What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
Pastor Chuck Baldwin wrote an article yesterday titled “Why Do Evangelicals Ignore Ron Paul?”. The article raises several key points I’d like to address while changing the audience from Evangelicals to Latter-day Saints.
The question burning in the minds of [Latter-day Saints] today is: Which Republican candidate for president will we anoint? There are several possibilities, but apparently Congressman Ron Paul is not one of them.
For example, Jerry Falwell’s widely distributed National Liberty Journal, in its March 2007 edition, had a major section entitled “Campaign 2008-Identifying the Republican Presidential Candidates.” A total of ten Republicans made the Journal’s list. The ten listed were Sen. Sam Brownback, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Sen. John McCain, Gov. George Pataki, Gov. Mitt Romney, and Rep. Tom Tancredo.
Most Latter-day Saints—eager to avoid the political process and wallow in electioneering apathy—will no doubt vote for Mitt Romney, simply because he’s also LDS. Praising him as a successful businessman, they see him as the perfect person to clean up our government’s fiscal nightmare and fix the plummeting debt. But is he the right man for the job? Does he understand the Constitution and support its principles? Or is he just a handsome smile with a knack for savvy business maneuvers?
Other leading Republican contenders have committed adultery (adding to a list of negatives) which should be enough for any smart Latter-day Saint to disqualify such a person for this nation’s most powerful position. Clearly any sleazy politician with such latent moral ambiguity is not the proper person to guide this divinely-established nation.
So, fine. Mitt Romney may not uphold the Constitution (as is evidenced by his recent romp of mandating health insurance for every citizen in Massachusetts) and the other leading contenders have fornicated. Who else should we consider? The article continues:
However, even though Rep. Ron Paul has also formed a presidential exploratory committee (something Gingrich has not even done yet), his name was conspicuously absent from Falwell’s list. Why is this? Why do [Latter-day Saints] ignore Ron Paul?
Indeed, any list I’ve recently seen from the larger media networks leaves Ron Paul absent. As the article mentions, he has an exploratory committee and has thrown his hat in the ring. Why, then, does the media refuse to give him any attention? Why is his name ommited from every list of potential candidates? Is such a blatant omission “fair and balanced”? We are fed lines such as “we report, you decide”, but can we truly and accurately decide when the reporting is shoddy and incomplete (if not conspiratorial in its omissive nature)?
Ron Paul has served as a conservative congressman from Texas for over 16 years. He currently has a 100% rating from The Conservative Index, which is probably the most relevant and accurate reflection of a congressman’s true conservative record out there.
Furthermore, unlike most Republicans, Paul’s commitment to the life issue is more than rhetoric. For example, during the 2005 congressional session, Rep. Paul introduced H.R. 776, entitled the “Sanctity of Life Act of 2005.”
Had it passed, H.R. 776 would have recognized the personhood of all unborn babies by declaring, “human life shall be deemed to exist from conception.” The bill also recognized the authority of each State to protect the lives of unborn children. In addition, H.R. 776 would have removed abortion from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, thereby nullifying the Roe v Wade decision, and would have denied funding for abortion providers. In plain language, H.R. 776 would have ended abortion on demand. (It is more than interesting to me that none of the [Latter-day Saints]‘ pet politicians, including George W. Bush, even bothered to support Paul’s pro-life bill.)
In addition, Ron Paul has been the most outspoken defender of constitutional government in the entire congress-bar none. He has often stood virtually alone against federal abuse of power, corruption, and big government.
Most Latter-day Saints are pro-life, anti-abortion (except for in certain cases). Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on the abortion issue, yet Ron Paul, a true conservative (not a career politician acting as one for his benefit), has the voting record to prove it. This good man is void of sycophancy, honorably fighting to reduce government, uphold the Constitution, and save our economy from destruction.
As Pastor Baldwin says, Ron Paul’s commitment to the life issue (as well as countless other important political issues) is more than rhetoric. Unlike others, he can prove it.
