Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

August 15, 2016

My mother-in-law Betty passed away tonight. She was a prayer warrior and a testimony of faith in Jesus. She was actually my husband’s stepmother, but like his dad, Allen (who passed in 2010), she always treated me like one of her own. She had many admirable qualities, but her steadfast faith in Jesus, her Savior, was one of her best. There were many family dinners and occasions where the family’s expression of faith was led by Betty and Allen and provided my daughter with a legacy of Christian faith and living that I am grateful beyond measure that my daughter was able to experience.

I know I will miss her, but in my sadness I am remembering some verses that offer some comfort. The first is Hebrews 12:1-3.

12 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

This online source explains the “cloud of witnesses” this way.

http://www.gotquestions.org/cloud-of-witnesses.html

“We are surrounded by the saints of the past in a unique way. It’s not that the faithful who have gone before us are spectators to the race we run. Rather, it is a figurative representation and means that we ought to act as if they were in sight and cheering us on to the same victory in the life of faith that they obtained. We are to be inspired by the Godly examples these saints set during their lives. These are those whose past lives of faith encourage others to live that way, too. That the cloud is referred to as “great” indicates that millions of believers have gone before us, each bearing witness to the life of faith we now live.”

Betty now, along with Allen, and the other loved ones who have gone before us are a part of that “cloud of witnesses”. I can’t help but think of Mark Schultz’s song, Cloud of Witnesses, and the words toward the end of the song. I can imagine Betty, despite her 93 years on this earth, running “the final mile” to the throne surrounded by all those who went before her, and who is now in the arms of the Savior.

So when it comes the time
That heaven calls
They’ll come running to see the ones who’ve gone before,
Ran the race and made the journey home,
To find waiting for them at the finish line,
Cheering happily
They will run
And they will see

A cloud of witnesses
Lined up on a street of gold
As they run the final mile.
That leads them to a throne.
And through the cloud of witnesses
They see God upon the throne.
And as they fall into His arms,
They know they’re home in
A cloud of witnesses,
Surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.

 

In closing, I’d like to note 1 Thessalonians 4:13:

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

I will miss Betty and I am deeply saddened by her passing. I understand from family members that she passed peacefully. Though some tears may fall, we now know that she is rejoicing.

Why I won’t vote for Trump or Clinton

August 8, 2016

There have been a number of good editorials and opinion pieces written lately explaining why the writer has chosen not to vote for either Trump or Clinton. They all offer excellent reasons and reasoning why neither one earns their vote (or mine). Here are links to those articles, as well as a link to a series of videos that explains why voting for the lesser of two evils is not something in which a Christian wants to participate.

http://unhyphenatedamerica.org/2016/06/28/lesseroftwoevils/

http://drkevinbaird.com/wp/2016/07/29/__trashed/

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/438623/conservatisms-moral-crisis-defending-trumps-lies

http://www.dailywire.com/news/3896/shapiro-i-will-never-vote-donald-trump-heres-why-ben-shapiro

http://stepstopoliticalepiphany.com/

But I particularly liked the following article by Susan Wright because it captured, in a fairly concise way, my thoughts on the matter, from a Christian believer’s point of view.

http://www.redstate.com/sweetie15/2016/08/07/christians-crossroad-choosing-lesser-two-evils-still-choosing-evil/

Christians at a Crossroad: Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils is Still Choosing Evil

by Susan Wright

at a crossroads blue

“Of two evils, choose neither.” – Charles Spurgeon

And here we are, at a crossroad for choosing.

Turn to the left, and you find yourself in the camp of Hillary Clinton. She is the Teflon candidate. She has weathered more scandals and been let off the hook for more misdeeds and missteps than probably any known candidate in our nation’s very short history.

How she manages to elude justice and become the Democrat nominee, I have no certain idea. I suspect there is more than a slight bit of collusion going on behind the scenes. Politics is a cesspool, and until very recently, we could claim the Democrat end to be most corrupt and putrid.

If you turn to the right at this crossroad, you find yourself with Donald J. Trump. His supporters are made up of a mish-mash of the poorly educated, the angry, who desperately need a scapegoat for their anger, Nazis (No, seriously… Nazis), and the odd addition of Christians who feel he is the “lesser” of two evils.

If the idea of Christians united with Nazis for a common goal (getting Trump elected) causes you to recoil in disgust, you are not alone.

