Category Archives: Liberty

PATRIOTS ON STRIKE?!

cslewis

The lesser of two evils?

VIABLE ALTERNATIVES?

Is it just me or do many of you wish that you could find a viable alternative to making a choice between a self-serving inept felon and a volatile ego maniacal jackass, as the next President of the United States? Of course, though sarcastic, that’s a rhetorical question. I know that very many, if not most, of my fellow Americans share a similar view. Later, I’ll offer empirical evidence of that.

Some will suggest that throwing your support to a third-party candidate is a viable alternative. That’s only half true. It is an alternative but it isn’t viable. Regardless of your third-party vote, Clinton or Trump will be the next POTUS and you will have changed nothing.

CHANGE-MAKING ALTERNATIVES?

In order to find a viable alternative to this dilemma, I suggest stepping back and taking a fresh look at our concerns about the nominees of the two major parties. Up to now, I’ve seen this assessment include:

• Choose between the lesser of two evils.
• Are they evil or just flawed?
• Are they unfit or just unacceptable?
• Are they immoral or just unwise?
• The fear of what he says versus the fear of what she does.
• For different reasons, neither can be trusted.

Frankly, I find each of these considerations to be somewhat reasonable. But they don’t really lead to a viable alternative that positively impacts the ongoing devolution in American politics. Ironically, I heard the solution summed up in a statement made by Hillary Clinton that was, as usual, meant to demean Donald Trump. She said,

“We need to stand up as a people and say that America is better than (this)!”

I wholeheartedly agree and absent a truly acceptable alternative candidate, I firmly believe it calls for an unorthodox approach to making the changes so many of us have been crying out for in American politics. It means refusing to continue to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and only voting for candidates who are truly deserving of your vote. What I’m recommending is that all of us who share the frustration expressed in my opening paragraph refuse to vote for any of 2016’s presidential candidates, while voting for every down-ticket candidate who deserves our support. I think of it as  … 

… A Presidential Voters Strike for Our Union.

I know that many will, at least initially, say that my recommendation is crazy, it will effect no change and that either Clinton or Trump will still be the next POTUS. No doubt, the latter is true and it’s going to take all of U.S. pulling together, finally setting aside our ever deepening polarization, to survive whichever one is elected. This Voters Strike could be the first step in that movement and I believe it can effect the changes we long for. I want to offer my logic, that I believe is fully sane, by presenting the empirical evidence I alluded to earlier. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Current Events, Government, Liberty, Making a Difference, politics, Presidents, United States

President Washington’s Day

washington04072012

PRESIDENTS’ DAY

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it was traditionally celebrated on February 22, Washington’s actual day of birth. However, according to History.com, the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and others, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.

ALL PRESIDENTS, GREAT AND SMALL?!

I think it was a damaging mistake to change from honoring the best of our presidents, as we did when I was growing up, to celebrating them all, as is done today. No doubt, some will say that my lament here is nothing more than me being sentimental about how things were “back in the day” but I truly see this shift as resulting in a loss for our culture. I see it as being akin to the philosophies of “no winners or losers” and “everyone gets a trophy”. With these, in what is likely to have started as a well-intentioned attempt to protect those with lesser abilities from being mistreated, the result is a homogenous society where all are rewarded equally, regardless of what effort is applied to their varying sets of talent. And, since there is no greater reward associated with greater effort and/or greater ability, the incentive to actually strive for greatness has been dramatically diminished. That seems to me like just the opposite of the standard we should be setting in establishing a holiday in recognition of America’s presidents.

Of course, I recognize that some may view Presidents’ Day as just being meant to honor the office. I’m OK with that but I believe most Americans look at Presidents’ Day in the way History.com described it, “… a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.” With that being the case, I ask: Have they all been great and are they all deserving of being honored as such? In looking at the list of 44 U.S. Presidents, I think it’s pretty obvious that the answers to these questions are no and no. As a matter of fact, there have been two in my lifetime who have so dishonored the office that I would object to their being honored with their own holiday. One of these famously said, “I am not a crook.” He was. The other just as famously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” He did. Ironically, with both of these, if not for their acts which truly dishonored the office, they might have been remembered as among our best presidents, if not among the greatest.

THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT

Thankfully, many of our 44 presidents have been distinguished. But I think there are just a few who were truly great. Chief among them is President Washington. In addition to the fact that he will always hold a unique position, as Father of Our Country, there are many other aspects of his life that can be pointed to as great. Arguably, one of the greatest things about his presidency was something that he didn’t do. He could have become King George I of the USA or U.S. President for lifetime. But, in keeping with the objectives set forth in the U.S. Constitution, that were ‘in order to form a more perfect union”, Washington willingly relinquished his presidential authority in 1796, at the end of his second term. In an article entitled The Wisdom of George Washington, Hoover.org provides the following comparison to illustrate how very exceptional this act was:

The world’s most generous prize money is attached not to the Nobel Prize but to the Mo Ibrahim Prize, awarded for good governance in Africa, as determined by a very simple test: a democratically elected leader who actually leaves office at the end of his term. The winner receives five million dollars plus two hundred thousand dollars a year for life. The 53 African nations yielded one claimant in 2011, but none for the two years previous. The precedent set by George Washington has not been easy to establish elsewhere, prize money or not.

