Restoring the Party of Lincoln

The Republican Party has lost its way. Media interference in the election process and the actions of some GOP leaders and Presidential candidates may have irreparably fractured the Party and cost us the Presidency and both houses of Congress.

Do you really think Republicans are flocking to the party to vote for Donald Trump? Or are most of those “new” voters actually Independents and Democrats who participated in Republican open (and even closed) primaries and caucuses, seeking to turn our party to the left? Then there is the distinct possibility that new voters participated to vote against Donald Trump. Neither scenario spells victory for the Party. In my state (Idaho) 3.2 % of voters chose a candidate who had officially dropped out of the race. This protest vote indicates substantial dissatisfaction with the four remaining candidates.

Let’s look at the three front runners for the Oval Office.

Donald Trump is utterly devoid of character, including in his resume of unsavory qualifications the following: adultery, bankruptcy, business development of a casino-strip club, defendant in three class action lawsuits charging him with fraud, donations to Democrats’ campaigns to “buy influence” (including Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign), a recent threat to sue the media for libel and “rake in millions,” and publically televised vulgar speech, insults toward numerous categories of Americans, and bully tactics. Some might believe Trump is a successful business man because he is wealthy. But his dishonorable means of obtaining and keeping that wealth negates any so-called “achievement.” Trump campaigns with the slogan “Make America Great Again” while meaning that he thinks America will be great again because “HE is great” (what arrogance). Make no mistake: Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump, and his style of governing our country will match his past business style of using power, wealth, and intimidation tactics to get what he wants. Donald Trump is trying to buy his way into the White House—literally. Good-bye, republic. Hello, oligarchy.

Then there are the two freshmen Senators, men who have no experience in executive management or even home management “life” responsibilities such as raising children to adulthood and becoming debt-free from mortgage and college expenses. They also have little (or no) support from the Senate colleagues they would lead, if elected to be President! In addition to their lack of experience, there is a three word problem with their campaigns — “natural born citizen.” Both Cruz and Rubio, and the Republicans who voted for them, are willing to tear out that part of the Constitution, choosing political expediency over principle and the preservation of our Republic. Do you really think the Democrats will refrain from a lawsuit contesting Cruz and Rubio’s eligibility, if either man is nominated as the GOP candidate for President or selected to be Vice-President? The only circumstance which would prevent that lawsuit is the Democrats’ frantic attempt to keep their own nominee out of jail.

Party leaders and most Republican voters act like they only had three chooses. Meanwhile, the media and most members of the Party side-lined a candidate who exemplifies the finest qualities of the Party of Lincoln: Dr. Ben Carson (who achieved 1.7% of the vote in Idaho, even after suspending his campaign the previous week). President Abraham Lincoln’s greatest achievements were freeing the slaves and holding our nation together during and after the Civil War. Like President Lincoln, Dr. Ben Carson has a vision to free Americans from enslavement to our tyrannical government and restore this nation to self governance by “We the People.” Dr. Carson’s life story exemplifies the best the Republican Party has to offer – freedom of opportunity to pursue the American Dream. And Dr. Carson’s character and experience exemplify a humble commitment to public service which utilizes others’ wisdom and talents to accomplish extraordinary feats for humanity (separating conjoined twins!). I am certain the doctor who prayed for God to use his hands to heal patients will pray for God to heal our nation. (Carson’s campaign slogan is “Heal, Inspire, Revive.”) Leaders of the party of Lincoln, how many invitations to speak at your “Lincoln Day” events did you extend to Dr. Carson? Or were you too busy promoting the campaigns of a man of questionable character and two men who are ineligible under the Constitution?

Another candidate with the wisdom, character, and experience to govern our nation was also “benched” by the media – Governor Rick Perry. Instead of focusing on his exemplary military service (the ONLY candidate with a service record qualifying him to be Commander-in-Chief), ability to manage the 12th largest economy in the world in continued prosperity during a recession, and commitment to Biblical marriage and the sanctity of life, the media emphasized Perry’s “oops” moment at ONE debate. Don’t forget, Governor Perry was the candidate who first proposed a simplified, postcard-sized tax return. He also recommended abolishing various unconstitutional federal agencies and re-establishing a part-time citizen Congress. Yet he was relegated by the media to the second tier debate stage.

Republican voters, the media has achieved its mission of electing a socialist (Clinton or Sanders) unless you influence the direction of the national convention. The media has railroaded the debates, with its strategy to prevent all candidates from answering the same question on a given issue. It has used polls to sway public opinion. (Do you really think those poll numbers are legitimate?) The media has urged voters to follow the “popular guy with charisma” and shunned rational candidates in favor of those with “pizzazz.” This media interference has left our party with no viable candidate emerging from the primary and caucus process.

