Part 1: The Departure Observed
For a month now, the Christian-conservative-religious right has been reeling from the outcome of the 2012 elections like a boxer staggering under the effect of a near knockout blow. While some are vowing to return to the ring with renewed fervor, others are in a funk, despairing the outcome of the election. The odd fact of the matter is that despite the emotional trauma suffered by conservatives, the 2012 elections didn’t really change anything. We have the same President, the same party still controls the U.S. House of Representatives and the same party is in control in the Senate. Even the party control of state governorships only changed by one state. So if nothing has changed, why the despair?
I believe the real story of the 2012 elections is not the outcome registered at the ballot box on November 6, but rather the evidencing of the real state of the Christian-conservative-religious right. Perhaps the despair being expressed is the result of a subconscious realization as to the spiritual condition of the religious right – a condition that is causing the spirit of some to cry out “Ichabod” (no glory) sensing that “The glory is departed” from the political institutions and movements in which the Christian-conservative-religious right has for so long trusted (1 Samuel 4:21-22).
I have been politically active as a Christian and a Constitutionist for about two decades now. I’ve served in leadership capacities, headed up events and activities, assisted in campaigns and served as chairman of a political party. I’ve crossed paths with most of those in my community who would be labeled “conservative” and am personally acquainted with nearly all of the seriously Christian and Constitutional political activists in the region. Though not everyone in those circles has supported all of my political activities (primarily due to my activism being of a mostly third party and independent nature), yet nearly all have agreed as to the basic values and indicated that we’re all part of the same team working toward the same goal of honoring God, restoring Constitutional governance, preserving liberty and upholding the philosophical ideals of America’s founders.
Though there have always been some differences of strategy within our ranks, I’ve always had the sense of being surrounded by compatriots who were marching toward the same general goal. However, sometime in July of this year, I found myself with a sense that something had changed. It was as though I was still running the same race, but most of the people that I thought I was running the race with had disappeared – like they had taken a different turn in the road and I was now running the course alone.
I could have thought that it was just my imagination, the result of battle fatigue, or a mild case of discouragement, had it not been for my state’s August primary election. That election revealed the actual state of the Christian-conservative-religious right and documented its departure from the values that it had so long espoused. In that election, conservatives rejected nearly every God honoring, Constitution upholding, liberty loving candidate on the ballot in preference of secularist, humanist, socialist and even pro-sodomite candidates.
Now being primarily engaged in third party and independent politics, I’m accustomed to having my candidates rejected by a populace that is, in my opinion, illogically locked in to a two party paradigm. However, in this case it was overtly God honoring, Constitution upholding, liberty loving Republican candidates who were rejected right down the line. Remember, this was not the general election where we just have a “D” verses an “R” and people trying to choose the better of the two, or where we can blame “liberals” for the outcome. This was the primary election where the Christian-conservative-religious right (which typically associates with the Republican Party) chooses the candidates that best reflect their own values and who they want to be represented by in the general election.
This year’s primary election was quite notable in that it featured a number of unusually and overtly God honoring, Constitution upholding, liberty loving candidates. We had a Christian pastor who ran an aggressive campaign for Governor as a Republican who openly acknowledged God and espoused the values of traditional conservatism and the religious right. There was actually a second “liberty” pastor running as an independent. Both were rejected by the Christian-conservative-religious right receiving just 3.2% and 0.7% of the vote respectively. Instead, conservative voters overwhelmingly chose to be represented by a man who I judge to be a secularist, humanist, and a practitioner of “socialism lite” whose campaign came out in opposition to the Boy Scouts prohibition on homosexuals and who, as the sitting State Attorney General, was leading a suit against a family owned drug store for refusing to sell an abortion pill.
We had a very well qualified Attorney General candidate who has been a leader in defending marriage against the assault of the homosexual lobby, was strongly Constitutional in his views and has even traveled the state speaking at events hosted by a Christian ministry. But again, the Christian-conservative-religious right chose, by a margin of 4-1, the other Republican candidate – a man who, while serving on the King County Council, voted in support of homosexual marriage and whose voting record while on the council was in 99% agreement with the Democrat candidate for Attorney General who also served on that council.
