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"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Spending The 4th With A Paulpod, Romney Running Away, and more…

Posted by: John Schroeder at 04:37 pm, July 6th 2011     —    1 Comment »

It was my pleasure to spend the Fourth of July in the company of friends, the son of one of them being a dedicated follower of Ron Paul.  The conversation was both frustrating and enlightening.  Frustrating in the young man’s complete inability to understand that the world just does not work according to “ought’s” and enlightening in what that says about how we would be best served when selecting who it is we want to vote for.

My young friend advanced argument after argument about the way things ought to work.  The standard Ron Paul lines – isolationism, competitive bank issued currencies – you know the drill by now.  Many of his arguments about how it ought to work were quite convincing.  But he steadfastly refused to answer the two key questions I asked, “What would the ramifications of that policy be beyond the immediate?” and “How do you propose to do that when the vast majority of the American people would oppose you?”  For example, many currencies around the world are tagged to the American dollar – what would happen to the world monetary system if the greenback went away?  He never really answered, he just kept coming back to “how things ought to be,” citing the constitution.

But the real revelations came when I pointed out to him the the political will simply did not exist for much of what he thought ought to happen, even if what he thought ought to happen was ideal.  Did he really think the American people would stand still if the fed quit issuing currency?  He did concede that they would not.  So I asked, “How do you govern when the will of the people is opposed to the ideal as you see it?”  He had no answer.

I patiently tried to explain to him that democracy was not about the ideal, it was about the will of the people, even when they are wrong.  We don’t need leaders that hold up ideals in a democracy such as ours.  We need leaders that govern – which means being responsive to the will of the people while working to prevent things from moving so far from the ideal that things collapse under their own weight.  Leadership in a country like ours is a balancing act, not a movement in a single direction.

When we evaluate the candidates that we are to vote for, that’s what we need to look for – can they govern in a such a balancing fashion?  Ideologues like Paul, if they miraculously managed to be elected, could serve only as examples of how not to govern.  Like the current highly ideological administration, even if they managed to move some of their agenda forward, the rejection of a significant portion of the electorate would be astounding.  We have been down the ideological path before – it’s called prohibition.  About the only thing that brought us was organized crime.

Moneywise, Romney Triumphant

$18.3M in the primary coffers and and another $12M in a Super PAC backing him.  Those are staggering numbers, staggering.  Next closest is Tim Pawlenty at a little over $4M.  This is all part of what is called the “invisible primary.”  And while the press wants a horse race with Bachmann, and is spinning accordingly, his lead in the New Hampshire polls remains enormous.

News like that all the lefties that seem to keep talking Mormon, even though no one is listening, seem even less significant than they are.  The NYTimes tried to have some sort of forum on the issue, but it provided little actual information, just posturing.  Even FOXNews picked up on the fact that the question is much bigger with Dems than it is of Republicans, which may be why places like London’s ultraleft Guardian keep talking about it.

The unimaginative in smaller newspapers like the Miami Herald and the Las Vegas Review-Journal just keep talking about it.  Some are still using the issue to attack on the left and the right.

Amongst te other candidate, Gingrich remains in free fall.  The dark horses keep getting darkerRick Perry seems to be the darling of certain segments of the “Evangelical base.”  What the left-leaning writers, breathless at this finding, fail to mention is that the Evangelical “leaders” they are citing don’t lead as many Evangelicals as they used to – largely malcontents – some, like John Hagee, are problematic.  You may recall that McCain had to quickly back away from Hagee last cycle for his ugly anti-Catholic comments.

Michelle Bachmann is even sounding like Huckabee, minus the plausibly deniable anti-Mormon comments.  Sadly, it looks like Tim Pawlenty may be eying the Huckabee path in Iowa as well.  Last time, after Iowa, Sarah Huckabee was the moderator of the campaign web site which featured a number of anti-Mormon screeds.  Warning, Tim Pawlenty, Warning.

Religious Reading

Religion still matters, especially with African-Americans.

Though a secularist leftie, this guy has a point.  Mixing religious and political power (not influence, power) usually results in the dilution of subjugation of religion.  Such can result in the oppression this guy fears, but it can also just lead to the death of religion as in the United Kingdom.

Social issue pledges have already been used as  a litmus test trap once.  I wonder if this one will be?

Evangelicals are shifting.  Both concern and opportunity.

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