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Posts Tagged ‘Presidential Campaign 2016’

Devin Nunes

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. speaks with reporters outside the White House. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Among the biggest stories in the press so far this year has been the dust up over the FISA memo.

The memo is the work of the House Intelligence Committee and its Chairman Devin Nunes. For several weeks, Americans were treated to the suspense, not just concerning what was in this mysterious memo, but also whether it would be released to the public at all.

After two weeks of wrangling, the go-ahead to make the memo public finally was given by President Trump on Friday, February 2.

The memo, as it turned out, showed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were less than forthcoming when they presented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) with evidence to convince the court to authorize electronic surveillance of one of then-candidate Trump’s volunteer advisors, Carter Page.

The evidence supplied by the DOJ and the FBI to get the FISA warrant – the application was presented to the FISA court on October 21, 2016, just weeks before the presidential election – was a dossier put together by Christopher Steele, a former British spy. The dossier contained allegations about Carter page and Donald Trump. The ones concerning Trump were of a particularly salacious nature.

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Well, that didn’t take long. The last echoes of the inaugural balls had scarcely faded when the first protest march against Donald Trump hit the Washington Mall. I refer, of course, to the Women’s March on Washington which took place on January 22, 2017, the day after Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

Beloved by much of middle America, reviled by the elites, from the very beginning of his presidential campaign Donald Trump has been a figure almost impossible to ignore.

It was not my intention to write about Saturday’s protest march against Trump. But the sheer size and radical nature of the event held in Washington and mirrored at other sites throughout the nation cries out for commentary.

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U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts during inauguration ceremonies at the Capitol in Washington

Newly sworn in President Donald Trump shakes the hand of Chief Justice John Roberts, 1/20/2017.

In case you haven’t heard, we had this little thing called a presidential inauguration this week. It seemed like a pretty big deal. So for that reason, and the fact that my alternative was leading with a story on Davos, the annual Dr. Evil convention held in Switzerland, it seemed good to me to kick things off this week with a word or two about the Trumpocalypse.

Mr. Populist Goes to Washington

For generations, the Democrats were the party of the little guy, the blue collar worker, the poor. They were the idealist revolutionaries manning the barricades against the oppressive establishment.

The Republicans? Well, they represented The Man. You know, like the top hat bedecked fellow with the monocle from Monopoly. The one who just can’t wait to overcharge you for rent in his hotel on Park Place.

But now in 2017 you can say goodbye to all that.

With his remarkable campaign and unlikely victory in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump has sent shockwaves through the establishments in both political parties. It is now the Democrats who are the defenders of the New World Order globalist establishment, the representatives of the bi-coastal elites, the champions of privilege.

And the Republicans, it is they who have become the party of the common man.

Maybe there really is something republican about the Republicans beyond just the name. After all, it was the Republicans who fought off the South’s attempt to break up the republic during the Civil War. And today it is the Republicans – not the establishment Republicans, but the rank-and-file conservatives within the party – who have been most effective in defending the sovereignty of American republic against the globalists pushing for world government.

And while I don’t count myself as a populist – populism is a mish-mash of often contradictory ideas intended to benefit the little guy; as a Christian, I believe in limited government, the rule of law, and private property – I’m certainly a lot more comfortable with President Trump than the Wicked Witch of the West the Democrats tried to foist on us.

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It’s ten days to go until the big election, but to me it feels a bit like fourth and goal with the clock ticking down.

On the one side you have the establishment interests desperate to shove Hillary across the goal line.

On the other side of the ball, you have the American people, at least the ones who have enough sense not to support a criminal for president, seeking to push back against the onslaught of lies and fraud to make the big defensive stop.

It’s do or dies time.

So how’s this going to play out? Do the American people make the big stop, or does the Evil Empire win the day.

My Scripturalist convictions prevent me from making knowledge claims apart from Scripture and for that reason I tend to shy away from predictions. There’s that, plus I really just don’t like setting myself up to look foolish.

That said, I’m going to take a baby step out on a limb on offer an opinion, not a knowledge claim, but an opinion, and say that come Friday January 20, 2017 we’re going to bear witness to the inauguration of President Trump.

Why do I say this? Well for starters…

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trump_clinton_2

In last week’s post, I set forth a framework for helping Evangelicals think through the issue of whether then can support Donald Trump for President. I suggested we ask ourselves the following questions when considering whether we can vote for Trump: What is more important, What is less important, What is not important at all.

Today, I would like to apply that analysis specifically to the issue of the vulgar Donald Trump/billy Bush video that was released a few weeks ago.

That video, showing both men engaged in what has been euphemistically termed “locker room talk”, has threatened to undermine Trump’s support among Evangelicals, who, with good reason, are offended by what was said on the recording.

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trump_clinton_2

The Bible distinguishes knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is the ideas taught in Scripture either by direct statement or by implication. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the correct application of knowledge to the particular men and circumstances that we encounter in our lives.

As a way of getting them to apply their knowledge, John Robbins sometimes would tell people they needed to decide what is more important, what is less important, and what is not important at all. This approach can be a helpful way for Christians to think through a host of different issues, including the decision how to vote in elections.

And given the stakes inherent in any presidential election, maybe especially this election, it is important for Christians to have a Biblical framework for evaluating the candidates.

For my part, I have struggled with the election more than any other. There are numerous reason why I would never consider voting for Hillary Clinton. Some of them I have outlined below.

On the other hand, the thought of voting for Trump presents challenges as well.

One Christian writer, put off as he is by the release of a video with Trump making lewd sexual remarks, has equated support for Trump with idolatry and a decision that harms our witness for Christ, “Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord” (Andy Crouch, Speak Truth to Trump).

Over at World, Marvin Olasky penned Unfit for power, an editorial calling for Trump to step aside as Republican nominee.

One suspects that the arguments put forth by both these writers reflect the thoughts of many Christians. And it is not hard to understand their agreement with Crouch and Olasky.

My view is different. As I shall argue, I believe both these gentlemen miss the mark with their commentaries. Given the circumstances, In my opinion a vote for Trump, rather than being idolatry, may very well be an act of good judgment.

Concerning the call for Trump to step down, it’s worth asking whether there have been any calls from World for Mrs. Clinton to step aside for her many, blatant and serious crimes, not to mention several other significant problems that make her unfit for office.

Before presenting my argument, there are a few points I would like to make.

First, what I say in this post is an opinion. I do not offer it up as a necessary deduction from Scripture. I do not claim it as knowledge. As one who’s spent more than a year struggling with what to think about Trump, and to some extent avoiding commentary on the subject, I can appreciate Crouch’s and Olasky’s concerns and do not doubt their good intentions.

Further, there are many good brothers and sisters in Christ who, as a matter of conscience believe they cannot vote for Trump. This post is not aimed at them. If someone believes voting for Trump is wrong, he should by no means go against his conscious. To do so would be sin.

Third, I acknowledge my own biases, sinfulness and ignorance and realize that all of these shortcomings color any analysis that I do. A Hillary Clinton administration will be, in my view, a heavy burden upon the American people. Perhaps my own intense dislike for her has unfairly colored by assessment of Trump. In light of this, it is possible that I am wrong and those who oppose a Trump presidency are right. That I will leave for others to decide.

Fourth, I write what I do in good faith in the hope that the body of Christ may find it edifying. It is not my intention to castigate those who come to conclusions that are at odds with mine. And if I’ve made errors in my reasoning, perhaps at least some of what I’ve set forth will stimulate thought concerning the election choice facing the nation.

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