Five Truths About Elections

Elections are always important because power is always important. We are not only deciding which individuals we will place in power over us, but which ideas we will allow to control our lives. We can hold our noses and say politics stinks, or that Democrats and Republicans are all the same, and both of those attitudes have some basis in reality, but politics will not go away, and left vs. right is the only real choice we have. So let’s peel this back and look at the undeniable truths facing us.

Truth #1 –- Elections are binary. Basically, all choices are -– up or down, right or wrong, to be or not to be, eat your dinner or go to bed. Those who insist that their opinions are so finely honed as to require a third or fourth or fifth choice don’t understand the reality of elections.  It always comes down to a race between the top two contenders; any additional candidates merely siphon votes from the top two and create a situation where no one has a mandate. An election is not the time to be a purist –- Donald Trump and his remarkable successes should have taught us that. A candidate has to have two weapons –- the right ideas and the ability to win. One without the other is useless.

Truth #2 -– Elections are the fulcrum on which our unique system of government balances, therefore our elections are crucial. They are also under attack. Whereas the Russians don’t seem to have been very effective, if, in fact, they were tinkering with our presidential choices, forces inside America are working hard to make elections pointless. The integrity of the voting process itself must be protected. We learned that in the hanging-chad election. Without assurance that our votes are not being canceled out by infected voting machines, or dead, illegal, or felonious voters, we lose our ability to choose our future. Without the enforcement of election laws, we make a mockery of the whole system.

Without properly vetted candidates, we lose our ability to make intelligent selections.  We still don’t know who Barack Hussein Obama is. We don’t know much about Barry Soetero either, though they appear to be one and the same. We have people running for congressional seats and for gubernatorial offices that have criminal records, are deeply in debt, or have broken election laws, yet our media seem little concerned. We know next to nothing about the names up for judgeships –- and we can’t find out much even though those judges are now busy making law.

Our elections are also seriously affected by gerrymandering. If the district boundaries are adjusted just so, one party wins. If not, the other party does. This idea is a lot of what is behind the effort to remove the Electoral College from our presidential elections. The deck would then be permanently stacked for the heavily populated areas and those with more rural concerns would be disenfranchised altogether and freedom would take a major blow.

Truth #3 –- Truth is a crucial component of elections. Our nation is now split between those who see truth as variable, open to infinite manipulation and those who see truth as an absolute concept, the foundation of our society. We have seen recently the secret videotapes of Democrat campaign workers copping proudly to the fact that their respective candidates are lying about their positions on issues in order to be elected. They talk as if that kind of prevarication is just business as usual –- and for many in government that is the case, as scandal after scandal has recently demonstrated. Half of the Senate Judicial Committee was just fine with condemning a man on the basis of what were unsubstantiated and ridiculous accusations by women of questionable character. The “I believe her” mantra came forth with no corroborating evidence at all, and with no concern for its lack.

We are left standing in the voting booth not knowing which candidate is telling us the truth about ideas, policies, or positions. If these people promise us they will tend to veterans’ affairs, or healthcare, or immigration, or education, or pet licensing and HOA fees, we need to know if these candidates are being truthful about both their intentions and their ability to follow through. If, however, we live in a society where truth is nothing more than the ghost of long-past goodness, then that alone could do in our important elections and therefore our control over our own lives.

Truth #4 –- Elections are about ideas. This is more true today than it has ever been. In the early days of our nation most everyone was in favor of freedom. They’d had a taste of it and weren’t about to go back to bondage. There was disagreement over how that was to be accomplished, but not about whether or not it should be done.

Slavery was the main idea our forefathers dug in about and that eventually triggered a civil war.

Now, however, we are fighting “principalities and powers.” This is a battle over all the principles of righteousness and law. We are up against the forces of darkness –- of deceit, of envy, of corruption. We have to decide if we are so craven that we are willing to take from those who have earned money in order to provide ourselves with a transient glow of appearing to care about our fellow man. (Those who want to welcome the illegal immigrant into our nation are not inviting these same people into their homes.)  We have to decide if we are so infantile as to need our government to provide us with food, clothing, and shelter.  Are we willing to elect to high office those we know to be despicable people just so we can salve our consciences or line our own pockets?

The candidates we choose from this election are either Americans who value our heritage, our devotion to truth and freedom, to free enterprise and ingenuity, to independence and self-reliance, or we choose socialism and all the horrors that provides. It is an idea that has disproven itself every time it has been applied, is doing so right now in foreign countries and in some of our own states and cities. It’s not like we don’t know what it does. Yet I talk with people on a daily basis who think it might still be the right answer to all human problems –- just add a little more salt, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and it’ll be just dandy. Never mind Cuba or Venezuela. Don’t pay any attention to San Francisco, or Chicago, or Detroit. Socialism is cool, they insist. The problem with the socialist approach is that it requires the confiscation of people’s property, which requires the government have hugely expanded powers, which results in tyranny and most of the confiscated moneys going to those at the top. We’re back to a binary decision.

We have arrived at a crossroads where we will either abandon the lofty goal of a righteous and free nation, opting instead for greed and sloth, or stand up to immense pressure from every known evil power and fight yet again for the liberty and decency that our forefathers set out to create.

Truth #5 –- no matter how this election turns out we must remember that God controls history. How else could Donald Trump have won an election stacked against him?  So we’ll pray and we’ll vote and we’ll watch His plan unfold.

Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon.  She teaches writing and public speaking.

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