January 29, 2016

Dear Liberty,

     As we look at the upcoming election, Donald Trump currently appears to be the likely Republican candidate.  If so, I pray he is everything that his supporters think he will be.  He certainly appeals to some traditional Democrats and Republicans across the spectrum, from progressive to conservative.  He seems to entice a very large segment of America with his populist stance.  And perhaps, now, more than ever, a businessman will have the knowledge to steer us through dangerous waters.  My fear is his history and current rhetoric don’t seem to gel with being the leader conservatives prayed for in 2008 and 2012.

     With such an incredibly important decision at hand, we must turn to God’s Word for proper guidance.  Let’s examine Proverbs 29.

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

     The scriptures state it is critical we have Godly leaders.  The differences between King Saul and David are striking.  Saul, due to his own ego, struck out at David, wanting to kill him.  David humbly protected Saul even after God put him into David’s hands twice.  Saul and all of his heirs were destroyed except one whom David cared for over the rest of his life.  On the other hand, to reward a Godly leader, the Savior was born to the house of David.  (see The Reason For The Season)  We may not know what’s in a person’s heart, but if one says he is saved by the blood of Christ, and another says he hasn’t needed to ask forgiveness because he believes in being a good guy, we clearly do have an understanding of who walks with God.  If one asks for prayers and reads scripture each morning, and another says "Two Corinthians," we have an idea who leads his life guided by God’s Word.  Most strikingly, Trump publicly supported partial birth abortion.  If he’s truly changed his position, why does he still see no need for forgiveness for approving of the slaughter of children?  This is a cause for concern for me.  Perhaps, at this time in history, it is not for many pro-life, Christian Americans.

“By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.”

     Trump’s excuse in the first debate for giving donations to the likes of Hillary, Weiner, Emmanuel, Schumer, Kerry, Kennedy, Rangel, and Reid was to buy influence.  This is bribery for political influence, or crony capitalism.  He may not be able to be bought, but he proudly admits he prostitutes politicians for his own advantage.  Trump is not the political outsider he claims to be, but a political player, a lobbyist, who uses his own power to influence political decisions for personal gain.  He has run his campaign as being anti-establishment, but just stated over the weekend, “We’ve got to be a little establishment, we’ve got to get things done.” Trump does sound great on illegal immigrants and ISIS, but I can’t support his positions on a 6 trillion dollar tax increase, socialized medicine, pro-choice, crony capitalism or backing the establishment.  

“Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger… Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end… An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.”

     What Trump does on the stump is exciting.  He stirs up our righteous anger that’s been building for a very long time against a corrupt government and media.  But consider these following responses to an endorsement of Ted Cruz.

- “Wacko @glennbeck is a sad answer to the @SarahPalinUSA endorsement that Cruz so desperately wanted. Glenn is a failing, crying, lost soul!"

- “Isn't it time we had a president? Let goofy Glen keep Canada Cruz who can't win. The American people have Trump!"

This is Cruz’s response to Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump:

- “I love @SarahPalinUSA Without her support, I wouldn't be in the Senate. Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan.”

Trump on Cruz on MSNBC:  

- Cruz "is a nasty guy, he says things that are very nasty, so I have to be nastier than him and it's just one of those things."

Cruz on Monday regarding Trump’s personal attacks:

- Trump “is now insulting me every day.  He can do that, that is his prerogative.  I will not respond in kind because the people of Iowa…and the people of this country deserve something better.”

     I get it.  Trump has tapped into the anger of the American people who have been beaten down not only by the Democrats but the Republican establishment as well.  But as we have seen time and time again, Trump is nice and happy if he gets what he wants, but then he goes for blood if you dare to disagree with him.  He insults, ridicules and demeans his opponent until he is destroyed.  We saw this in Obama as he went after FoxNews and we are seeing it more profoundly in Trump.  Trump announced he would not attend their debate on January 28th because he believes Megan Kelly would be unfair to him.  He has the right not to attend.  What is inappropriate for a presidential candidate is to go on Twitter and call her a bimbo.  I understand he is just using deal making business tactics.  Willingness to walk away is actually a strong negotiating tool.  Reagan did it.  But calling someone a derogatory name is not beneficial for the country and it is what he has proven to do time and time again.  It may work well in the business world, but on the political stage it is a dangerous trait for a leader and its country.

“Do you see someone who speaks in haste?  There is more hope for a fool than for them.”

     Trump’s debates, tweets, and campaign speeches are built on speaking in haste.  This stirs up our base desires to get even and draws more attention to himself.  Many see Trump as simply playing the political game and he’s just as effective at using the media.  I never watched The Apprentice so I don’t feel like I know Trump's thinking.  Maybe that’s the difference in the way supporters perceive him.  I have difficulty not stepping back and seeing if what he says and how he says it is consistent with being holy and pleasing to God.

“If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.”

     Ted Cruz memorized the entire Constitution and gave speeches about the Constitution around Texas starting at age 13.  He has a fundamental, core understanding of Constitutional rights.  His father, Rafael Cruz, fought for Castro when he believed he was a freedom fighter, only to see Castro bring the evils of communism to Cuba.  Rafael’s religious conversion changed his worldview, restored his family, and led him to the ministry.  If Ted is given bad advice, he has a strong foundation in our Constitutional rights and his faith, forged by his father, to guide him to know what is good and proper.  

     Trump is a successful businessman.  He will do what is necessary to win, even if it means questionable actions and following questionable advice.  His history of supporting Democrat candidates and his recent willingness to embrace the establishment confirm that.  As a deal maker, we should be cautious that he would make deals based on recommendations from the likes of Pelosi, Reid, and Schumer as he states he will.

