Sunday, October 25, 2020

What This Country Needs Is A Lot More Liberals


Previously: Why The Worldwide Fast Didn't Work

That's right. We need more liberals.

Am I saying we need more Democrats? GOOD HEAVENS, NO! Those people have lost their minds!

A smattering of politicians who once obtained traces of liberal sensibilities might still have been found within the Democratic party fifty years ago, but those folks have pretty much all died off. Today the party led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer has nary an actual liberal to be found within its leadership ranks; the party today stands completely antithetical to what it means to be liberal.  Their acts and pronouncements are decidedly illiberal; anything but liberal. They may be fascists and authoritarians, but they are certainly not liberals.

Today the term liberal has been so tainted that anyone hoping to advocate for true liberalism has to identify as a Classical Liberal to keep from being confused with those modern totalitarians. Totalitarianism, as you may have guessed, is starkly inimical to true liberalism. The two are polar opposites.

You want to know who was a classical liberal? Joseph Smith, the founder of our faith was a classical liberal. So were the founders of our system of government, as were most civilized Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries. To be "liberal" meant one subscribed to a certain outlook, an expansive and generous creed, a code of behavior that asserted that all should be treated with kindness and compassion, that no one should aspire to force another to act against his will.  Writing about Mark Twain's personal liberalism, author Jeffrey Tucker describes what it meant to be a liberal in a time when the meaning of liberalism was less ambiguous:
To be liberal was to favor free enterprise and property rights, oppose slavery, reject old-world caste systems, loathe war, be generally disposed toward free trade and cosmopolitanism, favor the social advance of women, favor technological progress — and to possess a grave skepticism toward government management of anything. (Jeffrey Tucker, Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Status Quo.)

Doesn't sound at all like any modern liberals you know, does it? 

Here's Where It All Went Wrong
Not long after Mark Twain's death in 1910, liberalism was already on the verge of transforming into something precarious. Various scholars hold differing views as to precisely when that line of demarcation can be pinpointed, but I incline to the view that things really began to go south under president Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson, a Democrat who promoted what he called a "progressive" view of government, saw himself, as president, to be the representative of the American people. This would have horrified the founders, who envisioned the president as not having any direct role whatsoever in governing the country or the people. The role of the president was to preside over one branch of government. If he had any duty toward the people at all, it was to prevent the legislature from passing laws abrogating the people's rights.  He was called the "preside-ant" because his job is to preside over the Executive branch of government.  It actually matters who or what precisely the preside-ant is authorized to preside over, and it isn't the citizens of the states. That's why I always smile when I hear some lefty insist Trump is "not my president."  Of course he isn't.  His authority doesn't extend anywhere near you.

It was Wilson's unsettling expansion of presidential authority that eventually brought us to where we are today, where many Americans operate under the faulty assumption that we elect a president every four years to act as a sort of emperor who rules the nation.  That couldn't be further from the truth, nor further from the classically liberal idea that no one has authority to rule over anyone else. The people rule themselves, not each other, and they have no power to elect politicians to rule over them, either.  

Wilson also violated a major tenet of liberalism by leading America into The Great War, with the promise that our efforts would once and for all "make the world safe for democracy."  We find that idea quaint and naive today, but Americans fully bought into the propaganda that made them think they were powerful enough to change the whole world for the good, and that they could accomplish that good by engaging in massive acts of violence. Mormons who participated in that great sin were as guilty as anyone else -more guilty, I would suggest, because we had scriptural imperatives warning us against going up into battle against any nation unless the Lord himself commanded it, and the Lord had not commanded us to leave the borders of our lands in order to murder foreigners in other lands. (See D&C 98:33, as well as pretty much the whole of the Book of Mormon.)

In the meantime, by 1913 control of the people's own money was stealthily being taken from them through passage of the Federal Reserve Act, so that over time the people would no longer have control over their own destinies. Whatever you wanted to call this new political religion of control by the ruling class, it certainly wasn't liberal.

Regarding the liberal ethos, Jeffrey Tucker writes that a half century after Mark Twain's death,

"liberalism had moved full swing toward the very opposite of its 19th-century meaning, while those who opposed government management and favored free enterprise were called conservatives."
But conservatism was not going to be America's saving grace either.  Americans who continued to consider themselves to be liberals (whatever that had come to mean by mid-century) tended to align themselves with the Democratic party, while conservatives generally joined up with the Republicans. Whatever one's guiding philosophy, this was a big mistake, because both parties, believe it or not, do not have the well-being of the country -or its people- in mind. What political parties have in mind is gaining power for the party -and thus for themselves- and keeping that power by any means necessary.

