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Election 2012

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Election 2012

Post  Mata Hari on Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:29 pm

A thought-provoking article from Peggy Noonan, whom I don't usually like but she makes some good points.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577312043447691520.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

Now this week the Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare, which have made that law look so hollow, so careless, that it amounts to a characterological indictment of the administration. The constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago didn't notice the centerpiece of his agenda was not constitutional? How did that happen?

Maybe a stinging decision is coming, maybe not, but in a purely political sense this is how it looks: We were in crisis in 2009—we still are—and instead of doing something strong and pertinent about our economic woes, the president wasted history's time. He wasted time that was precious—the debt clock is still ticking!—by following an imaginary bunny that disappeared down a rabbit hole.

The high court's hearings gave off an overall air not of political misfeasance but malfeasance.

All these things have hardened lines of opposition, and left opponents with an aversion that will not go away.

I am not saying that the president has a terrible relationship with the American people. I'm only saying he's made his relationship with those who oppose him worse.

In terms of the broad electorate, I'm not sure he really has a relationship. A president only gets a year or two to forge real bonds with the American people. In that time a crucial thing he must establish is that what is on his mind is what is on their mind. This is especially true during a crisis.

From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?

That's what the American people were thinking about.

But the new president wasn't thinking about that. All the books written about the creation of economic policy within his administration make clear the president and his aides didn't know it was so bad, didn't understand the depth of the crisis, didn't have a sense of how long it would last. They didn't have their mind on what the American people had their mind on.

The president had his mind on health care. And, to be fair-minded, health care was part of the economic story. But only a part! And not the most urgent part. Not the most frightening, distressing, immediate part. Not the "Is America over?" part.

And so the relationship the president wanted never really knitted together. Health care was like the birth-control mandate: It came from his hermetically sealed inner circle, which operates with what seems an almost entirely abstract sense of America. They know Chicago, the machine, the ethnic realities. They know Democratic Party politics. They know the books they've read, largely written by people like them—bright, credentialed, intellectually cloistered. But there always seems a lack of lived experience among them, which is why they were so surprised by the town hall uprisings of August 2009 and the 2010 midterm elections.

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Re: Election 2012

Post  Mata Hari on Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:54 pm

Here is a Plea to Confused Catholics by Alice von Hildebrand.
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2306

Virgil was right: there are things that call for tears (“sunt lacrimae rerum”). This famous quote recently came to my mind when watching Raymond Arroyo’s program “The World Over.”

He was interviewing Dr. Stephen Schneck, an associate professor at Catholic University of America and co-chair of Catholics for Obama. The latter told the hearers that he is a sincere and committed Catholic. This is precisely why his decision to vote for Obama – dubbed the most “pro-abortion” president we have ever had – left me dumbfounded.

How is it possible that a son of the Church – founded by Someone who declared that He was the Truth, the Way, and the Life – can justify his choice? He personally rejects abortion, gay marriages, embryonic stem cells research (all three strongly endorsed by our present president), and yet is trying to convince us that to vote for him can be justified on moral grounds.

What are his arguments and do they have any validity? The key one is that, according to him, Romney intends to make deep cuts in the Medicaid budget, and that this decision will inevitably lead to a notable increase in the number of abortions. Therefore to give one’s vote to Obama will in fact benefit the pro-life cause! This is a type of twisted logic that only “intellectuals” can concoct. It would be difficult to convince a peasant that a purely abstract projection (cuts in Medicaid will lead to more abortions) justifies voting for someone who is “pro-choice,” endorses not only late term abortion, but also the murder of those little ones who survived this “scientific” torture. This is typical intellectual prestidigitation, a sleight of hand of such “cleverness” that it justifies the words of St. Peter Damian: the Devil was the first grammarian: he “taught us to decline god in the plural.” By endorsing Obama, Professor Schneck inevitably gives his place to same sex marriage (which he rejects), assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research. Indeed, evil engenders evil.

That Romney opposes these grave moral aberrations, does not seem to have any weight in Professor Schneck’s mind. Am I wrong in suggesting that when St. Paul writes that there are things that “should not even be mentioned among Christians,” he might had had “same sex marriage” in mind, an inevitable consequence of the endorsement of homosexuality so severely condemned by Plato – a pagan – as being not only against nature, but as being a moral disease of such gravity that it inevitably leads to the downfall of any society. History teaches us a lesson: the great nations of the world now extinct, were victims of the immorality of their customs. Their problem was not economic; it was moral, and inevitably, as a punishment, it affected the economy.

