Okay, that title was total clickbait – I admit it.
- I am happily married. Well, a better description might be “exhaustedly married.” We married off our daughter on Saturday, now all 4 of our kids are married. All four kids, their spouses, and all 5 grandkids (plus the Virginia ham in the oven) were in Springfield, Ohio, for the weekend and “Bapa” and “Nani” are still recovering.
- There’s nothing legal about my separation. I don’t even know how to officially leave the Republican party. Is there a paper somewhere that I’m supposed to file?
I’m coming to grips with the fact that my party is going to nominate a misogynist, serial adulterous, non-conservative, nativist/xenophobe, who cannot string sentences together into a coherent thought, and who appeals to worst in America. Yeah, you can tell I still love Donald Trump.
I will not be part of a party that has Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. Unless there is a miracle and Trump can be held to 1236, the convention kept open and another candidate nominated, I’m through. D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Dave will not be part of the GOP anymore.
I was wrong about the American people – I thought Americans would see through the nonsense and reject Trump by now. They didn’t. Sin clouds minds and destroys judgment and America is proving its depravity. When a nation CHOOSES for itself Hillary Clinton, one of the most blatantly dishonest and amoral people ever to enter public life, and Donald Trump, who is just plain crazy, that nation is clearly far gone. The sad truth is that we had some great choices this time around and we CHOSE this mess.
So, what will we do now?
Some of you will support the party and vote Trump. I recognize that voting is not an absolute and that each of us makes our decisions. You do not answer to me and I do not answer to you – Jesus is Lord. But I will speak my mind. I think voting for Trump is morally unacceptable. If you can justify it to yourself and sleep at night, fine. I cannot.
- Trump is not pro-life. Don’t kid yourself. He is no more pro-life than Hillary, just less honest about it. He pandered to pro-life people to lie and cheat his way to the GOP nomination, but his constant support of Planned Parenthood, his history, and his rhetoric makes it clear that Trump is not pro-life at heart.
- Trump is immoral. He is a serial and unrepentant adulterer – he has NO morals and no sense of sorrow over his sins. Yes, I know Reagan was divorced – puh-leese! Trump has been married repeatedly and has bragged in his books about the hundreds of women he has slept with, many of whom have been married. Then he said that he never felt as if he had any sin he needed to repent over. Do you want to cast your vote for an debauched man without conscience and without sorrow and without repentance? You can. I won’t.
- I know. Hillary is evil. I agree. “He is the lesser of two evils.” First, I’m not sure he is the lesser of two evils. But even if he is, you are still voting to DO EVIL! I voted for Bob Dole and for Mitt Romney, and I was unenthusiastic. But I did not consider them evil. I considered them blah. Uninspiring. But not evil. I will vote for an uninspiring candidate, but if I vote for a lesser of two evils, I am still supporting evil. Voting for Trump is supporting evil in my mind. I won’t do it.
- Hate is not a godly motive. Boil it down, the only reason to vote FOR Trump is Hillary-hate. I understand it. I hate Hillary. The idea of her smug mug on the TV with “Hail to the Chief” in the background galls me. But my disdain for her abortion-loving, lie-telling, immoral self is no reason to vote for Donald Trump who is not really a moral improvement over Hillary.
So, to sum it all up, I’m not voting for Hillary, and I’m not voting for Donald. Ever.
I want a new party. Maybe it is time we think about forming a new party. Donald Trump is going to ruin the GOP, I’m convinced of that. My party is over – I’m abandoning a sinking ship. He is a nuclear warhead looking for a place to detonate. I do not want to abandon the country to the Democrats – they are against everything I am for. They are devoted to the destruction of the American constitution’s freedoms, our way of life, and our moral foundations. If we give America over to the Democrats, there will not be an America – it will be a European-style socialist nation within a decade and headed down the same moral, spiritual, and economic sewer as those nations. But Republicans have shown themselves to be craven, weak, and inconsequential. Voting GOP will change nothing.
So, a new party needs to form. But that path is filled with land mines. We can all agree that things are a mess, but what are the uniting principles that will bring us together? There are actually a thousand “third parties” and they are all small and insignificant. Why? Because whatever unifying principle they form around drives as many people away as it brings in. They tend to be unbalanced or extremist or, let’s admit it, just plain weird. Some of them become conspiratorial, or single-issue focused, or go to seed on a topic. Finding a single unifying issue on which to found a new party, one that is worth a person’s devotion but which is not so narrow as to divide us; that is the challenge.
