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[305] Contesting

Review are mixed on President Trump’s unwillingness to concede the recent election.  Trumpers far and wide are crying, “We wuz robbed!” as they go full speed ahead at contesting the electoral verdict.  Those on the left persist that The Donald’s behavior is no more than evidence of his being a poor loser.

Clearly, there are bases for the charges of electoral irregularities.  At the same time, Trump is known as less than gracious in defeat.

The real concern is the future. We still don’t know who really won the Kennedy-Nixon tiff of 60 years ago.  Or the Gore-Bush faceoff 20 years ago.  The reason is that we did not in 1960 or 2000, nor do we now, have a foolproof system for counting votes.  Every flaw in the system creates the possibility for—at the least—error, and at the most fraud.

The former is bad, the latter is lethal.  When there is fraud, or the belief that fraud has been committed, people lose their faith in the bedrock component of a democracy—the vote.  And once that faith is lost, it makes little difference who is declared the winner. DC

 

[304] Uncertainty

As the nation comes to grips with the reality that Joe Biden will soon be the 46th President of the United States, its significance is suffused with uncertainty.

Secular Progressives are rejoicing, believing the barriers on the road to implementing their hard left agenda have now been removed.  Their counterparts on the right dread that those on the left are…well…right.

The reality is far less certain.  Obviously, much of that agenda can be blocked by a Republican Senate.  The exact layout of the next Congress itself is still undetermined what with run-off races to be held in January. Should the Republicans prevail by even a margin of one in the Senate, we will be almost certainly staring at a continuation of the polarization that harks back to the days of Bill Clinton.

But what if the Dems seize the Senate? Even by a margin of one?

There is still no certainty that a progressive agenda is certain to follow.  There are two possible barriers. One is Joe Biden.  His running mate, Kamala Harris notwithstanding, the new president has long carried the label of moderate, a savvy both-sides-of the-aisle consensus building politician. And what of the stark split within the Democratic party?  While the moderates have gotten little media attention, and have no high-profile figures to rival that of the likes of AOC, they are not few in number in either house of Congress.

So what will a Biden presidency be like?  It is uncertain. DC

[303] Takeaway

The legendary Vince Lombardi once said, “Most football games are lost, not won.”

Donald Trump lost this election. That is my major takeaway from this election.

Yes, the media has been a powerful and unethical force, and there is reason to believe the ballot-counting system is corrupt, but given Trump’s accomplishments, this election should not have been close.

The evidence indicates that roughly 90% of those who voted for the President did so affirmatively, because they liked his performance. Roughly 50% of the Biden voters supported the challenger primarily because they disliked Trump.

Think about it.  Half of Biden’s “mandate” is about Trump.  Many people—even some of his voters—don’t like the President. And for that antipathy, he bears substantial responsibility. His behavior, though provocative and often even amusing, has been devoid of the fruits of the Spirit. The writer of Proverbs (16:18) stated, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Trump’s arrogance and gracelessness have much to do with his fall. DC

[302] Election Day Alert

For weeks now, we have heard of the small number of undecideds or independents in the national electorate. That is misleading, because it assumes there are just three major positions on the 2020 electoral spectrum—Biden, Independent, and Trump.  There are really five—Hard Biden, Soft Biden, Independent, Soft Trump, and Hard Trump.  Here’s the punchline: Until the ballots are cast, legions in the two soft categories can move to the other candidate.  Hence, candidates are not simply trying to get the independent vote.  They are also trying to pry loose persuasible voters in the opponents’ soft camp. In short, there are more votes available for each candidate than the pundits suggest.

As for 2020, based on the “enthusiasm gap,” it is safe to say President Trump has a harder base than Biden.  Should this race shift in his direction, it may well be due to a movement out of the Soft Biden category toward the President. DC

[301] Between the Eyes

When President Trump–in April of 2019—called the press “truly the enemy of the people,” he was roasted by the almost everyone on the left, and many on the right.

He was correct.

When major news organizations, many with a rich history for careful investigation (see the Washington Post on Watergate) abandon any pretense to objective journalism they become enemies of the people. Actions run from refusing to investigate stories that may have negative political fallout for one of its favorites (see the alleged Hunter Biden scandal) to deliberate attempts to advance a political narrative.

We go to a dentist because we believe that dentist will be objective and responsible. We place the same faith in physicians, psychiatrists, and judges. We engage such people as these on the basis of trust.

Similarly, we rely on news organizations to inform of us of what is going on with the maximum objectivity possible.  John Chancellor, Walter Cronkite, and Tim Russert are dead.  So is professionalism and honor in journalism.  Trump didn’t make a wild accusation.