I’ve watched the nightmare of Trump unfold for the past year and I’ve taken every opportunity to sound the alarm about what he was. As a nation, we had better to choose from, but Trump was chosen by the people.

Trump is an unrepentant adulterer. He owns gambling houses. He demeans women, veterans, immigrants, and the handicapped.

Trump has not only cheated on his wives, but has cheated small business owners out of their rightful pay. He’s made a fortune out of sticking it to those he owes debts to, and has left creditors holding the bag, as he has used the bankruptcy courts to avoid payment.

He is ungracious, profane, and a bully.

Those the people choose to represent them are a direct reflection on the people, themselves.

So what does that say about Trump’s supporters? Or Hillary’s, for that matter?

More importantly, what does it say about those Christians that want to use the excuse, “At least he’s not Hillary” as a reason for supporting such a man?

I am in full agreement that we can’t let Hillary get in the White House. The damage she would inflict on our nation and our constitutional freedoms would take generations to correct.

I am equally convinced that Trump is not the answer for a Christian.

To Spurgeon’s point, there is no acceptable level of evil. Christians who are willing to trade Hillary’s wickedness for Trump’s, simply because of the magical “R” beside his name betray their principles, as Christians.

That “R” doesn’t stand for righteous.

What I’m hearing from most is that they will support a man who has never displayed anything hopeful or godly in his life, on the off chance that maybe he won’t be as bad as they know Hillary will be.

Is that faith?

If it is, it’s misplaced and misguided, at best.

I was told last night that if I stood against Trump, I was battling against God.

It was a curious and disturbing statement. I have to assume this person, in her zeal to exalt Trump, was incorrectly applying Romans 13:2:

“Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:2 NIV

As it is, however, Trump is not president, nor any authority, at this point.

He’s a reality TV star running for the presidency, and giving fair warning about him is not out of line with what God would have us do.

All throughout the Old Testament, God allowed for wicked leaders to be placed in authority over the people. Quite often, we can assume it was to humble the people and bring them back to Him. So it would seem, per Proverbs 16:4:

“The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked [according to their role] for the day of evil.” Proverbs 16:4 AMP

As it appears, either Trump or Hillary would be a punishment on this nation, and we would deserve it. If these are the representatives of our values that we clamor for, even our Christians, then is this nation worth saving, or do we belong on the ash heap of history?

I offer this for your consideration: At a crossroads, you don’t have to take the left or the right. Sometimes, you just go straight ahead.

If by associating with wickedness and sin, we aid in the fall of many people, do we not bear a portion of that wickedness on ourselves?

There comes a time to stay the course and not be distracted or led astray by doubt, fear, or party loyalty.

I’ve made a choice to stand on my faith and my Christian principles. I will not aid in ushering in any age of corruption or wickedness by placing the sacred trust of my vote with anyone who does not represent my values.

Does that mean God is going to honor my faithfulness by not giving us Hillary or Trump?

No. We may very well end up with one of the two evils that the people have clamored for.

What it does mean, however, is that I held to my faith, and will continue, through the good days and the bad, alike.

My God has been faithful to me through hard times before. I refuse to bow to fear. I refuse to “go along to get along.”

I will stay the course, looking neither to the left or the right, because our answers are not there. I’ll vote my values, whether those are popular or even successful in this election, and whatever happens after, I will still trust God.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy 4:7 NLT

 

 

Thank you Senator Cruz and all who stand with him

May 18, 2016

http://www.trevorloudon.com/2016/05/thankyou-senator-cruz-and-all-who-stand-with-him/

Submitted by on May 4, 2016 – 2:21 am EST

I met Senator Cruz for the third or fourth time two nights ago in La Porte, Indiana. It was both exhilarating and poignant for me, as I knew the polls were not looking good.

cruzo

I shook Senator Cruz’s hand and touched his shoulder to wish him luck.

Now that Senator Cruz has stepped down from the race, I wish to thank him for the hope he has given me and millions of other freedom lovers all over this world.

I wish to thank him for the hope he has given me and millions of other freedom lovers all over this world.

I never thought I’d see a leader like Senator Cruz in my lifetime. A man of the deepest integrity, humility kindness, faith and courage. It was an honor for me to support Senator Cruz in any small way I could.

