Friday, November 9, 2012

The Clear Choice

I have been hoping, for this election, for clarity. I wanted the situation to be that people could see clearly who the candidates were, so the choice could be made without deceit. I believed that, if the American people had the clear choice before them, they would make the right choice for our country.
Here is what was clear to anyone with eyes willing to see:
President Obama divides the people, ignores the constitution, and has a four-year record of failed economic policies. His behavior toward our allies has been offensive. His behavior to our enemies has been apologetic and submissive. His specific lies following the Benghazi attack are so egregious as to require impeachment. His history, while sketchy, clearly indicates a disdain for our beloved constitutional ideals. He seems incompetent as a leader (specifically failing to persuade others to follow his actual ideology when truthfully stating it). Meanwhile, I think he is consistent in moving to transform the nation from a constitutional republic into a marxist tyranny. His tone is condescending and his attacks on his opponent are petty and small-minded. Because I love my homeland and the blessed freedom we inherited from our forefathers, I see him as an enemy. It is difficult for me to see positives about him. Others see him as a “great” orator; I have never heard him give a speech that moved me, and most of his speech I find grating and the opposite of inspiring. But I grant that some people swoon and feel moved, for whatever reason. (People do that over various rap “singers,” and I feel similarly puzzled.)
Romney during the GOP convention
from Ann Romney's Facebook page
Deserved-President Romney has been knowable all along. He is, despite the mischaracterization, about as steady and consistent as I have ever seen a public figure. He has a genuine history of remarkable success. His open record shows a very smart man, with an extreme work ethic combined with almost superhuman energy. His priorities are with God and family, and caring for individuals, with personal hand labor, not just with money. This was the hardest thing to get to know about him, because his quiet service is a way of life; he does it to serve God and fellowman, and it detracts from that purpose to talk about it. But his friends, real people who have known him in real life over long years, testify on his behalf. The stories of his sterling character are legion. Meanwhile, no one, virtually not a single human being, comes forward to testify of Obama’s lifetime character record.
Romney seems, in ways our founding fathers were, raised up by God for such a time as this. He had the sterling qualities, the valuable life experience, and the understanding—in addition to natural leadership qualities that inspire the best in those around him. Whatever our serious, practically insolvable problems in this country, if a human being, who would turn to God for guidance, could be seen to find solutions and turn the country around, that human being would be Mitt Romney. As Ann said, “This man will not fail.”
The choice was between Obama’s failure for our country and damage to our constitution, and the return to the constitution, free-enterprise, and civilized living. This was a difference between right and wrong, between freedom and tyranny, between prosperity and depression. The differences could not have been more stark.
It was inconceivable to me that, with that clarity, a majority of the American people would do anything other than rush to the polls to make the right choice. I was wrong.
I had felt peace in the couple of weeks before the election, that the clarity was there, and more than anything that God had things in hand. In my perspective, which is a much smaller perspective than God’s perspective, I could only imagine that meant a Mitt Romney win, and I was counting on improved economic and other considerations—that we would have some relief from the government-induced pain. So the immediate reaction was to mourn the loss of my hopes and plans.
What I had refused to believe was that the country, because of the people and their choices, was in as bad a shape as turned out to be true. This changes my understanding completely.
In the Book of Mormon, there is an understanding that there is a societal pattern we could call The Pride Cycle. A free and prosperous people tend to become complacent and prideful and forget about God, which leads to corruption and then bondage. And then, in their really bad straits, the humbled people turn back to God, and they eventually get deliverance and return to prosperity. Until they become complacent and prideful again.
My son Political Sphere had been listening to the returns on TheBlazeTV (Glenn Beck’s coverage online). And he said one of the guests, historian David Barton, actually talked about the cycle. He called it the Cycle of the Body Politic, but it is similar enough, I think we’re looking at the same cycle. I found this, beginning at the 4:12 mark (four hours and twelve minutes in):
