Friday, May 6, 2016

Donald Trump and the Fall Of Democracy??

A good friend asked my thoughts on Andrew Sullivan’s 7500 essay in New York Magazine about Donald Trump and the potential for the rise in fascism were he to be elected president. It would probably take me a couple of days of thinking, writing, and editing to adequately provide “my thoughts” about this essay. First, I am in general agreement that Donald Trump represents a clear and present threat to our republic and this threat mimics the rise of fascism in the 1920 and 1930’s. Whether that threat is any more dangerous than the trend to toward socialism that we have seen in the past 8 years under Obama and that would continue under Clinton is subject to debate. Of much greater concern to me is the ignorance, lack of intellectual awareness, and lack of intellectual honesty of the vast majority of Americans on both the left and the right. I am sadly reminded of the scripture that says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

My friend Marty Hilber (Twitter @ZookZangsten) once shared a quote with me, “With time we can undo the damage that Barrack Obama has wreaked on our country... what is far more troubling is an electorate that would elect him to office...twice.” “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.
Now we face a dogged, troubling group of people including many so called “evangelical Christians” who support Trump despite his crass approach and the lack of internal coherence of his message... “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.

A dogged, troubling group of Democrats on the other hand support Hillary Clinton, even though a large part of the electorate and many in the Democratic Party consider her to be a morally bankrupt opportunist. If elected she would be empowered to change the structure of the Supreme Court in such a way that it would threaten the First, Second, Tenth, and Eleventh amendment rights for both states and citizens. Just as it was used in the Obergefell decision, the Fourteenth amendment would be interpreted in such a way as to threaten the very fabric of the constitution. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”

The bottom line was expressed by Franklin Graham here in Nashville earlier this week when he said, “I have absolutely no faith in the Republican Party. I have absolutely no faith in the Democratic Party. The only chance we have is to place our faith in God Almighty.”

Do I think we could see a rising fascist trend if Trump is elected? Yes and it frightens me.

Do I think our march to socialism would be accelerated under Clinton? Yes and it frightens me.

Do I think we will see our country restored to a vision more in consonance with that of our Founding Fathers? Probably not. However, we are called to be active and participate to hopefully stem the tide.
Do I think God is still in control? Yes! I will continue to pray for his mercy.

Am I concerned about our children and grandchildren who will have to make sense of the mess they are inheriting?  Absolutely! Our job is to pray and provide moral support for our children and grandchildren until they carry us out in a pine box.

There is a phrase in 1 Chronicles 12:32 that says, “From the tribe of Issachar there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the time and knew the best course for Israel to take (NLT).” May we be like modern day “sons of Issachar” who inform ourselves to understand the signs of the time and know the best course to take.

Let us continue to pray for the wisdom of the Sons of Issachar!  “Don’t look to men; their greatest leaders fail.” Psalm 146:2 (TLB). That’s what I think about the essay.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Raising the B.S. Flag

My son is a genius... no joke, his IQ is that high. However, when he was in high school and at the University of West Florida and living at home, he used to make some fairly controversial assertions at the dinner table. We finally devised a technique to call him back from the intellectual wilderness. It was called the B.S. Flag. Whenever someone at the table had enough, they would raise their right hand as if taking an oath. Whereupon the rest of us would follow suit. He did not appreciate it, but it was generally enough to change the topic. It would seem that it is way past time for university administrators throughout the country to raise the B.S. Flag. Censoring conservative professors (Vanderbilt), taking down pictures of ex presidents (Princeton), out of control protests (Missouri and Yale) are all examples of students run amok. Everyone expects sophomoric outbursts from students... (I would hate for some of my letters to Congressmen in the 60's to surface.) But what we have going on right now is absolute B.S. It is time for those endowments and individuals who fund these institutions to raise the B.S. Flag by defunding them. As us old farts would say "money talks"... and no money talks louder!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Is Obergefell the "Law of the Land"

