The 2016 Presidential Election continues to defy both predictions and expectations.
On the Democratic side of the primaries, Senator Bernie Sanders refuses to yield to the “inevitability” of Mrs. Hillary Clinton as his party’s eventual nominee.
Within Republican circles, the vast majority of primary voters continue to voice their “dissatisfaction with the professional political class” by expressing to pollsters that they prefer Misters Trump, Cruz, and Carson over more experienced Governors such as Christie, Kasich, Bush, and Huckabee.
Or, in the words of the great Motown artist Marvin Gaye, “What Is Going On?”
Surely by now the conventional thinking is that Republicans would have ended their flirtation with the incipient campaigns of the Donald and Dr. Carson or Senator Cruz and would have by now rallied behind one or two more experienced candidates (the Democrats seem to be grudgingly coalescing around Mrs. Clinton).
Why does the stubborn agitation among the Republican party base continue to rail against the “professional political class?”
Could it very well be that we as citizens of this great nation are experiencing a crisis of what it means to be an American?
Historians and students of American history describe the process in which a person grows and learns to accept the principles, values, and teachings of our nation as the phenomenon of “political socialization.”
Perhaps a great number of our citizens have lost faith in the process of political socialization…
In the past, most Americans looked with pride and satisfaction to the principles and ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence for guidance and inspiration:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…
The Signers of The Declaration meant business when they led a revolution to break away from the yoke of King George III.
For more than two centuries (for the exception of a dark period of time when Native Americans and Blacks were denied the blessings and privileges of liberty) most Americans celebrated the fact that they were all “created equal” and “endowed by their Creator… with certain inalienable Rights… among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Could it be that we intuitively sense that our nation is at a crossroad and that if we do not act decisively and in the proper direction that the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness could be lost forever?
This is the State of Our Union.
We live in perilous times that requires sober thinking and careful analysis.
One of the geniuses of our Constitutional Order is that it provides a framework for governance that “institutionalized peaceful rebellion” (through frequent elections).
The Framers of our Constitutional Order gave us a governmental structure known as Federalism (a centralized Federal Government with separate and somewhat autonomous State Governments); they gave us a Separation of Powers with the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches operating within their unique spheres of duty and authority.
The Constitution provides for regular elections (“the opportunity to throw the rascals out!”) and a Bill of Rights (a means of preventing the “political actors” – rascals if you prefer – from trampling upon our rights while they are in office).
For much of our history this form of governance has served us well and yet there is a growing sense of uneasiness within the body politic.
Today, the huge divide in our nation appears to be between those who believe that our “Judeo-Christian heritage” is still valid and in vogue – and among “political Secularists” in both political parties who believe that matters of Faith and Religion are private matters that have no place in public deliberation.
Whose view of America will prevail?
Senator Bernie Sanders is an example of a leftward leaning Secularist.
The Donald seems to be an example of a rightward leaning Secularist.
Mr. Trump speaks minimally about his faith; he would like to see America return to a position of strength relative to the world dominance that we enjoyed from 1945 through 2000.
The State of Our Union demands that those who cherish our Judeo-Christian heritage remain engaged in civil discourse.
President Obama continued the expansion of the size and scope of the Federal Government that began with the Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt –this phenomenon is known as “Fabian Socialism.”
A vote for Mrs. Clinton would in effect give President Obama a third term and solidify much of the political infrastructure that he created.
A vote for an establishment minded Republican along with a Republican majority in the Senate and House would slow down the rate of growth of government, but would not reverse our national trends towards “Fabian Socialism.”
As a Christian and as an American citizen, I do not place my ultimate hope in political elections.
The Christmas Season we recently enjoyed reminds us that our ultimate redemption and eternal destiny is found in the Person and “Saving work” of Jesus Christ!
Saint Augustine reminds us that we have dual citizenship in both the eternal “City of GOD” and in the earthly “City of Man.”
This earthly American city known as The United States of American demands our Love, Loyalty, and our Best Efforts.
Eternal vigilance (Sir Patrick Henry) along with the time-tested virtues of self-sacrifice, courage, valor, love and witness enabled our nation to become in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln “the last great hope of mankind.”
Let us work to keep it this way!
GOD Bless You!