I never thought I’d see a leader like Senator Cruz in my lifetime. A man of the deepest integrity, humility kindness, faith and courage. It was an honor for me to support Senator Cruz in any small way I could.

During the campaign, I got to meet Ted’s Dad Rafael on a few occasions and was extremely impressed by his courage and commitment to America and the Constitution. The apple did not fall far from the tree. I never met Heidi Cruz, but I saw her at several rallies. She was always impressive – whether tending to her lovely little girls, or wowing the crowd with her impassioned speaking.

You can judge a man by the company he keeps. The Cruz people were always great and the supporters around the country were amazing.

Right up front were stalwarts like Rep. Steve King, Greg Cummings and the super astute Steve Deace from Iowa. Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, Lloyd Marcus, Ben Shapiro, David LimbaughJenny Beth Martin, Ann-Marie Murrell, Dana Loesch, Benjamin Weingarten, Arlen Williams, Shona, Thomas, Jack and Danita, Mike Michaels, Manny Roman, Pastor Greg Young, John King from Florida, Bryan from Idaho, Bill and Regina from Colorado, our New Hampshire friends, Curtis Bowers and his amazing family, Renee Nal and Sparky & Angela from the TK Radio Network!

Many that I’ve never met I like to consider friends – Eric Erickson and the crew from Red State, Mark Levin, Michael Harrington, Torin Archbold, Mark Prasek, John Daniels of TavernKeepers and SooperMexican from the Right Scoop.

A huge shout-out too to Glenn Beck and his team. True American heroes all.

There are many more, but I’m dog-tired as I write this, so please forgive me if I forget you temporarily.

I cannot begin to imagine how Ted and his family must feel right now. I wish them all the sound sleep of the righteous.

Ted Cruz has made an impact that will be felt for centuries. He has flown the flag for liberty like no other political aspirant I’ve ever seen.

Ted Cruz has made an impact that will be felt for centuries. He has flown the flag for liberty like no other political aspirant I’ve ever seen.

I don’t think this election cycle has delivered all its surprises yet. Whatever role you play in the liberty movement Senator Cruz, I offer you and your family my humblest thanks and very best wishes for the future.

Whatever role you play in the liberty movement Senator Cruz, I offer you and your family my humblest thanks and very best wishes for the future.

The fight for freedom moves to its next phase.

The fight for freedom moves to its next phase.

 

 

 

Dark days

April 24, 2016

dark clouds cropped

 

My husband showed me something this morning that was pretty upsetting, so don’t read this if you don’t want to get depressed.

First, he showed me a local Facebook forum page where someone posted a video about some people in our community expressing their faith on a street corner. In response, commenters posted hateful, mocking things about these Christians, including comments about being “offended” that the Christian faith was being “shoved down their throat” by these people on the street corner expressing their First Amendment right.

Then, he showed me a clip from one of the Sunday morning shows. In this, presidential candidate #1 was mocking presidential candidate #2, saying how presidential candidate #2 was “saved”, but would “hold up his Bible”, and then “lie”. It was clear that presidential candidate #1 was not only mocking Christians, but the entire Bible, and by extension, God.

Aside from the politics, there were some deeply troubling implications. I looked up some Bible verses regarding mocking and John 15:18 jumped out at me:

 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

“Ah-ha,” I said to myself. They hate us. And I think that’s the bottom line.

I remember Billy Graham’s “last message” where he said the cross offends. And it’s because people are confronted with their sin because of it. Then, I thought of the people in my own community on that public forum mocking Christians. Some other people of faith jumped in on the forum and defended the people on the street and Christianity. But I wondered, can we really reason with them if they hate us? Perhaps even more troubling were the statements by commenters of being “offended” by the Christian message by the people on the street and that it was being “shoved down their throat”. Reasonable, cogent arguments about the First Amendment didn’t seem to sway anyone. They still hate us. Yes, we’re a long way off from Roman amphitheaters with lions and Christians, or ISIS simultaneously beheading 21 Christians on an African beach…or are we?

And then I thought of a person seeking to be a leader and openly mocking everything we believe in and that person being elevated to a position of great power. I thought about how that person has said he doesn’t need forgiveness. And then I remembered how some people who are recognized leaders of evangelical churches and communities are backing him and expressing support for this person.