Abortion, i.e. murder of innocent human beings, is intrinsically evil at all time, in all places, under all circumstances. The same applies to embryonic stem cell research; a human being is a human being from the very moment of conception; if it became one only when fully developed, it would be a typical case of magic: namely a change of nature, as we read in fairy tales. The Devil who is a master at deceit, covers the horror of this crime by inserting the term “scientific research,” and the word “scientific“ fills with awe those who believe in “progress.”

May I suggest that if abortions were no longer paid by “other people’s taxes” (forced to do), quite a few people would think twice before having one. Money matters in our society, and if this barbarous practice was not covered by insurances, it is likely that fewer would be performed, and that women would consider carrying the baby to term and give it up for adoption. We know that there is such a high demand for babies that many are those who have to turn to foreign countries to find one.

Upon hearing Professor Schneck’s words, I was not only grieved: I was stunned. Unwittingly, he assumes that the end justifies the means: that to vote for a pro abortion president, by some mysterious twist, will in the long run, protect life.

Like all decadent societies, we have lost sight of the crucial importance of hierarchy in human life. We have in mind not only the ontological hierarchy placing the Creator above creatures, angels above men (except for the Blessed one among women), man over animals (challenged by Peter Singer: a healthy whale ranks higher than a crippled baby), but also of the epistemological hierarchy of revealed truth above all other truths, of veritates aeternae over empirical truths, and last but not least, of the solemn command to abstain from committing murder. This was formulated by St. Augustine. He tells us that man’s first duty is to abstain from moral evil (I.e. sin); the second is to do as much good as possible. By sin, we mean an offense of God – the infinitely Holy one – which also stains the soul of the sinner, endangering his eternal welfare, and in the majority of cases harms his neighbors.

It is worth mentioning that Plato’s admirable ethics, clearly endorsing the natural moral law, is limited because having no access to revelation, this noble thinker had no clear conception of God’s nature. Therefore he could not perceive that moral evil is an offense against God, even though he came close to it when he wrote that, “he who honors his mother pleases the gods.” His ethics is “open” to the message of New Testament; therefore he had been called: “a preparer of the way to Christ,” something that cannot be said of Aristotle for the plain reason that the latter having denied any possible relationship between God and man, eliminated the notion of sin from his philosophical horizon.

Man’s second obligation is to do as much good as possible. This calls clarification. For “good” is so rich in meaning and it inevitably opens the door to equivocations. It can clearly refer to “pleasure,” or to what is beneficial to man, or to moral qualities. Whereas it is indeed a duty to try to benefit mankind by spreading moral values (mainly by practicing them ourselves), and beneficial goods, there is no moral obligation to intensify “pleasure” either for oneself or for others. It may be laudable, but not obligatory. This is one of the very many pitiful equivocations in Jeremiah Bentham’s so called Ethics: advocating as our duty to produce the greatest possible good for the largest possible number of people. Which good?

In our society, “educated” by the news media, a high percentage of people assume erroneously that our concern for “social issues” should be given pride of place. They forget that the first commandment is to “Love the Lord our God.” This is our very first obligation. It is meaningful that several of the ten commandments are “negative”: “thou shalt not.” It clearly reminds us that being creatures endowed with free will, we are granted this privilege to freely obey the divine law. It is fashionable to interpret this as a “negative” attitude and to claim that “positive” ethics – the ethics commanding us to do “good” – should be our primary obligation. As mentioned above, this claim is dangerously misleading. This type of “positive” ethics is favored today. Modern man is sick of “prohibitions” and commands. He has “come of age” (typical claim of all adolescents) and should himself decide what his priorities are.

That “to do good” sounds so attractive to modern ears explains why so many Catholics are tempted to endorse the agenda of a president who claims to be “socially minded.” We live in a society of “doers” who value “accomplishments” and place “efficiency” above holiness.

It is noteworthy that a Joseph II, emperor of Austria in the 18th century closed numerous Carthusian monasteries, while respecting “active” religious organizations. The latter “achieved” something. The others did not benefit society. That the prayers and sacrifices of these holy monks were in fact the spiritual foundation of charitable works, is something that he did not and could not be perceived by a ruler fed on the philosophy of Voltaire, Rousseau and their ilk.

Cavour – as anti clerical as he was – was favorable to the work of Don Bosco: his “taming” of wild street boys in Turin, clearly benefited the State. But “contemplative” orders had no right to exist in this upcoming brave new world. The same philosophy motivated Clemenceau in France in the 20th century.

This leads me back to my topic: how can devout Catholics favor a man who has shown total disregard for fundamental moral commandments: thou shalt not murder, because he gives full priority to social improvements?