Similar results were experienced for a Constitutionist running for Secretary of State under the Constitution Party banner and a Christian reformer seeking the Superintendent of Education post (non partisan). The only strongly Christian, Constitutional, advocate for liberty running for one of the ten statewide offices who was sent on to the general election by conservative voters, was in a race where he was the only Republican candidate. In other words, conservatives who were committed to voting “R” had no choice but to vote for him in the primary, though he did lose in the general election.
Lest you think this is just a phenomenon of Washington state’s famous liberalism now manifesting even among Republican voters, here where I live, in famously conservative eastern Washington, the Christian-conservative-religious right rejected a well respected Christian Constitutionist Republican candidate for the U.S. House – a man known for his teaching of Biblical and Constitutional principles of government and for his radio commentaries on the same. Instead, conservatives chose to be represented by the incumbent establishment puppet who has only a 63% Constitutional voting record and who voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that authorized the indefinite detention of American citizens.
In one legislative district here in eastern Washington, there was no Democrat in the race, only two Republicans. The incumbent, who commonly votes with the Democrats in the legislature, co-sponsored our state’s now infamous gay marriage bill while the challenger, known for her presentations of the Institute on the Constitution course, was solidly pro Biblical marriage. The result? The Constitutional Republican challenger received little support from conservatives and apparently none from the Republican party, being outspent 10-1, as one of the more conservative areas of the state opted for the pro-sodomite liberal Republican incumbent.
And it’s not just happening here in Washington, as the Presidential race bore out. After enduring years of campaigning and many months of primary elections, the Christian-conservative-religious right chose to give just 0.2% of the popular vote and 1 Republican Convention delegate to the openly Christian and traditional religious right message of U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN). Conservatives gave 10% of the popular vote and 154 delegates to the pro liberty and Constitutionally limited government message of Congressman Ron Paul (TX). But though confronted with strongly God honoring and Constitution upholding candidates, the Christian-conservative-religious right which identifies with the Republican Party and serves as its base of support, chose to give 52% of the popular vote and 1,489 delegates to Mitt Romney, a Wall Street insider and establishment front man who presided over making Massachusetts the first state to adopt homosexual marriage; a man with a “D-” rating on Second Amendment gun rights and a flip-flopping stand on abortion; a man, who as best as I can tell, did not represent one tenet of traditional conservatism.
The big story of the 2012 elections is not the defeat of the conservative right by the liberal left, but the departure of the Christian-conservative-religious right from the values that it once espoused and which it sadly still thinks that it represents.
Remember, we’re not talking here about liberals beating conservatives in the general election. We’re talking about who the Christian-conservative-religious right chose for itself in the primary election.
One might argue that the primary election results were the work of the Republican Party leadership which in every case backed the more liberal, neo-con, establishment candidate, contending that “this is the candidate that can beat the Democrat in the general election.” Of course in nearly every case those candidates lost in the general election and Christian-conservative-religious right voters compromised their values in vain. However, most voters are not that politically plugged in and I doubt that the majority even knew which candidates the Republican Party leadership were promoting.
So how do I explain this wholesale departure from Biblical values, Constitutional principles and the traditional tenets of conservatism by the very people, movements and organizations that claim to be the guardians of those values? It’s not logical and I contend that it’s not even natural. There is a supernatural factor involved when an entire segment of society that espouses a clear and identifiable ideology, in mass turns and runs in the opposite direction of their professed values.
When I saw the primary election results, it struck me that it was really a form of just judgment. Not a judgment of vengeance, but of what is just – spiritual justice. If you’re not committed to loving truth above all, then you’ll end up believing a lie. If you’re not devoted to righteousness at all costs, then you’ll end up falling for unrighteousness. And if you’re not “trusting in the Lord with all your might,” then you’ll begin to trust in other things – things like political power and the clout of man-made political parties and institutions. And once you learn to trust in political power to save you, you’ll do whatever you’re told you have to do to get your hands on it.
This departure from the traditional Christian worldview, Biblical values, Constitutional principles and the governing philosophies of our nation’s founders did not happen overnight. This is part of a process that has been at work for a generation or more.
In Part 2 of this message, we will look at the process whereby this departure has taken place.
Ichabod – The Real Message of the 2012 Election, can be purchased as a paperback book at lulu.com (click here for direct link).