“THEY” ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE — PART 4

In the last post in this series, “THEY” ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE — PART 3, we considered subject of illegal immigration, and we reviewed our trade policy with China. We looked at how much trouble some government officials are willing to go to — their willingness to sacrifice the interests of the United States — for the sake of cheap labor for plutocrats. So Americans are starting to complain, and we have elected an unusual president. Rich? Yes! But still someone who seems to put America first. So we have a dispute that is now out in the open, and we can see that both sides are riled.

Summary of results of the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 presidential elections (See here for an explanation.)

We live in a divided nation. How divided? Probably not as divided as we think.  If we look at our divisions as this article suggests, Red states and blue states (en.wikipedia.org) (see the figure above), then we appear starkly divided. However, if we consider the vote in more granular detail, Purple America (en.wikipedia.org) (see the figure below), we lose the false clarity that comes from oversimplification.

2016 United States presidential election results by county, on a color spectrum from Democratic blue to Republican red: Donald Trump (R) was elected (See here for a detailed explanation.).

Nonetheless, we are divided. The anger over politics is real, and our national feud seems to grow in intensity with each election cycle. Why? What is going on?

The Moral Issues That Led To This Mess

What is “this mess”? What are we fighting about or fighting over? Well, some people will try to give us a simple answer. Others will provide us a very complicated answer. I think the truth is this.

  • We each have our own reasons for fighting with our families, friends, neighbors, and countrymen.
  • We each have our own reasons for picking the side, or the party, that we choose to align ourselves with.

Therefore, before we can “fix” other people and bring peace, we have to understand our own motivations and repent of our own sins. That is, the first battle we must fight is with me, not with “they”. Before we can help our neighbor remove the speck from his eye, we each must remove the log from our own eye (Matthew 7:1-6).

Does beginning with a self-examination sound absurd? Then consider the Confederate Army in 1861. Relatively few Southerners owned slaves. Yet the South managed to field a large and highly motivated force. The South did not lose the Civil War because of a lack of effort. The South lost because the North managed to field a much more powerful force.

What does a self-examination look like? We can direct our focus inward, but love of neighbor forces us to look outward as well. A self-examination should not be all about me and what “I” believe, not if “I” want what “I” believe to have a close relationship with the truth. To begin to understand the truth, we must consider the view from eyes other than just our own.

So what is the truth? What are Americans fighting about? Since we cannot read each other’s minds and do not well understand our own minds, that is not as obvious as we might think. Consider Doug’s observation.

The point is that the Conservative right does tend to use the flag and other American symbols for political expression… typically some level of nationalism. Same kind of thing when Trump hugs the flag… or right wing demonstrators dress in flag clothing or wrap themselves up in the real flag as if it were some moral shield to protect them. Sorry, Tom.. it’s the Conservative right that thinks the flag is all about them… and THAT disgusts me. (from here)

Does the flag disgust ? That is the conclusion many Conservatives would make. Here is how I replied.

Citizen Tom

@Doug

The average Conservative thinks it is the flag that disgusts you. Why? The flag is a symbol of our nation. To most it represents what America has traditionally stood for. When generations have been taught that America is evil by those who run our schools and the mainstream news media, it is not surprising that many hate the flag.

Think about Obama’s promise. He was going to fundamentally transform America. Think about Trump’s promise. He promised to make America great again. Then consider that you brought up the flag and what you have said.

What does it mean to transform America? What does it mean to make America great again? Would we strive to fundamentally transform something we love? Would we try to make great again something that we love?

What is it that drives the opposing sides? We each have our own ideas. So we scratch around, trying to define and understand their differing ideologies.

Hence, Conservatives try to understand and define “Globalism”.

Hence, with The New York Times leading the charge the Liberal Democrat news media tries redefine and reunderstand America.

We are suppose to define concept of America around the enslavement of a small portion of the population? If globalism sounds weird, the 1619 Project is not even more ridiculous?

As WHEN DO THE PEOPLE STEAL THEIR OWN FREEDOM? (citizentom.com) observes, the Bible says the truth sets us free. The truth sets us free from sin. Because America has a Christian heritage, we have a better government than we might otherwise have. Christianity requires us to serve each other, not to abuse and enslave each other. Jesus exalts humility, not haughty pride.

