What will be the deciding issue for Iowa GOP voters on January 3rd?
According to KCCI-TV in Des Moines who commissioned a poll to find out, Iowans indicated it will be the future moral direction of the country.
Northeastern Republicans and radio shows which emanate from the E-fax studios in Orange County California may despise it - but that is the number one issue on the minds of GOP voters in Iowa. The Beltway-Manhattan elite can cluck and curse all they want but the reality is the largest chunk of GOP voters in Iowa (and also much reflective of the rest of the red states) want a candidate with clarity on the moral tests that face our nation directly.
It would behoove the editors of the most prominent conservative online and broadcast outlets to take notice of what these voters have to say. At the very least it would be more beneficial than raining down the elitist scorn that the "leaders" of the "new media" have felt free to unload in increasing amounts in recent weeks.
For years voters who viewed their world through the lens of our societal moral bankruptcy have been whipped by fiscal cons, and defense cons, and told to, "shut up, hold their nose, and take it." With all the grace of an overly aggressive date values voters have been raped of their voice in election cycle after the next. It was cute when we got on board with President Bush; it was fine that we handed him the election in Ohio and thus the nation in 2004. But in 2008 we are supposed to let the talking heads, and "new media elites" tell us to ignore certain issues when we cast a ballot.
We politely decline, "No thank you!"
Money may be great - but it can not counter a collective will of those whose loyalty to God is greater than loyalty to political party.
In fact we're rather through with anyone who tells us that we should ignore what God may say to us in our time with Him. Academia has told us He can not be in the classroom. Courts have told us He is not welcomed in public life. Congress has seen to it that He is left out of legislation. And now the analysts who wrongly believe they are smarter than everyone else in the diner says our "judgment is not to be trusted" should we choose to base the most serious act we have as individuals on a set of criteria that might include the source of genuine wisdom.
Yet here are a few things that the GOP voters in Iowa already have clarity on:
Character counts. A man's word IS his bond. If a man will lie to you, then he will steal from you. And if you put men like that in charge of the largest single set of resources in the history of mankind - that character will emerge.
Consistency counts. (Though not for everything) Because the longer a person demonstrates character the more that person is able to count that his future decisions will be based on a solid foundation of clear thinking rooted of course in moral distinction.
Worldview counts. Who is it to determine that economic policy is fundamentally fair? The Marxists claim "common good." The Capitalist claims "personal reward." Yet both viewpoints - absent a moral component lead to tyranny. Is it moral to lower taxes? Yes - because of the moral principle of a man toiling for his survival and welfare. Is it good to care about the poor - even to voluntarily give to ministries and agencies that will provide care that the individual refuses to? Yes - because of the moral principle of loving one's neighbor. Is it good to protect our nation's borders, force evil doers to flee, and to confound the efforts of those who seek mass destruction of American lives and civilization? Yes - because of the moral principle of stewardship, responsibility, and the protection of the innocent. (Which also in large measure argues for the moral obligation to overturn Roe v. Wade, protect marriage so that it remains a moral institution, and to empower the next generation of Americans towards education - so that they are able to control more of their own determination and possibility.)
People count. There is no better measure as to the integrity of the individual than how a man treats those who can do nothing for him.
The reason that fiscal conservatives identify themselves as such is because they want the benefits that morality brings in economic terms but they rebel against holistic morality which would lay claim to the rest of their lives. Defense conservatives want proper worldview towards the advance of evil in the world at large, but are sometimes unwilling to fight the growing threat of evil within our own nation. But it is the social conservative that in simply living his life consistently points out the deficiencies of the other conservative brands and thus why we have been treated with increasing hostility as the time to Iowa grows close.
Of course to stake out the moral high ground will always invite the pragmatists to argue the thousands of possible scenarios in which moral tests might cause the principled to buckle. Invoking the terms like "the art of compromise" or the "science of the possible" they will attempt to trip the consistency of those who seek to live, much less govern from such a perspective.
But what of the alternative?
Arguing that people, character, consistency, and worldview do not count - surely is a recipe for total and complete disaster - yes?
It is as though some would have us believe that for the sake of the greater cause politicians should shift and change their positions. We are made to believe that a person who practices adultery can have the moral judgment to protect marriage? We are to believe that someone who bucked his church's anti-abortion teaching his entire life in politics will suddenly see the need to embrace it? We are told that those who look the other way when enforcing our border will carry out their moral responsibility to keep us secure?
Morality is a big deal, or it is no deal at all.
Because moral judgment saturates nearly every decision one makes in life, as I argued in my first hardback, yielding moral judgment in the role of our elections is not merely negligent it is genuinely dangerous.
Thankfully it appears that the voters of the more moral of the two political parties have their priorities correct, which in the end will help us all – fiscal, defense, and values voter alike!