How Low Will We Go?

For several decades now, with each passing election cycle, conservatives find themselves called upon to lower their standards and vote for candidates who constitute a new low in a ‘less than Christian’ and ‘less than Constitutional’ standard. Conservatives are told they have no choice; that if they don’t vote for the Republican the Democrat will win; that in order to defeat the liberal, they must elect a neocon now and hope to somehow “hold his feet to the fire” later. But no matter how many of the establishment anointed, left of center neocons we elect, we drift ever farther from the foundations of our republic and the foundations of our liberty. Occasionally, some sincere conservative folks will try to field a ‘We the People’ kind of candidate, only to have them attacked and crushed by the Republican Party establishment insiders who pull the strings behind the scenes. So come election time, conservatives once again find themselves forced to lower their standard even farther in order to save themselves from the evil, villainous, liberal boogeyman who scares all the good conservatives into voting for anyone but the Democrat. But I have to ask, in this cycle of ever lowering our standards and being asked to put aside our principles in order to win, “How Low Will We Go?”

Some make the case that our country’s departure from a strictly Constitutional standard began with Abraham Lincoln (not arguing the matter of slavery, but of states’ rights). Others point to Franklin D. Roosevelt and the onslaught of social programs and new bureaucracies under that administration. However, I believe the most insightful answer is found with those who look to the advent of progressivism around the turn of the twentieth century. This appears to be when humanistic thought first got a real foot in the door and began to influence political policy. Humanism, by virtue of its refusal to look to and acknowledge the Creator as sovereign, must by nature reject the idea of any fixed or absolute standards established by God. Instead, they must erect a shrine to human reason as the highest source from which to discover truth. Therefore, under humanism, there can never be an absolute standard of right and wrong, of truth and error. With humanism, the standard must be ever changing with the opinions and reasoning of men. Thus progressivism is born – a belief that truth is progressively being discovered – and thus, the belief that our own U.S. Constitution must be ever reinterpreted by each generation as they progressively discover truth through human reason unfettered by revelation of Divine law and unfettered by the plain text and original intent of the Constitution.

Perhaps the last Presidential nominee of either the Democrat or Republican parties who could be called an actual Constitutionalist with a real commitment to the strict limits placed on government by the supreme law of our land, was Barry Goldwater in 1964. Arguably, Ronald Reagan was the last real conservative President, though it can be pointed out that even he did not hold a strict Constitutional line.

Today, with the exception of Ron Paul in the U.S. House (maybe a half dozen others with him) and Matt Shea in my own Washington State Legislature (along with a handful of others), nearly the entirety of both Democrat and Republican candidates for office are under the influence of humanistic thought and political progressivism. I’m not saying that they mean to be progressives. Many are well-meaning church going folks who call themselves ‘conservative’ and who rail against progressives. However, they have been raised in a country, and an educational system, that have quietly fallen under the spell of humanist thought that has subtly cut them loose from fixed standards, leaving them to drift on the seas of their own thoughts as they discover what they ‘feel’ is right. They have unwittingly become steeped in a system of thought that serves as the undoing of any Christian or conservative good intentions they may have.

I’m sorry to have to say it, but 95% of Democrat and Republican candidates alike (and voters too) have lost sight of the principles that our nation was founded upon and the fixed standards once revered as sacred by our nation’s founders. Whether by malice aforethought or through simple lack of revelation of the timeless principles, both those labeled as liberal and conservative wander ever farther from strict adherence to the supreme law of our land, the United States Constitution.

Therefore, with each election cycle, we find ourselves faced with a new generation of ‘more evil’ liberals and equally ‘more compromised’ conservatives. What a liberal Democrat is in one decade, a conservative Republican is in the next. Yet for fear of the liberal Democrat, election cycle after election cycle, conservatives rally to vote for the Republican – any Republican – anyone who is deemed to be able to save them from the evil liberal, despite the fact that the Republican they are voting for this year holds to most of the policies of the Democrat of yesteryear.

And thus the continued downward spiral as Christians and conservatives are told to fear the new and even more evil liberal and to save themselves by lining up and voting for the new and even more compromised conservative. In this insane race to ever lower our standards in a quest to save ourselves through compromise and to hold on to conservatism by giving it away, I ask again, “How Low Will We Go?”

To see this matter in practical application, I will use my own state’s U.S. Senate race as an example. We start with the fixed and timeless principles and truths understood and adhered to by our nation’s founders and enshrined in the United States Constitution. We then lower the standard a notch to what has been called ‘conservatism.’ We then lower the standard another notch to the current Republican Party Platform. We then bring in a U.S. Senate candidate who would be considered a conservative, one who appeared to honestly be committed to the Republican Party’s platform. We then bring in, at the last minute and at the behest of the Republican Party establishment, a neocon candidate to undercut the conservative candidate and win the primary. After the primary, in order to feel good about asking his supporters to now support the neocon winner of the primary, the conservative candidate asks the neocon to make a pledge – not a pledge to uphold the U.S. Constitution; not to uphold the traditional principles of conservatism; not even to uphold the Republican Party’s own platform; but merely to:

  1. Pledge to never vote for new or increases in existing taxes.
  2. Pledge to never vote for any bill that causes a net increase in federal spending.
  3. Pledge to introduce Dr. Paul’s “Sanctity of Life” bill in the Senate.

