Cruz: “Have We Gone Stark Raving Nuts?”

Donald Trump 4Donald Trump can’t help himself, apparently. That’s because his true self keeps showing up. And what shows up certainly is not Republican.

Yesterday, he Trumpeted two more of his beliefs. First, he said the Republican platform should be altered to soften the statement that the rights of the unborn should always be protected. Second, he weighed in on the North Carolina restroom battle on the side of the transgendered.

Abortion first: Trump believes the Republican platform is too harsh with that statement, that it doesn’t include exceptions. He thinks it ought to specifically state that abortions should be allowed for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

I know that many Republicans feel the need to add those exceptions. I don’t. The child is still the innocent party here. Take the life of an innocent child when the conception came about through rape or incest? Why? What did the child do that should allow society to murder him or her? As for the life of the mother, what mother would say about a born child, “I want to save my own life; take the life of my child instead”? Jesus told us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another.

Transgender restroom issue: North Carolina wisely declared that no man claiming to be a woman should be allowed to use a woman’s restroom. Permission to do so opens the door (so to speak) to perverted men who make the claim for the sole reason of wanting to be near their victims. Frankly, this is insane.

What Trump said about this is rather hard to decipher because he doesn’t speak intelligently enough to complete his sentences. His thoughts keep jumping around in a confused manner. If you take the time to try to piece together his disjointed comments, though, it’s clear he comes out on the side of those who want those restrooms to be available to self-proclaimed transgendered persons.

Ted Cruz 3To his credit, Ted Cruz immediately pounced on this, not merely for political advantage—although he ought to receive quite a bit for responding to Trump’s outrageousness—but because he firmly and deeply believes in what he is saying. He began with a comment that all rational people are at least thinking:

“Let me ask you, have we gone stark raving nuts?”

But he didn’t simply stop with that soundbite. He explained further:

Grown adult men, strangers should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls. And that’s not conservative or liberal, that’s not Republican or Democrat, that’s basic common sense. But you know a few months ago, Donald told us he could be the most politically correct person on Earth, and I guess he’s showing us what that looks like. I am waiting with anticipation for the new baseball caps: “Make PC Great Again.”

Let’s be honest here: There is only one person in the race right now who can realistically be called a genuine Republican; only one person who is truly conservative across the board in his beliefs. Cruz is consistent. He deserves our support.

A couple of days ago, Trump misspoke when referring to 9/11. He called that fateful day 7/11. Did I miss the media uproar over that? What if Ted Cruz had made that mistake? What do you think would have happened? It seems our media will let Trump get away with anything.

7-11

As I said in a previous post, I’m getting tired of having to point out the dangers of Trump all the time. I would much rather be clear about why Cruz is the best nominee, not only among those left in this bizarre race, but why, from the start, when there were seventeen candidates, he always was the best choice. I plan to expand on that in a more positive post next week.

The Greatest Threats

Well, I’m sure glad President Obama spoke to the American people the other night and assured us he is on the job against Islamic terrorism. He was quite direct in how he was adjusting his strategy to deal with this issue: no adjustment necessary.

So what did you hear if you watched his little speech? Probably the same thing most of us heard.

Yadda

Nothing In It

What we did learn, though, is that Americans can’t be trusted with guns and that more gun control laws will stop terrorism. Can’t wait to see how that works, can you?

In Violation

Check Gun Laws

We also received a scolding on our attitudes toward Muslims, which seems to be the greatest threat now to the nation, in his estimation. I guess it’s all those “hate crimes” committed against Muslims ever since 9/11. We’re just so intolerant that all Muslims now feel threatened by our hostility toward them.

Right. All the crime statistics say otherwise. Most of the catalogued hate crimes are against Jews, not Muslims, and from my perspective, it’s the Christians who are now in the crosshairs, especially from this administration.

Do you ever wonder how Obama would have responded if he had been president and 9/11 occurred on his watch?

Box Cutter Epidemic

We could also project him back into another massive historical attack, one that we commemorated just a few days ago. In fact, some cartoonists have done just that. Here’s their perspective:

Mass Shooting Pearl Harbor

What If

The greatest external threat to America is Islamic jihadism. The greatest internal threat resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC.

Trump, Integrity, & the Lack Thereof

Donald TrumpNo, Donald Trump is not a racist because he is concerned about illegal immigration. Neither is Donald Trump a fascist because he believes radical mosques ought to receive greater scrutiny. Those are not the reasons I don’t favor him as the Republican nominee for president. I have deeper reasons.