I believe my husband connecting these two seemingly unrelated items was spot on. And if I didn’t already know that I would never cast my vote for presidential candidate #1, this alone, solidifies that.

These are dark days and it does not portend well for Christians. Nor Jewish people, nor Israel, I would add, because we are connected.

Has the abortion lobby taken on the tactics of LGBT advocates?

January 5, 2016

“Planned Parenthood sent people into pharmacies all over the state looking for violators until they finally found Stormans pharmacy.

“Within five miles of Stormans pharmacy, there are over 30 pharmacies that sell the morning after pill, so it’s undisputed that none of the customers have ever been denied timely access…”

This quote from the article (which follows) is what is disturbing.

It appears the Christian owners of the pharmacy were directly targeted, which is interesting for the following reason: has the abortion lobby taken on the tactics of the LGBT lobby?

Some time ago, I read an article that explained how the recent Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage came about. (I can dig it up, if anybody’s interested, but it might take some searching.) If you remember, back in 2008, Prop 8 was passed in California banning gay marriage. The black community which turned out to vote for Barack Obama, also overwhelmingly voted to ban gay marriage, many citing that they were offended by the LGBT’s likening of the gay struggle to the civil rights struggle. The article (for which I’d have to search) explained that just saying the two “struggles” were similar wasn’t enough, LGBT advocates needed to show there was “widespread” discrimination against gays.

Thus, we began to see a photographer here, a baker there, and a wedding venue in another state refusing to supply a product or service to a gay couple seeking to “get married”. And what was the common thread? All of these people targeted were Christians who said they could not provide that service or product because it violated what they believed. These cases kept cropping up and the providers were always Christians. The tide began to turn and Christians were put on the defensive, accused of being discriminatory and the illusion of “widespread” discrimination was complete. And in just 7 short years, there were numerous leaders in the black community agreeing it was a similar struggle, whereas just a few years earlier, they were offended.

And now we have a Christian-owned pharmacy not wanting to sell abortion products. Over 30 pharmacies within 5 miles were found to supply the drug(s), so access was not an issue. Nevertheless, the pharmacy is being told to sell the drug or they will be found to be in violation of the law. Perhaps, the only silver lining in this story, is that Washington is the only state with this kind of law at this time. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see other states adopt similar laws very soon.

I would also not be surprised if we begin to see not just pharmacies, but doctors, and other providers targeted in the same way, creating an illusion of discrimination and/or a lack of access to “medical care” in order to justify and expand taxpayer support of abortion and abortion products. The side benefit will be the excoriating of Christians and what we believe. It may also provide an avenue to punish Christian business owners or Christian practitioners for not acquiescing to popular culture.

Gird your loins. It’s going to get ugly.

Planned Parenthood Is About To Shut Down A Christian Pharmacy For Refusing To Sell Abortion Drugs

Photo of Casey Harper

Casey Harper
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/04/planned-parenthood-is-about-to-shut-down-a-christian-pharmacy-for-refusing-to-sell-abortion-drugs/#ixzz3wPHJNSZk

A family-owned pharmacy is on the verge of being pushed out of business because they say the owners — devout Christians — won’t sell drugs like the morning after pill.

Washington state passed a law in 2007 that pharmacies must provide emergency contraceptives, like the morning after pill and the week after pill, which many pro-life groups say are equivalent to abortion because they may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting on the wall of the uterus, effectively killing it.

Stormans Inc., a Washington pharmacy, may go out of business because its owners refuse to comply with the law and are now plaintiffs in a legal battle with the state. The two other plaintiffs in the suit are pharmacists, one who lost her job because of her refusal to sell the drugs and the other who has been told she will lose hers if the regulations are upheld. The plaintiffs say the law  violates their religious beliefs and their conscience and that the law is unconstitutional. But a federal appellate judge ruled against them in July of last year. They appealed to the Supreme Court Monday, their last chance of saving the Stormans business and the pharmacists careers in the state.

“[Under the law,] it’s perfectly legal for a pharmacy to say we’re not going to stock the week after pill because we think its unprofitable or we want to specialize in geriatric drugs and don’t want to stock that drug or even if you run out, that’s fine too, but if you don’t have the drug because your religion forbids you that is illegal,” Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The actual text of the rule lays out a general obligation that pharmacies have a duty to deliver legal drugs in a timely manner and then has a bunch of exceptions.”

