Archive for the ‘ Politics & Government ’ Category

Palin in Lakeland

My wife, Jan, and I attended the Sarah Palin rally held near our home in Lakeland this past Saturday. We also attended one in nearby Kissimmee the previous weekend. Normally, I don’t get too excited about going to political rallies. I’m one of those people who prefers to stay at home and avoid large crowds. But I am glad I went to these two events.

First, it was an encouragement to see so many people with the same concerns and desires that I have with respect to the upcoming election. My spirit, I have to admit, was lifted.

Second, the Lord used these events to help me concentrate even more on His purposes. What is He attempting to do with this nation? How does Sarah Palin fit into His plans? (The following pictures are from the Lakeland rally, courtesy of one of my students.)

While I don’t want to let emotions rule, it was truly an emotional time when she came out to speak. There is a love for her that flows from the people in a way I have not experienced since Ronald Reagan.

Now, rallies such as these are never times for candidates to say new things. This was her second of the day, to be followed, I understand, by three more. You can’t come up with new messages each time. Yet what amazes me is how fresh she seemed, speaking with real conviction on each point.

When she finished speaking, she stayed around for quite some time, talking with people and signing autographs. Yes, I know this is typical for all politicians. But in my spirit I sense that she is the real thing–the genuine Christian who is trying to do God’s will.

As I said more than two months ago when she was first chosen by McCain, she needs our prayers. And we need to pray that no matter what happens in this election, that God will use her to help turn this nation around. While we’re at it, we should pray for the Lord to raise up more like her. The tide can be turned if God’s people humble themselves, pray, and obey His Word.

Willful Blindness

This political cartoon pretty much summarizes the problem we are facing with the media this election year.

This is a willful blindness caused by an ideology that has rejected the Biblical worldview. We still have a few more days to pray.

Conservative Snobbery–Part I

I call myself a conservative, both politically and socially. Yet, as I’ve emphasized in previous posts, my conservatism does not stand alone. I am a conservative only because I am first and foremost a Christian. The principles I believe in, which are truths based on God’s Word, are my foundation. These principles then give rise to my political and social beliefs.

There are others, however, who are conservative but do not base their conservatism squarely on Biblical concepts. They may be churchgoers, they may even consider themselves Christians, but they are really more traditional than they are fervent disciples of Christ.

Christopher Buckley: Conservative for Obama

Christopher Buckley: Conservative for Obama

Without the firm Biblical foundation, conservatism can go astray. We are seeing some of that in this election. For instance, Christopher Buckley, the son of the guiding light of modern American conservatism, William F. Buckley, recently announced he was voting for Obama. Why? As you read his rationale, it comes down to a couple of issues. First, he was disappointed with McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin for his VP. Palin, according to Buckley, was not up to speed intellectually. Second, he seemed to feel he had more in common with Obama on the intellectual level. Forget for a moment that he supposedly disagrees with Obama on all policies; he nevertheless decided to vote for him because they are both comfortable in the same intellectual and social circles. This, in my view, is an example of conservative snobbery.

Conservatives like Buckley are at home in the DC-New York City crowd, regardless of political affiliation. They are estranged from what might be called the “down-home” conservatism of what many deem “flyover country,” also known as “the rest of America that doesn’t live in NYC, DC, or Los Angeles.” They disdain someone like Palin because she does not meet their expectations. She didn’t go to “their” schools. She hasn’t traveled in “their” entourages.

Gov. Mike Huckabee: Looked Down Upon

Gov. Mike Huckabee: Looked Down Upon

Mike Huckabee, when he ran for president in the primaries, received the same treatment. It was rare to find any positive comments about him in the blogs at National Review Online or It’s almost as if his very name was a personal affront. Some tried to paint him as the second coming of Karl Marx. Again, he was a type of conservative who didn’t fit their preconceived ideas.

Currently, Huckabee has a program of his own on Fox News Channel (weekends at 8:00 p.m.). I have watched each one and found him to be witty, conversational, respectful of guests, yet committed to a Biblical concept of morality, government, and the economy. I have waited to see if any of the bloggers at National Review or Townhall will comment on his program. Thus far, it’s as if this program, which is furthering the conservative cause, doesn’t exist.