I’ve written before about what I consider to be Trump’s iffy conversion to conservative policy positions, his supreme arrogance with respect to how much money he has, his assurances that all will be right with the world because he’s so good at making “deals,” and his demeaning attitude toward any other candidate who threatens his poll numbers.

I’ve also been put off by his undisciplined manner of speaking that has led to making some truly absurd statements, none of which have yet come back to derail him, but should have.

His latest claim is demonstrably false, yet many of his conservative supporters are making excuses for him once again. Let me quote Trump—his words unaltered—earlier this week:

Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.

Now, there certainly were Muslim extremists in America who rejoiced over 9/11. That’s not the point. Trump is claiming that he saw, with his own eyes, “thousands and thousands” in Jersey City “cheering” as the buildings fell.

Only one problem: there is no video of any such rejoicing by those thousands in that city. No Jersey City official can back him up. The current governor, Chris Christie, has no recollection of this. In fact, no one saw it. Why? Maybe it’s because it never occurred. By continuing to insist that it did, Trump has put himself in some rather disreputable company:

That Never Happened

Jim Geraghty of National Review wrote yesterday that when he called Trump out on this falsehood, Trump supporters sent him videos of what they said was evidence of Trump’s truthfulness—Muslims celebrating 9/11. The problem? The videos were of Palestinians rejoicing in Jerusalem. Geraghty was amazed how they never even bothered to check where that celebration took place. For those with Geography Deficit Disorder, Jerusalem is not Jersey City.

Then there’s been a rush to defend Trump because of a Washington Post report from September 18, 2001, that his supporters say validates Trump’s remembrance. That report stated,

In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.

As Geraghty correctly notes,

Police questioning “a number of people” after reports of celebrations is not the same as “thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down”, an event that Trump contended was televised and was “well-covered at the time.”

It’s time to be honest: Trump was shooting from the lip when he made his statement. There is no truth in what he said. What bothers me even more than Trump’s lack of integrity is the willingness of those who should know better to defend the indefensible.

Trump is taking the Republican party for a ride, and it’s more than a little scary to me.

Political Minefield

Trump may win the nomination. Trump could conceivably win the presidency. While anything would be better than a Hillary Clinton presidency, a Trump victory might be the second worst scenario because he could bury Republicans once and for all.

Suicide Vest

I know there are some in my readership who would like to see that happen. However, going forward something would have to replace the Republicans in order for Democrats not to become ultimately triumphant. Can we reasonably expect a Phoenix to rise out of the ashes of the utter destruction of the Republican party?

Some people, I fear, are far too optimistic that a pure, undiluted conservatism grounded in Biblical principles will come to the forefront. While I would welcome that development, there is the basic truth that all political parties are coalitions of different groups with different emphases. Currently, Christian conservatives still have a strong voice within the Republican party. I’m not yet ready to surrender that voice.

Meanwhile, I will continue to warn Christians, conservatives, and particularly Christian conservatives, to beware the Trump mystique. His penchant for saying whatever he wants, his unwillingness ever to admit to a mistake, and his basic lack of integrity should be more than enough to move us toward a better candidate.

2016’s Worst-Case Scenario

Joe Biden says he is out of the 2016 race, then proceeds to give a 25-minute campaign speech. Why? Commentator Charles Krauthammer thinks he is positioning himself should lightning strike Hillary Clinton in the form of a federal indictment.

Any indictment that may come will be the result of an FBI investigation into her e-mail scandal, but there are other reasons to fervently oppose a Hillary nomination, with Benghazi being a key one.

Today the House special committee investigating Benghazi will have her testify. Four Americans died in that terrorist attack that she tried to blame on a hardly seen video. When she appears before the committee, perhaps they should also have empty chairs next to her as a remembrance for the four who died.

There’s actually a fifth victim here as well:

Empty Chairs

Another cartoonist picked up on that theme rather pointedly also:

Waste of Time

For me, it doesn’t matter which of the possible candidates Democrats will offer to the public; I could never vote for any of them. Why don’t they just get it over and change the name of the party officially to the Socialist Party? Or how about the Kill Innocent Children and Sell Their Body Parts Party? The Let’s Destroy Marriage Party? You get the drift. There’s no way I can ever support what Democrats now stand for. How any Christian can give support for them is beyond my comprehension.

Then there’s the Republican side where Donald Trump continues to lead in the polls. Some, like this cartoonist, view him this way:

Trumpet

His candidacy certainly has been long on bravado, a cult of personality, and the ability to hit hot-button issues that appeal to angry voters. But he’s far from lacking substance; what bothers me the most is the substance I see.

Trump, in my view, has only latched onto a type of conservatism because it’s what will get him the nomination. He, by his own admission, has always aligned himself more with Democrats than Republicans, and now mouths conservative platitudes that I don’t really think he believes.