Because this generation knows little about Jesus, some argue we are losing the freedom that once characterized America. In Ideological fascism at American colleges and universities (washingtontimes.com),

As a lifelong educator, I look at my academic peers in today’s colleges and universities and I can’t help but ask myself, “has our own way resulted in what we expected when we told our father we wanted to move out of his house?” Did we get what we wanted when we spent our inheritance? Is our chosen path as liberating as we hoped?

Have “our wildest dreams” led us to where we expected or have we stumbled into a nightmare, wading in fields of pig slop and eating the “corncobs” of abuse, dysfunction, selfishness and addiction? Did we get the freedom we hoped for when we left home or have we become slaves to the consequences of frivolous spending and childish irresponsibility? (from here)

As any reasonable understanding of history would suggest, the Bible provided the philosophical foundation of Western Civilization. Therefore, it is the height of irresponsibility to allow any student to graduate from a public school without a good understanding of the Bible. Without a good understanding of the Bible, we cannot even begin to understand origins of our cultural heritage. Of course, it is not the state’s responsibility to make anyone believe the Bible. Yet if we insist that our government run our schools, then we must insist our government teach the Bible. Unfortunately, if we believe in freedom of religion, government-run schools creates a huge conundrum.

So what have we done? Supposedly, for the sake of freedom of religion, we have secularized our schools, but that has led to another problem. If we give up Christianity, what belief replaces it? Robert Knight suggests this, Democrats ready to replace worship of God with worship of the state (washingtontimes.com). Knight contends that choice will only create more problems.

That’s because the U.S. Constitution’s design for maximum human liberty works only when the people have a moral compass beyond their own appetites. Absent that, we can rationalize anything.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports,” George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address. “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”

Based on concepts enshrined in British Common Law, which the great English jurist William Blackstone traced to the Bible, Christians led the campaign to end the slave trade. Across the world, Christians created hospitals and clinics. They criminalized infanticide, child marriage, child and spousal abuse, gladiatorial combat, death games and immolation of widows, to name a few reforms. Some also behaved very badly, justifying their inhumanity by misusing the Bible. (from here)

Is Knight right? Since what we believe does not actually depend upon a party label, individual Democrats have to decide for themselves, and so do individual Republicans.

Every choice is a religious choice. We spend our time doing whatever we think most needs to be done at that moment. What we think most important depends upon what we think is the purpose of life. It is this purpose that loving parents most want to bequeath to their children.

Much is made of inclusiveness, but religious freedom is not about being inclusive; it is about the right to make our own exclusive choices. We each have the right to choose our own path in this life. We don’t have the right to force others to choose our path, and almost all Americans once believed that it is an abuse of government power to force our own chosen path — our beliefs — upon others.

Do public schools, colleges, and universities have some justification? It does make sense for the government to make certain parents do not abuse their children by failing to educate them. All children should learn the 3R’s. Nonetheless, making certain that children learn the 3R’s does not require government-run schools. Private schools funded by school vouchers could easily accomplish the same purpose. Forcing taxpayers to finance colleges and universities that they cannot even get into is just wrong.

Unfortunately, instead of a school system that supports religious freedom, letting parents decide who teaches their children and what beliefs their children learn, we have put politicians in charge. So, many parents pay for a school system they don’t like and don’t want to use, and we impose a penalty on those parents who seek escape from these Secularist public institutions. Out of their own pockets these parents must pay for both an alternative to Secularist public schools and taxes for the more expensive Secularist public schools.

Why then do we have a Secularist public school system? Human pride. Our egos drive us to elevate our own choices over other people’s choices. Therefore, we are happy to indoctrinate other people’s children with our own beliefs.

Historically, Christians have tended to be “unreasonable” about publicly supported religious indoctrination. Most of us understand that if we want the right to make our own choices we have to let others make their own choices. Therefore, if we want the responsibility for educating our children, we have to trust other parents to do a good job educating their children.

The alternative is what we have now. Consider this question. If Christians are so unreasonable and parents cannot be trusted to educate their children, how can we elect decent people to run Secularist public schools? Well, I suppose the results of our elections speak for themselves. You are a big fan of Donald Trump? Barack Obama? If either of these men strikes you as a bad leader, then you may wish to consider the benefits of letting your fellow citizens run their own lives. Only then will you be allowed the right to run your own life.