You can see why both Democrats and a surprising number of office-holding Republicans have vigorously opposed Donald Trump.  Many, many politicians on both sides of the aisle had a good thing going before this bumbling outsider, this impertinent disrupter who didn't understand how things work in Washington, showed up and tipped over the card table. He was seen as a threat to the power base of both establishment parties.

James Madison warned against aligning with what he called "factions" because, even though it was human nature to align oneself with others whose interests were similar to one's own, the result could lead to corruption within those factions and the deprivation of the rights of the minority.  Sadly, Madison was shouting into the wind, because no sooner had the fledgling government been formed than it splintered into competing political factions. 

Well actually, it didn't happen immediately. Americans were unanimous in their belief that George Washington should be the first president of these United States. But while Washington was still in office, Alexander Hamilton headed a party that called itself the Federalists.  On the surface that didn't seem like a bad idea, since the new government was indeed a federation of the several states; or in other words it was a federalist system.  But Madison and Jefferson were concerned over Hamilton's aspirations to accrue too much power in a centralized government, so they founded the Democratic-Republican Party in response.

John Adams was elected on the Federalist ticket as our country's second president, but while Adams was in office, Madison's and Jefferson's fears were realized. Adams felt it was wrong for anyone to speak ill of the president, and he tried to have his critics arrested.  This resulted in Thomas Jefferson running against him in the next election under the newly formed Democratic-Republican party.  Jefferson was the most perfectly liberal president this nation has ever had.  And if it was inevitable that America was going to have political parties electing their officeholders, the Democratic-Republican Party would have been close to ideal. Too bad it didn't last.

Following Jefferson's administration there were a handful of other parties vying for prominence, such as the Whigs, the Anti-Masons, and the Free Soil Party (slogan: "Help yourself to as much dirt as you want!") But eventually the Democratic-Republican party split into the two factions we know today. 

The differences between these early parties were so negligible by today's standards that it seems hard for us to believe they mattered.  Take the contest between the Federalist Party and its challenger, the Democratic-Republican Party. Unlike today, neither party had its eyes set on altering the constitution or making any drastic changes to the law. And even as recently as the mid-twentieth century, the divide was not so stark as it is today.  In the middle of the twentieth century there were liberals and conservatives in both parties.  When John F. Kennedy ran for the senate, he ran as a conservative Democrat. So did his brother Robert. Larry McDonald was the most conservative person in the entire senate from 1975 to 1983, and he too was a Democrat. So party affiliation didn't use to matter anything like it does today. 

I don't align myself with either political party, for the simple reason that I don't wish to be controlled in my thinking. Once you choose a tribe to belong to, you tend to defend that tribe no matter what, and you oppose the other tribe, blocking out any information that might cause you to reconsider your positions. I don't like being controlled, not by politicians, and certainly not by the news media. I'm certainly not going to follow the frequent counsel of Hollywood celebrities, even though I am well aware they are smarter and wiser than me.

I am challenged quite often on Facebook by political partisans who are unable to think critically about the candidates or positions they defend. They just know they are somehow obliged to oppose whatever position I put forward, yet they are consistently incapable of forming a reasoned argument as to why. They almost never put forth an original thought but instead parrot falsehoods they got from watching the legacy media. Yes, it can be amusing to watch those who believe facts are (pick one) racist, misogynist, or should not be permitted, but it can also be quite sad to see this kind of degeneracy take hold in a fellow human being. 

So I know what partisan politics can do to a person's brain.  Defending the indefensible merely because at some point you decided to choose one side over the other and you're going to stick with your candidate for no other reason than you have a deranged hatred for the other guy...well, in the end that is not going to go well with you, or for the country.  At some point you're going to have to introduce yourself to reason, logic, and common sense.

That doesn't mean I don't vote; it just means I vote for candidates who share my principles; I do not vote merely because I belong to a party that claims to align with my principles. For example, I identify as a classical liberal, so my vote generally goes to the candidates who share as much of a classically liberal outlook that can reasonably be expected of someone running for office.  At the moment, some (but not all) of those candidates happen to lean Republican. 

But were I to vote straight Republican just because some candidates for office have an 'R' after their names, I would have fallen into the trap of supporting George Bush and Dick Cheney, who were no more "conservative" than Biden and Harris are "liberal" today.  Many good latter-day Saints were lulled into supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan primarily because Bush and Cheney belonged to the party that was deemed to be conservative. These voters were mistaken in their belief that Republican politicians would not take America down the wrong path.

