The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Archive for the category “Third Parties”

Romney’s Loss: The Ron Paul Factor

by Adam McIntosh

As expected, I’ve already seen numerous Facebook posts blaming Ron Paul supporters for Romney’s defeat on election night. Since the majority of Paul supporters abstained or voted third party, it is concluded that they swung the election in Obama’s favor. How ironic, that after being marginalized and cheated during the primary process, now they supposedly decided the election! Yes, there were those who tried guilt-tripping Paul’s base to vote for Romney, despite all of his shenanigans. But not even Rand Paul’s endorsement could convince Paul supporters to seal the deal for Romney.

The question must be asked: if Paul’s supporters are so large as to swing an election, then why wouldn’t Romney reach out to them? It’s as though Romney thought he could beat Obama with the evangelical vote alone, while running on Obama’s weaknesses alone. Neither strategy is beneficial to winning an election. Romney refused to reach out to Paul supporters, independents, third party voters, and anti-war voters. He never positioned himself as different from Obama in any significant sense. If blame is to be placed anywhere, it is with him and his campaign.

Obama’s re-election is no surprise to Paul supporters. Since the beginning of the primary season, they had been saying that Paul was the candidate most likely to beat Obama in a general election. Fox News panelists agreed that the GOP couldn’t win without Paul’s supporters (see here and here). Romney never cared to heed that advice.

So, would Romney have won with the Ron Paul vote? We’ll never know. But it’s a fact that he was unelectable without it.

Every Four Years, It’s The End of The World Again

by Adam McIntosh

At this very moment, the fate of America hangs in the balance. Re-electing President Obama will result in the destruction of America as we know it. It will lead to the Islamic takeover of our western heritage. Mitt Romney, however, loves America and knows it is the hope of the earth. He alone can save us from Obama’s agenda of ushering in the apocalypse. Cast your vote for Romney this Tuesday and be amazed at the marvelous deeds he will accomplish. A vote for Romney is a vote for all that is holy and righteous in this land.”

Sounds like a pro-Romney argument you’ve heard recently, right? It’s my amateur attempt at writing an attack ad, but I think I captured the overall perspective of those who insist you must vote for Romney if you wish to be a decent American, and a decent Christian. It seems that we are always on the brink of impending doom if we don’t vote for the Republican nominee. Obama is the great enemy and Romney is our coming savior.

Our Democrat friends aren’t immune to this way of thinking, either. They buy into messianic scenarios just as easily. In 2008, it was proclaimed that Obama would establish peace in the world and usher in a much needed era of war-ending, civil-rights-protecting, transparent government. Today, we’re hearing that Romney will overturn Roe v. Wade, ban gay marriage and let sick people just die, along with hurricane victims. Obama is the champion we must vote for and Romney is the terrifying adversary.

This apocalyptic mindset is borderline idolatrous. Both parties repeat the same rhetoric and propaganda each cycle, regardless of who the candidates are. Every four years, it’s the end of the world again – except that it’s not. Jesus the Christ is ruler of the universe, not Romney or Obama. He is reigning from his throne working all things according to the counsel of his will and for our good (Eph. 1:11; Rom. 8:28). We shouldn’t worry about political scare tactics; the only thing we have to fear is God himself. The cosmos will not blow up if the “wrong guy” is elected. In fact, all leaders are given authority by God (John 19:11; Rom. 13:1). As hard as it is to believe, God planned for Barack Obama to be president. Same with George W. Bush and those before him. But this doesn’t mean that all leaders are justified in their actions. God often raises up tyrannical leaders as an act of judgment (1 Sam. 8:1-22). What it does mean is that God uses our voting strategies to bring about his will. Regardless of who is elected on Tuesday, the President of Presidents will still be seated on his heavenly throne.

In his providence, Christ has placed Americans in a nation where voting is an option (not a mandate) and where multiple candidates can be on the ballot. There is no law, biblical or constitutional, that says we must vote. Nor is there a law that says we must vote for one particular candidate. Next time someone tries to guilt-trip you into voting or voting for a particular candidate – with the implication that you are an irresponsible citizen if you don’t – simply smile and say, “Chill out! Jesus is in control.”

Yet, we certainly do have responsibilities when it comes to electing our leaders. We are instructed to pray for them (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and to obey them as long as it doesn’t necessitate disobeying God (Acts 5:27–29; Rom. 13:2-5). We should also use wisdom in our voting strategies. We are supposed to proclaim the lordship of Christ in all areas of life, including politics. This means that we can’t make apathetic or uninformed decisions. But it’s precisely because Jesus is Lord that we aren’t obligated to vote a particular way. We don’t know the future and he has not told us which candidate he plans to elect. As has been previously argued, there are valid points made for each voting strategy. The question to ask yourself is,“which result would best further the kingdom?” Christians won’t always agree on the answer to that. We won’t know God’s answer to that until Tuesday night.