Ronald Reagan underwent a serious rethinking of his New Deal liberalism over a number of years, coming out of the period of rethinking as a confirmed conservative in principle. Trump is, I fear, nothing more than an opportunist jumping on a bandwagon of reaction against the Obama years.

That’s not enough. It’s also dangerous to put one’s trust in an opportunist. It will come back to bite.

His latest foray into the Loony Left’s talking points is the insinuation that 9/11 was somehow George Bush’s fault. Whatever critique we, and I, may have of Bush’s actions, anyone who even hints at his complicity in letting 9/11 happen is wandering into the fever swamps.

There were so many daily threats Bush was given that there was no way to single out ahead of time what actually happened on 9/11.

Further, Trump then asserted that if he had been president, 9/11 wouldn’t have happened, indicating that his immigration approach would have prevented it. Does he not know that 15 of the 19 terrorists that day came into the country legally? And does he really want us to believe that he would have rounded them up and deported them in the short 8-month span he would have been in office prior to 9/11?

Hitching a ride on the Trump Train will spell disaster for the GOP.

911

Can you imagine a worse scenario than what we may be facing as an election choice in 2016?

Miss Those Days

As noted above, I’ll never vote for Hillary or any other Democrat. But please, Republicans, don’t force me to vote for a third party.

Unbelievably Small Leaders

President Obama spoke to the nation last night about the Syrian crisis. It wasn’t the speech that was anticipated earlier in the week. Russia threw him a lifeline by saying Syria is open to the idea of turning over its chemical weapons to the UN. This will now lead us . . . where? Promises, delays, more promises, more delays, weapons inspections that go nowhere, etc., etc., etc. Haven’t we seen all this before?

So after more than a week of sabre-rattling, our leader says he doesn’t want Congress to vote on whether to strike Syria. Of course, it was increasingly clear, even to the most obtuse of administrations, that Congress was not going to go along with his wishes. Even the Democrat-controlled Senate was iffy for him. The whole enterprise of trying to get Americans on board with his haphazard, make-it-up-as-you-go policy was almost comical:

Community Organizer

The speech last night was supposed to set a clear direction and make everyone feel good. Did it?

Allayed Your Concerns

How did some commentators view the effort? I have some rather stark reactions to relay. Brit Hume, an experienced and balanced journalist who actually supported the call for a military strike, called it “a speech in search of a purpose.” Charles Krauthammer, who is so often insightful in his analyses, said the address was “one of the most odd presidential speeches ever delivered.” Stephen Hayes, of the Weekly Standard, described it as “a bizarre, meandering, unpersuasive speech. In that sense, a perfect distillation of Obama policy on Syria.”

In other words, the speech was the fitting end of a weird week of accidental, unintentional policy shifts and misstatements. One of the strangest was Secretary of State Kerry’s assurance that any strike would be unbelievably small. Really? Then why do it at all?

Unbelievably Small

What would any such strike have accomplished? We’re told it would have made it harder for Assad to use chemical weapons in the future. How do we know that for sure? And how does a statement like Kerry’s mesh with the bold image Obama is trying to project?

Brave Leader

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad action has been delayed. I didn’t favor getting involved militarily in the first place. I have a feeling that, deep down, Obama is relieved as well; he painted himself in a corner with all that “red line” talk that he never imagined he’d have to fulfill. What a leadership team!

Just the Guys

The president’s speech took center stage at a time when our focus should instead be on the commemoration of the evil attack of September 11, 2001. I would also add the attack of September 11, 2012, in Benghazi. Yet what do we hear from the administration on those? Perhaps there will be a perfunctory mention of 2001. Nothing at all will be said about 2012, a day this administration continues to stonewall.

This nation needs real leadership, but these are the people we have chosen to place in power. We should be ashamed.

9/11 & the Two Visions of America

Can anything new be said on the anniversary of 9/11? Maybe we don’t need to hear anything new; perhaps we just need to be reminded that there are those out there who hate us. However, what is meant by “us?” America, you say? Yes, in the abstract, but what comprises America anymore? Do I with my Biblical worldview represent the true America, or do Planned Parenthood—as one example—and Barack Obama constitute the real America?

On 9/11, eleven years ago today, members of Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol and sang together. At the moment, I can’t recall if they sang “America the Beautiful” or “My Country Tis of Thee” or another similar tune. That specific memory eludes me. But sing they did, although some commentators noted that the Republicans seemed to be leading it and a good number of the Democrats looked reluctant to add their voices to the chorus. What a wonderful image it presented: a united nation.