James 4:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Other Views

19 thoughts on ““THEY” ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE — PART 4

  1. Well said Tom on a number of different points. Your concluding sentence pretty much sums up everything for me and is something I would think we can ALL agree on, left or right., “If either of these men (Obama or Trump) strikes you as a bad leader, then you may wish to consider the benefits of letting your fellow citizens run their own lives. Only then will you be allowed the right to run your own life.”

    Thanks for linking it up to my post too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Tricia

      The funny thing about the big government people is that they will just ignore that point. Look at how they debate. If they don’t have a counterargument, they just attack Trump or someone else.

      Trump is the problem. If H. Clinton had won — if the “majority” always won — the “majority” would always be HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. @marmoewp

      Good question. Expected it. About five percent of US farmland is owned by nonfamily corporations. However, only a small percentage of illegal aliens work in the farm sector.
      => https://www.census.gov/prod/1/statbrief/sb93_10.pdf
      => https://www.agriculture.com/farm-management/business-planning/undocumented-farm-labor-small-portion-of-illegal-immigrants

      The United States has lots of small businesses too. So I suppose those businesses also employ lots of illegal aliens. However, most political campaign contributions come from a relatively small number of people.
      => https://www.opensecrets.org/resources/dollarocracy/04.php
      => https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/donordemographics.php

      Like

      1. Interesting links, but I do not see how they are supposed to address the question of whether or not farmers are plutocrats. I do read your last two links as indicating that big donors are a problem for democracy and I would agree with that.

        While making up about half the hired labor force on farms, about 6% of working illegal workers take these jobs. Whether or not you consider that portion small is up to you. Be wary of your second source, Shawn Williamson. The “40.1% of working-age folks are not working” have to be taken with a shovel of salt. BLS statistics consider anyone above the age of 16, including highschool / college /university students, retirees, the disabled, the ill, child-raising moms-at-home and those caring for relatives. Those 40.1% also exclude those already actively looking for a job.

        Like

        1. @marmoewp

          I do read your last two links as indicating that big donors are a problem for democracy and I would agree with that.

          Predicable. We do tend agree with the facts that serve our purposes.

          What is Truth? We are finite creature. We never perfectly express the Truth. Even when I say “God is Truth,” we are limited. What is God? What is Truth?

          What is a plutocrat? Who are the plutocrats? Which people perfectly fit the definition of the word?

          We both know a relatively small number of people exercise a huge influence on government policy. Are they all perfect plutocrats? Still, look at that statement of yours I quoted. Those donors are not plutocrats? You want to pretend those same plutocrats don’t exercise a huge influence on immigration policy? Those plutocrats don’t have a huge interest in the cost of labor?

          When we both know it would be absurd to believe that a relatively small number of wealthy people don’t exercise a huge influence on our political systems, this point is silly to debate. Is there a better word than plutocrat? Maybe, but we could get lost for hours on end in the details. What would be the point? Why am I required to make you agree with a point you have already in fact conceded?

          Like

  2. Sorry, Tom.. it’s the Conservative right that thinks the flag is all about them… and THAT disgusts me.

    (from here)

    Does the flag disgust ? That is the conclusion many Conservatives would make.

    I am confused by your claim, Tom. To me, Doug unambiguously says that it disgusts him, that the Conservative right appropriate the US flag as belonging to them and them alone. He is not disgusted with the flag, but with the behaviour and attitude of the Conservative right. Is my reading comprehension that different from the average Conservative’s one???

    Like

    1. @marmoewp

      Nothing personal, but if you were having a dispute with a family member, I seriously doubt you would take that disputer outside your family.

      Doug is not family, but he is one of my countrymen. The Stars and Stripes is a symbol of national unity. So, it is sad enough we are arguing about how we use it, but it would be preposterous to drag foreigners into that dispute in an effort to get them to take our side.

      Like

  3. Sidenote: The kind of election map you showed is commonly used, yet it’s visual impact is massively misleading. It is not land area doing the voting, as the map areas colored imply, but it is people. One way to overcome this is the use of cartograms, where the initial map is being distorted such that county sizes in the cartogram represent the population size. It comes at the prize of distorting the map’s shape quite bizarrly. Here’s an example

    from this page

    http://metrocosm.com/election-2016-map-3d/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @marmoewp

      Well, I was not trying to mislead anyone. Since your more “honest” map looks like a dragon, I think…..well, I will just leave my interpretation of it at that.

      I think most people know where the urban areas are. If Democrats think lots of people live in the Great Plains and dessert area, they ought to consider the possibility that government-run schools leave something to be desired.