When our own Mitt Romney ran against Barack Obama I stayed out of that fray, warning that a Romney presidency would look very much like an Obama presidency.  Many of my Mormon friends didn't want to hear it, but now that Romney is a sitting Senator in Utah, many residents of that state are discovering I was right and that Mitt Romney is a wolf in sheep's clothing.  The fact that he looks like a lot of Mormons think a Mormon ought to look like does not make him either a good Mormon or a good conservative.

Today, many people who believe they are aligned with the "liberal" party are about to vote to do similar damage to the country because, among other things, the Democratic Party has become as much a party of warmongers as the Republican party was under Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.  This is just one of the pitfalls that await those who allineate themselves with parties rather than principles.

Are You A Classical Liberal?
If you happen to be an American who possesses a modicum of common sense and true compassion for your fellow man, you're probably a classical liberal yourself and don't even know it. Dave Rubin put together this short three minute animation describing classical liberalism:

Dave Rubin used to be a typical liberal Democrat until he had a guest on his show who pointed out the flawed assumptions that had controlled Rubin's thinking for years. You can watch the exact moment when Dave Rubin transformed from a modern leftist to a classical liberal right before your eyes in the 8 minute video below:

Video: Dave Rubin and Larry Elder

Rubin has since authored a bestseller in which he affirms that "the left is no longer liberal."
"Once on the side of free speech and tolerance, progressives now ban speakers from college campuses, 'cancel' people who aren’t up to date on the latest genders, and force religious people to violate their conscience. They have abandoned the battle of ideas and have begun fighting a battle of feelings. This uncomfortable truth has turned moderates and true liberals into the politically homeless class."


How To Get A Liberal Education 
Originally, no one went to college in order to get a degree so they could graduate and get a decent job. That was never the purpose of getting an education.  Those who attended university in medieval times were already quite wealthy -at least their fathers were.

Back in the day, merchants who had acquired great wealth knew their sons would never have to work, but they did not want them to languish in idleness and become ne'er-do-wells.  So they sent their offspring off to the universities so that they could gain knowledge and hopefully help make the world a better place.  The first university was a school of medicine in Italy in the 9th century, but over time other universities sprang up throughout Europe where students received a well-rounded education in grammar, logic, and rhetoric as well as science, music, and math. The language written and spoken at the universities was Latin, so it didn't matter if you came from France, Germany, Spain, or Holland, students and faculty were all able to learn and communicate through use of that one common language that united the intellectuals of all of Europe.

Many of those students came to be Europe's great inventors, doctors, lawyers, artists, and philosophers, and they in turn tended to use their family's wealth to fund more schools so that the common man could learn to read and reason. This led to what we now call the Age of Enlightenment, where even the lower classes were learning to read, make informed decisions, and eventually cast off tyranny.

Because those original privileged few were freed up by circumstances to become better educated, they were able to help other, less privileged persons to also better themselves. Those early universities did not have buildings or classrooms, but over time wealthy merchants funded these schools and the schools grew in size. In those universities one could receive what came to be known as a well-rounded, "liberal" education, so called because a student came out of that experience knowing a lot about a variety of subjects, but most importantly, he learned how to think and how to reason.  

In 1909 the president of Harvard University said that anyone could gain a liberal education simply by spending fifteen minutes a day reading from a collection of books that would fit on a five-foot shelf. A publisher encouraged him to compile that collection and the result came to be known as The Harvard Classics.

Then in 1952, Encyclopedia Britannica did Harvard one better and came out with the 54 volume Great Books of the Western World.  So if you wish to be truly educated, you can sit down a few minutes a day with the Harvard Classics or the Great Books and end up highly educated with a truly liberal education.

Or you can pay a fortune to attend Harvard, receive a parochial education that results in your learning very little, become indoctrinated with ideas that are hostile to liberty, and wind up an arrogant, clueless, moronic Lefty soured on life because nobody likes your disposition. 

I'm writing this at a time when most politicians are exposing their appalling ignorance on some of the simplest topics. It's a sure bet that virtually no one in the political ruling class has ever picked up the Great Books and read Aeschylus or Descartes. Any one of them would greatly benefit at the very least from reading Descartes' Rules for the Direction of the Mind. I noticed that book is available on Kindle (along with Descartes' other major works), in one volume all for only 99 cents.  That's one benefit of reading books by long-dead authors: you don't have to pay them royalties.  

