Archive for the ‘ Politics & Government ’ Category

We Don't Need Another "Deal"

History Repeats Itself Again?

History Repeats Itself Again?

When Time magazine decided to show a cover depicting Obama as FDR, I could only shake my head. And now Obama is trying his best to be the next FDR, talking about a massive plan for public works.

The little secret, which isn’t really much of a secret anymore (except to those who refuse to listen) is that FDR’s New Deal never brought America out of the Great Depression. By the end of the 1930s, the economy was just as depressed as when FDR took office. The unemployment rate was virtually the same.

When the public sector spends more money, there is less to go around for the private sector, thus slowing a recovery. Of course, it looks good to spend this money and provide short-term jobs, but it doesn’t really deal with the problem.

We need to return to the Reagan solution. Yes, I know some people say this is a different time, so different solutions are called for. Well, if that’s the case, why are we rehashing the 1930s? Reagan’s concepts are still viable today because they are principles that apply at all times: reduce taxes, cut government spending, allow the people to keep more of their own money, and let them develop their entrepreneurial ideas. It worked in the 1980s and it can work now.

When will we ever truly learn from history?

Obama Hubris

Jumping the Gun?

Jumping the Gun?

I haven’t said a lot about the upcoming administration since the election. While I did have some commentary right after that fateful night, I have deliberately turned from devotion to politics and instead have emphasized Biblical principles and the type of spirit God wants to instill within us.

I will, however, return to commentary on the new administration as it takes shape. Later this week, I hope to offer some thoughts on people Obama plans to appoint to his cabinet.

Today, though, I am struck by one thought: the continuing pride/arrogance of the man we have elected. During the campaign, he was criticized for the seal that began to appear on his podium. It looked just like the official presidential seal, yet he was not yet elected to that office. It became a source of ridicule, so it disappeared from the campaign trail (and rightly so).

Now he is at it again. Has anyone else noticed the new sign that graces his podium? I’m surprised that few commentators have said anything about this.

This Must Be in the Constitution Somewhere, Right?

This Must Be in the Constitution Somewhere, Right?

Never in the history of modern American politics, as least not in my memory or base of knowledge, has the president-elect chosen to create what appears to be an official “office” celebrating his status. Some may say I’m being too picky here, but frankly, I have been stunned by what might be the highest level of hubris since the worst moments of the Clinton presidency. Yes, Obama declares that there is only one president at a time, going on record that George Bush still maintains that role, but to me, he is sending a signal with a sign like this. He is attempting to push himself up alongside the current president in the eyes of the American people. It’s as if he is saying, “I’m already here. I’m the one you should be focusing on now.”

I’m open to seeing real humility, but it has been glaringly absent thus far. Of course, real humility–not the type that is pumped up for the cameras–can only come from a genuine acknowledgement of sin and true repentance. If that should occur in Obama’s life, then, and only then, will we witness the real thing.

Sarcasm on the Economy

One of my readers sent me a link to a little talk by former Sen. Fred Thompson. The reader’s comment was “Where was this Fred Thompson during the primaries”? After viewing it, I have to agree. Really, if you want to hear truth about the current state of the economy and the “solutions” being offered, this a a must-see. And if you enjoy a message being sent with just the right amount of sarcasm (humorous, not hateful), you will appreciate this. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IrR3o7x1ps

Principle: Property–Christian Communism? (Part I)

Is God’s design that the church model communism? Some point to the example of the early church in Jerusalem in the book of Acts where we are told,

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. (Acts 4:32, 34-35)

Well, that settles it then, right? Owning private property is wrong; you should turn it all over to the authorities who will distribute to those who have a need. Sounds like the Marxist maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

There is only one big problem with that interpretation: the Acts example was one of voluntary giving, while communism is one of coerced giving. In fact, that can’t really be called giving at all. Coercion and giving are inherently contradictory. The believers in the passage above saw a need and, from their hearts, chose to sell what was rightfully theirs to help their brothers and sisters. There is no indication of coercion; neither is there any further indication in the entire New Testament that the practice of the early church was to force everyone to forfeit private property.

