutral position. Leaving the election on the cliffs to die and allowing “fate to take its course” or to “let God decide” seems like a way to wash one’s hands of the whole dirty business of politics. (We wouldn’t want to sully our souls with having to make an unrighteous choice.) Yet, even Pilate’s hand-washing ceremony did not render him guiltless.
Like exposure, not voting seems to absolve oneself of the moral responsibility required by a free society as well as the guilt incurred by dereliction of duty. Yet, like this historical analogy, leaving the election to “fate” does not absolve a person of the moral responsibility for the outcome.
Let us remember the courage of our ancestors whose belief in moral responsibility for freedom compelled them to action and who believed leaving freedom to “fate” to be a cowardly, irresponsible stance.
When the British monarchy sought to suppress religious freedom, early American patriots did not leave their freedoms to chance and “let fate decide.” They fought.
When the evils of Nazism spread its tentacles through Europe, seizing countries and exterminating Jews and other people groups, the United States did not simply “let fate decide.” They fought.
And now when our freedoms, the rule of law, our lives, our livelihoods, our faith and our beliefs are on the line; when the security of our country and our sovereignty as a nation, the rights of little babies and our rights to build our businesses through freedom, innovation and ingenuity without being punished for success stand in jeopardy; let us not shrink back in cowardice and inaction. Let us fight as our forebearers have fought. Let us remember why this country, why we as a people, exist in the first place – to be that shining city on a hill of freedom built on these foundational freedoms:
Freedom of worship.
Freedom of speech.
Freedom to defend oneself with a firearm.
Freedom to own property.
Freedom of the press.
Freedom to have one’s rights protected through the rule of law.
Freedom to do something about our leadership through the election process.
The brave men and women of the past did not fight and die so that we could vote on a particular person, personality or a cartoon character. They bled and died so that we could have the ability to vote for freedom! They bled and died because when they asked the right questions, they “still held these truths.” Let us examine ourselves and ask, “Do we still hold these truths?” May we be courageous enough to ask the right questions and morally responsible enough to answer them with our vote.
Originally published on Patriot Post, October 22, 2016
As decision 2016 draws to a close, we witnessed the final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This debate focused on some of the key issues facing Americans: the economy, gun rights, abortion, the Supreme Court and immigration. This article critiques Hillary’s plans and highlights her ideas to increase government control of the economy, her views on gun control, her overwhelming support of abortion and her plans for immigration. As a nation, we are at a crossroads: Do we choose her path of a government-controlled economy, reduced rights to protect ourselves with firearms, radical pro-abortion judges, and minimized security on our borders? Or do we choose another path?
In reference to the economy, Hillary spoke of one that “works for everyone.” However, the current, American free-market system can work for everyone. What doesn’t work for everyone is the regulations and the bureaucratic red tape that overtaxes small businesses, forces our business and investments off-shore and which can render the system “ineffective.”
It is also particularly alarming that over the debates she has mentioned how she would appoint a “small business prosecutor” to enforce her government-run small business program and, during the last debate, a “trade prosecutor.” What does that mean? What she means is adding excess bureaucracy and “creating” jobs that make everyone else’s real jobs more difficult or so burdensome that they become obsolete. It also means that there will likely be more government intrusion into small businesses. Creating more government-controlled businesses and more “prosecutors” is not only the primary way to induce a sluggish economy, but it does not solve the “unfair” problems with our economy. Rather, it increases them exponentially. Just ask anyone from a post-Soviet country how this has actually worked in real time.
On the Second Amendment, Hillary spoke about her lack of support for the Heller case that, according to her, had to do with gun safety “for toddlers.” The Heller decision, however, had nothing to do with toddlers. The Federalist notes that the word “toddler” is not even present in the majority opinion, dissenting opinion, or the 110-page transcript of the oral arguments. This case involved personal safety and the rights of Americans to protect themselves. Which leads us to the broader question of why we have the Second Amendment in the first place. Our Founders realized that the right to keep and bear arms both protected us from intruders and hedged against government overreach. Strict gun laws have less to do with safety and more to do with control. He who has the guns has the control. If the government is the only entity with a firearm or weapon, guess who’s in charge? They are.
In addition, strict gun laws increase crime ratings, for every place that has strict gun laws has more crime. Case in point, as mentioned by Trump in the debate: Chicago.
Yet even if the case involved toddlers, it should be noted that more children die from swimming pool drownings than from accidental gun fire. To my knowledge, Hillary has not been on the front lines of swimming pool safety reform.
Further, if Hillary truly concerned herself about the health and safety of toddlers, and if she really acted as the Vanguard of Women and Children, like she touts herself to be, wouldn’t she be against partial-birth abortion? When Trump described this procedure as “ripping the baby out” of a mother’s womb in the ninth month, Hillary called this “scare rhetoric.” Actually, he didn’t even talk about the most barbaric part of the process that includes pulling out the baby’s legs with forceps, crushing the skull, and the doctor knowing that it was “successful” when the brain fluid flows out. This is not “scare rhetoric.” This is the truth. She seems to be the only one cloaking it.
For all she says about the evil corporatism of Wall Street, she fails to address the billion-dollar, government-subsidized corporate leviathan called the abortion industry, which gleans its profits from vulnerable women. She says she will appoint justices who uphold Roe v. Wade, the infamous court decision ensuring the “rights” of the abortion industry to continue exploiting women.
On immigration, Hillary’s plan to “not separate families” and provide amnesty with a full path to citizenship cloaks her blind-eye to criminals and drug traffickers who come across our borders and endanger the safety of our citizens.
If we put the personalities aside, the choice is clear:
1.) More government regulations, higher taxes, government control of firearms, radical abortion, and a willful blind-eye and misleading of the American people in terms of our safety and security in reference to immigration, or;
2.) Support of the free-market system, lower taxes, pro-life judges, protection of our right to defend our families with a firearm, and a plan to fix our borders and solve the drug trafficking problem.
The words spoken by Ronald Reagan in his “Time for Choosing” speech could not be more appropriate:
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path.
Hillary’s plan is one of economic enslavement and government control while Trump’s is for freedom, safety and economic opportunity. This is why I am supporting him in November.
Remember that, as a nation, we too have a time for choosing. May we choose well.