I’m not really going to go into sects and cults today. That’s a topic for another post. I just like the title. I haven’t checked, but I suspect the conspiracy theorists are all abuzz with speculation about our ever narrowing field of choices for the Republican presidential nomination. We’ve run out of choices that might have brought some real reform to Washington.
I’m sure Ron Paul supporters would beg to differ. They may do so with good reason. Paul does say some things that need to be said. I believe he is dangerously wrong about the Middle East, but he’s right that we should not be going to war without a declaration of war as directed by our Constitution. His message of spending reform is desperately needed. He would champion limited government, and I would not be opposed to his having a roll in the new administration. However, when I think of Paul as president, I imagine living in Amsterdam. That’s not where I want to live. I suppose one could argue that if you’re high when you die by a terrorist bomb at least you’ll die happy. Some of his supporters aren’t doing him any favors either. They behave just like those on the radical left, the only difference perhaps being they’re not stupid enough to think socialist economic policies actually can work. That’s what corrupted moral standards lead to.
That leaves us with the other three, who all seem to have discrepancies between record and rhetoric. The same was true of Perry, but his professed loyalty to the Constitution with emphasis on states’ rights had my support. Now I’m not sure who to get behind. I’ve never seriously considered Romney. That hasn’t changed. If he wins, I’ll be voting against Obama rather than for him.
Santorum’s staunch support of life and family are very attractive, but I have seen nothing that convinces me that he will push for the radical changes we need to get government spending and overreach under control. However, character counts for a lot. He has no skeletons in his closet, despite the media’s despicable efforts to invent one. I think he would follow his conscience, and it seems to be in the right place. Could he hold his own against Obama? That question worries me.
Finally there’s Newt Gingrich. He’s Intelligent, knowledgeable, articulate and bold; and he’s mopping the floor with the other candidates in recent debates and buffing it with the media for good measure. The champion of the original Contract with America in 1994, he’s already proven he can get big things done. It’s too bad about the personal life. If the stories of his conversion are true maybe we can now believe that he will conduct himself with integrity, but his past is not going away. In our microwave culture, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Gingrich is riding high on his recent performance. I’ll admit to being swayed. He sounds like the man who can get the job done. Yet I also know that his solutions don’t reduce government enough. They just reorganize it in a more palatable mixture. Pragmatism suggests that his approach is the more reasonable, the better ideas from other candidates gone by being impossible to implement in our current environment. My questions are these. Are they truly Constitutional, and are they enough to keep us from collapsing? The latter answer may be that there is no longer anything to prevent that. It may be that we can only delay it.
I say again that our problems are not political but spiritual. I struggle to make the best choice among the available options, but I also realize that without change in our hearts, we will keep tilting toward evil. Driven by self-interest over all, we will make whatever choice seems to net us the best personal result. If we can overcome the deficiencies in our inadequate and liberalized educational system we may come to understand that we won’t ultimately get that by soaking the rich, but conservative economics wont’ save our souls. Far greater is the destruction wrought by declining morals than that by a declining economy, though the former will often lead to the latter. So do your civic duty and make the best and most informed choice you can, but above all preach Jesus. He is the only one who can save us.