I believe I have such a principle, which I will articulate below. But first, let’s examine some of the landmines we will encounter in the formation of a new party. There are many obstacles that will be encountered and hurdles that must be jumped.
Landmines to the Formation of a New Party
- The name landmine – the name is no easy thing. All the good names have either been taken or sullied in some way or another!
- The Foreign Policy landmine – this may be the toughest. Conservatives are split between interventionists and isolationists (who don’t like to be called isolationists). The Ron Paul contingent challenged the GOP’s pro-military stance since the second Gulf War and many have come to question our tendency to intervene in foreign conflicts. Any new party is going to have to either choose a side or walk the kind of fine line of balance that is very difficult to do. I lean toward the interventionist side – history has not looked well on those who stood by and allowed evil to grow unchecked – but there is something to be learned from the other side. This will be a difficult balance in any new party.
- The Drug-war landmine – another hard one. The US has engaged in a decades-long and pretty much-losing war against drug cartels. Some, even among evangelicals, have said that the drug war is not a wise way to go. It is not that they support drug use but that they believe that our current policy is a failure that does more harm than good. I’m not convinced by their arguments yet, but it is a growing number in conservative ranks who say that legalization, taxation, treatment, prescription management and such things would be a better way to handle the drug problem. A new party would have a tough
- The Immigration landmine – it is ironic that a nation of immigrants has become hostile to immigrants. How would a new party handle the immigration issue? Would it side with the “round-em-up-and-ship-em-to-the-border” wing of the GOP or would it adopt the more centrist view that says, “Secure the borders and then find a reasonable solution for the 12 million people here now?” Immigration is an issue on which Christians struggle to be reasonable.
- The Social-issue landmine – some of our most controversial issues today are social and family in nature. Abortion. Same-sex marriage. Would a new party focus on economic issues or would it be a social-issue based party?
- The Religious landmine – another tough one. For many, especially those steeped in David Barton’s revisionist history, America is a Christian nation whose purpose is the propagation of the gospel and the advancement of Christianity and Christian principles in the world. I know, I overstated that a little, but just a little. Would the new party focus of “rebuilding a Christian America” or on simply protecting religious liberty and justice for all?
The formation of a new party is perilous and there are many difficulties that must be faced. I have no idea whether these can be overcome. It may be that with our many ideas, many beliefs, many passions, we may not be able to form one new party that has any chance of being a real force in the American political landscape. But I have an idea to share that I believe may be worthwhile.
The Founding Principle of a New Party
Back in 1789 a group of political geniuses gathered and created a document that guided our nation to what I believe is exceptional greatness. I think America has been exceptional among the nations of the world. We are far from perfect, but what nation has ever had the kind of political and military power we’ve had and not used it to conquer and subjugate. If Hitler had our power we’d all be speaking German and the Final Solution would have been final! We’ve conquered Germany twice and Japan once and turned them into allies and powerful partners on the world stage. The heart and soul of this was the Constitution and the Bill of Rights which were crafted by the Founding Fathers.
- We were founded on the principle that certain rights were given to us by the Creator and those founders, though most were not what we would today call evangelicals, believed that the management of the nation was a sacred trust.
- We were founded on the principle that freedom and self-governance was admirable and that tyranny and government intervention needed to be limited. The constitution was designed primarily to limit the power of the government and to establish the rights of individuals.
Based on that, I propose the formation of the “Constitutional Freedom Party” (I don’t know if that name has been taken). Call it the Snufflelump party, who cares?
The core principle of the Constitutional Freedom Party is the restoration and protection of the basic freedoms that were guaranteed in the constitution and established as being given by the Creator.
What are these rights? They are defined in the founding documents of our nation.
- The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You don’t have a right to happiness, but you have a right to pursue it. The government should neither try to guarantee you freedom (stop trying to buy votes with giveaways, candidates!).
- The basic First Amendment rights. There are several rights guaranteed in that precious statement. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These freedoms are under constant and sustained attack!
- We have Freedom of Religion. This means no religion can be officially established (Christianity or any other, including atheism). Also, it is not freedom of worship that is protected, but the “exercise of religion” that is protected. I have the freedom not just to gather on Sunday with my fellow members, but to practice my faith every day.