In this context, it is worth mentioning that when we abstain from committing evil acts, such as murdering, perverse sexual practices, to mention only two, we have no reason whatever to “feel good about ourselves.” We have just done our duty. (“We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.” Luke 17:10) Never has a man received an award for paying his debts, for telling his truth, for being faithful to his wife: such a man has only done what he ought to have done.

But throughout the year, people rightly receive awards for having founded a school, or a hospital, or given huge sums to worthy causes. Inevitably such benefactors, “feel good about themselves,” “this is my work,” and indeed, the work deserves praise.

St. Therese of Lisieux, one of the lights of the 19th century, did not do anything spectacular. Shortly before her death, a sister was concerned about what could possibly be praised when she died: she had done nothing special. Indeed, that was true, but she did what she ought to do with such a love that in Gods eyes, it gained eternal value.

It is tempting to accuse me of having no understanding for the greatness and nobility of “social work.” It is the glory of the Catholic Church that from the very beginning she has founded hospitals, schools, and tried in every possible way to ease the burdens of suffering humanity. But this admirable mission was in fact based on a clear awareness of the hierarchy of our moral obligations. “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and all the rest will be added unto.” To adore and love God is our primary duty, and it is also man’s glory. From this it follows that we should obey His commandments, a primary one of which; Thou shalt not murder. Early in Genesis, this abominable crime was condemned.

Those who do not perceive this luminous truth suffer from a grave disease: moral blindness. Whereas blind people know that they are blind, the tragic fate of morally blind people is that they do not realize that they are gravely “ill.”

It is my wish and hope that when going to the polls in November, all men of good will will say a short prayer echoing the one of the blind man in Jericho. Christ said to him: what do you want. “Lord, that I may see.” His request was granted.

Moreover, it is fashionable to claim that in acting, our key concern should be focused on the consequences of our act. Will it benefit society? Once again, the ambiguity is obvious: benefit in what sense? Morally? Humanly? Financially? Should we be concerned about “immediate’ benefits, or those in the long run? If our key moral concern should be the consequences of our action, it would be impossible for man ever to make any valid decision because he can never foretell what “fruits” his action will bring.

Let us imagine the following scenario; a hundred years ago, a man saved a teenager who has fallen in a river, and was close to drowning. Had he known (an impossibility) that the youngster was Adolf Hitler, should he have refused his help? The “call” of the hour was to save a human life. The future is in God’s hands.

Ethics is the most “existential” branch of philosophy. It plays a key role in our daily life. There is one thing that all men can and should share: the “natural” law (not confusing it with the laws of nature such as gravity, which applies to all creatures). I am referring to a law inscribed in every human heart the validity of which is independent of time, place, and circumstances. Moral evil injects poison in the society in which we live, because our acts have direct or indirect consequences on others. To take the life of an innocent defenseless person , is a crime that cries to heaven. Anyone who denies this luminous ethical truth suffers from a terrible sickness: moral blindness. Whereas a blind man knows he is blind, many are those who are morally blind – a much graver “disease” – and are totally unaware of it. They do not even question the validity of their moral vision.

Moral evil is the cancer of any society and history teaches us that all great nations that have disappeared from the face of the earth, were morally decadent. Money never has and never will save a nation.

I found this on Tea at Trianon. http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-role-of-hierarchy-in-human-life.html


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Re: Election 2012

Post  May on Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:08 pm

From Voice for Hope (Jennifer Johnson) on Facebook:
It's going around Facebook again I have noticed on several pages that 100% pro-lifers have no real choice in this election. And that's true. BUT we need to stop and think about this before we decide not to vote at all this election. This is the most important election in the history of the U.S. I don't like Mitt Romney either on several things I'll be perfectly honest about that the number one issue is that he is not 100% pro-life he is pro-life "with exceptions". That means he still thinks it's all right for women to have an abortion in cases of rape and incest or life of the mother. HOWEVER he is the MUCH lesser of the two evils here and on just about all the other issues as well if you are conservative and believe in the Bible and the principles that this country were founded upon at all. If Obama is re-elected we just might not have a country at all before to much longer it is truly getting very scary more and more everyday.

Obama is as pro-abortion as you can get! He will keep funding more and more abortions and with our very own Tax dollars. There will be no chance for Roe vs. Wade to be overturned if he is in there that's for sure. This is a man that voted four times against giving medical care to babies born alive after they survived abortion procedures. I'm talking about living breathing, moving, babies outside the mothers body. That is Infanticide and you can't deny it. He's pro-abortion for any reason at anytime period. He is the most Pro-abortion President the U.S. has ever seen and his views on abortion are not just extreme they are off the charts radical and over the top.