Why You Should Vote Third-Party!

After a wearisome election season, perhaps the most tiresome in my short life in the political cosmosphere, I think it is safe to say I have heard every salient argument in favor of Mitt Romney. I have perused with great nervousness the posts of some of my political and theological heroes exhorting me to close my eyes at least one more time. I say nervousness because part of me feared they would make a compelling case. And I confess, some articles have come quite close.

I will mention at the outset that I am not anti-Republican Party. I am against the political polygamy of the Grand Old Party. The Republican Party has achieved its goal of becoming a big tent. And in doing so, she has satiated herself with many lovers.

There are still many principled leaders in the GOP: Jim Demint, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Justin Amash, and Tom Davis. On a local level, one can find principled Republicans who have not forgotten their commitment to the Constitution, and still consider it to be relevant. These local politicians should receive our votes, support, and yard signs.

At the national level, I am afraid ideological adultery occurs with tremendous frequency. For instance, to even dispute the effectiveness of FEMA is anathema. If a giant agency does something good at any level it necessarily receives the stamp of approval, and it is added to the plethora of agencies. Never mind the tremendous failure of certain agencies on a consistent basis. If you throw a few million dollars at something, even if there are extremely incompetent people managing those monies, you will still find something to cheer. And this is how national programs and agencies work: If there is an ounce of good it overrides the pounds of bad. There is a certain inevitability about government growth that is utterly discouraging. And when candidates favor the termination of certain sacred programs they are mocked and ridiculed as radical anarchists who are in love with the suffering of the poor.

The Democrats are easy targets. They drink deeply of the fountain of guilt manipulation. Their media apologists scream with effeminate indignation at the travesty of cutting the federal budget. “How dare you kill grandma,” they ask. “How dare you…how dare you…you’re so bad!” And then the discourse descends to sophomoric level. Reason is the tactic of bullies, and at the end Democrats end up looking civilized and philanthropic.

On the other hand, Republicans have done a fair job at their mid-term exams. They do what some of us did in our college years: we cram all the nice talking points, and  memorize as many lines as possible to make sure we pass the exam. If I tell my opponent he is wrong for America, or if I simply repeat it long enough, then I win the argument and the debate, and national recognition ensues. “Facts:” Those bastard little things. They only get in the way. “Conservatism:” That very flexible term that can be applied to just about anything and anyone.

But is this all we got? Rhetorical brownie points versus guilt manipulators? Again I don’t oppose the entirety of the Republican Party. Like the mainline churches there are some brave souls trying to keep the flames of orthodoxy going. But the tsunami is powerful, weighty, and destructive. And so their bold words fall into the ground and disappear in a sea of political platitudes. These few politicians become “isolationists” in the House. They are looked upon with contempt by those who have made a living hosting lobbyists.

To this point, I have heard every version of  “this is a wasted vote argument” possible. If I happen to vote for a candidate that lines up with most of my core beliefs, then I am a perfectionist. If I vote for a third-party candidate, then I am re-electing Barack Obama. Try to rationalize that! If I mention that Mormon thing, then I have not considered deeply Luther’s mythical statement. If I talk about principle, then I am labelled a utopian. Yes, I have heard them all, and more. But I am not persuaded that this election will determine the rise of the antichrist. “This election is the most important election in my lifetime,” said a multitude of people every four years.

No. A thousand times no! A man can only take abuse for so long. The lesser of two evils is really the evil of two lessers. And that’s what we got: Two powerfully well-funded candidates who find TARP, Bernanke, and warfare the trinity of ideologies. As for me, I am ready to see big banks bankrupt. I am ready to see Bernanke go back to his Keynesian prison-house, and I am ready, to quote Shakespeare, to “see the the words of war silenced.”

So as a family we are supporting the unknown, but honest Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. His strong Christian background coupled with a love for the Constitution make him the type of candidate worthy of our support.

 

Four Election Options: Explained and Defended

A week to go–that is how long we have until the 2012 Presidential Election. As I see it, we have four choices: Obama, Romney, Third Party, or Abstain. Allow me to present the reasons for each, and which I’ve settled on.

Obama: We’ve heard one argument: it is more likely to bring on a truly conservative candidate sooner. We’ve heard the response, “We are told that it is perverse to deduce from God’s providence, ‘Let us do evil that good may come.'” Another argument presented is that an Obama presidency will be the most conservative option we have–more on that later.

