Commentary By Frank Stephens: Vote Donald, Hillary, 3rd Party, or stay home?

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 09, 2016 / comments

The desperate choices for President before us are, in fact, not only a rebuke to the professional politicians, but also a painful revelation about the degeneration of the voting public.

Immediately after electing a President with virtually no track record, on the basis of rhetoric and symbolism, and seeing disaster after disaster during his administration, many are now prepared to do the same thing again. Worse yet is the possibility of electing someone with a long track record of corruption and lying.

More than two centuries ago, Thomas Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." If so, can people who refuse to look up from their computer screens to understand the crucial decisions needing to be made expect to remain a free people?

So what are the options available to us, the voters – Trump, Clinton, third party?

Here it is in one sentence: The problem with voting for Trump is that you don't know what you're going to get. The problem with Hillary is that you do. So it must be Trump, right? Let’s take a breath and take a look at the limited possibilities.

Isn’t Libertarian Gary Johnson another viable possibility?

Take it from someone who was an Orange County libertarian way back in the 1970s when the label meant something. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is not a conservative and he’s not much of a libertarian. His campaign is based on lies and misrepresentations.

Johnson claims to have balanced the state budget every year, but what he means by this is that he complied with the New Mexico constitution, which as a practical matter prohibits operational spending deficits. New Mexico’s debt is required to be off the books in a separate “capital outlay” budget. This means that of course his operating budgets were balanced because an unbalanced budget is impossible. The capital outlays are considered “balanced” if it is believed they can likely be paid for in the future, and rosy assumptions are permitted.

It’s as if you or I claimed to be debt-free because our bank account, which does not allow for overdrafts, had no overdrafts, but we are signing up for more maxed-out credit cards and making minimum payments on them. In the sense that Johnson says he balanced the budgets, every president and Congress in history has passed balanced federal budgets 100% of the time. In fact, Johnson inherited a debt of $1.8 billion and left a debt of $4.6 billion, a rate of increase unmatched by the 22 governors in either party who have filed for presidential primaries in the past two decades. During every year that Johnson, as he says, balanced the budget, he added to the debt.

As with so many big-government types, government growth under Johnson’s administration was greater not only quantitatively but qualitatively. That is, he expanded government into new and illegitimate areas. Most notably, he created a new form of the refundable tax credit, a film subsidy that has since spread like a cancer across America. Plenty of other governors imitated Johnson’s pattern of buying publicity, including photo opportunities with celebrities, by paying, cash down, for filmmakers to move out of some other state; traditional subsidies just weren’t generous enough to enable states to compete.

There’s more to the Johnson saga but we have two other possible candidates to look at.

How about Hillary Clinton? With a 30-plus years record to consider we quickly get a clear picture of who she is and where she will take our country.

From Whitewater to Iraq, Russia to Benghazi, Iran to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary has left a trail of destruction and human devastation – and what’s up with all those dead bodies? After criticizing Obama’s failed administration she now states she will continue Obama’s failed economic, domestic, and foreign policies. I don’t know if I can believe her, but more likely she simply wants the Obama vote and will abandon his policies if she wins. Regardless, Hillary and Bill Clinton are living proof that crime pays in spectacular ways.

Thirdly, let’s look at Donald Trump. Virtually every pundit, pollster and journalist failed in assessing the Trump Train in the primary. Are we making the same mistake again in the general?

Fifty years from now, political scientists will still be analyzing the improbable victory of businessman, raconteur, and reality talk show host Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary. The two central questions: How did so many pundits, pollsters, politicians, and opposing candidates consistently underestimate this sometimes rude and often raucous casino billionaire? And how come so many, having been confident about the impossibility of Trump winning the nomination, are now equally confident that he cannot win the general election?

That his character defects, gaps in knowledge on some important issues, and lack of identifiably conservative principles came to mean little to so many Republican and independent voters is quite troubling. However, I can also say it is even more troubling that nearly all Democrats ignore the even worse character flaws in Hillary Clinton, as well as the reckless socialist ideas of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Consider the “conscience” argument that one can sleep with a clear conscience by not voting for Trump. I don’t find it compelling because it means that your conscience is clear after making it possible for Clinton or another questionable candidate to win.

The “conscience” argument is truly weak. Consider, as one politico put it, if the election were a perfect tie, and the tie breaking vote fell to you and you alone, who would you vote for – Clinton or Trump?

Yes, the choice this November is tragic. As it often happens in life, this choice is between bad and worse, not bad and good.

Conservative talker Dennis Prager has outlined nine reasons why a conservative should prefer a Trump presidency to a Democrat Clinton presidency:

–Prevent a left-wing Supreme Court.
–Increase the defense budget.
–Repeal, or at least modify, the Dodd-Frank act.
–Prevent Washington, D.C. from becoming a state and giving the Democrats another two permanent senators.
–Repeal Obamacare.
–Curtail illegal immigration, a goal that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with xenophobia or nativism (just look at Western Europe).
–Reduce job-killing regulations on large and small businesses.
–Lower the corporate income tax and bring back hundreds of billions of offshore dollars to the United States.
–Continue fracking, which the left, in its science-rejecting hysteria, opposes.

Am I endorsing a Trump presidency? Not yet. However, no candidate will receive my vote unless he is publicly committed to use every power of his office to protect every unborn child. Now, if you read those words carefully, then you would realize there is only one person meeting that criterion.

Ultimately my hope is in Christ, not any political candidate. I also know that God raises governments up and brings governments down. God not only allowed President Ronald Reagan to be our president, He also allowed Barack Obama to be president. Who will be God’s person for this next four years?

It is absolutely true that our president will be chosen by our King of kings. He is the one who establishes governments. The confusion is when we make that affirmation and we jump to the conclusion that surely He’s doing something that will make things better. Surely if God’s going to choose this one over that one surely it must mean it’s the better choice. Well friends, that’s not how it works. When things get bad is when we discover our need of God.

Everyone who has led every nation was chosen by God for a purpose. Sometimes he’s chosen by God as judgment (we have recently seen this). Sometimes it’s mercy (we have also experienced this). And most of the time it’s both. These things are all under His control so I will not fret even if my choice loses in November. Ultimately, we don’t have a president, we have a King. Our job in recognizing His lordship over all things in our lives – government included.

So who do I suggest as the best candidate? I’m not yet ready to make that decision. I’ll do that in a few weeks. But I do know who I will not vote for.