I don't agree that ANY abortions should be legal EVER even in case of rape and incest. Those children are still human beings they are innocent in every way. They did nothing wrong and their lives should be protected they should not be punished for the sin of their father. And two wrongs never make a right! I believe in 100% Pro-Life. Unfortunately in this election the two candidates are both wrong on the abortion issue but Romney is MUCH more Pro-life than Obama. At the very least he will fight and try to preserve some life Obama won't fight for ANY you can be sure of that.

So Romney is the lesser of the two evils and he won't try to take away our religious freedom or force us to pay for things that violate our religious beliefs and Obama has already started that with the HHS mandate. I pray to God that sometime soon we will be able to have candidates that we can vote for that won't violate our conscience or our religious beliefs in anyway! We shouldn't have to vote for the lesser of two evils ever when we vote. But I'm realistic enough to know that one of these two candidates will be the next President after this election regardless of if I like it or not and I would much rather have a President that at least stands up for most life as it is a step in the right direction and that can be built upon. There will be no steps that we can build on with Obama that's for certain! So it scares me to think that Obama could be re-elected if everyone that is Pro-Life doesn't vote against him. We need to pray that Obama is defeated for the good of ALL life in Nov. May God help us to see America get back to it's former glory and some day soon see this country and it's Presidents 100% Pro-life all the time with no exceptions!
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Re: Election 2012

Post  Elena on Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:43 pm

Thanks for all the contributions, M. You'll love this one:

http://www.city-journal.org/2012/eon1005ak.html#.UHCx-FIuiEc.facebook
To quote:
Governor Romney’s unprecedented dismantling of the president in their first debate—an encounter so one-sided it reminded me of the famous cartoon in which Godzilla meets Bambi, with predictable results—was surprising only for Romney’s warmth and clarity. Obama’s hapless fumbling, bad temper, and inarticulate inability to defend his record were actually thoroughly predictable. They were simply facets of the man as he truly is, unfiltered by the imagination of his media supporters: a man who has succeeded, really, at almost nothing but the winning of elections; a man who cannot distinguish between his ideology and life; a man who does not seem to know how the machinery of the world actually works.

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Re: Election 2012

Post  May on Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:55 pm

As I recall, there is a similar clip somewhere of Sebelius melting under cross-questioning regarding religious liberty and the HHS mandate. These people are not as tough as they seem.
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Re: Election 2012

Post  Elena on Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:22 pm

Indeed. They certainly are not as clever as they seem. scratch

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Re: Election 2012

Post  Elena on Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:38 am


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Re: Election 2012

Post  Elena on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:07 am

Trying to win the Catholic vote.
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2012/09/27/obama-supporters-dirty-tricks-to-win-the-catholic-vote?fb_action_ids=10151171101440270&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Catholics are a key demographic in the upcoming election. In fact, they may be the key demographic.

In most every presidential contest since the end of World War II, the candidate who carried the Catholic vote won the election. Over time they have, as a bloc, become more conservative and more Republican in their voting patterns (they were once a major component of the Democrats' presidential coalition) as concerns over settled issues like the morality of abortion overtook in importance concerns about unsettled issues like the best way to secure social justice for the poor and the downtrodden.

Much has been made of the fact that both candidates for vice president—Paul Ryan and Joe Biden—are practicing Catholics, though they come at almost every issue from diametrically opposite positions: As one example, Ryan opposes abortion while Biden supports keeping it legal.

With most of the national polls showing the race to be one or two points either way, the fight over the Catholic vote is heating up. In Cleveland, Ohio, the local chapter of Right to Life has issued a formal letter to Bishop Richard Lennon asking him to suspend the Diocese's "Faithful Citizenship" meetings because of their disregard for pro-life issues.

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Re: Election 2012

Post  Mata Hari on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:18 am

Biden and Holy Communion:
http://www.lifenews.com/2008/08/25/nat-4200/

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) – A leading Catholic bishop delivered the opening statement of the quadrennial debate over whether or not pro-abortion Catholic politicians should receive communion. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver says Barack Obama’s running mate Joe Biden should refrain from the sacrament.

Biden is a pro-abortion Catholic and has a long voting record of supporting abortion and opposing any sensible limits on it.

In an email sent Sunday to the Associated Press, Archbishop Chaput said Biden should following the teachings of the Church by opposing abortion or voluntarily refrain from receiving communion.

Not doing so would be "seriously wrong," he said.