But it was a false image.

It played well for the camera, but the camaraderie was short-lived. The chasm between two very different visions of America is too deep and wide to be bridged for long, even with a common enemy. After the initial shock of the attack, the progressive visionaries began to downplay the severity of the terrorist threat. They even began seeing in their minds’ eye, though not in reality, a kind of pogrom instituted against Muslims in the U.S. All of a sudden, we were the problem, not them. We weren’t sensitive enough to the way they had been treated; we had brought this on ourselves.

That vision of an America that was too big for its britches, and that needed to be slapped down, clashed with the other vision—that of an America that, while often making mistakes in foreign relations, nevertheless had attempted to do the best for others most of the time. It’s the vision of an America that has helped rid the world of truly evil dictators and totalitarian movements such as communism. It’s the vision of an America that retains basic moral values stemming from its faith in God.

These two visions cannot mesh; they are too opposed to each other.

For too long, we have tried to ignore this massive chasm and assured ourselves that we are all Americans who will pull together despite our differences. We need to face reality.

There is no real external union without internal unity.

These two separate visions of America stem from two contrasting worldviews. One is Biblical and God-centered, while the other is secular and man-centered:

  • Beliefs are different on both sides of this divide
  • Purposes/goals are not the same
  • Christian morality battles humanistic immorality
  • One holds to the sacredness of life while the other aborts it
  • One supports traditional marriage and the family while the other redefines sexuality and the very nature of marriage
  • Limited government and constitutionalism inspire the one, whereas a socialistic welfare state is the dream of those who would transform our society and make it into something neither God nor the Founders ever desired

It would be a fascinating object lesson to be able to separate these two groups and let them have their way completely—two entirely distinct nations with two distinct worldviews—and then compare the results. One would go the way of every socialist/communist experiment that has ever been tried, while the other would be an energetic, thriving society where innocent children would be safe in their mothers’ wombs, the family structure would dominate, Biblical morality would be enacted into law, and the government would not be overseeing all aspects of one’s life.

But that won’t happen; we cannot separate the two; we have to make it work somehow the way it is.

What have we learned, eleven years later? Unfortunately, we’ve learned we are not really one people. We are not united. Our foundations are crumbling and we are in danger of turning our backs on the God who gave us life and liberty. If we choose that path, we are lost.

God didn’t make 9/11 happen. It was the brainchild of perverted individuals. Yet when sin abounds, He seeks to use the consequences to get our attention. He will use every circumstance to try to reach into a people’s hearts and lead them to repentance. By all means, may we never forget what happened on 9/11, and may we honor those who displayed great courage on that day. But the best way to honor them is to return to the truth, and to the One who is Truth. That is our only hope.

A 9/11 Reflection

My church last night held a superb 9/11 remembrance. The video clips were familiar but always sobering as we relived the events of that day. The personal testimonies were compelling. Remarks by the mayor, chief of police, county sheriff, and fire chief were not only appropriate but inspiring. The music, professional yet heartfelt, led us all into the presence of the Lord. The pastor’s message was perfect for the evening.

It’s nice being part of a community where the various elected officials and appointed first responders feel at home in the Lord’s house. They knew they had the genuine respect and appreciation of the people. Lakeland, Florida, is the kind of place where meetings still begin with prayer. It remains culturally conservative overall, and promoting Christian morality is expected. The local pro-life center that helps lead women away from abortion and into embracing life is influential enough to fill the ballroom in the city’s event complex every time it holds its annual fundraiser.

There will never be unanimity in any community, but there can be consensus. A consensus exists here.

After 9/11, there were hopes that consensus could be achieved nationwide. Yet we are a divided country, roughly half Christian and/or culturally conservative, half secular/progressive allied—I think incongruously—with some who believe that’s the Christian way to go. The cultural divide reveals itself in our politics, where we are again almost evenly split.

Do I seek consensus? Yes, but the only real consensus—the only one of any value—has to be grounded in a Biblical worldview. Anything else will ultimately fail. As we face the challenges ahead—and there will be many, some quite severe—my prayer is that those challenges will drive us closer to a dependence on the One without whom life has no meaning. When we embrace Him, we finally come face to face with what life is all about, and we find the purpose for which we were created.

I believe 9/11 should have been a call to repentance and to humble ourselves before the God who seeks to forgive and redeem. For some, it was, and for that we can be grateful. God has a way of extracting the precious from the worthless. There are no guarantees there won’t be other 9/11-type events that will rock our world. How we face them, and whether we turn to Him who provides the strength and the wisdom to overcome, remains a question mark. I hope we will pass the test.