Election 2016: the right questions
After our sixth survey call the other night Harriet and I realized that indeed, the race is on. Political posturing, media mania, and the debate season are left jabs to wake us from our political sleep. When the calendar turned election 2016 stared us in the face. The other day, I was convicted that it was time for me to ask the right questions about this one.
That's a life discipline people of voting age should have already considered, if not mastered. It's because America the dutiful has slipped into a wrong question funk. Our biases and preferences have formed coalitions of special interests that have basically re-calibrated our consideration of the issues. Now we are prone to formulate inquiry against something rather than for something. At the same time I found myself asking speculative questions that really won't be answered until someone is elected, occupies the Oval Office, and leads the executive branch into the monster government we have created. Maybe it's time to get real with our questions!
Here's what I've been asking over the past few months---
1. Who is electable?
2. Who can beat Hillary Clinton?
Side bar, please: as a matter of faith I cannot vote for anyone who does not
affirm the sanctity of human life, the biblical definition of marriage, the
original intent of the Constitution of the United States, the rule of law as
defined by the Constitution, a strong military presence, and many other
conservative positions. So, up front, I cannot vote for most Democrats,
especially in a national election.
3. Who can restore the spiritual foundations of America?
4. Who will curb the growth of our monstrous government?
5. Who will balance our budget and insure our children's future?
And, many more. Of course, they are all speculative. We really don't know what any of them will do if and when they're elected. A run-away government can't be curbed while the executive branch is so weak and the legislative and judicial branches wield such power. So, the questions have got to move from the theoretical to the concrete.
Another side bar: we love to speculate. You see absolute truth takes away our
tendency to justify ourselves in the creation of relativistic answers. Several years
ago the spiritual fad in America was to ask, what would Jesus do? it was the
WWJD that made us all look so spiritual and deep. But, that's the wrong question
too. The real questions is, what did Jesus do? I mean, there's no speculation in
being like him. Scripture gives us the truth. So, we've had to adjust our question
So, what are the right questions? Harriet and I went through a litany of them last Wednesday evening, including the ones listed above, so that we could focus on what really matters as we handle the stewardship of our vote. After a good bit of reasoning, questioning, some debate back and forth we decided there were two. Just two.
1. Which candidate has consistently spoken to my personal values?
Notice I've included the word "consistent". There have been some johnnie-
come-lately pro-life conservatives on those debate stages. Some politicians
change their stances on positions every time Pew or CNN releases survey
numbers. No, for me there needs to be a consistent evidence of representing
2. Which candidate can back their words with a political record that affirms
Scripture raises a standard here too. James wrote that we should be doers of
the Word and not just hearers. I want to support a candidate who has stood
on the line in public office for his ideals. I'm past voting for blow-hards who
talk their way into the hearts of the electorate. It's time for some integrity.
Every election in important. This one is especially so. So, I'm praying that each of us will ask the right questions are we're deciding who will receive our precious vote. My prayer is the one James wrote to the dispersed tribes---
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without
reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for
the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the
wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the
Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:5-8, ESV
Will you join me?