"I certainly presume his good will and integrity and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion if he supports a false ‘right’ to abortion," the Catholic leader added.

Chaput told AP he would likely try to speak privately with Biden to encourage him to reform his abortion views or not receive the sacrament.

According to a Washington Times report, Biden took communion on Sunday at his home parish in Delaware, St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Greenville.

This is the second time the abortion-communion debate has cropped up in the context of a presidential election — with the first coming over concerns about John Kerry, the pro-abortion presidential nominee in 2004.

Then, more than a dozen Catholic officials told Kerry not to present himself for communion at churches under their purview.

Earlier this month, a top Vatican official, former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke — now the prefect of the Apostolic Signature — said all Catholics, including politicians, should not receive communion if they are pro-abortion.

Archbishop Burke also issued a challenge to ministers to make sure they are not providing the sacrament to pro-abortion lawmakers who have not repented from their position, which is at odds with the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.

Communion should be denied to pro-abortion politicians “until they have reformed their lives," he said.

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Re: Election 2012

Post  Julygirl on Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:47 pm

Is Obama a Communist? The question is discussed here:
http://thepittsfordperennialist.blogspot.com/2012/10/is-president-obama-communist.html
Withal, Obama appears untouchable; his genius for manipulating the American public, or rather, his base, including the many in distress, is critical to his leadership role in advancing American financial and business interests," writes CounterPunch's Norman Pollack — The Moral Case for Silence.

"Communism is a hard dogma, completely at odds with the soft-handed girlish narcissism of a late-20th-century American leftist such as Obama, who has never risked, fought, struggled, or suffered," writes Takimag.com's John Derbyshire — Free to Be a Communist.
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Re: Election 2012

Post  May on Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:47 pm

A thoughtful essay from Michael Farris on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/michael-farris/voting-2012-a-personal-essay/10151277321094052

