Lesser of two evils

Evil is not synonymous with ‘uncomfortable’ and good is not synonymous with ‘comfortable’. Neither is evil definable as ‘that which horrifies you’ nor ‘that which you find shocking’ nor ‘that which makes you feel like vomiting’. To define evil in such fashion is to accept a postmodern view of moral truth. Evil and Good are not defined by how you, as an individual, as a church group, as a culture, feel! It should surprise exactly no-one who believes in original sin that evil is often comfortable to the human mind and that in a wicked world, good can often be something uncivilized, even horrifying. This is what you ought to expect if Good and Evil are defined by God, not by you. If they were defined by you, good would always feel nice and evil would always feel icky.

This situation (Which, unless you, dear reader, are postmodernists, you cannot avoid agreement with, at least in principal. You may disagree with the extent of the effect, but not the effect itself.) vastly complicates the paradigm of both the human idea that one ought to choose the lesser of two evils and the Christian belief that when presented a choice between two evils, choose neither.

Here’s a great example:

In this situation, you might claim that Captain Aubrey chose the lesser evil. He did choose the lesser misfortune, but that is not really the same thing.

We as Christians must never confuse misfortune or unpleasantness with evil. We are faced now with a particularly unpleasant choice, but I do not believe the choice is as presented in this meme.

13uqiu

When Jesus said to render Caesar what is Caesar’s, He knew about Nero… What Americans are doing this fall is choosing who will be our Caesar. Christians voting are not really being made to choose between two evils.  We are choosing between a demonstrably dangerous, demonstrably treasonous, unindicted felon and a possibly dangerous, possibly racist, definite buffoon… It is not a good choice, but we have no other. We do not have the Roman’s privilege of non-participation in deciding who would be Caesar. Americans have a vocation to participate in the selection of their rulers. In my belief, the choice in this election is between voting for evil and voting for ugly unpleasantness: This is entirely different than choosing between two evils. Therefore, if on election day you decide, as a Christian, that you cannot in your own conscience voter choice as president, exercise your vocation as an American and vote down ballot. Meantime, do not impute guilt onto my conscience if I decide to vote for the ugly unpleasant choice over the evil choice.

Compassion

Here I sit, listening to Bruce Springsteen… yeah… ok, on with the thought.

A while ago I wrote for Independence Day that we do not live in a Christian nation, and neither do we really live in the free country that we dream of: all that is left is the dream. I said that I  was afraid that we have already slipped so far down the slope into despotism that the options to clamber back out as a nation are grim and few. We are passing, what the Tocqueville critical mass… In that same post I shared a poem (a just ok sort of poem) where I wrote this:

O Lord I know not if to pray
For justice swift and soon today,
Or if like Abraham, to plead
For yet more time and grace indeed!

I put a lot of weight to the songs that people listen to, and to what they say. And while listening to ‘The River’ I put words to a long held thought.

With the key verse being:

“I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember
Mary acts like she don’t care”

And suddenly, it was clear that many (or most) Republicans have given up on Republicans… the voters don’t trust any of the people running for office, and there are so very many tired people: people who have slid the most of the way into the final nihilism of Godlessness that they are like the monopoly player against whom the rules now feel stacked, who cannot win no matter what, and they flip the table. At least Trump doesn’t pretend to be truthful… at least he doesn’t pretend to be moral. He is the candidate for the guy in ‘The River’. These people who vote for Trump, who support Trump, deserve… compassion.  They do not need or deserve condescension or hatred or bitterness for their support of the ‘kick the table over’ candidate. Any opportunists jumping on the Trump-train for their own benefit deserve excoriated… but the normal Trump voter has been abandoned by the education system (Almost no one is well educated, even with a Bachelor’s degree) and trapped into unproductive lives, and have largely abandoned Christ. They believe that if they are good, God will give them good things, and therefore: since they are miserable, they prefer to not think about God at all rather than follow the logic to its end.

They need, like most people in this sick and wicked world, compassion, and the preaching of the Law out of compassion, so that their ears are ready for the Gospel.

(And, perhaps the hardest thing to accept is that, despite the stink of nihilism and despair, perhaps they are right about one thing – perhaps America has past the point of no return on the path to despotism, and that a reformer (Cruz) wont be able to do any good, and that the only option left is to kick over the table and draw the steel at ones side. … In which case the proper response is probably to buy ammo… and step into the storm with with the ‘joy of Giants, the joy without a cause’)

 

((You should really click through and read that last link… Kurt Schlichter appears to be one of the last sane people on the Internet… so click through and read the other stuff he writes too.))

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PS… if Kasich doesn’t do well in IN today, and Cruz wins… I predict that Kasich will drop out and endorse Trump within a week…. 