Currently, Ron Paul is one of only a handful of congressmen that dares speak out against the emerging North American Union, NAFTA superhighway, and the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement, all of which are being promoted by the White House in concert with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Speaking of the CFR, two of the U.S. senators listed as presidential candidates in Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Journal, Chuck Hagel and John McCain, are current members of the CFR.
For his entire political career, Ron Paul has served foursquare upon the principles of constitutional (limited) government, less taxation, right to life, and personal liberty. Ron Paul is a conservative’s conservative, a principled constitutionalist of the finest order. How is it, then, that Jerry Falwell and [Latter-day Saints] ignore him?
Any politician worthy of being elected as President of this Nation should address the key issues facing our nation, not just the ones blown to incredible proportions by the mainstream media. These media-saturated issues are important nonetheless, but there are several laws, policies, and programs that deserve the attention of our citizenry and far too many go undetected. Need an example? Who, without the help of the internet, heard of the Military Commissions Act before it destroyed our nation? Who heard of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act before it was signed, transferring control of the National Guard from the governors (all of whom opposed such an action) to the executive? Who has heard of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a precursor for a North American Union?
The average American hasn’t heard of any of these freedom-destroying initiatives. People have fallen into American Idolatry, content to live with their bread and circuses. And we wonder why our nation is such a mess? It’s our own fault. Said Patrick Henry:
We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth… Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not…? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth. (via Quoty)
Pastor Baldwin continues:
Maybe today’s [Latter-day Saints] are more concerned about being accepted by the GOP establishment than they are supporting principled, conservative candidates. After all, Paul’s willingness to openly oppose his own party has caused him to be blacklisted by party loyalists and apologists….
Another reason might be that today’s [Latter-day Saints] are extremely shallow in their discernment. They seem to love Republican candidates who wear religion on their sleeve. Whether the candidate walks the walk does not seem to matter near as much as whether he talks the talk.
This, in my humble opinion, accurately describes many Latter-day Saints with whom I have discussed politics. They hear President Bush invoke the name of the almighty and therefore consider him a “good, religious man”, while they neglect to observe his fruits to see from what tree he comes.
Such people obviously do not understand that a large part of politics is convincing countless citizens of a certain character style. In order to win on the Republican ticket, one must appeal to the Christian conservative base, otherwise that person doesn’t stand a chance. It doesn’t matter if the politician really is religious or conservative, but they better appear that way in front of the camera!
And so, we hear sound bytes of religiosity touting that such a candidate is a “man of faith”, when the inquisitive person can easily pull up google and view the candidate’s voting record, previous media statements, summarized personal history, etc., and view the person’s fruits.
Instead, people are “shallow in their discernment”. They tow the party line, they believe whatever they hear on FOX News, and they proclaim it as gospel (allowing no room for possible deception or misinformation). Anybody who disagrees with them becomes a liberal naysayer who is just spreading rumors and lies about this good, God-fearing man.
Another trap [Latter-day Saints] seem to fall into is the puerile desire to “pick a winner.” Wanting to be sure that they are seen dancing with the last man on the floor, [Latter-day Saints] are trying to figure out who that man will be so as to be ready to receive their invitation to the dance. And since they don’t expect to see Ron Paul issuing dance invitations, they have already written him off.
However, rather than letting themselves be used as dupes by the GOP machine, if America’s [Latter-day Saints] would determine to stand on principle by supporting only those candidates who most courageously champion our principles (regardless of their popularity, or lack thereof, with the Republican hierarchy), they might actually be able to bring real change to American politics.
As it is, [Latter-day Saints] continue to call George W. Bush “one of us,” they continue to drink Kool Aid from the faucet of Republican propaganda, and they continue to ignore Ron Paul.
The time has come to stop ignoring Ron Paul. If this truly God-fearing, Constitution-supporting, liberty-loving man stands a chance, it is with grassroots action and rapid, internet-based information dissemination. The best way to get started is to inform yourself. Pick any of his recent articles and find out for yourself what this noble man has to say on the issues.
And turn off FOX News.