So when the establishment neocon candidate refuses to throw conservatives even these three smallest of crumbs, what do conservatives do? They run to support him, pushing aside any argument to the contrary in a dread fear panic that even one so called conservative might fail to vote for him and thus allow the liberal Democrat to be reelected.

Now I’m certainly not saying that conservatives should run out and vote for the Democrat, but I am asking “How Low Will We Go” in lowering our standard, compromising our convictions and letting our fear of liberals drive us to give the precious empowering virtue of our vote to candidates who represent what we ourselves disbelieve and disapprove? To be honest, fear of the liberal drove many conservatives in my state to start abandoning their principles during the primary and to start flocking to the neocon the minute the ‘establishment powers that be’ told them that the neocon had a better chance of beating the Democrat in the general election.

There are some in my state who are now saying that as a matter of conscience, they cannot give their vote to either of the candidates being offered in this race and that they will write in another name, or perhaps even write in “None of the above.” I am not trying to be your conscience and tell you whether to do a write-in in this particular race or any race in this election cycle. However, I do have to ask “How Low Will We Go” before we withhold our vote as a form of protest and a matter of conscience?

How do conservatives expect to ever wield any influence or so called “hold their feet to the fire” while endlessly lining up to give their vote to whoever is put in front of them and deemed to have the best odds of being able to beat the liberal? How can elected office holders or party leaders be expected to ever take conservatives seriously when they know they can do anything they want to us and still get our vote on election day so long as they can convince us the Democrat is even worse?

So my question still is, “How Low Will We Go” before we draw the line and say “Enough! I’ll no longer reward the establishment with my vote and be a party to this debauchery?”

I realize that fear of the liberals is a factor, though it should not be. Fear (i.e., reverence, honor and trust) rightly belongs to God alone. I also realize that there is a time when a partial victory of electing someone who is not quite 100% Constitutional, is better than defeat. Nevertheless, if we are not willing to draw a line and say “this is how low I will go and no lower,” then we will continue to accept anything and everything foisted upon us until we one day find ourselves at the gates of Hell arguing that we would rather be ruled by this nice respectably dressed Anti-Christ fellow than that horrid and dreadful red devil with his horns and pitchfork – who by the way just happens to be the one who is trying to scare us into voting for his more palatable front man.

I’m not calling anyone in my state’s U.S. Senate race or in any race in this election cycle the devil or the Anti-Christ. As I said in the beginning of this article, a lot of these candidates are nice church-going people who think that they are doing something good, but they lack a grasp of the sound principles and fixed standards that are at the foundations of our Constitutional republic. Through a little blindness and a dose of humanist philosophy, they are sliding down the slippery slope. By giving the empowering virtue of our vote to such people, we authorize them to rule over us, our families, our neighbor’s families, our communities, states and nation and we become participants together with them in the destruction of the foundations of our beloved Constitutional republic.

At the top there is a high and lofty standard of fixed and absolute principles once adhered to by our nation’s founders and previous generations. At the bottom is absolute oppression and every debauchery. The path to the second is paved with the compromise of the first. In the course of lowering our standards in order to achieve political victory, every man needs to be able to answer this one question, How Low Will I Go?”

________________________

Note To The Reader – No one wants America blessed, prosperous and free more than the Creator who still loves us. Yet God will not share His glory with another (Isa 42:8). Do not expect Him to heal our land while we are trusting in man’s ability or the power of political institutions more than we are trusting in Him (Ps 118:8-9). America! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov 3:5-6)

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About Robert W. Peck

Bob Peck is a Christian, Constitutionist and political activist who serves as the chairman of the Constitution Party of Washington and is a member of the Constitution Party National Committee. Bob lives in Spokane Valley, Washington where he is a landlord-handyman. If, like Bob, you find yourself feeling betrayed by a two party duopoly that no longer represents your values, then check out the Constitution Party at www.constitutionparty.com or call 1-800-2VETOIRS and ask for a free information packet.
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3 Responses to How Low Will We Go?

  1. Ken Guidry says:

    Bob, I commend you on the thoughtful and passionate commentary, but, I see a problem with it.

    You only asked the question rhetorically and did not take the lead to answer it. You condemned the wayward drift of the people to choose the lesser of two evils, but failed to offer the manner with which you believe those people can overcome their lack of virtue. You hint at obligations to God, but do not compel our action with sound reason.

    I agree with you assertions. As I said in the invocation of the Spokane Tea Party event on October 2nd, “I am absolutely convinced that we have the government we deserve, if we want a better government, we need to become a better people.”
    “How low will we go?” We will continue to put into place people who represent us. Yes, each one of us may find complaint with those representatives; but, by my analysis, those representatives are a fairly accurate distillation of the “people” who put them in office.

    Yet, there are two specific things that we can do to make a difference. First, we need to understand and humble ourselves to the reality that the general election is a vote between the lesser of two evils; it always is and always will be. It is in the primaries that we work to provide for ourselves the candidates who can reattach our government to constitutional principles.