Sadly, I believe we are seeing a type of snobbery at work. It’s up to the Christian conservatives to provide the right type of leadership for this movement, all the while praying that we don’t fall into the same trap. More on that in the next post.

A Borrowed Pondering

Sometimes a commentator comes very close to saying what I wish I could communicate more effectively. Today, I want to “borrow” a commentary from writer and radio host Mark Levin, as posted in National Review Online on Saturday.

Mark Levin
Mark Levin

Levin begins his commentary with a statement of incredulity:

I honestly never thought we’d see such a thing in our country – not yet anyway – but I sense what’s occurring in this election is a recklessness and abandonment of rationality that has preceded the voluntary surrender of liberty and security in other places. I can’t help but observe that even some conservatives are caught in the moment as their attempts at explaining their support for Barack Obama are unpersuasive and even illogical.

He then moves on to examine the cultish flavor of the Obama support. I have commented on this as well, but he summarizes it with a specificity rarely seen:

There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama’s name on it, which adorns everything from Obama’s plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama’s name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff.

Next comes an analysis of the media’s role, which he calls more brazen in its one-sidedness than anything he has ever witnessed in previous elections:

It’s as if the media use the Obama campaign’s talking points — its preposterous assertions that Obama didn’t hear Wright from the pulpit railing about black liberation, whites, Jews, etc., that Obama had no idea Ayers was a domestic terrorist despite their close political, social, and working relationship, etc. — to protect Obama from legitimate and routine scrutiny.

Further, he contends that the double-standard that has been applied in the media is unprecedented:

And because journalists have also become commentators, it is hard to miss their almost uniform admiration for Obama and excitement about an Obama presidency. So in the tank are the media for Obama that for months we’ve read news stories and opinion pieces insisting that if Obama is not elected president it will be due to white racism. And, of course, while experience is crucial in assessing Sarah Palin’s qualifications for vice president, no such standard is applied to Obama’s qualifications for president. (No longer is it acceptable to minimize the work of a community organizer.) Charles Gibson and Katie Couric sought to humiliate Palin. They would never and have never tried such an approach with Obama.

And what of the voters? What is wrong with them? Can’t they see the damage that will be done with an Obama presidency?

But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue. This may seem a harsh term to some, and no doubt will to Obama supporters, but it is a perfectly appropriate characterization. Obama’s entire campaign is built on class warfare and human envy. The “change” he peddles is not new. We’ve seen it before. It is change that diminishes individual liberty for the soft authoritarianism of socialism. It is a populist appeal that disguises government mandated wealth redistribution as tax cuts for the middle class, falsely blames capitalism for the social policies and government corruption (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that led to the current turmoil in our financial markets, fuels contempt for commerce and trade by stigmatizing those who run successful small and large businesses, and exploits human imperfection as a justification for a massive expansion of centralized government.

His ending is chilling:
Unlike past Democrat presidential candidates, Obama is a hardened ideologue. He’s not interested in playing around the edges. He seeks “fundamental change,” i.e., to remake society. And if the Democrats control Congress with super-majorities led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he will get much of what he demands.

The question is whether enough Americans understand what’s at stake in this election and, if they do, whether they care. Is the allure of a charismatic demagogue so strong that the usually sober American people are willing to risk an Obama presidency? … And while America will certainly survive, it will do so, in many respects, as a different place.

He diagnoses the problem well. The only thing missing is what I mentioned in my previous post: the spiritual nature of this conflict.

 Keep praying!

What the Political Pundits Don't Know

I read political commentary every day. This election season, naturally, brings out every pundit, and they try to win you over with their wisdom. Sometimes, they succeed, but even when they provide good insights, there is usually one insight–the most significant insight–omitted.

Reagan's "Evil Empire" Speech

Reagan's "Evil Empire" Speech

Ronald Reagan understood. Speaking to the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983, he zeroed in on that most significant insight. His topic was the threat of the Soviet Union, but the insight applies to every threat that the United States faces. Reagan commented:

While America’s military strength is important, let me add here that I’ve always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.