      Like

  4. I don’t know how you post seeming consistently complicated posts that weave ideas and points with apparent ease.
    It’s a gift I tell you. 😉

    We all play a part suppose, and your citizenry is commendable. Tkx CT for the inclusion among such well rounded folks, even they among whom we may disagree. Who knows, the seeds we plant today may sway opinions tomorrow.

    (But moral issues? Until we recognize the Lawgiver, we all may as well stumble in the fog, with no one way being better than another. Thank God there is always a more excellent way.)

    Like

  5. Tom,

    I think I jar figured out the truth why the government has not done anything for 33 years about illegal immigration

    Or why the government has not enforced fines against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

    What I am about to reveal is something you will never hear admitted on the news or by any politician.

    Read below the last sentence in my comment to Trice about homelessness in her California Dreaming post.

    Tricia

    Good post on a sad subject. What leads to homelessness is a question that needs to be addressed. How can an average caring person help a person who is a drug addict or has mental problems?

    Charities help in the short run if a homeless is a result of conditions not entirely of their making and is willing to work.

    What we are seeing now is greater numbers are just the tip of the iceberg of the future of our Nation when both family and government become helpless to deal with the problems of drugs which to some homeless their only hope to escape their sad circumstances.

    California and Seattle government does not know what to do and that is why there is an exodus taking place now in California of people who have the means or resources.

    I sometimes wonder if the reason California welcomes immigrants is that they are the only ones willing and physically and mentally able or capable to work anymore in California and Seattle.

    https://money.howstuffworks.com/homeless5.htm

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Like

    1. @Scatterwisdom

      There is something to what you said. George W. Bush is famous for saying illegal aliens do the work Americans won’t do. What Bush didn’t mention, however, is that Americans would do that work, but they expect higher pay and better working conditions.

      Illegal immigration is primarily about providing cheaper labor for plutocrats. Our country has been fighting over this issue since the founding. That’s why American history features indentured servants, wage slaves, and just plain slaves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom,

        “illegal aliens do the work Americans won’t do.”

        King Solomon covered this topic and gave his advice how to motivate people to do the work Americans won’t do in this proverb.

        The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on. (Proverb 16:26)

        Once a person becomes a hard-core drug addict or alcoholic, they physically and mentally become disabled and no one will hire them.

        Allowing immigrants to do the work Americans wont does more than promote slavery, it serves to snowball the problems of motivating people to help themselves.

        Employers are not social workers.

        Government social workers are in fairly high demand right now because of homelessness.

        Cause and effect of lack of too much government empathy on love and not enough focus on wisdom in my opinion.

        Private charities usually have limits on benefits they will extend.

        My son, taught in college to be a liberal on immigration tells me immigration laws are unenforceable. When I try to explain that when he complains he has to pay high taxes, I bring up the fact that it is because he is subsidizing a lot of people who do not work for a host of reasons, including Americans will not do the work aliens will do, mainly because aliens know what hunger feels like in their stomach..

        The cause and effect problems of “unenforceable laws “are now becoming more and more prevalent in urban areas in the USA.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @Scatterwisdom

          True enough.

          The notion we cannot enforce the border is ironically funny. Some don’t remember the Berlin wall.

          We have elected people who don’t want to enforce the border. These people have bought us off with our own money. When those people have a lock on their power, they won’t be buying anyone off anymore. There will be a wall at the border to keep us from leaving.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tom

            There will be a wall at the border to keep us from leaving.

            Some countries now wont allow people to leave with their money if they choose to move and give up thie citizenship.

            Perhaps if the USA implements this same law, it might motivate a little fear.

            Imagine what will happen if California enacts that law how clogged up the highway will be of people fleeing in exodus.

            Regards amd goodwill blogging..

            Liked by 1 person

  6. The us is more conservative/republican/libertarian than the media would have us believe. It’s why they need the liberal bias to propagandise us or they’d never win anything.

    Like

      1. I think he’s right.
        When you go to a Chick-fil-a, what do you see?
        Last time I went, it was jam-packed (Colorado is a relatively liberal state).
        Time before last, it was jam-packed too.
        The drive-thru is very efficient, but always packed.
        I think that’s a good gauge.
        Good writeup, Citizen Tom.
        I’ll read it again tomorrow and maybe post more.

        Liked by 1 person

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