Refusing based on faith or conscience does not fit into those exceptions, and, Goodrich told TheDCNF, was designed that way on purpose to target religious pharmacists. He said that Planned Parenthood sent people into pharmacies all over the state looking for violators until they finally found Stormans pharmacy.

“Within five miles of [Stormans pharmacy], there are over 30 pharmacies that sell the morning after pill, so it’s undisputed that none of the customers have ever been denied timely access,” Goodrich told TheDCNF.

The family challenged the law in court, and a federal court struck down the law in February 2012 saying it forced religious pharmacy owners to violate their faith. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals then reversed the decision in July 2015 and reinstated the contentious law.

Goodrich said that Washington is the only state in the country with such a strict law and that the American Pharmacists Association, the leading group in the country, filed a brief in favor of the Christian pharmacists.

“There is going to be a tension there. In our view, the balance falls in favor of the patient who needs a medication,” Laura Einstein, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, told U.S. News and World Report. “It’s better for women’s health if there are laws or regulations on the books where there is a statement by the regulatory agency that it’s a priority that women’s health care needs are met.”

There is scientific dispute over whether the morning after and week after pill actually destroys a fertilized egg, which complicates the issue. It seems the distinction is more disputed on the morning after pill, Plan B, but is more likely with the week after pill, Ella. A brochure for Ella states that it is “possible that Ella works by preventing attachment to the wall inside the uterus,” reports U.S. News and World Report.

“As a matter of science there’s no settled answer on whether the drugs do or don’t destroy a fertilized egg by preventing it from implanting,” Goodrich told TheDCNF. “There are studies which say that it is really difficult to rule out that it operates that way.  The bottom line is there is uncertainty on that issue. It’s basically like handing them a gun and saying ‘some of the chambers are loaded, some aren’t, and I want you to point it at this person and pull the trigger.’ Their answer will be, ‘I don’t want to do that even if there is only a small chance of killing somebody.’”

The Supreme Court will likely decide in April if they’ll take up the case. If they take it up, it will probably be in the fall of 2016.

“It’d be one thing if there was actually some record of some woman somewhere not getting timely action to a drug, but there’s no record of that,” Goodrich told TheDCNF. “It’s really a solution in search of a problem. The only thing the regulations do is punish conscientious objectors.” Goodrich told TheDCNF that if the law is allowed to stand, pro abortion groups would try to make this law the standard nationwide.

“Ever since Roe V. Wade the states and the federal government have consistently protected all medical professionals from being involved in what they consider an abortion,” Goodich told TheDCNF. “This would really be the first time the legal system has given the green light to force people to be involved in what they think is an abortion.”

Sen. Ted Cruz at CPAC 2015

February 27, 2015

Hopefully, our next President of the United States.

Barack Obama is Bush Lite

September 23, 2014

Ben Shapiro’s Truth Revolt posted this. Don’t miss.

http://www.truthrevolt.org/videos/bill-whittle-obama-bush-lite

It’s the ultimate insult to a guy who’s blamed everything on his predecessor. In this video, Bill Whittle excoriates the president for “doing the same things for the same reasons his predecessor did, only he’s doing them late, doing them badly and blaming everyone else.” As Shapiro notes, “Bill Whittle shows why Barack Obama is nothing more than Bush Lite.”

Holding fast

August 26, 2014

I confess. I’m a little down. The republican party has won one.

Last year I divorced the GOP and became a registered conservative. I was fed up with the lies. Most republican candidates seem to become just conservative enough to suck conservatives into voting for them and then stab you in the back once they’ve won the election, abandoning conservatives in favor of being democrat-lites. I was sick of it. I felt battered by the republican party.

Over the last year, I’ve become more politically active because of local progressives pushing an agenda of creeping tyranny. In California, because of the top-two system, political parties don’t really matter. I joined a local arm of a group that claims to be the conservative arm of the republican party. At the time I joined, I explained that I was a registered conservative, and with a rising conservative activist as a witness to the entire conversation, was told that it was no big deal. Last night, at a meeting, I was told that being a conservative would prevent me from being able to vote to endorse conservative candidates–which was the whole reason I joined, that it was in their by-laws. When the other conservative vouched for what was said at the time of sign-up, the person in charge said, “Why would I say that?”, impugning not just my integrity, but the other conservative’s as well. Once again, I felt like I was back at the republican battered women’s shelter.