    Second, we need to ensure that we are not part of the problem that is partisan politics. My theory here is that, within the realm of compromise, it is high time we engaged progressives in a way that they must compromise in our direction. Our seclusion, our anger, our demand for high principles can all seem very righteous as we pretend to have the moral high ground, but it does nothing to reshape the community we live in towards sound policies. Such is only done when we lower ourselves to the ground and work side-by-side with them, ever compelling them with our sound reason.

    It is instructive to remind ourselves that party politics, whether Democrat, Republican, or the Constitution Parties, are all about the establishment and maintenance of power; some clearly more principled than others. But in this structure, with a citizenry that is so disengaged as ours is, we only get brief moments with which to push our governance in a better direction. I believe that the low road is to opt-out (to answer your question). I firmly believe we have the opportunity to push government in a better direction by voting Republican in the Senatorial race. (And to demonstrate my commitment to pushing government in the best direction when we have that opportunity, and even though I am an official member of Republican Party, I do not think the Republican candidate for Spokane’s County Commissioner is our best choice). It seems to me that your essay could be suggesting that we pull our hands back from the task of trying to steer what we could steer, as though our silence will somehow bring people to their senses.

    Bob, I do not presume that you have no Grace or understanding on this; I know you to be a man determined to know God, but I hope to add this to remind us all that God has called us to work with our fellow citizens and not merely condemn them. In my invocation mentioned above, I added, “We must quit asking God to be on our side and start seeking to be on God’s side.” It is not us-against-them, we are both in the same sinking boat; let us work to compel them towards staying afloat.

    Together in Christ, Ken.

  2. Karen says:

    I appreciate Ken’s comments but I disagree that the Constitution Party is about establishment and maintenance of power for itself. If we do our job right, we abolish the hold parties have over our current socialist system of government. If we are against socialism we must be against any form of party control over government. We need to restore the Republic, that is the original system where federal representatives, elected by the people in their district, clearly understood that their job is to protect the lives, property, and liberty of the people in their districtand/or state, in the case of Senators, from unconstitutional encroachment by the federal government. It is not their job to bring home the bacon, its their job to keep the bacon home in the first place. We need to re-think how we think about parties. Locking ourselves into a two party system is to play into socialism. We need to restore the no-party system we originally had. The role of parties should simply be to endorse a candidate who meets their standard, and let the people choose that standard, but the candidate must clearly understand that his or her oath will be to defend and protect the constitution, which means to protect his people from abuse and mis-use of government force, and not an oath of loyalty to a party. The Constitution standard must replace the party in American politics or we lose, no matter who is in charge. A two party system is a tendency noted by French sociologist Maurice Duverger, who was also a socialist leader in the European Parliament. For socialists it is proof that a two party system is inevitable, but for constitutionalists it should be a rally cry that we do not need a two party system, or any party system for that matter. For me, I would like to see the Constitution Party assume the role of keeper of the flame, that which holds our representatives and true Senators (after we repeal the 17th Amendment and restore states’ rights) to the standard of a limited federal government. More federal government = tyranny; less federal government = liberty. Continuing to vote for the lesser of two evils is a spiral downward, faster under the Dems, slower under the Reps, but it can never be reversed until enough people start to stand up and say no, not on my watch. At best, the Republicans who may win this term will only hold the line. Show me an abolished federal Department of Education or a repeal of the Healthcare plan with NO revision, or some other serious cuts to the federal budget, then maybe I’ll believe there’s hope of climbing out of the muck and mire.

  3. I’ll take Karen’s views on the proper role of political parties – “Right On!”

    Perhaps the truest statement of the decade is Ken’s contention that “we have the government we deserve, if we want a better government, we need to become a better people.” So long as elections are reasonably honest at all, those in office truly are a reflection of the citizenry as a whole – they are either a reflection of what we stand for, what we stand against, or the fact that we have failed to take a stand at all and are too busy with sports or our daily dose of Oprah to know or care about the condition of our country.

    Ken – you commented that I asked the question, but failed to lead people to the answer, that is, failed to tell people how to overcome their lack of virtue or what standard to come to, etc. There’s certainly some truth in your comment. I’d love to tell people exactly what standard to rally to, precisely why, then make them understand the principles behind that standard, then tell them when and how to act on those principles, etc. However, I’m concerned that doing so would require as long an essay as my own 20 year journey from error to truth, from the world to God’s ways, from thinking like a well meaning Christian humanist to thinking like a a Constitutional American.

    I think the main focus of my activity (including the articles on this blog) is to first make people stop and think and perhaps understand that there are actual principles of civil government and fixed standards from which to govern a society. Then I’d like to challenge them to get educated in and apprised of the guiding philosophies of our nation’s founders. Of course even before these things, we need to call men to Christ, then challenge those who call themselves Christians to grow spiritually and thereby develop in character, integrity and understanding. In the midst of and on top of all this, I do hope to be challenging people to act on, and take an uncompromising stand for, the Christian and Constitutional principles that they learn during this process of growth.

    With these things in mind, I have been considering adding a page to the blog with resources for education and development in learning to think like a Constitutional American.

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