This has been the most unusual election season of my life. The chief reason for the difference is my very active participation in Facebook—which has thrust me into a wide-ranging discussion (and sometimes heated debates) in a format that is very egalitarian in nature. I can only hope that I have contributed to others as much as I feel that my FB friends have contributed to me.
But because of my background, I have been asked countless times for my views about the various candidates. And during the primary process I was very open about my inability to support the “front-runner” Mitt Romney. In the context of a primary election, there is no doubt that I had to support someone who had views and a record much closer to my own views. I supported Rick Santorum.
But now it is general election time. And I have to say that I have been much slower to reach a decision regarding the General Election than any previous election in my lifetime. I have heard the arguments about the inappropriateness of choosing the “lesser of two evils”. I have taken these arguments very seriously.
I have spent as much time as I have had available thinking about the broader question: How should an American Christian make a decision in a general election? Asking the question this way helps to focus on both halves of the criteria that seem appropriate to me. There are factors which arise because I am a Christian and other factors that arise because I am an American. I look to both sets of factors.
First, and most importantly, I am a Christian. I need to do my very best to understand God’s standards from the Word of God. I reject the idea that God’s Word has nothing to say to us about voting. Proverbs 3:6 says: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” There is no exception to this rule for politics. All means all. God has something to say to the Christian about every aspect of his or her life.
In Hosea 8:1-4, God rebukes Israel for choosing Kings and Princes without His approval. And in Deuteronomy 7:14-et seq. God gives Israel the standards for choosing a King. God has something to say to us about our choices of political leaders.
But, even though I have been involved with the Christian-political world essentially on a full-time basis since 1980, and having read extensively in this area, I do not think that American Christian leadership has done a proper job of developing, justifying, and teaching a clear set of principles for this purpose from the Word. I have been tempted to develop my own set of principles. But, even though I think I could do a decent job on this point, I feel that it is arrogant for any individual Christian to attempt to speak in a normative way on this subject in an attempt to tell the whole Body of Believers what the correct standard is for making voting decisions. So I share with you my views but not with a claim that my views should control yours. Of all of the biblical conclusions I have reached about this election, I hold one view the strongest based on Romans 14:4: “Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”
I have to confess that I have lost patience with people who seek to batter other believers into accepting their views about this election. There are many who feel compelled by conscience to vote for Mitt Romney because the alternative is so frightful to consider. There are others, not as many (but very vociferous) who think that voting for the lesser of two evils is a grievous sin. And they have concluded as a matter of conscience that they cannot vote for him.
Here is my statement to both camps. Leave each other alone. If you want to tell people what you have chosen to do and why, that is perfectly acceptable. But, I view it as a sin for any of you to attempt to override the conscience of another believer by the sheer force of your will. That is what Romans 14:4 teaches. Accordingly, I am instituting an immediate policy of deleting any comment that appears to me to be a violation of this rule. (I will not come to your FB page and seek to enforce this rule. Your wall. Your rules. My wall. My rules. I will insist on civility.)
This election has caused me to understand that there is a difference between “endorsing” a candidate and voting for a candidate. Because of my leadership position, I have come to understand that there should be a very high standard that I should employ before I endorse a candidate. As you will see, I have come to look at candidates in one of four ways: 1. Those who are very supportive of my views. 2. Those who will listen to my views. 3. Those who are indifferent to my views. 4. Those who are openly hostile to my views.
In the past, I have tried—more or less—to only endorse candidates who are in the first category—those who are supportive of my views. I intend to follow this standard very rigorously from this point forward. Accordingly, I will make no endorsement for President in 2012. This does not mean that I intend not to vote. I will vote for a candidate for reasons I describe below.
There is no candidate in this race who is supportive of my views on my five most important issues. This includes third party candidates and the possibility of write-in votes. Part of the reason that I say this is that I view experience and leadership as biblical standards that are an important part of the calculus for a voting decision. Concerning elders the Bible says, “Lay hands on no man suddenly.” 1 Tim. 5:22. And concerning the selection of deacons, “They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve.” I believe that it is appropriate to apply these standards by extension to candidates for political office. I want candidates who have been tested and who have the experience to perform the task at hand.
Other than the two major candidates, I have seen no one who claims to be running for president who meets the test of life preparation and experience to hold this weighty office.
This conclusion, however, does not necessarily mean that I will automatically vote for the “lesser evil” of the two remaining candidates. The idea of not voting for anyone is something that I have seriously considered.
This test is akin to the test of personal character that is applicable to church leaders and I believe is essential for the evaluation of political leaders as well. I realize that on the issue of personal character we have limited information for both Obama and Romney. There could be skeletons hiding in the closet for either or both of them. And in terms of their political lives, both men are subject to criticism for saying one thing and doing another. That matters. But, the area of character that is most visible to all of us is the marriage and family life of both men. In our society, marital faithfulness is passé for many. And giving some priority to your children is unfortunately rare.
In these areas, I would say that both men seem to be very good to their wives and their children. Whatever their other faults may be—and they are many—I have to say that I admire each of these men as it pertains to their family life.
Now we turn to the issue of the public policy positions of the candidates—as measured by both their speeches and their records.
If perfection is our standard for the evaluation of policy issues, we will never find a candidate to fulfill our wishes. (Even I would not be perfect in the eyes of many since I hate chocolate and really don’t care for the Lord of the Rings movies.)
I have decided to evaluate the candidates based on the issues that are the most important to me using the four-standards I mentioned earlier. Take the issue of abortion, for example:
1. Does the candidate enthusiastically agree with my pro-life position?
2. Is the candidate willing to listen to my pro-life position and work with people like me to move in the right direction?
3. Is the candidate indifferent to my pro-life position?
4. Is the candidate openly hostile to my pro-life position?
If a candidate is in the 1st or 2nd group for all—or nearly all—of the issues that are most important to me, then I am willing to vote for such a candidate. If a candidate is in the 4th group (open hostility) for any of the positions that I hold to be most important, I would not be able to vote for such a candidate.
I admit that this is a pragmatic method of decision-making. But, I think that God tells us to use pragmatism in our long-range decisions. In Luke 14:28-30, the person building a tower was admonished to count the costs of the building project and to make sure that he had the money and materials to complete the project. The builder could have just “trusted God” to supply his needs. But, God does not praise that kind of presumption. He tells us to plan and to make sure that we have the materials to do the job. That is pragmatism.
This is not to say that pragmatism is the trump card for all matters—not at all. Rather, I read this passage (and others) to say that practical thinking has a role in these kinds of decisions.
Here are some of the components of my pragmatic assessment of the situation.
· People who hold my worldview are not in the political majority.
· Many who share my basic religious beliefs, have significant gaps in their worldview because of lack of training.
· Many others have significant differences in their worldview because they have listened to voices that are not based on biblical presuppositions.
· A great number of people who are likely to hold to the worldview that I believe are not registered to vote or, if registered, are indifferent to actually voting.
· Christians, especially pastors, are responsible for these factors that have significantly diminished our potential influence in an election. If Christians were reaching our own with proper training and if our own actively participated, we would be a much more powerful force in politics.