Since When?

Probably the most important question to be asked right now… since when?

For example: after the Iowa caucus, Ben Carson did exactly everything he could to damage Ted Cruz in favor of Donald Trump. Then, when there wasn’t any more strategic damage to do, he dropped out and shortly thereafter endorsed Trump.

Chris Christie destroyed Marco Rubio in a debate just before New Hampshire, a move that also showed him as his unlikable self. The damage Rubio took was probably enough that it is why he did not pull the extra couple percent to beat Trump in South Carolina. Shortly thereafter, Christie dropped out of the race and then proceeded to endorse Trump.

I realize that this sounds conspiratorial but think about it happening like this:

  1. Carson feels cheated out of a strong finish in Iowa
  2. Phone rings
  3. Trump says ‘You were robbed! Ted lied and lied and cheated you (and me) out of our rightful Iowa wins (slash second place).
  4. Together we can take him down…
  5. And so Carson runs with Trump’s attack lines, thinking (as implied by Trump possibly) that Cruz’s support will evaporate and drift mostly his way.
  6. Trump nurtures the delusion
  7. Carson only gets out after he cant hurt Cruz any more, and is promised a position in Trumps admin… illegal, but basically he admitted there was an offer made in exchange for the endorsement…
  8. Carson may still not realize that he was played… or he participated the whole time.. either way, his voters (who would probably not have voted for Trump) ought to be outraged.

As for Christie

  1. Cant gain any traction in NH
  2. ‘Phone rings’
  3. I have a great line of attack against Rubio… but it wont work from me… says Trump
  4. Christie dices Rubio
  5. Christie realizes that he was played for a fool…

chris_christie

So, at what point did Carson and Christie become Trump supporters… Since When? Supporting a candidate after dropping out is normal… doing so beforehand is at the very least fraudulent in ethical terms… not sure about legally though.

Which begs the most important question: What is Kasich doing the the race? If we list his actions, it would seem that everything he is doing disproportionately assists Trump. He campaigned in Utah, on the off beat chance he could keep Cruz under the 50% cutoff. He tried to take delegates in WI when, camping in NY and Pennsylvania would be certain to gain him delegates, where spending time and money in WI would almost certainly not, and also almost certainly affect Cruz, not Trump….

Since when?

Or better yet: When will Kasich exit the race and endorse Trump?

Trump: A True Conservative

Well, it appears that Donald Trump must be a true conservative: a real Republican. There is so much evidence for that, it barely requires enumerating, but for the logically challenged among us, I will deign to do so. The evidence falls into three categories. First, high profile supporters, second, the type of people who vote for him in the primary and third, stated policy positions.

Just look and marvel in awe at the huge amazing list of rock-ribbed conservatives, social and economic, that support him! I mean, Chris Christie… I mean just look at the admiration Christie has for Barack Obama!

obama-hugs-christie_zps918ebbae

And then there is Ben Carson: my what a conservative stalwart there! (Except for his longstanding and recently memory-holed support of gun-control…)

And of course, there is Ann Coulter! Whew, I mean who wouldn’t just take her word for it… when she dubs someone a true conservative, well there can be no more debate there (except that apparently by her book Romney is somehow the best conservative ever).

Well, if that wasn’t enough, the people who repeatedly vote for Lamar Alexander voted for Trump in the primary. The people who supported Schwarzenegger in CA support Trump at this point. And in Wisconsin, those known squishy RINOs who support the establishment Trojan horse Scott Walker from constant assault from the leftists in the state, those people voted for that other establishment fraud Ted Cruz… who lies and stuff…

And look! Trump says things about abortion… like six different things… one of them has to have been the conservative response! Even Rudy Giuliani (known pro-lifer…) supports Trump!

What more evidence do you need? If Trump and his plurality won delegates (He won all 50 SC delegates with a lower vote share than he lost 36/42 in WI)  don’t win at the convention, the nomination was STOLEN!

(Seriously now… when did ‘conservative’ come to mean ‘Trump Supporter’ rather than ‘Scott Walker’ … and ‘Establishment’ come to mean anyone other than people like Christie? Totally weird. This primary is like the Republicans are drunk, in a carnival hall of mirrors… and I’m not sure if people like Limbaugh  will ever really recover… Who will trust them now?)

A Theory on American Voters

At this point, despite the fact that he is clearly not a Republican, Trump appears to be set to win the nomination for the Republican party.  So I’d like to propose a theory, sort of a unified theory of American voting. That is, that American voters belong to three parties… but we only have two parties to choose from. (Perhaps due to the constant, and idiotic, political binary of right-left-center.) The three actual parties are socialist, populist and small-r republican. But what we have are the Democratic and the Republican parties.

