The quest by some in the Republican Party for a savior is unseemly.
We have a choice between the incumbent president and a long list of good men and women with strong backgrounds. This list includes the governor of one of our largest states, a former governor and business leader, a former senator, a successful business leader, the architect of the Republican congressional majority, and a congressional firebrand.
Whatever their merits Cain, Perry, Romney, and Santorum all strike me as plausible, mainstream candidates for president. Each have different strengths, but Perry and Romney in particular are strong leaders with the experience generally required in our leaders.
Neither may be a conservative heartthrob, but both are to the right of the current president. If Christians like the present direction of the country, they can vote for the incumbent. If not, they will have a clear choice in any of the leading contenders. We are not electing a prom date, but looking for someone who will wear well as the leader of the Republic for four years.
Michelle Bachmann is a good guest on our national stage, but I don’t think she should host the show.
The conservative party should not be in quest of a political savior. The messiah came and until He returns, there will be no perfect ruler whether one looks in New Jersey, Florida, Texas, or Washington D.C. Perhaps it is better to vote for competence, knowing we will be a bit disappointed in some details, than quest for ideological purity.
Ideological purity usually comes with the intellectual inflexibility that makes a man unfit for changing conditions.
As a conservative, I put no trust in princes. Whoever gets my vote in the primaries is not going to save the nation. My hope is that my favored candidate will do no harm or at least less harm than the other choices. He or she should also be a fit role model in the bully pulpit of the White House.
President Obama appears to have a wonderful family life. That is important to a nation where marriage is under attack and where healthy two parents families are rare. Republicans, as the party of traditional families, should do at least as well!
Each candidate from the incumbent to the Republicans will represent a compromise for a Christian voter, but that is a virtue. A Christian embraces political compromise when he must, because he knows that politics is generally safest when it is not dominated by rigid ideologies. If government protects life, liberty, and allows humans to do good, then we are content. We would die for the faith, but nobody should die for the Republican or Democratic Party platforms.
Such partisans are frightening and endanger our polity.
Whenever somebody on the right claims to have all the answers to practical problems, he has no conservative. Instead, he has become a utopian ideologue. The last century showed us that inflexible ideology applies to practical politics to do “good” murdered, looted, and destroyed culture in the name of “truth.”
Christians know truth, but one truth we know is that the minute we apply that truth to the world we make mistakes.
There are, of course, a few issues where compromise is not possible, because our knowledge of the good is too complete. We cannot compromise the life of our fellow citizens, including the unborn. We cannot compromise on the freedom to practice our faith as God would wish us to do so. We cannot condone any right to vice.
Christians know not all things wrong need be illegal, but all things wrong should never receive state support.
We can argue and compromise on tax policy. George Washington pointed out that any alliance with other nations is open to debate. Our foreign policy must be principled, but also pragmatic. We cannot protect our friends by giving them blank checks they will not be able to cash, because we have bankrupted ourselves or lack the will to follow through it.
George Washington in his Farewell Address got the balance right. The nation needs a strong and religious people, since there is no evidence that a people can be moral apart from religion. Our main job as citizens is to be subjects to King Jesus so that we are fit to be free. Secondarily, we look to government to provide the space in which this can be done.
The next election will be fought between two candidates with imperfect visions of how to implement the vision of the Founders. Imperfect voters, such as we are, will pick between them. The result will be imperfect and only a weirdling would look to the results to redeem us.
Thank God. May we never face an election where either side, especially the winning side, thinks earthly paradise is possible and utopia is a vote away.