Iowa Caucus’: What Did We Learn?

Iowa Caucus’: What Did We Learn?

From a political perspective, we learned a lot. First, we learned that all this so-called anti-establishment sentiment in the Republican party is a lot of bluster. Yes, Cruz won, but, as Carson and the gang fade, Cruz will likely not be the beneficiary of their exit, Rubio will. Rubio was the big winner last night for the Republicans. All the undecided, and I mean ALL the undecided, broke for him. He was in the low to mid-teens across all the polls, and yet in the end almost trumped the Donald. That is very bad news for the anti-establishment tea partiers. Rubio was the second tier establishment pick after Bush. Bush had more money, name recognition, and was from the dynastic family. So when Rubio said last night that he was told he needed to, “wait his turn”, the belt-way establishment that were all lined up behind Bush were who he was talking about. Look for that guy to sky rocket. Look for all the money to flow to him. Also look for Bush to pull out pretty soon too. If he goes single digits in New Hampshire, he’ll likely concede and endorse Marco in his concession speech that evening. Hucksters 2% will go to Rubio as well. Huck despises Cruz according to the political pundits, so he’ll likely do what he can to stop the Texas Senator he considers to be a grandstander. Carson’s people I think will go Rubio as well. Carson is not an articulate man. His supporters are not ideologues, their integrity people. Ted looks pretty greasy to them. He started running for president before he even moved into his senatorial office. Spatula Hands (Kasich), the Hugger (Christie), Gilmore (I know… who?), are all establishment guys. Their folks will migrate to Rubio as well. The wild card is The Donald. Strange that a progressive democrat holds the key to the Republican nomination, but such is the condition of the Grand Ole Party. Rubio’s violent rhetoric and Bible thumping will increase if I were a betting man. By the time we get to South Carolina and the southern states he’ll be “making the sand glow” too. So he’ll split Trump’s people, and I think that will be enough to put Ted down.

But what about Rand, what about Rand, Evangelical Libertarian!? Are you joining FOX and not mentioning him as a viable candidate? No, he’s the only guy on either of the two tickets for whom I could even consider casting my vote. He’s articulate, honest, restrained, pro-life and Constitutional. I don’t agree with him on every point, but he is miles, leagues, galaxies better than everyone else. For that reason, he won’t win. And it will be evangelical Christians that will see that the Republic falls into the wrong hands. Evangelicals have forgotten what it is to be any of the things I just listed about Dr. Paul. So has Ted Cruz. He is for “no fly zones” in other sovereign nations. Did you hear that? Enforcing no-fly zones in someone else’s sky without their permission. He is for carpet bombing entire countries, which means he is comfortable ordering the death of innocent women and children. He is for collecting all the data he can through intelligence agencies on American citizens. Edward Snowden is a traitor in his mind for warning American citizens that their government was doing some very unconstitutional, immoral, and unethical things to them. Of course in 2013, Cruz liked him. But that’s for another article. Henry Kissinger, one of the worst men in modern history in my humble opinion, got an open audience with Mr. Cruz just the other day. Kissinger never saw an intervention he didn’t like. He never saw a war he wasn’t willing to send your sons (and now daughters regrettably) to die in. These are Mr. Cruz’s influences? They sound eerily similar to George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama’s influences as well. Cruz is not an anti-establishment candidate. Like Rubio, he will be more, probably much more, of the same.

Everybody except for Rand wants to cure the American headache with a hammer. ISIS is a serious problem, but one we created with military adventurism and idealistic silliness about spreading democracy with the sword. We dropped tons of explosives on Iraq. Killed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, and all those people had relatives and friends. They don’t hate us because we are free. They hate us because we have bombed them and killed their friends and neighbors. We have decimated their country. We have created the moral climate for ISIS to turn ethnic muslims into radical ones, all over the world. Whoever is elected on either side of the aisle, Paul excepted, will only make the problem bigger, us poorer, and further diminish our moral authority. It is going to take a full fledge financial crash to stop our imperial government from continuing the invasions. That’s what happened to Rome – imperial over-reach. It saddens me that evangelical Christians could stand behind these positions, which are neither Christian nor conservative.

It used to be that Christians understood the nature of man and the limited extent to which government power could be used to affect it. We used to understand how leaving power in the hands of the individual muted it, and kept it from amassing in the wrong places. It is as if we have forgotten that “all governments are inherently evil”, inhabited by sinful men,  and that power attracts the worst sort of people. Acton said it best, “power corrupts”. There is only one candidate that wants to leave power in the hands of the States and the people there of. Only one who is calling for restraint and recognizes the limits of the governments ability to affect real change. Only one who wants to abide by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Only one calling for sound money. Christians also often forget that “unequal weights are an abomination” (Deut 25, Prov 20). Only one man asking you to give him power so he can keep it from being used. His name is Rand Paul. And we will never elect him. Because we have become the people of Israel in I Samuel 8. We want a king. And God is about to give us one. A Saul.