I suspect that roughly 1/4 -1/3 of both the Republicans and the Democrats are actually populists. And Trump is the ‘Populist party’ nominee. This would explain how he manages to get roughly a third of the primary vote every single time.

To push this further, I think that the populists in the country, not having any party apparatus through which to express their political desires, generally gravitate to belonging to whatever party, Democrat or Republican, that runs a given state if that party is dominant enough. So, for example, in Alabama, where the Democrats are becoming an endangered species, the populists (roughly 33% of the electorate) vote something like 80/20 republican/democrat. But in New York state, the populists vote roughly 80/20 democrat/republican. This isn’t just a cynical ploy on their part. Anyone who would be a ‘Populist party’ politician at the state level would have to run and get elected in the dominant party.

If we did actually have a populist party, we might have states that are ~40% republican, and about 25-30% each democrat and populist (like maybe Texas) and some other states with ~40% democrat and the other split (like maybe Pennsylvania) and some that are run by the populist party… Not sure if this would disproportionally harm either the Republican party or the Democrat party since I suspect that every state has at least 20% populists…

Anyway, the main problem (other than the 20-?% of the country that are socialists) is that while our country has voters for a Leftist party, a populist party and a republican (small r again) party, we are governed by a small cadre of senators and representatives and bureaucrats who are in their own little, powerful and power-hungry ‘globalist party’…

Anyway, its a theory and it isn’t a conspiracy, which already puts it far above the general fever-swamps of Internet theories…

 

 

 

Rubio voters supported Trump

Rubio and Kasich must go… It has been proven that they are merely vanity candidates whose effect is making the nomination easier for Trump to win. Whether you like it or not, the choice is not between Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich, the choice is only between Trump and Cruz, and every vote for the perennial losers Rubio and Kasich helps Trump.

Think that is wrong, consider this: if Rubio’s voters had stayed home in Idaho, Trump would have won no delegates there. If you look at the vote tallies in ID  (from RCP), Cruz had about 101k, Trump about 62k, Rubio 35k and Kasich 16k. With those numbers, Cruz took about 45% of the vote. If all Rubio voters had stayed home, those same numbers would have given Cruz about 56% of the vote (leaving Kasich voters in the calculation) and all 32 delegates. (The same method, just leaving out Kasich gives Cruz 50.7% of the vote… so this goes for Kasich voters too.) So, intentionally or not, those 35k people who voted for Rubio, by voting for Rubio, gave Trump 12 delegates. They actively, though unintentionally, supported Trump… That should turn the stomach of anyone who voted Rubio or Kasich yesterday. (With some exception to the Kasich voters in MI… at least it seemed plausible from the polling that he might win. But now, he is clearly in the same category as Rubio.)

Its hard not to be frustrated…. But this is why Cruz ought to crush Kasich and Rubio in their home states. If those two stay in, Trump will win the nomination. If they don’t, we get to at least have a choice. You may not like Cruz, but consider if you actually want to hand delegates to Trump (as Rubio voters did in ID).

 

(And yes, two days ago I finally broke down and gave a few bucks to Cruz… because I figured this was coming… but I figured that in all honesty I should let people know that I am writing this as a very small dollar donor to Cruz…)

Justice

Not everything that is right is sweet. Not everything that is righteousness makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Good and evil are not synonymous with comfortable and uncomfortable. Often, evil is pleasant. Frequently, justice (and even mercy) are terrifying.

Sometimes, the righteous and holy action is stomach churning.

This is the story of Gibeon fight-
Where we smote the lords of the Amorite;
Where the banners of princes with slaughter were sodden.
And the beards of seers in the rank grass trodden;
Where the trees were wrecked by the wreck of cars,
And the reek of the red field blotted the stars;
Where the dead heads dropped from the swords that sever,
Because His mercy endureth for ever.

(The Ballad Of The Battle Of Gibeon: G.K. Chesterton)

I think Christians don’t read the Old Testament enough. We seem to gloss over the idea of Justice. We have become so obsessed with mercy that we fail to see that mercy is meaningless unless justice cries out for punishment. Another way to say this is that it seems we forget the Law in our rush to discuss the Gospel. But that fails us, as the Gospel’s power to forgive is in relation to the Law that condemns. We pay lip service to the fact that the God of the Old and the God of the New testaments are the same, eternal, changeless God. But it seems that the reality of the situation is sometimes sidestepped.

Was God wrong to slaughter the Amorites? What a ludicrous question:

‘By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death. … he that dies this year is quit for the next.’ (Henry IV… you know who…)

Anyway, back to reading for my Old Testament class….