The seduction of a nation
Yesterday I watched video of Bill Clinton stumping for Maurice Hinchey, one of the most odious characters in a Congress that has quite a few. Clinton was heckled, and he took control of the situation by bragging on his four balanced budgets as president. The audience rose and cheered him with patriotic fervor, and the hecklers were drowned out.
I can only hope that Mr. Clinton gets on his knees each night and expresses thanks for the Republicans who drove him to the center and forced him to adopt policies such as welfare reform and the abandonment of his governmental takeover of health care.
I’ve been watching with displeasure as Clinton enjoys a massive rehabilitation in this season of need for the Democrat Party. It seems that even after 9/11, two wars and a near-depression, America has learned very little.
Until the appearance of Obama on the scene, Mr. Clinton was the most prodigious liar I had ever seen. But his strength wasn’t actually his ability to deceive. With Clinton most people knew they were being lied to. It was his ‘aw, shucks’ good ol’ boy demeanor that disarmed much of the public and let him get away with it.
Not so with Obama. I recall watching Obama during one of the presidential debates, in which he calmly and coolly defended his vote in the Illinois senate against providing pediatricians to protect the lives of aborted babies born alive. He maintained that he voted against the bill because Illinois law already provided for such protection, and therefore the bill was just prolife political grandstanding.
I follow these things and had heard otherwise, but Obama’s intelligence and apparent sincerity caused even me to doubt. Frankly, I have had enough problems with some elements of the prolife movement that I had to consider the possibility that my information had been incorrect.
So that debate ended with me being unsure about the character of Obama. Certainly, the man had much that was winsome. If his votes had indeed been reasonable, I could see why many would support him.
The conflict gnawed at me for a few days before I finally did the research. The Illinois bill that Obama used for cover stipulated that the abortionist himself was to switch hats in the case of an aborted baby born alive and now try to save the life of the baby he had been trying to kill.
Picture that. An abortionist drags a scalded, half-dead baby with limbs torn off out of the birth canal, and sees it’s still alive. He now has a choice. If the baby lives in a deformed condition, its mother would now turn on the abortionist with the finest legal guns in the country. All manner of horrendous publicity concerning him and his trade would ensue, and it is quite likely that he would lose his shirt and be put out of business.
Or he could simply go through the motions but let the baby die. Considering the moral caliber of most people drawn to the abortion trade, what do you think this guy is going to do?
I saw clearly that the Illinois law Obama used for cover was a sham. And I just as clearly saw that Obama was the coolest, most bloodless liar I had ever experienced. What was most troubling was the realization that perhaps only one percent of the nation knew the facts on the Illinois abortion bill. The rest would have been convinced of Obama’s sincerity and reasonableness in the matter, and they probably would have concluded that this man is indeed fit to serve in our highest office.
Now, two years later, many are learning the truth. We see how the promises to be a post-partisan uniter and healer were merely a David Axlerod ad campaign to sell Obama as something he is not. Obama has done nothing to build consensus; he hasn’t even tried. Consensus for Obama is agreeing with his radical agenda, which he has pursued even while the nation was bleeding for jobs. And now that he’s in electoral trouble, the last remnants of post-partisanship have been cast off, revealing the divisive hyper-partisan attack dog that always hid behind the cool demeanor.
The troubling thing here is that with the resurrection of Bill Clinton, much of America is bearing witness that it has learned nothing. It is saying, “Lie to us if you must, we don’t care about the morality. Just give us prosperity”.
Back in 1992, Clinton ran for the presidency on the slogan, “it’s the economy, stupid”. Clinton and his wife had a radical social agenda, including unrestricted abortion rights, but the nation was in a slight recession and he capitalized on that fact. And the media helped him by burying the fact that we had already begun to emerge from the recession in the months before the election.
At that time, Ralph Martin wrote that to place the economy over moral issues as a voting criteria was to violate the biblical prohibition against taking a bribe to pervert justice (Proverbs 17.23). Much of America took that bribe, and we got what we got.
There is much irony here. The economy which had been recovering before Clinton was elected now began to stagnate and sink backwards, as the business community drew back in alarm at Clinton’s agenda, which included the nationalization of one-seventh of the economy, by means of taking over the health care sector.
It wasn’t until 1994, when the Republicans took control of Congress on a platform of reduced government, forcing Clinton to abruptly declare that “the era of big government is over” and to abandon his worst schemes, that the economy gained traction and roared on for years.
In Matthew 6.33, Jesus assures us that if we seek God’s kingdom first, He then will add to us everything we need. This is the lesson America has yet to learn. It’s not the economy, it’s the morality that we need to be concerned with. If we would return to the sound values we were founded on, if we would get humanist statism and political correctness off our backs, the natural creativity of our interrelationships would be unleashed and we would enjoy an economic renaissance the likes of which has not been seen. God wants us to prosper and do well, but He knows it must be done the right way (see 3John 1.2).
And the prosperity we would enjoy would not be the materialistic, hedonistic lust-fest we have seen. We would have our needs met, we would live with purpose and dignity, and we would be a light to the nations once again.
But it must begin by valuing truth above all, even over economic prosperity.
Elections are in three weeks. Consider prayerfully where this nation is spiritually, and where it needs to be. God promises that if we honor Him, He will honor us (1Samuel 2.20). Put God first and you have everything. Place an idol in your heart before him, and you end up with nothing.