David Barton: It’s called the Cycle of the Body Politic, and it goes through these steps:
·         You start with bondage as a nation.
·         Then you hit spiritual truth.
·         From that you develop great courage.
·         From great courage you fight for liberty.
·         You then have abundance once you get liberty.
·         But then selfishness sets in.
·         And then complacency.
·         And then apathy.
·         And then you go back to dependence.
And that’s the typical cycle of nations.
Glenn: I think the United States, many of our friends and neighbors are at apathy and dependence, in that transition period. But there’s probably a third of us that are in spiritual truth and great courage. We’re just at opposite ends of the circle.
I think that’s right. Because I have mostly surrounded myself with like-minded people, those of us at the “spiritual truth and great courage” place, I believed we were a critical mass that could move us up toward liberty and abundance. But indeed a thin majority of the voters saw Obama and what he represents as what they want. They do not want to hear truth. They refuse to believe in principles of truth. They were willing to believe Romney was an evil plutocrat out to gouge money from the poor, with all evidence to the contrary. They were willing to believe Obama had their best interests at heart despite the high unemployment, higher taxes, and anti-business policies. One could say there are many among them that are too stupid to know the truth, but I believe right now it is more willful disbelief. Government is their replacement for God. Compared to the real God, government is a pathetic substitute.
Even if we find there was enough voter fraud and disenfranchisement of military voting to make the difference, the country itself is nevertheless under condemnation--more than half choosing not to follow God's principles. The sizable percentage of eligible voters who failed to vote in essence assented to the current path southward into tyranny. I was simply wrong about there being enough of us to prevent the inevitable drop into the bottom bondage point of the cycle—and bondage is a synonym for tyranny. We are already suffering a fair amount of tyranny and have been suffering it for some years. I don’t know quite how to envision what is yet to come. But in order for God to humble His people and persuade them to turn back to Him, they must be made uncomfortable in their suffering.
There has to be a way to move back up north to freedom. We’ll talk about that in days to come. For today, let me just say that we owe a debt of gratitude to Mitt Romney for his tremendous sacrifice. He is a natural leader without the common love of power. We might not ever see a candidate for president who is as good a man as Mitt Romney has been his whole life.
There is a character in the Book of Mormon, a strong leader named Captain Moroni; it was said of him: “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men” (Alma 48:17). If we had a preponderance of men like Mitt Romney, instead of this one singular man, we would have prosperity, civilization, and liberty at the very top of the sphere, with no slipping southward.
I believe he was called by God to run this campaign and give it his all. The cost physically, emotionally, and economically to him and his family was significant. He knew going in that the odds were against him, but he was the very best option, and he did his very best to give us the choice we needed. I believe it was part of God’s plan to have Romney there, so the choice would be stark, so that when the inevitable suffering of a people under condemnation comes, the suffering will clearly be the natural consequence of the choice.
What do we—who are already choosing right—what do we do now? Whatever God continues to call us to do. There was this discussion at the 4:54 mark of Glenn Beck’s coverage (my apologies that I couldn’t locate the General’s full name and don’t recognize him):
General: I’m disappointed, but I’m not discouraged. I’m going back to the hotel tonight. I’m going to get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow I’m going back to Washington, and I’m gonna do exactly what I’ve been doing. And, David, you’ve just got to keep on writing books. And, Glenn, you’ve got to continue to be the Ezekiel 33:6 watchman.
Glenn: It doesn’t end well for those guys.
General: You’ve got to be the watchman. We’ve got to keep doing what we’ve been doing. It’s what we’re called to, and we keep doing what we’ve been doing. And the outcome is not up to us….
David Barton: John Quincy Adams fighting a losing battle, for him; he fought against slavery. But he never quit, and when the media asked him why, he said, “Because duty is ours; results are God’s.” And if we’ll stay on the track of doing the right thing, and don’t worry about the results, it doesn’t alter what we do, we’ll be all right.

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