Romney: Romney–while far from guaranteeing it–gives us the best chance for conservative replacements to the U.S. Supreme Court. Others will argue that he also gives us the best chance for overturning Roe v. Wade (that’s a pipe dream) and for repealing Obamacare (another pipe dream).

Third Party: Voting for either the Constitution Party candidate (Virgil Goode) or the Libertarian Party candidate (Gary Johnson) would send a clear message to the GOP that we want change, REAL change–not the stuff Obama promised, but real change. It would tell them they can’t count on us to vote for them no matter how bad the Democrat challenger/incumbent is, unless they are willing to be principled.

Abstain: The best reason to abstain is the old slogan, “Don’t vote, it only encourages the bastards.” If you don’t like the system, if the system itself is evil, then don’t participate in it. Coincidentally, whole Latin American nations refuse to participate in their political systems. Dictators come and dictators go; dictators pass their laws and decrees; the people go right on living their lives and doing what is right in their own eyes and the dictator does nothing to stop them because stopping them would mean ending his own career. 

In the end, I am of two minds. I will vote Third Party because I want to send a message to the GOP. I don’t want to help get Obama reelected in order to do that because I’m afraid they’ll just interpret that as a failure on their part to get their message out. But if Romney loses conservative votes to the Third Party candidates, they can’t but help to recognize the problem is with them–even if they’ll refuse to admit that publicly.

My other mind will be expecting a major party candidate to win, and I will hope–should that be true–that Obama will win. *GASP* Catch your breath and give me a moment to explain.

America has a long history of being principled for short periods of time and being–well–nuts the rest of the time. When we are the most principled is when there is a Democratic president and Republican Congress. Republicans will ONLY stick to their principles in opposition to a Democratic president. They forget they have principles when the president is a Republican (see George W. Bush’s term for an example). The current Congress is already conservative, and if Obama is re-elected it will become even more so in 2014 (historical precedence is on our side, folks!) All of the damage that we fear Obama will incur upon us in a second term won’t be possible with a conservative and growing more conservative (and principled) Congress. Historically, the GOP was most conservative and principled when it was opposing Clinton. We can only hope for the same kind of principles with a second-term Obama.

Thus, I send the GOP a message with a Third Party vote (hoping they’ll hear the message and give us a real, principled candidate in 2016) and I hope for Obama to win (if it has to be a major party candidate). For, as historical precedence makes clear, an Obama presidency with a Republican Congress will give us a more principled and conservative America than a Romney presidency with a Republican Congress ever will.

Third Party Debate

This seemed like something that should be here on the Kuyperian Commentary.  I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but I’m sure it’ll be more interesting than the last debate I watched.

A Case for Third-Party Candidates

Wow! The consistent Socialist, Lawrence O’Donnell, offers a powerful case for voting for Third Party candidates:

 

Third Party Debate

In tonight’s third-party debate the four candidates had the chance to articulate their positions. There were six major questions with some interaction among the candidates. Larry King moderated the debate and brought the celebrity factor into the discussion, which may serve to gain some attraction.

It was a good start. I hope this continues in the years ahead. It is a necessary process. The two-party monopoly is a disturbingly disgraceful system. It destroys the ability of the people to speak. The voice of third party candidates might be an incentive for the 2/3 of Americans who do not vote. If we want the people to be involved, then we need more voices in the discussion. Simply echoing and re-echoing the same talking points and framing and re-framing your positions to fit the political climate of the day cannot be healthy when the issues are of such significance.

Issues largely ignored in the “one party debate” were discussed at some length tonight. It was refreshing and hopeful. Again, it was a good start.

Third Party Debate Moderated by Larry King

Looks like Larry King is going to be moderating the Third Party Presidential Debate. Ora TVRussia Today, and The Free & Equal Elections Foundation will broadcast the debate live on the Internet on October 23rd.

Gary Johnson Pulling Votes from Obama in Nevada

by Uri Brito

The typical assertion is that Libertarian Third Party Candidates pull votes from the Republican. But this is not the case in Nevada where Gary Johnson’s 3% is actually benefiting Mitt Romney. Politico reports:

When Gary Johnson’s included he gets 3% and actually takes mostly from Obama, pulling his lead over Romney down to 48/47. That could be something worth keeping an eye on.

Gary Johnson’s civil liberties position is more appealing to some of the Democrats and more Libertarian minded Republicans.

Virgil Goode on MSNBC

Virgil Goode is a good ol’ southern boy from Virginia. He is a former congressman who has been re-elected a few times. He is now the Constitution Party candidate for president, and he promises to give Romney quite a challenge in Virginia which appears to be a crucial battleground state.

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