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We Now Have A Little Something for Everyone

We Now Have A Little Something for Everyone

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Soli Deo Gloria

The End of Cuba’s Double Despotism

The End of Cuba’s Double Despotism: Communism Internally and Sanctions Externally” by Rev. Robert A. Sirico

This is a great response to the criticism heard generally from the right regarding normalizing relations with Cuba. Is normalizing relations with Cuba dishonoring to the memory of those who perished in the ocean attempting to come to the U.S.? Would it be better to allow people to board a plane to the U.S. or should Cubans be forced to continue to cross shark infested waters to come here? The author does a very good job of answering these questions delicately and frankly. A rare combination.

Invading Iraq was wrong, and it’s wrong to do it again

If insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, then perhaps the United States’ foreign policy truly is insane. Let’s admit we have been wrong in Iraq and stop making the same mistake.

What is that mistake, you ask? It is to claim very vaguely that American interests are in danger (what those may be we are never told) and then to intervene militarily in the affairs of another nation. I realize that in Iraq’s case it will be difficult for us to walk away, since we are largely responsible for the current mess the nation is in, but, will further intervention ultimately bring the type of change that we want to see there? If modern history holds true, the answer is clearly no.

After decimating Iraq’s infrastructure twice in the last two and a half decades in expensive wars, they are no more free and stable now than they were under Saddam Hussein.  They are arguably in even worse shape now than they were before the U.S. arrived. Twenty-three  years of U.S. involvement in Iraq has given us what we are watching unfold on our television screens right now. Since 2003 we have spent 1.7 trillion dollars and lost over 4,800 U.S. service personnel in battle, and sent home over 30,000 wounded soldiers from Iraq. There are estimates that show as many as half a million Iraqi civilians were killed during that same period. These have been destructive, expensive, bloody, and extremely sad years for both Iraq and America. While we bombed Iraq in the name of freedom over weapons of mass destruction that did not even exist, our government has removed precious liberty after precious liberty, spent us into the ground, and printed our currency into oblivion. America and Iraq are less secure and less stable due to our reckless disregard for the truth, human life, and the laws of economics. It is time for a change in U.S. foreign policy.

We need to become acquainted with the roots of our own liberty again. Liberty is not forged in a vacuum. I used to listen to George W. Bush with disdain as he explained that all humanity longed for freedom. Humanity has not been marching towards freedom. Some humans have found liberty, but not all cultures are lurching in that direction. In fact, the few nations that have found liberty usually lose it after only a few generations. Securing and maintaining liberty takes “eternal vigilance”. Liberty, in America specifically, and the West generally, was more than 2,500 years in the making, going back as far as Greece. Our understanding of liberty was forged in the fire of history, and we are still refining it. Constitutional Republics are not instant pudding or microwaveable popcorn. They are not produced on a whim with few ingredients. The idea that we were going to waltz into Iraq, topple a dictator, write a Constitution, erect voting booths, and have long standing democracy was foolish and short sighted. The intentions may have been good, but good intentions are not enough. The Iraq War was naïve, and reflects a poor understanding of our own roots.

Iraq is also less safe for minorities now. Some of the oldest Christian communities in the world were in Iraq. For the most part those Christian communities had lived peacefully side by side with Muslims for centuries. But due to America’s interventionism, those communities have all but been destroyed. Why? When America stationed its troops in Iraq, Iraq became a lightening rod for Islamic extremists. Radical Muslims poured into Iraq to fight America on the ground. As radicals fought Americans, they killed Iraqi Christians along the way. Before America arrived in Iraq there was not a single verifiable Al Qaeda cell in that country. With the fall of Mosul and Tikrit to ISIS, Al Qaeda backed forces now control much of Iraq. Iraq went from a nation without Al Qaeda at all in 2003, to a nation faced with being controlled by Islamic radicals in just over a decade. This obviously bodes very badly for minorities in Iraq like Shiite Muslims and Christians.

Instead of stabilizing the region, American wars have destabilized it. Now there is the very real threat of Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria all being controlled by Sunni radicals at the same time. All these states were once secularized Muslim nations. They were once our friends. Now, due to America’s intervention in these nations, they all have fallen, or have nearly fallen, into the worst hands. These places will now be safe havens for more and more terrorists to train, receive funding, and even gain state sponsorship.

I suggest at this point we take a step back, admit that America’s foreign policy of aggression in Iraq has been wrong, and seek a new way forward, one that promotes free markets and liberty, but does not involve the U.S. military. Let’s try friendship and becoming a beacon of peace and prosperity again. Perhaps we should secure our own borders, make citizenship and work visas easier to gain, and try trading with nations instead of invading them. Economic sanctions should be lifted from nations like Iran as well. Sanctions only serve to hurt the people of a nation.  They allow the real problem, the dictators and thugs to use us as a scapegoat. Let’s get out of bed with every tin-pot dictator in the world. Let’s love freedom, let’s promote liberty, but let’s do it with out violence. Liberty that is spread by the sword is not liberty at all. That was the problem with Iraq’s liberty all along, it wasn’t real, it was only an illusion, one that we would be ill-fated to try and manufacture again.

The Evangelical Libertarian

 

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