He hit it between the eyes. DC

[300] C’mon Man

“C’mon man,” says a frustrated Joe Biden when faced with someone questioning his point of view. Recently evidence has been piling up implicating his son, Hunter–and very possibly Joe–in a pay-for-play scheme in the Ukraine.  Claims that the evidence is the product of Russian interference have been discredited, making it all the more likely that the Biden family used his office to pull off a financial scam, one that is at best unethical, and at worst illegal.  Yet, as this growing political compost heap rises, Joe refuses to answer any questions. “C’mon, man.” DC

[299] True Anti-Trump Believers

Philosopher Eric Hoffer became famous for a social psychological concept called “True Believer.” In over-simplified form he saw radical movements, those filled with fanaticism, as the product of groups of people who are “all in”—true believers in a cause.

Such is the case with the Anti-Trump Movement among politicians, academicians, and members of the media.  Their belief is simple.  Trump is the worst possible person to lead our country, and that his removal—by any means possible—is good.  The means are irrelevant.  The ends are what counts. So there is no restraint on vile statements or behavior.

Once you get that, it all becomes clear.  The Anti-Trump Movement is not rooted in rational thinking.  It is rooted in obsession.  It is the product of true believers. DC

 

[298] On the Way Out

Have you noticed that Fox News, amid its steady pro-Trump drumbeats, rarely discusses the polls?  The reason is almost certainly because they point to an imminent defeat for the President in November.  The gaggle of polls consistently show the President is on the way out, trailing Biden nationally by a spread outside the margin of error.

It is not much better in the Battleground States.  In some he is essentially tied.  In others he is behind, albeit within that precious margin of error.  In others, it isn’t even close.

While such has been the case for months, Trumpers pointed eagerly to the debates for the turnaround.  Surely Trump would trample over the hapless Biden on September 29th.

He didn’t.

Worse, he did all the wrong things.

Forget solidifying the base, an underdog needs to appeal to voters he currently does not have. For Trump that means, Undecideds, Independents, and people leaning but not committed to Biden. And those votes are to be found in two critical Battleground demographics—women and African-Americans.

Trump set himself back among both groups in the first debate.

Biden is routing Trump among women because they—even some who will vote for him—do not like his behavior. The arrogance, authoritarianism, and divisiveness do violence to female (and many male) sensibilities.

He had a chance to mellow his persona in his first foray against Biden. But he didn’t.

Constant interruptions, quarrels with Chris Wallace, and general petulance marked his demeanor.  As bad as Biden’s behavior was, Trump’s was arguably worse calcifying anti-Trump sentiment.

He also flunked in his appeal to African-Americans. When Wallace tossed him some softball questions on his appeal to blacks, he failed calmly to lay out his admirable record with respect to African-Americans, coupled with his vision for the future.  Worse he went off on a law-and-order tangent, using the phrase anathema to many African-Americans going back to George Wallace.

Trump’s handlers (if there are any) know this.  He has been told to shift the verbiage off this politically explosive law-and-order phrase and toward words like safety, protection and justice.  But he doesn’t.

If present trends continue, Trump is indeed on the way out.  If that happens, Trumpers will blame the media, coups by the Democrats, and Covid-19 for his defeat.  Although they will be right on all counts, they would be well to realize that despite all these points of resistance, he could have won had he displayed more of the Fruits of the Spirit.  DC

 

[297] How Good Is Religious Freedom?

Amid current concerns over threats to religious freedom, Francis Chan, author and pastor of Cornerstone Church in California, questioned our stewardship of this precious right in the US. He believes it “has weakened the church,” as reported in the Christian Post.  Las Vegas apologist, Rich Cromwick, takes a similar position, emphasizing that the church grows when facing persecution.

Too often freedom, wealth, and power bring spiritual complacency.  When life on this terrestrial ball is good, the temptation is to indulge in that goodness rather than keeping a spiritual edge.

With secular progressives poised to take over our governmental institutions, Chan is not suggesting we should not contest for religious freedom. He does say he does not fear losing it, as persecution can purify the church and in fact, make it flourish. May God’s will be done. DC

[296] Ginsburg Legacy

Though believers understandably found many of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s juridical determinations anathema, she left a valuable personal legacy. She openly eschewed mean-spirited political partisanship, and modeled healthy personal demeanor with her cordial relationships with the most conservative of her peers. She regularly socialized with the ideologically polar opposite, Antonin Scalia.

Ginsburg credited her mother for this gracious demeanor.  “She taught me [to] be someone who holds fast to her convictions and her self-respect, someone who is a good teacher, but doesn’t snap back in anger. Recriminations do no good,” said the late jurist.

Would that her dignified legacy be adopted by all partisans in this contentious time. DC

 

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