And what precisely were they selling? If they actually sold the houses they lived in, that would make them homeless. Now someone else would have to take care of them; they would have made themselves a burden to the entire church. I believe that what they sold was property they had in abundance that they decided could be put to better use for the benefit of all–extra land, a second home, etc.

Confused About Communism?

Confused About Communism?

There is a clear difference between giving from one’s heart and being told by an authority that you are now going to “give.” When Obama was accused during the campaign of promoting redistribution of people’s money, he tried to make a joke about it, saying that his critics would probably accuse him of being a communist if, as a kindergartener, he shared his toys with other children.

Either he was being disingenuous or he really doesn’t grasp the distinction. If it was the former, he is counting on the political and economic illiteracy of the American people to shield him from close scrutiny. If it was the latter, it reveals that he is a profound economic illiterate. Neither option bodes well.

Christian communism? Another refutation in the next post.

The Uninformed American Public

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has conducted a new study that probably should surprise no one who is really following the educational trends and the knowledge base of Americans. I’ll let ISI describe the results:

Are most people, including college graduates, civically illiterate? Do elected officials know even less than most citizens about civic topics such as history, government, and economics? The answer is yes on both counts according to a new study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

More than 2,500 randomly selected Americans took ISI’s basic 33-question test on civic literacy and more than 1,700 people failed, with the average score 49 percent, or an “F.” Elected officials scored even lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent and only 0.8 percent (or 21) ofall surveyed earned an “A.”

Even more startling is the fact that over twice as many people know Paula Abdul was a judge on American Idol than know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

If you are interested in seeing the rest of the results or in taking the test yourself, go to http://americancivicliteracy.org. ISI is also the organization that has recently published three of my articles. If you haven’t read them yet, go to my homepage (link at the top of this blog) where you can access them.

The Real Terrorism

William Ayers has come out of his “cone of silence” since election day. He has appeared on television “clarifying” his youthful acts of terrorism. The bombs weren’t meant for people, he says; they were only aimed at the destruction of property. How comforting to know he was a “nice” terrorist. The people who were killed were apparently just collateral damage.

As despicable as his earlier actions were, what he has been doing since, in my view, is the more longlasting terrorism: infiltrating the minds of children with radicalism. You see, now he is an esteemed professor who promotes material for the classrooms, indoctrinating the next generation with his philosophy and creating more little William Ayerses.

His real legacy will not be his Weather Underground days; it will be the radicalism of the many young people he influences. And when Obama was on those foundation boards with Ayers, he was working with him to spread the radical faith. Now we will soon have, in spirit, an identical radicalism in the White House. Yes, Obama comes across as reasonable, but to those who know what he really believes, his ascendancy is truly frightening.

Is There a God Problem?

Kathleen Parker: The GOP and God

Kathleen Parker: The GOP and God

Today we have another prime example of the difference between a conservative and a Christian conservative. Kathleen Parker, a conservative columnist who became controversial during the campaign for impugning Sarah Palin has dropped another bomb on the conservative movement. In her commentary, she has decided to denigrate evangelical Christians in the Republican tent. She states:

As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

That is merely the introduction. She continues:

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

“Oogedy-boogedy”? Well, all the way through my doctoral studies, I have to admit I’ve never heard the term. I guess I’m just poorly informed. But don’t Republicans need the evangelical vote if they are to have a chance of winning? In an attempt to outdo even herself, she adds:

So it has been for the Grand Old Party since the 1980s or so, as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners. . . .

Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.

Note the derision in these comments. Evangelicals were once “relegated to wooden crates on street corners.” We are the GOP’s “lowest brows.” And what is really important to her is that we are driving away the secularists and conservative Democrats.

What kind of party would the GOP be if it were largely populated by secularists and Democrats? Would it still be recognizable?

She certainly has the privilege of stating her opinions, but I have the same privilege of responding to them. What we see in this article is one point of view nowadays–exorcise the fanatics! They are bringing us down! I respond: the GOP wouldn’t be as close to winning as it is without the evangelicals. Its identity would be just a weaker version of the liberalism that now dominates the Democratic party. And it would be cutting off the potential blessings of God by shutting out His people.

The Republican party is at a crossroads. Which path will it take?