The other benefit is that if you read Descartes' rules you will learn how to think. Not only how to think, but also how to arrive at the truth on virtually any issue.  These rules helped Descartes not only to become one of the Enlightenment's most famous philosophers, but also an accomplished scientist and mathematician. I suggest you spend the 99 cents and buy the book; it's a fairly short read, and it is presented in small chunks with each rule spelled out at the top of the page, followed by a page or so of explication on each rule.  Or you can just click here if you want to just take a look at the twelve rules standing alone.*


*Here's how ignorant I am: I must have been in my fifties before I ever heard Rene Descartes's name spoken aloud. Since I had only read his name in print, I pronounced it in my head as "DESS-Carteezs." Turns out it's actually pronounced "Day CART. I should have known. There are some letters of the alphabet the French just hate to say out loud.  (I still don't know how to pronounce Aeschylus.)  

The Sins At The Top Of The List
I have been struck in recent months by the warnings the Lord gave to the Nephites when he visited with them. Three times he spelled out what we could expect to see in the last days, and each time the sins at the top of the list were lies and deceptions

We are seeing lies and deceptions this year like never before in our history. It's as if hell has opened up and coughed up a poison that has caused half the population to believe nothing but falsehoods.  These deceptions are so numerous that it's almost impossible to catalog them all. This election season has been one continuous effort at keeping the populace off-guard and uninformed. But Jesus also tells us that there will be nothing covered that will not be uncovered, and that things that are spoken in darkness will eventually be heard in the light.  

As I write this, the Democratic party is in trouble. Overwhelming evidence has come to light that proves their presidential candidate has long been involved in a criminal enterprise for the purpose of making himself rich. The evidence is overwhelming that Joe Biden consistently sold influence to foreign governments and entities while acting as the sitting Vice President.  He has clearly used his family members as a front to subvert America's foreign policy in exchange for personal gain, and the evidence points to President Obama having been aware of it. Witnesses are coming forward who posses corroboration of Biden's serious perfidy.  Joe Biden looks to be guilty of some very serious crimes. It is all now coming to light. This is all real and it is factual.

Yet Biden's allies in the media -the very people you depend upon to keep you properly informed- have circled the wagons in an attempt to convince you that there's nothing to see here, that it's all "a smear campaign started by the Russians."  Don't you fall for it. If you never have before, this time you will have to look past the usual media gatekeepers to get to and find the truth of this. It's not hard to find.  Things that have been done in darkness are coming to light, but if you fail to look toward the light you will not see them.

You say you don't like Donald Trump's personality? Fine, I get it. So don't vote for him.  But not voting for Trump doesn't mean you should vote instead for one of the most transparently corrupt criminals to hold public office in your lifetime -certainly every bit as corrupt as George W. Bush and his criminal father, Herbert Walker Bush.  So don't vote for president if you don't want to. Stay home, or submit a protest vote for a third party presidential candidate.  The least you can do is show up to the polls so you can vote for good, honest people as your representatives in congress. 

To be a classical liberal you must be honest with yourself. You must have personal integrity. 

Be that person.

One Final Thought
I realize we'll probably be fighting a losing battle on this, but if you consider yourself either a conservative or a classical liberal, may I suggest you stop referring to today's intolerant leftists as "liberals"?  We should not be assisting them in arrogating a label they have stolen from generations past.  Call them what they are: the outraged left, the intolerant left, the bigoted left, or just plain lefties. Or come up with a descriptive label of your own. People who are patently dishonest are not entitled to steal the birthright of true liberalism and use it as their own. 

See Also: Don't Call Me A Right Winger


Next Post: What a Great Time to be Alive!

Related Posts:

The Sins at the Top of the List

Politics and Religion

Mormons Should Stop Identifying as Republicans

How Mormons Should Think About the Presidential Election 
(This one, and the continuation of it linked at the bottom of that page, was written prior to the 2016 election so you can see that I have since changed my mind about certain things.)


Connie Waterman said...

Rock, even though you are my husband, sometimes I wonder at how you have come to be so knowledgeable and wise. I don't comment often, but I just wanted you to know that in this age of insanity and deception, your voice and even-handed writings are more desperately needed now than ever. Sometimes I utterly marvel at who I am actually married to! I have watched you grow and I am amazed and humbled to be the wife of a truly great man. Thank you for being my teacher for more than 40 years. I and many other's are grateful for all that you have taught and will yet teach. Plus, you make me laugh!

Mc Kay said...

I loved the post and intend to make a few germane comments but not just yet, not until I share my own insight into Descartes.

Rene Descartes walks into a bar and orders a drink. When he finishes his drink, the bartender asks him if he would like another. Descartes replies, “No, I think not,” and disappears in a puff of logic.


Mc Kay said...

Philosopher jokes are the Funniest right?

Mc Kay said...

