For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
2 Timothy 4:3 (NLT)
This verse has been on my mind listening to all the political hubris being thrown around in a presidential election year, particularly by a certain candidate for the Republican nomination (Never mind the Democrats. Even if I am staunchly independent when it comes to casting my votes, preferring to use my brain, my principles and convictions to find the most suitable candidate rather than a party line, there’s nothing to see there but a liar/thief/national security risk and a socialist. Next!)
You might say that’s just comes with the territory in politics and is a fundamental part of the personality it takes to be a politician. I daresay that Carson is right and if you believe that you’ve been sold a bill of goods and indoctrinated by the predominate way that politics are conducted in this country to accept it as the cost of doing political business. It doesn’t have to be that way — many just think it does because that way it has been done for too long.
Is any candidate completely innocent or perfect on all counts? No, absolutely not. But Carson is right about another thing — choosing a president should be more about gauging who has the good judgment to handle the unexpected challenges that come up, the things that no one is talking about right now because no one can predict everything that will arise for a president to deal with in his four or eight years in office. That makes it more a question of the content of their character than whether they line up perfectly with my or your particular takes on the issues.
Good intentions aside, not a single politician is able to deliver 100 percent of the things he or she promises and believes in, even if we give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that they are sincere in their desire and fervent in their effort to make it happen. Our government does not solely rest on the wishes of one person, so roadblocks can arise in the form of the system of checks and balances.
So there are going to be question marks over everyone’s record. No one has done everything right all the time. It is also a mistake to throw the accusation of “flipping flopping” or choosing/switching sides on an issue for political gain as a blanket reaction to any change in position on said issue. To be fair, you have to again look at the character of the man or woman and assess each instance individually. To be sure, there will be some who just go with whatever position will gain them the most votes or political favors and keep them in office the longest with the most personal benefits.
If you take some time to ask questions and listen to the reasons a political figure has for changing viewpoints with some discernment, you can easily tell the difference between the slimy, oily snake in the grass or political chameleon just in it for personal gain and one who has thoughtfully considered the facts, received new information or come to a new understanding and now sees things from a different perspective. That’s not being wishy washy….that is mature intelligence!
However, in the remaining Republican line up, a certain NY billionaire is taking the stage by storm simply by yelling, screaming, insulting, tantruming and being more dramatic than the others — and then turning around and trying to paint himself as the good guy, the only one who tells the truth, that will get the job done. He has done a bang up job of trying to deflect his own character defects onto everyone else, calling any who disagree “liars” and worse. His drama has fooled many, even Christians, into thinking he is really on their side, that he will get the job done, stand up for them. He says things they want to hear and tickles their itching ears.
Yet at the last debate, he as much as admitted that he didn’t care what the PACS, the lobbyists, the national conventions or even We the People thought because he is self-funded and doesn’t need our money so he will just do whatever he likes, when and how he likes. He doesn’t brook any disagreement. It’s my way or the highway. This has alot of people fooled into thinking he has a backbone, when it is clear that expedient and whatever benefits him personally is the only consideration on his mind.
No matter how much his bully drama sounds like he is the one to stand up to corrupt Washington politics and get things done that you believe in — he’s only telling you what you want to hear to get your vote. If he gets what he wants by fooling enough people into thinking he has their best interests at heart, there will be mass disillusion as soon as he takes office when he dumps the We the People routine and just pursues his own gain. I don’t think he’s really aligned with either party. The only person he is looking out for is himself and wants you to believe that what’s good for him is good for you and the country. Let me be very clear about what I am saying — he does not care about you or what your concerns are at all. Any notion that he does is just a political game to dupe you into giving him enough votes to put him in office where he thinks he can have free rein over everything in this country and make it over in his own image.
Listen carefully — no matter how he dresses it up to make it sound like what you want to hear, there is not any sound doctrine or principle or character behind anything he says. I don’t know the hearts and minds of the other five remaining candidates — only God can fully know if they are playing chameleon politics to a greater or lesser extent. However, in the words of Shakespeare, when the bully candidate talks, all I hear is alot of “sound and fury signifying nothing.”