     Listen to what Trump said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe” on Tuesday: "I think I'm going to be able to get along with Pelosi — I've always had a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi…Reid’s going to be gone.  I've always had a decent relationship with Reid.  I always had a great relationship with Harry Reid."  Trump said he thought he'd get along with "just about everybody," including Sen. Chuck Schumer, likely to be the next Senate Democratic leader, who Trump said he was "close to ... in many ways."

     Perhaps some Republican voters do want someone to get along with the Democrats that have torn down our morals and country for the past seven years and get things done.  But for me, Trump just shot himself in the foot on 5th Avenue and lost a potential voter.

     I really wish I could get behind Trump.  He appeals to my sin nature to just get even with the left, the media, and ISIS.  Even though I can’t know a person’s heart, scripture does tell us that, “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”  We can make reasonable judgments based on words and actions of a person.  Trump has backed both liberal candidates and liberal views for the majority of his life.  He has promoted socialized medicine as recently as the first debate and recommended his sister, who avidly supports partial birth abortion, for the Supreme Court.  Even if he has recently changed positions to become more conservative, the words of Two Timothy come to mind, “An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.”  Although Paul is addressing church leadership, it is an idea worth considering when it comes to a recent political convert seeking the country’s highest office.  I hope Trump has had a radical conversion on the road to Iowa, but I don’t see any evidence of it.  His words still support big government and Washington insiders.  His actions reflect those of revenge and destruction.

     Cruz, on the other hand, has stood consistently on conservative values for decades.  He defended the 10 Commandments, Crosses on public property, Texas’ pro-life bill, “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, fought G.W Bush and the World Court on attempting to free a illegal immigrant who raped and murdered two girls, and fought for the right to bare arms before the Supreme Court as Solicitor General of Texas since 2003.  He won all those cases, often representing multiple states.  Alan Dershowitz, his liberal Harvard professor, said Cruz was among the smartest students he ever taught.  Dershowitz and Cruz would frequently debate while other students watched, with Cruz defending his libertarian point of view.  Cruz has a long history of supporting stanch conservative core beliefs.  Supporters don’t have to make excuses for him.

     Trump supporters accuse Cruz of just acting like a conservative for the past four years and may become something different in office.  However, we have a 32-year history of conservative values with Cruz since he toured Texas teaching the constitution.  With Trump we don’t even have conservative values since the first debate.  Who is more likely to turn into a wolf in sheep’s clothing once in office?

     We have the benefit of Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Huckabee, and Santorum who have all made strong statements of faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  At a dark time in American history this should be critical in any Christian’s decision.  Trump has admitted he doesn’t need to ask for forgiveness, but believes in being a good person.  But without Biblical guidance, what is “good”?  We have rarely been given such a clear difference in faith and belief in candidates.  Based on his wealth and his political positions advocating for socialized medicine and abortion, Trump appears to be Mitt Romney without a strong moral compass.  Unlike other candidates, he never mentions a faith in the saving grace of Jesus.  Even so, many hope that he will bring favorable change, even when all the evidence points otherwise.

     In comparison, Cruz came to faith at age 7, asks for prayers for himself and his family, and studies scriptures.  Conservatives have been praying for such a candidate for President.  While many are now just angry and want to get even, faith should remain one of our core instruments in our decision on the next President.  Scripture warns a leader should trust in God, not himself, as “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”

     People want a person that’s a political outsider, but Trump gladly admits he buys political influence.  He is about getting the best deal.  After all, we want a fair deal after seven years of Obama.  However, what we need is not the best deal, or even the right deal, but a person that will do what is right and Godly.  That is what we as a nation have so sadly lacked for so long.  Every position that Donald Trump takes that many voters strongly support is exactly the position that Cruz has taken.  The difference is that one walks with God and shows it by his words and actions and has done so publicly for well over decades.

     Jerry Falwell, Jr. just endorsed Trump for his business background.  He made no mention of either his or Trump’s faith as a guiding principle for his decision.  Maybe that’s where many religious conservatives are at in this election.  It just seems that many are leaving behind their guiding beliefs they used in past elections.  Maybe desperation has pushed them to this point.  However, God’s Word through his servant David in Psalm 33 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.  May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”

     This election will come down to a decision between a socialist, progressive democrat, crony capitalist, and a constitutionalist.  Who will have ultimate control of our country; government over business, business over government, or we the people over government?  Since your mom and I have been able to vote, we have never had the clear opportunity to support a religious constitutionalist until this election.  How can we abandon that opportunity?  Polls repeatedly show that in a one-on-one competition Cruz easily beats Trump and also easily beats Hillary.  Why wouldn’t we choose the stronger candidate?

     However, there is a strong desire for the person that can just get things done. The people could very well demand, “Give us a king to lead us.”  If we do, we will follow the same pattern.  “The Lord told [Samuel] “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king…. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8)

     “Hitler did not have to destroy democracy; he merely took advantage of the decay of democracy and at the critical moment obtained the support of many to whom, though they detested Hitler, he yet seemed the only man strong enough to get things done.” - The Road to Serfdom

     A strongman will not solve our nation’s problems. Only God can. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

     We should not vote for a man or follow the advice of any favorite TV or Talk Show Commentator.  We should follow scripture.  Like Joshua, we should proudly say, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."  If we do, the choice for President becomes clear.

     I stand first with God, so I’m compelled to support Cruz.  No matter what happens though, we pray for our country and for God’s will to happen.

     That’s my 2 cents.