There is still a means to rectify this mess and conclude the Presidential nomination process with a job interview, instead of a popularity contest. The ultimate purpose of the GOP Presidential primary process should be to properly vet the candidates and select the candidate who has the greatest capability for executive leadership of our nation and whose views and actions align best with the Republican Party platform. Republicans can call for a brokered convention with rules that allow all constitutionally eligible candidates who participated in the 2016 campaign and still want to be considered to give speeches stating their qualifications and reasons for seeking the Presidency. Following each candidate’s speech, Republican delegates (NOT the media) should be given time to question the candidates on their qualifications, weaknesses, past decisions, motives for seeking the Oval Office, and other matters related to a thorough vetting. Prior to the convention, the candidates should be required to provide a resume stating their qualifications to be President. These resumes should be distributed to Republicans throughout the nation so they can instruct their national convention delegates how to vote. At their state convention meetings, Republicans should choose as delegates wise men and women who understand the Constitution and their state and national GOP platforms. These delegates should be unpledged and free to vote for a constitutionally eligible man or woman who embodies all that is exceptional about the Party of Lincoln.

The alternatives to the brokered convention I propose are not tenable. They include a prospective nominee who will be embroiled in class action lawsuits while campaigning for the general election, or two nominees who could be defendants in a lawsuit contesting their constitutional eligibility for the position they seek.

In 2008 the Democratic Party contested John McCain’s eligibility for far less cause than Cruz or Rubio’s situations. The Democrats questioned whether McCain was born on U.S. soil, thus failing to fulfill the “natural law of soil” (jus soli). They did not question his parent’s allegiance to the U.S. (the “natural law of blood” — jus sanguinis), because both of McCain’s parents were U.S. citizens. In contrast, neither of Rubio’s parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth, and Cruz’s father was not a U.S. citizen when Ted was born. McCain was born on a U.S. military installation in the Panama Canal Zone, clearly a situation of foreign birth on “U.S. soil.” But Cruz was born in Canada in a place that was not “U.S. soil”; he was therefore a Canadian citizen at birth according to the laws of that nation. These factors of their parents’ citizenship and/or place of birth do not support a natural born citizen determination for either Cruz or Rubio. Any person whose citizenship is based on citizenship laws (which can be changed) is not “natural born.”

More important than preserving the Republican Party, we should be concerned about restoring the character of our nation, as candidate Carly Fiorina so aptly pointed out. One of the greatest failures of modern society is the demise of the family. Will this situation be improved by choosing a national leader who is an adulterer and strip club business developer? Can Trump really instruct us on standards of decency and morality, and is the GOP willing to accept a “Do as I say, not as I do” President? (The Democrats already put such a man in the Oval Office – his name is Bill Clinton.) Is it ok for Cruz and Rubio to champion the Constitution while planning to lie when taking the oath of office to preserve and defend the Constitution? (They will both be ignoring the natural born citizen requirement in Article II, Section 1.) The Democratic Party already did that – his name is Barack Obama.

The only One who can help us restore the character of America is Almighty God, with the cooperation of willing people who will bend the knee to acknowledge and serve Him above all else. He has already given us His written word with its non-negotiable instructions that should guide our daily lives. If we won’t turn to God willingly and obey his commands, God can “knock us flat”… and raise us up again to serve Him and give Him praise, as He did with Saul (the apostle Paul – see Acts 9) and King Nebuchadnezzar (see Daniel 4). A leader with integrity will not “save us”; the Redeemer of mankind has already accomplished that work. But the Old Testament demonstrates that God uses righteous men to lead a nation in righteousness (e.g., King Josiah – 2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35).

I trust God’s promise in Luke 1:37: “For nothing is impossible with God.” But the American people need to respond to that declaration with Mary’s willing heart: “I am the Lord’s servant” (Luke1:38). As 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, the initiative rests with the children of God: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The Party of Lincoln includes reliance in Almighty God in our platform. Let us begin to live out that faith and ask God for a leader of His own choosing, from among our brothers (Deuteronomy 17:15).

I will be praying for God to do the impossible and demonstrate His power and might to set our country back on track. I will also be pleading with Him to give us another chance and not turn us over to our enemies as chastisement for our wickedness, a rebuke we justly deserve. May all eyes be turned to the Glorious One who made us and established this great nation under His authority — and may we return to being “One Nation under God.” As Joshua declared to the Israelites, the choice is ours: “Choose you this day who you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15). My response echoes Joshua’s: “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

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