With this in mind, rather than continuing with a Presidents’ Day that honors all U.S. presidents past and present, I’d like to see us return to honoring George Washington, as the Father of Our Country and as the U.S. President who set the standard for true greatness in that office. Whether we do this on the third Monday in February or on February 22, Washington’s actual day of birth, doesn’t matter to me. What does matter to me is preserving America’s founding ideals. As this relates to the subject at hand, I see it as inappropriate to include those who may have only been great at getting elected but who were inferior leaders, when we set aside a special day in appreciation of the office of U.S. President. Rather, I see it as most fitting to observe a President’s Day … President Washington’s Day, to recognize the one who showed the most honor to the office through greater effort applied to greater ability, as our nation’s leader.

1 Comment

Filed under character, democracy, Government, greatness, ideals, leadership, Liberty, Making a Difference, Presidents, United States

Where Do Today’s Pilgrims Go Next?

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday in November. Although sources can be found (e.g. Wikipedia) stating that Thanksgiving is “considered secular” and “can be traced to harvest festivals … celebrated … since ancient times”, that ignores an overwhelming abundance of evidence to the contrary. It’s certainly contradictory to what I was taught in my home, in my church, in my school and in my entire community; growing up in the U.S. And, its absolutely inconsistent with what’s in my heart, as I celebrate Thanksgiving … to give thanks to God for all that He blesses me with.

That “overwhelming abundance of evidence” starts with the foundational event for our Thanksgiving Day … the Pilgrims of Plymouth, MA, setting apart a day to celebrate their first harvest, in 1621. As to whether or not this celebration could be “considered secular”, you only need to consider who the Pilgrims were. These were people, originating in England, who didn’t accept the “divine right” of King James I and who were determined to honor only God, as their King. They ended up in Plymouth as the result of fleeing King James’ persecution. You can bet that the Pilgrims saw Thanksgiving as a Holiday (meaning Holy Day), set aside to express their thanks to God.

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress appointed Thanksgiving days every year. In 1777, their declaration started by saying:

“FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received … (full text).”

You know, that doesn’t sound so “secular” to me.

The first Thanksgiving Day in the United States was designated by President George Washington, in 1789. His proclamation began with:

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits … (full text).”

That doesn’t sound very nuanced either, that its aim is Spiritual.

And, in 1863, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln set forth a proclamation, establishing the Thanksgiving Day we continue to observe. Lincoln opened his decree by stating:

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.” (full text)

The Spiritual intent is pretty hard to miss in that too.

So, where does this perception come from that Thanksgiving is “considered secular”? And, though its not what is taught in my home or in my church, why is it now commonly accepted in our schools and our communities? Even in the school where my Wife works, instead of celebrating Thanksgiving, they have a “Peace Meal”. What’s going on?

Sadly, I think what’s going on is similar to what was going on with the Pilgrims. Remember, Pilgrims were the people who were determined to honor only God, as their King. They ended up here as a result of being persecuted for this. Considering that the persecution was so intense that it finally drove them out of their homeland, I assume they were experiencing this persecution everywhere they went … in their communities, in their schools, in their churches and even in their homes. King James is long gone and it may seem melodramatic to refer to it as persecution but there’s no denying that the changes I’ve seen in our communities and our schools has been driven by those who don’t want to acknowledge God, in any way, let alone as their King. An added irony here is that its not uncommon for those taking this position to also be working to make America more like Europe … the very environment the Pilgrims fled. Considering this, how long will it be before they succeed at having their way in our churches and homes too?

Sooner or later, this reality must be confronted. I suggest that we begin by looking in the mirror to see that the Pilgrims are still here. I can’t say for sure that my European ancestors came here for the same reason as the Pilgrims but I, too, am determined to honor God as my King. So, even without the buckle hat, I recognize, I’m a Pilgrim too. However, I have no Mayflower to board and no New World to flee to. So, where do I, as one of today’s Pilgrims go next? For me, the answer is simple and it comes from the persecutor’s least favorite source … God’s Word (ironically, the King James version) … “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15. Meaning, I’m not going anywhere. For me, Thanksgiving Day will remain set apart to give thanks to God and I will honor only Him, as my King.

Comments Off on Where Do Today’s Pilgrims Go Next?

Filed under Liberty, religion