04 October 2006

Democrats to Republican base: “Golly gee, I guess you’ll have to stay home.”

The resignation of Mark Foley leaves us Christians, the powerhouse of the Republican Party (if we are to believe the Democrat characterization), with little to do this election season but sit this one out. We are caught between the Charybdis of having to vote for Democrats (with their financial and sexual miscreants) and the Scylla of voting for Republicans (with their own financial and sexual miscreants). We can’t vote Democrat, unlike our brothers and sisters of the Sojourners stripe. Now, so they must believe, we cannot vote Republican either. After all, there are (horrors!) homosexuals in the Party; and, so the story apparently goes, there was a cover-up of at least one of these homosexual’s indiscretions (in the form of written communications) with a 16 year old boy. If we go ahead and vote Republican we’ll be voting for a party of hypocrites. We can’t do that.

But can’t we? There is this silly idea that goes, I guess, something like this. The Christian cannot work with or associate in any way with immoral people. If our party of choice has some immoral people in it, then we need to dissociate from it. The reason I find this silly is just that if a Christian really wanted to live out that idea he’d have to leave this world. Come to think of it, I think St. Paul said something like this to the Corinthians. Yes, I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere. In fact I think it was this:

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13, emphasis mine).

The Republican Party, as a party, still stands for what I believe are largely proper concerns of the state: the protection of lives and property. As a Christian, I don’t look to find a political party which is full, or even half-full, of morally outstanding human beings, expecially in an era in which we demonstrate our sophistication by asking questions like, “Who gets to say what’s moral?” I expect to find political parties more than half-full of people who wouldn’t want much of their private lives to be made public. What I do look for—and what to my mind Republicans deliver more than Democrats—is that those members of the party who break the law will be disciplined. I’m old enough to remember Gerry Studds, who actually had sexual intercourse with an underage (male) page and remained in Congress for something like another thirteen years after admitting it and being censured for it. Mark Foley is gone. (Besides, we now know that it wasn’t his fault: he was molested by a clergyman in his youth.)

At the height of Rome’s power, she was pagan and ruled by a homosexual (i.e., Hadrian). But there were still Christians in the Roman army and in the government. And the three governments Daniel served were not exactly paragons of moral virtue. Moral deficiencies ought not keep anyone from the polls.

The issues—all the issues which it falls to political parties to address in seeking office—are still there. As disappointed as I am with Foley (and the Republican caucus, if there was a cover-up), I am still a believer that tax rate cuts do move the economy and ought to be kept in place; Democrats want to remove them. I do not believe that one should have money taken from him just because he has more and given to another just because he has less; Democrats do. I do not believe it falls to government to do charity; Democrats do. I prefer reason in debates, which, by and large, I get from Republicans; Democrats prefer to emote, something which makes me want to vomit. I am still a believer in the Iraqi theater of the war on terror; Democrats want to ‘redeploy’ from Iraq. I would like to see more ‘originalists’ on federal courts; Democrats don’t. I want more aggressive action taken to protect our borders; while the Republican response is not as aggressive as I would like to see, it is still more aggressive than the Democrat position. I would like to see less federal spending; and while Republicans haven’t acted here the way I’d like to see, it is still superior to what we’d have seen under Democrat leadership.

We’re still faced with two general choices: one party is more to the left of center; one party is more to the right of center. There is no reason for the base to stay home this election season—especially when you know that this is exactly what the other side wants to you do. Clearly, Democrats don’t stay away from the polls because of their miscreants.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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