Reagan also believed that the U.S. was up to facing the crisis because he believed in a God who would provide what was needed. He continued:

I believe we shall rise to the challenge. I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man. For in the words of Isaiah: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increased strength. . . . But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary. . . .”

Today, we face other crises. While people talk about what is to be done with the economy and terrorism, we omit the most serious crisis of all–the loss of Christian faith. It is the decline of real Christian faith–the muscular kind that stands up to evil–that has led us to the brink of disaster.

I don’t want to sound too melodramatic, but I honestly believe that this presidential election, along with the congressional elections, could be a point of no return for the country. It seems that we are about to turn the control of the government over to the most ideologically driven man and party in our history. They hold to an ideology that denies the sanctity of human life, that is poised to redefine marriage, that wants to revive the decaying corpse of materialistic Marxism, and that has little or no understanding of the evil of Islamic terrorism.

We are at the precipice. What will keep us from plunging to our death culturally, socially, and politically?

We must grasp the nature of the enemy and then see clearly the only One who can reverse this plunge. We must realize that the enemy is not flesh and blood, but behind that perceived enemy is the real one–the enemy who rebelled against God long before this world was made. We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces.

Most pundits laugh at such an analysis, but if you really do believe in God, you need to believe that a spiritual enemy exists as well. What will overcome his schemes? Faith in God revealed in our prayers. We need a lot of earnest praying between now and election day. I urge all who think I am right about this to rededicate yourself to that task over the next 10 days. We ARE on the precipice.

This video link is an excellent short summary. index.php

True to My Word

I said that if an apology was forthcoming from CNN regarding the misquotation of a National Review writer’s comments about Sarah Palin that I would let you know. Here, directly from National Review and the writer in question is the following:

Yesterday CNN’s Drew Griffin addressed his misquote of my article during that interview with Sarah Palin:

“Unfortunately, in my question, I botched it. I misquoted York by using the word “I” instead of reading his direct quote, which I had in front of me, which attributes the statement to the media.

“I thought it was a very good article, Wolf. I was going to get it — use it to get the governor to answer the question why her, you know, successful record in Alaska wasn’t getting out. She had no trouble answering that question and in no way did I intend to misquote the National Review…

“I’ve since called Byron York and his editor, Rich Lowry, to explain what happened and told them both that I regret any harm this may have brought.”

Just for the record, I’ve said that I thought the bigger harm in all this was to Palin, who was hit on-camera with an out-of-nowhere quote.  But as far as I’m concerned, Griffin’s explanation is fine with me, and I consider this closed.

Back to me again: This certainly is nice to report. However, the damage has been done for those who watched that interview and will never hear of this retraction. Reporters need to be held to a very high standard. This reporter failed miserably.

Waiting for CNN's Apology

The Most Distorted Media Coverage of a Candidate in American History?
The Most Distorted Media Coverage of a Candidate in American History?

Have you heard the latest from the mainstream media? CNN conducted an interview with Sarah Palin that included the comment that even conservative writers have turned against her. The prime example offered by the journalist [?] interviewer was from the National Review website where, Palin was informed, one of its writers declared, “It’s sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or all of the above.”

She naturally seemed surprised by the comment and wanted to know who wrote such a thing. In fact, the answer is “no one.”

Byron York, one of National Review’s most respected writers had certainly used those words, but not in the context offered by the interviewer. What he actually said was that if one were to watch the way the press has covered Palin, you would have to conclude that she is incompetent, etc. He was not applying those adjectives to her; he was saying that the mainstream media was portraying her in that manner.

CNN has been called upon to acknowledge that their interviewer was wrong in what he said. Thus far, the response has been silence.

I used to think that Ronald Reagan had suffered the most from media bias and the twisting of words out of context. Now I’m not so sure. Having watched the media frenzy/circus over Palin ever since she was chosen by McCain, I am beginning to believe that we have witnessed a new low in media coverage. The distortions, innuendoes, and outright lies leveled at her have taken on the form of one of those famous Alaska blizzards–so thick and heavy that one can barely wade through them all.

Will CNN apologize? Or will its ideological bias win again?