Well, just because the republican party won this round, I’m not going back to the abuser for more. It just confirms why I left in the first place. 

 

“If the right is to have a future, it has to start thinking long term.”

June 11, 2014

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-long-march-through-republican-party.html

A don’t-miss, great entry by Daniel Greenfield of the Sultan Knish blog exhorting conservatives to take the long view, be willing to accept defeat in the short term in order to win the war in the long-term.

As I was reading through it toward the beginning, it was depressing, probably because he is so spot-on. The Republican party has lost its mojo. As Greenfield notes, “The GOP doesn’t actually believe in anything. The Republican Party once again brings nothing to the table.”  While Republicans are likely to make some gains in the short-term, as in reclaiming the Senate in the November elections, he wryly states:  “The Tea Party’s epitaph has been written. A confident Republican establishment is now prepared to possibly take the Senate in 2014 and then lose it again in 2016…[and then campaign in] the midterm election of 2018 where they will run on opposition to HillaryCare.”

He goes on to make some great observations in the differences between the left’s and the right’s tactics. He points out that while the tea party’s role in politics has been flawed, the left has continued to garner its coalition of groups into a consolidated front: “There are tensions, but everyone falls into line even though the single agenda cuts the throats of their own working class voters.” Greenfield also asserts, “The left was willing to accept multiple defeats in the short term to build a machine and a momentum that would take it through the system. And it succeeded.”

Mark Levin, in Liberty and Tyranny, states the long-term strategy of progressives and statists this way (Chapter 1):

The Statist also knows that despite his successful usurpations, enough citizens are still skeptical and even distrustful of politicians and government that he cannot force his will all at once. Thus he marches in incremental steps, adjusting his pace as circumstances dictate. Today his pace is more rapid, for resistance has slowed. At no time does the Statist do an about-face.

In conclusion, Greenfield writes:

The American Revolution was a fight between one of the world’s leading powers and bands of ragged farmers. The farmers lost badly, over and over again. They learned slowly that you don’t win wars on passion. You don’t win them in one battle. You do it by staying in the fight.

The left in America began as a political insurgency. Now it runs everything. It can be beaten, but doing that will require learning a lot of painful lessons and picking up the necessary skills. There will be less passion and more technique. There will be more organization and less waste.

This won’t end tomorrow or in 2016. Wars last a long time. They are passed on to children. They become a generational struggle. It’s a daunting prospect for individuals as all wars are. But the alternative to the voluntary sacrifices necessary to win a war are the involuntary sacrifices that  come from losing it.

 

Greenfield’s article is chock-full of insightful observations. Please take the time to read it.

 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Long March Through the Republican Party

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog

The Tea Party’s epitaph has been written. A confident Republican establishment is now prepared to possibly take the Senate in 2014 and then lose it again in 2016 to another wave of historical change.In its defense the establishment, a motley collection of men paid by special interest groups whose future involves lucrative lobbying and even more lucrative consulting for the midterm election of 2018 where they will run on opposition to HillaryCare, can point to all the stupid and flaky Tea Party candidates who lost winnable elections. And they have a point.We wouldn’t have to put up with Harry Reid or Chris Coons. Though we would still have Barack Obama in ’08 and ’12 because the establishment ran two men with no ability to appeal to people worried about losing their jobs and homes against a man who could do the “Feel your pain” dance.

The left didn’t start with Obama. It was willing to run a roster of bad candidates with silly beliefs for higher office. And it watched as those candidates crashed and burned outside their urban safe havens. But the left didn’t stop. It didn’t sit back and accept that the Democratic Party’s mainstream candidates would be the best it could get. Instead it doubled down and kept on doing it until it paid off.

It didn’t matter if they became national jokes. It didn’t matter if for a while the left seemed as likely to take higher office as Superman. The left thinks long term.

It built a coalition of its base groups and got them to agree to a single agenda. It got the unions and the NAACP to back illegal immigration and gay rights. It got the environmentalists to back illegal immigration. It got the unions to back the environment. There are tensions, but everyone falls into line even though the single agenda cuts the throats of their own working class voters.

Meanwhile the GOP has no idea who its base groups are and would like them to go away.