- We have Freedom of Speech. Liberals hate freedom of speech unless it’s theirs. They are working to limit our rights to speak every day through political correctness and so-called “hate-speech” laws (which they tend to define as anything that doesn’t line up with liberal orthodoxy).
- We have Freedom of the Press. Donald Trump has made some ominous statements about limiting this freedom and gotten applause. The American press is a joke – slanted, petty, celebrity-oriented – but it must remain free.
- We have Freedom of Assembly. We have the right to gather and speak about what we believe, even to be critical of the government.
- We have Freedom of Redress. The American people have the right to criticize their government to seek to correct its wrongs and to seek redress of their grievances against it.
- The right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. I am not a gun owner and have no desire to be, but the constitution guarantees those rights and prohibits the government from infringing on those rights.
- The Fourth Amendment protects us against unlawful search and seizure and requires the government to get warrants.
- The Fifth Amendment prohibits double jeopardy (sorry, Alex), protects us from self-incrimination, and demands the government compensate us if it seizes property.
There are other rights in other admendments, each crucial. Simply put, I propose a party dedicated to simply protecting these rights.
Core Principles of the Constitutional Freedom Party
1. If you don’t like something in the constitution, you are free to change it – by the prescribed means, but not by judicial fiat.
If the American people want to do away with the right to keep and bear arms, we have that right. Maybe we will be convinced that we are a better place disarmed. Fine. Elect representatives and pass a constitutional amendment, then get it ratified by the requisite number of states. Until then, live with the fact that the American people have the right to keep and bear arms.
If you want same-sex marriage, pass a law! If you want abortion, pass a law! Look, in the Constitutional Freedom Party we are governed by the Constitution which gives the people the right to decide what laws they want to live under. It grants the judiciary the right to review laws for the constitutionality, but not to create laws out of whole cloth because they don’t like the ones that the legislature passed. We have abortion and same-sex marriage because of the courts, not because of the Congress.
Here is the key difference of this party from some on the right. If the duly elected Congress passes laws that we Christians hate, we have to live under them, or perhaps break them to “obey God rather than men,” but we must demand that the process be constitutional and not some judicial fiat by liberal courts.
The CFP Snufflelumps will appoint and support only strict constitutionalists to the courts.
2. The Constitution is a document and it is NOT alive.
More violence has been done to the meaning of the constitution through the lie that the constitution is a “living document.” No, its ink on paper. It’s established. It is made up of words that have meaning. It can be changed – that’s why we don’t have slavery anymore. As I said before, if the liberals want to take away guns, they have every right to lobby for a constitutional amendment to change the Second Amendment. The Constitution is not the Word of God. It can be changed. But it is also not “living.” It does not evolve, unless it is changed by the approved process. It is hard to change the constitution, but if America has changed it can be done.
3. The goal of the CFP is not to make America a Christian Nation, but to make Americans a free people.
It is the duty of the church to lead Americans to Christ. Our nation is supposed to be a place in which our laws protect our freedoms. We err when we seek to establish laws to make the USA more Christian. We should seek to establish the freedoms under the US Constitution and then the church can do its sacred work unhindered. We need not ask the government to do our work, just to stop hindering us from doing ours.
We erred by not seeking these goals when we were the moral majority. We enforced a civil religion that was a pale imitation of Christianity and so many people think they are “American Christians” who neither follow the founding principles of America nor understand the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
Here’s the thing – a non-believer could and should support the CFP. It gives him freedom to live as an unbeliever and promote his views. We would not be asking the government to penalize unbelievers for not believing or asking the government to establish Christianity as the national religion. We’d only be asking for the freedom to practice our faith (and granting the same to atheists, Muslims, Hindus, even Methodists!), and freedom of speech, and all the other freedoms under the Constitution until someone gets around to changing them the right way.
I believe in the government established by our founding fathers. Perfect? No. Many were slave owners. But they left a way to take care of that and the Thirteenth Amendment was unlucky for slave owners. Our problems are not with the Constitution but with our failure to follow it. We’ve replaced constitutional restraint with judicial activism and that isn’t helpful.
So, I hope someone will form a party that is looking to return us to the intent of the founders – not to some mythical “Christian Utopia” that never really existed, but to the morally-rooted freedoms of the governing documents of the USA, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.