We need to face the pragmatic fact that we are a minority. Thus, if we cannot make alliances with people who are open to working with us, then we are doomed to lose everything that is important to us.
As a dedicated minority group, we can accomplish our highest public policy goals if we are properly engaged in the rough and tumble world of coalition politics. Homosexuals are a tiny minority, yet they have had extraordinary political success by becoming an integral part of the liberal coalition. Homeschoolers are also a tiny minority and we also have had extraordinary political success by becoming an integral part of the conservative coalition.
Consider the relative success of these various components of the conservative movement:
· The pro-life movement
· The traditional marriage movement
· The anti-pornography movement
· The anti-tax movement
· The anti-Federal Reserve movement
· The anti-government debt movement
· The homeschooling movement
The fact is that none of these causes, except one, have gained much ground. Homeschooling freedom has come a long, long way in the last 30 years. Accordingly, I think we need to look at this movement’s tactics to see what works.
It is pretty clear—we have been successful because homeschoolers have been willing to work with two kinds of politicians—those who fully embrace the idea of homeschooling (i.e. homeschooling parents and graduates) along with those who will listen to homeschoolers and are open to working with us to advance our goals.
If we had demanded that every candidate become one of us in order for us to work with them—homeschooling would still be illegal in 47 states (according to the government officials) rather than being recognized as legal in all 50 states.
Political success comes when we work with: 1. Our kind of people and 2. Those who will listen to us and work with us. That is the only way that a minority group can ever succeed. And, again, we are a minority group on the broader range of issues that are important.
I wish we were the majority. But, we will have to tackle that problem on another day. For now, I will just say that it is going to take a revolution among pastors to turn our minority into the majority that we could become. (This revolution will require rethinking many things—the way we share the Gospel, the way we train our children, and the way we think about politics.) But for today, we are a minority and we have to act like a smart minority aiming for success rather than a misguided minority aiming for an all or nothing strategy. Before I turn to my analysis of the issues—I have to face my own rather strident comments toward Mitt Romney during the primary process. Some may ask: What changed? Three things.
· First, the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare was a real surprise to me. I was convinced that it would go down to defeat and there was no chance that a new Congress would re-enact it. If this law is not reversed before it is fully implemented we will never rid ourselves of socialism.
· Second, the Obama administration made a very strong attempt to pass the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities—demonstrating an intention to fully enact the entire UN agenda. This is coupled with Mitt Romney’s strong position in opposition to this kind of use of international law. I cannot stress too strongly how important this is—at least to me.
· Finally, I actually paid attention to the comments of my friends here on FB and elsewhere. I would have to say that the tenor of the comments meant as much to me as the substance. I became open to rethinking my views in light of these comments. And that rethinking has led me to address the two candidates on an issue by issue basis.
So, what are the issues that are the most important to me? I am going to share my list. I do not claim that your list should be exactly the same as mine.
1. Does the candidate support or oppose American self-government?
The reason that our Founders declared independence from England in 1776 was not because of religious liberty or tax policy—it was because they believed that the principle of American self-government was worth the risk of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
Barack Obama is openly hostile to the principle of American self-government. He wants to seek ratification of every currently unratified UN treaty including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. These treaties would use international law to override American self-government on parental rights, abortion rights, homosexual rights, gun rights, and a host of other issues while fully mandating a robust socialist state. These policies are bad substantively. But, they are far worse when they are forced down our unwilling throats as a consequence of the primacy of international treaties.
Barack Obama’s hostility to American self-government makes all of his other bad policy positions seem like child’s play in my view. This is the biggest issue to me—and Obama is hostile to this central premise of American political life. He is strongly desirous of making America subject to the rule of international law under the UN.
Mitt Romney has told me in a one-on-one conversation that he fully agrees with my view that such UN treaties have no legitimate place in our legal system. He has sent me a personal, signed letter saying the same thing. This letter has been made public. There is nothing in his past to cause me to doubt his sincerity on this issue. So on this issue, I rate Mitt Romney as “one of us”—fully agreeing with our position. (This is the only issue where he gets this rating from me.)
2. The Right to Life.
Barack Obama is openly hostile to the right to life. He is absolutely committed to Roe v. Wade and the full support of Planned Parenthood. He will fight us every step of the way on this issue.
Mitt Romney has a checkered past on this issue. He claims that he has been converted to the pro-life position. I don’t feel convinced that he has fully converted. However, it is clear that he is talking pro-life talk and taking pro-life positions. I think he does this, at least in part, because he realizes that being perceived as pro-life is necessary for his political success. And I don’t think he thinks that it is just necessary to be pro-life until November of 2012. He wants to be re-elected. So, at a minimum, I think we can count on him to keep up this pragmatic approach until November of 2016.