The GOP celebrating a victory over the Tea Party is like NBC celebrating a victory over its own highest rated shows. Finally the experts who gave us the Romney Presidency and the De Facto Amnesty talking point will, hopefully, drag the Senate out of Harry Reid’s dead claws long after Obama and the Democratic Party discredited themselves with their own voters and even the media.

And they won’t have to credit the Tea Party for it.

The Tea Party’s role in politics has been flawed, but then how could it have been otherwise. Politics is a professional sport and in the age of television and Twitter, it’s most easily played by people who have been polished by media experts and consultants, who know how to recite talking points and nothing else. And the people most likely to take over have their own agendas.

The left was willing to accept multiple defeats in the short term to build a machine and a momentum that would take it through the system. And it succeeded.

Of course the left had advantages that the right does not have. No matter how much of a mess the left made, the Democratic Party would hang on to racially gerrymandered districts and it would be buffered against any major national changes by a judiciary, academia and bureaucracy that was largely in its pocket.

Reagan might win the White House, but business would continue as usual in Washington D.C. and the entertainment industry would push social change its way. Obama is a disaster for traditional Americans, but Reagan was only a setback for the left. It could afford to organize around opposition to him because it knew that his ability to undo everything they had set into motion was very limited.

The right doesn’t have those buffers. It couldn’t afford eight years of Obama even after eight years of Bush. And it’s easy to look around and see why. And yet it also can’t afford the GOP establishment.

What’s left is a choice between high stakes gambles on the future or dragging out the inevitable with the establishment. The Tea Party was a series of high stakes gambles, many of which did not pay off, but the road to Obamerica began with a series of high stakes gambles for the left.

And there are few short cuts.

The Republican Party once again brings nothing to the table. It’s no longer playing against old gentle enemies like the Kennedy clan or the Chicago Machine. It’s now up against an ascendant left backed by billionaires and the entertainment-media complex.

And ’08 and ’12 shows us how well it performs in that arena.

The GOP’s soulless teleprompter machines are no match the soulless teleprompter machines of the left. The ones on the left are occasionally capable of mimicking human emotions and make much better TMZ fodder.

And the left also brings ideology to the table while the GOP brings a shopworn Americanism that is vague on definition and big on grandiose rhetoric. Unfortunately the left has already hijacked that rhetoric and used its vague grandiosity to sell everything from illegal immigration to gay rights.

Tomorrow Obama can give a speech surrounded by American flags and quote from Madison and Lincoln to explain why he has decided to sell America to Saudi Arabia. It will be an obscene perversion and hypocritical nonsense, but then it will only be a matter of time until the GOP opposition summons forth a candidate who gives the same speech but with more flags.

He will say that you can only trust the GOP to get the best deal when selling America to Saudi Arabia.

The GOP doesn’t actually believe in anything. It’s been through too many changes over the years. It’s become a big tent for fiscal and social conservatives, as long as they don’t actually try to set policy, for foreign policy hawks, as long as they don’t push for anything Democrats are opposed to, and for an assortment of constituencies that add color and identity, but don’t actually get their way.

Republicanism has become a bland colorless conservatism that stands for some sort of competence and a vague commitment to smaller government and a stronger national defense which exists in theory, not in practice. It’s for morals, until they become too unfashionable. It’s for apple pie, as long as it’s not too fattening. It’s for proving that the left is unfair to call it a crazy bunch of extremists.

In placid times, that can work. Ideology is tiresome and no one likes being yelled at. It’s why the left does so poorly in most elections. But in troubled times, people want something to believe in. They don’t want the hollow assurances of hollow men that everything is fine when it clearly isn’t.

That’s when the Republican Party actually has to stand for something and explain why it stands for it.

Neither party actually does that except in the vaguest of ways, but the public rightly senses that there is a system of coherent beliefs behind Obama. Many of them would run screaming for the exits if they had those beliefs spelled out for them, but they’re not details people. They respond to passion and certainty. They like knowing that a candidate is animated by something more than careerism.

The public rightly sensed that there was no such system behind McCain or Romney. Both men believe things, but they’re big on being pragmatists. Their beliefs adapt to the situation. They have their own moral centers, but it’s not ideological. Their passions are personal, not political.

The Tea Party changed that. It had clear and compelling beliefs. It stood for something. And now the GOP stands alone and stands for nothing.