He uses lots of color and drama and noise to distract attention from the fact that he is spewing empty words that don’t say alot. He avoids specifics even when directly asked with vague references to winning with him at the helm.
He seems to think that he is E.F. Hutton and people will listen when he talks and jump up and run to do his will. Maybe some would, but I daresay it is a result of fear and intimidation and bully tactics. He doesn’t care and too many are not looking at the fact that that is his predominate method of doing business. Throw some money and threats at people until they capitulate and just let me have my way. He doesn’t seem to be able to fathom the idea that perhaps he doesn’t know best in all circumstances. In spite of his deflecting and evading the question about whether he would listen to dissenting advice as president with jokes about how his wife tells him he’s wrong all the time and he listens to her, a cursory watch of his recent performances makes it painfully obvious that he doesn’t believe he is capable of being wrong and that he pretty much doesn’t listen to anyone about anything.
He says he gets along with everyone as a business man. I must point out that there is a distinct difference between “getting along,” schmoozing and oozing what people want to hear until you get your way regardless of what it costs them, and just throwing tantrums and insults and threats until you get your way. Someone letting you have your way because you have pounded them into the ground and destroyed them is not the same as getting along. If the only way you can win is to destroy your adversary, you don’t deserve to win.
I am seriously concerned that so many in the Christian community and elsewhere seem to think he is the answer this country needs. It only goes to show the truth of the 2 Timothy verse at the beginning. I have personal preferences among the other five remaining candidates, but I am not here to promote one over the other in this venue. Any of them would be a better choice than the demagogue who is only looking out for himself and tickling your ears with protestations to the contrary and vague empty promises of safety and greatness for all when this whole thing is just a showcase for his vanity and self-promotion at the expense of any who dare naysay him.
In the name of all that is good and right and decent and pure in this country, if you are among those who are believing his hype, PLEASE take a minute to take your emotions out of the picture when he promises you the very thing you think you want and desperately believe in and look for any evidence that he will actually follow through or that he cares about anyone other than himself. If he doesn’t do it now, handing him the reins of power will not make things any better. In fact, I daresay, likely they will get substantially worse.
Don’t tell me how he gets things done in business and will do the same for this country. Regardless of how popular the idea may be, the ends do not justify the means; and if he tries to run this country like he runs his businesses, we are in serious trouble. There will be no safety, no greatness, no compassion or human kindness, nothing of virtue, truth or honesty — only what lines his pocketbook and cements his power.
What we need is a leader with some honesty, level headedness, good judgment, intelligence, moral and intellectual maturity and heart to serve, not to be served. A heart that knows he needs God and prays everyday for His wisdom to guide this country well. That is not going to happen with someone who claims to have neither regrets or a need for God’s forgiveness. Leading a country is a big job — bigger than a single human can do alone so I will be much more comfortable with someone who knows that and is in close connection with the only One who can and does know it all. Plugged into that Power, we actually have a chance for true greatness, in both earthly and heavenly terms. If we get this wrong, the United States as we have known it may very well cease to exist and be replaced by something far worse than we can imagine in which only Heaven can help us.
Please pray and practice earnest discernment before you cast your vote. Do not be fooled by Hollywood antics, dramatic tantrums and strong language. Do not simply go for the name recognition vote or popularity vote or the entertainment factor vote. Don’t cast your vote just because you like him on The Apprentice. Don’t take his noise at face value and assume it means something. Be a good Berean. Dig into the substance of his character (or lack thereof) and consider whether you can really trust this man to look out for you, to stick to principles even when it is inconvenient and doesn’t benefit him directly. Would he really stand in the line of fire for you and the things you care about most?
If you truly believe that he would after considering the undramatized facts, purely intellectually and not on some empty emotional appeal, then I am sure I cannot stop you from voting your conscience. Frankly, every bone in my body screams “down that road lies Trouble and Regret.” So again — all I can say is put aside your preconceived notions, pray and ask GOD what He wants you to do when you mark your ballot.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12