A lot of folks are saying that the Supreme Court Obergefell decision made same-sex marriage " the law of the land". A reminder is in order here, the Supreme Court does not "make law". The actual holding in the Obergefell case said "The Court, in this decision holds same sex couples may exercise the fundamemtal right to marry in all states." There are no Federal marriage laws and unless and until individual state legislatures change their state laws, county clerks who issue licenses contrary to the existing laws are actually violating the law. County Clerks are generally elected by the people and controlled by state legislatures... They are not beholden to Governors or judges. Truth is "the law of the land" relative to this issue is in limbo and if county clerks exercise their "fundamental rights", the litigation of same sex marriage is far from over.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Fire, Ready, Aim" and other Inappropriate Responses

In the wake of the Supreme Court Obergefell decision people have been falling all over themselves with ideas on what to do, how to do it, and whether to do whatever it is that they think should be done. Everyone seems to have an idea and the range of ideas reflects the lack of order and unity that got us here in the first place. In my office we have taken to calling it the "Fire, Ready, Aim" syndrome. Perhaps spending a little time reflecting on how and why we got here might be in order. My boss posted a commentary today on our website that may be worthy of your time. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thoughts on Restoring Order to the Supreme Court

The dust has begun to settle on the recent Supreme Court Obergefell Decision that found a constitutional right to same sex marriage in the 14th Amendment. Regardless of your position on same sex marriage, any supporter of American democratic process should be concerned by the flawed and tortured constitutional logic of the Obergefell decision. As people on both the left and the right are beginning to understand this fact, they are also beginning to understand that the time may have come to exercise the provisions in our constitution that can be used to rein in a runaway judiciary. A hearing was held last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight  to explore what remedies the Congress and the people might have in dealing with errant decisions by the Court. Dr. John Eastman and Mr. Ed Whelan both provided some excellent insight into the constitutional issues as well as some potential solutions. I commend the testimony of both these men to you.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Living in the Shadow of Mordor

Over this past weekend I got a chance to indulge in my love of the Lord of the Rings series. Hobbits and the Shire and the mythos of Middle Earth have captivated me since I first read the books 46 years ago. Yesterday I watched the last movie depicting the carnage exploding in the great last battle for Middle Earth. As I did it occurred to me that there are parallels between that mythical story and our own time.

You may recall that the story begins with Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit. Hobbits are given to a “live and let live” approach to life. Bilbo was living a comfortable life in the Shire when he was approached to leave the comfort of his surroundings to go on a dangerous adventure. In the course of his journey with an assortment of wizards, dwarfs and elves, Bilbo learns that there is evil afoot and that the shadow of evil is spreading daily. After many harrowing experiences, Bilbo safely retires to his comfortable life in the Shire and puts the reality of the growing evil and danger in the rest of Middle Earth out of his mind. Fast forward 20 or 30 years and Bilbo’s nephew, Frodo, is enlisted by the forces of good who are seeking to thwart the rapidly spreading evil of the Dark Lord of Mordor. It seems that while everyone in the Shire has been living the good life, the forces of evil have grown incredibly strong and they are on the verge of completely overtaking all of Middle Earth.

In the end, the forces of good in Middle Earth finally united in their quest to defeat the evil forces of Mordor. Good prevailed in Middle Earth, but not without great cost. As a nation, we have been “living in the Shire” for decades. We have enjoyed the “good life”. We have been oblivious to the opposing forces that have been growing ever stronger and are now casting an incredibly dark shadow over our land and around the world. We may find that in our time our path will parallel that of the good creatures of Middle Earth. We may find that we prevail, but only at great cost.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Digging Up Dead Generals

The furor over the Confederate flag and now over Nathan Bedford Forest and the burial places and statues of other long dead Confederate generals saddens me deeply. Should the Star and Bars fly over a state capitalI agree it should not. Should we dig up the bodies of every Confederate general and burn them? Maybe we can do as as the British did to Oliver Cromwell’s body, dig them up, hang them in chains and behead them. Surely those actions would smooth the angry waters and bring us together as a nation.  

Everyone has symbols and other things that rub them the wrong way. I personally find it disturbing  that friends and relatives have chosen to put the gay rainbow flag over their profile pictures. In their zeal to celebrate the  gay marriage decision they have apparently overlooked the egregious over reach of the Supreme Court. Even though I passionately disagree with these people, I choose not to demean, berate or unfriend them. I am for keeping them as friends. The minute I began to view others only through the lens of what I am against, I cease to be an influence to them for what I am for.