This does not make Mitt Romney my enemy. I think it is fair to say that he is listening to pro-life people and wants to work with pro-life people. I give him a “2” on this issue. He is not one of us. But he listens and is willing to have us in his coalition and knows the necessity of advancing some of our pro-life priorities.
3. Marriage and same-sex issues.
Barack Obama again in open-war against our values on this issue. He could not be worse.
Mitt Romney has a very troubling record on this issue--so troubling that I have a difficult time believing that he is a “2” on this issue. He now says that he is against same-sex marriage. But his rhetoric and record is so mixed on homosexual rights issues that it is hard to know what to expect. But, he is not openly hostile to our agenda. I conclude that he is someplace between a 2 (listening to us) and a 3 (indifferent to us).
4. Religious freedom.
Barack Obama is batting four-for-four. He is an enemy of religious liberty. Only those religious groups that do not challenge his worldview should be allowed to have freedom. Pro-life religions are not tolerated. The name of Jesus cannot be prayed in military ceremonies. He is worse than any American president in history on this issue. Bill Clinton actually supported religious liberty. I would give Clinton a 1 on religious liberty (back when he was president, not now.) I give Barack Obama a 4. I do not mean to suggest that President Obama is actively rounding up Christians to arrest us for our views. However, there is a systematic pattern of favoring government power whenever religious people bump up against the politically correct thinking of the left by refusing to fund insurance for abortion services or by insisting on praying to Jesus as a military chaplain.
Mitt Romney supports religious liberty in a robust fashion—today. Some people claim that some components of his record in Massachusetts demonstrate an indifference to our view. From what I know, these examples are pretty few in number. But, today he is saying all of the right things on this issue. Has he fully changed? I don’t know. If he had fully changed, I would give him a “1”—being one of us—but, because of my doubts on his changes, I give him a “2”—he listens to us and is open to advancing our viewpoint on religious liberty.
It is highly relevant to note that the LDS Church has an exemplary record on the issue of religious liberty for a long, long time. I think that Mitt Romney will listen to voices of religious liberty.
5. The Scope of Government (taxes, spending, etc.)
Barack Obama advocates a socialist state. Anyone who doubts this has never read or digested the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. Obama not only wants government services for their own sake, he actively believes that the redistribution of wealth is the morally appropriate policy. He is an enemy of those who believe in a government based on liberty, not socialism.
Mitt Romney will spend way too much money and will promote programs at the federal level that properly belong to the states. But, unlike Barack Obama he does not believe in the redistribution of wealth as a moral imperative.
Accordingly, I give Obama a 4 on this issue and Romney a 3. He is indifferent to small, government conservative views on spending, but he is not an enemy of private property that is inherent in those who believe in the redistribution of wealth.
Those are my five issues. Obama is openly hostile to my views on all the things that I believe are the most important. Romney is “one of us” on the issue of American self-government and listens to us on most of the others and is truly indifferent to our views on only one.
With this in mind, am I giving into an improper “lesser of two evils” argument?
I don’t think so. Every election is a contest between two sinners—so it is always a question of the lesser of two sinners.
I think the more relevant analysis boils down to the question of whether both candidates are our enemies. If both are our enemies, then neither should get our votes. But, if one is clearly an enemy of our deeply-cherished values, and the other is (on average) open to listening to us and working with us—this is not merely the lesser of two people in the same category.
While he is not “one of us”, Mitt Romney is not our enemy. He wants us in his coalition. Barack Obama strongly opposes our most important values.
Only an all-or-nothing approach views these two choices as equivalent. All or nothing is not the way homeschoolers have achieved victory. And I aim for victory on the issues I believe in.
It is the American self-government issue that is the most important to me. If we retain American self-government we live to fight again on all the other issues. Obama is going to eliminate self-government through the use of UN treaties. I view this moment as do or die for American self-government.
I am going to vote for Mitt Romney.
However, I would say that if Mitt Romney gets elected president, it will be the job of every loyal American to make sure that he lives up to the promises he is making to us now. I am hopeful he will do the things he promises. But, I will be watchful and ready to call the alarm.
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Re: Election 2012

Post  Elena on Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:11 am

Thanks, everyone, for the great contributions! Smile

Here is an article I posted on my blog:
http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-star-falls-over-chicago.html

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Re: Election 2012

Post  May on Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:19 pm

Voted first thing in the morning today, and I think you can guess it wasn't for Obama. Wink
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Re: Election 2012

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