The Tea Party isn’t dead, but the results didn’t show up quickly enough and there were too many setbacks. And no one likes defeat.

Whenever I’m asked how to beat the left in Field X or Z, I answer that it will take a long march through the system, one way or another. It’s either that or cut the field out of your life entirely.

That’s true of public education and the entertainment industry. You either beat them at their own game by thinking long term or you cut them out of your lives. Politics isn’t like that. Boycotting it isn’t an option. Not in the long term. The game is absolute power and that absolutely includes power over you.

The left is collectivist and the right is individualistic. Individualism is the strength of the right, but it also means that the left can create a machine that feeds tens of thousands of its best and brightest into public education until it dominates the system and indoctrinates who passes through it. It can plan this out and carry it out for generations.

Meanwhile many on the right bail out when they don’t see results after four years.

The left functions like an army. The right functions like a guerrilla movement. Guerrillas can outlast an army by resisting occupation, but not when the army is fanatical and singleminded, and not if it manages to control the territory.

If the right is to have a future, it has to start thinking long term. It has to learn to understand the territory and it has to stop assuming that showing up is most of the job or that one decisive battle will change everything. It’s not and it won’t.

The American Revolution was a fight between one of the world’s leading powers and bands of ragged farmers. The farmers lost badly, over and over again. They learned slowly that you don’t win wars on passion. You don’t win them in one battle. You do it by staying in the fight.

The left in America began as a political insurgency. Now it runs everything. It can be beaten, but doing that will require learning a lot of painful lessons and picking up the necessary skills. There will be less passion and more technique. There will be more organization and less waste.

This won’t end tomorrow or in 2016. Wars last a long time. They are passed on to children. They become a generational struggle. It’s a daunting prospect for individuals as all wars are. But the alternative to the voluntary sacrifices necessary to win a war are the involuntary sacrifices that  come from losing it.

 

 

 

“In America, the test of any political movement is not what it’s against, but what it’s for.”

February 10, 2014

Senator Mike Lee begins his tea party response to the President’s State of the Union address here by pointing out that the Boston Tea Party would have been little more than a footnote in history about individuals unhappy with an abusive national government–protesting the kind of government they didn’t want–had they simply stopped there. It took 14 years to get from Boston to Philadephia where, with the Constitution, they established the kind of government they did want. That is, “The founders made a point in Boston Harbor, but they made history in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.”

Following are some of my favorite of his comments:

In America, the test of any political movement is not what it’s against, but what it’s for.

The Republican establishment in Washington can be just as out-of-touch as the Democratic establishment.

The President and his allies insist the real problem is inequality itself. But where does this new inequality come from? From government, every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests.

Obamacare all by itself is an inequality Godzilla that has robbed working families of their insurance, their doctors, their wages, and their jobs.

Six of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. are suburbs of Washington D.C. (A reference to the self-interest and cronyism of the ruling class without actually saying it is.)

The President has promised an economy for the middle class, but all he’s delivered is an economy for the middle men.

My own party has been part of the problem, too often joining the Democrats to rig an economy to benefit the well-connected at the expense of the disconnected.

Others are working on proposals…so that business profits are won from customers, not through political connections. After all, if we’re going to reform welfare, we really should start with corporate welfare.

When it comes to health care, we know the best way to repeal Obamacare is to deliver better solutions. We can’t just return to the old system. Health care policy used to give too much power to insurance companies. Obamacare now gives far too much power to government. We know that real reform will put health care dollars and decisions where they belong, in the hands of patients, families and their doctors and nurses.

All of these proposals within the new Conservative Reform Agenda, along with many more to come, mark the road to Philadelphia. These principles and policies will work and will put Americans back to work, not by just cutting big government, but by fixing broken government, [and my favorite part of this segment…] not by just making government smaller, but by promoting bigger citizens, stronger families, and more heroic communities. [Standing ovation…from me, anyway.]

I’m confident that our best days as a nation are ahead of us, not because of government, but because within America’s diverse society of individuals, and families, and neighborhoods, and churches and businesses and communities, freedom doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Freedom means we’re all in this together.

There is much more. Sen. Lee outlines specific, proposed, common-sense legislation that will bring about relief for taxpayers and reinforce our freedoms, while helping those who need it. Thank you, Sen. Lee. You’ve given me hope that there are a few in Washington who believe it really is about “We the People.”


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