I have been thinking about dichotomy for a while now. I think Satan is behind it. Everything, it seems, is dichotomizatized into two camps, then we are encouraged to pick one camp and then argue relentlessly for our side, blind to the other side of this dichotomy. I think it’s wrongheaded. Here’s an example.

Masks came up in a discussion at work. A colleague said, “I’m an anti masker!” “And what does that mean exactly”, I asked. After delving into it a bit it turns out she meant, “I don’t think anyone has the right to force me to wear a mask when I’m healthy. “That totally makes sense, “ I said. “Anyone who can’t understand that point of view is brain-locked, I said, “Now what’s the other side of the argument?” I asked. She was flummoxed, unable to muster even a weak argument in favor of masks. Score one for Satan.

We all did that with the church, didn’t we. We chose the side that “the church is true” and to hell with the other side of the argument. Score another for the Lord of darkness.

People have been asking me if I’m a liberal. “Heck yes” I say, “and also a conservative, but I’m certainly no Democrat nor Republican. The Republicans aren’t conservative and the Dems aren’t liberal”, I insist. Usually that overloads my listener and the conversation ends. Hopefully your readers stuck with you longer than mine as you tried to make a similar point.

The problem is the confounding of language. Every word, every worthy concept is confounded, twisted, warped into some false and powerless imitation. And yes, it’s Satan behind that as well. On this blog you have explained the confounding of many words and concepts “church”, “prophet”, “apostacy”, and now “liberal”. It’s a slow process but I applaud the work.

The earth’s history is chiasmic, it began with a language which was pure and undefiled (OC Genesis 3:14, Moses 6:6) and the Lord will return unto us a pure language (OC Zephaniah 1:11, Zephaniah 3:9) but until then we live with a corrupt language. I believe Rock and other great teachers are a big part of how the Lord will return unto us a pure language.


P.S. Here a JS quote on “liberal” to bolster your point. “Our heavenly father is more liberal in his views, and boundless in his mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive”.

Okay, 3 comments, that’s too much. I’ll shut up now.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That is indeed a good Descartes joke, Mckay, although I did have to explain to Connie that Descartes was the "I think, therefore I am" guy.

Speaking of jokes, Connie didn't get that I was joking when I put that parenthetical slogan after the mention of the Free Soil Party. I actually thought that was a pretty good one. Made ME laugh. But I suppose it's bound to go over some people's heads.

I wish I had remembered to include that quote from Joseph on God being liberal. I had originally intended on pointing out that we can tell from the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament that Jesus was a liberal, but I thought better of it. Some people might think that was going too far.

As for your friend who declared "I'm an anti-masker!" I would never take that tack. If I was her I would have gone straight to the point about not being told what to do (especially by news personalities and politicians).

But my favored reply is simply to say that I'm pro-science. It's not so much that I object to wearing a mask, it's the fact that all the studies show them to be worse than ineffective. And I say "worse" than ineffective because they practically invite bacteria and viruses in due not only to the constant touching, but the fact that all that breathing creates a moist and attractive environment for ANY virus to latch onto. If one is trying to prevent an illness, putting one of those things on and wearing it for hours is inimical to the goal. But I would not declare myself an anti-masker because that suggests I'm against wearing masks at all times and in all circumstances.

Long before this covid nonsense, I went to my doctor because I thought I might have pneumonia. I was handed a surgical mask to put on by the receptionist and I happily complied because that was sensible. This turned out to be my semi-annual bout of bronchitis, but I would not refuse to wear a mask over that either. (Even though bronchitis is no more contagious than an asthma attack, I would do that out of politeness.)

If I was riding a crowded subway in New York city I might put on a mask, but I would have done that years ago anyway, not because of a particular virus, but because it's a crowded subway in New York City, and EWWWWW!

And even if surgical masks WERE effective it should be clear to anyone wearing those cloth contraptions that THEY aren't going to do any good in the event of proximity to the virus. They plain don't work, and you would think anyone could see that. Those are the people I shake my head in pity over. When I see someone wearing a surgical mask I think, "that poor sap means well but is uninformed." When I see someone wearing a cloth mask, I just think "that poor sap is stupid as hell."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I appears someone has hacked your account and is paying me compliments.

Liberty Ghost said...

All very well said, as usual.

I think that the polarization points towards a coming civil war. The tragic shootings in Kenosha, where an armed young man tried to protect property against a mob will likely become a model leading to full-scale armed confrontation. When half the country insists that only their views are legitimate and their cause righteous, they are playing with fire and we will all get burnt.

Both sides have built this election up so that either outcome will be seen as catastrophic by the loser. We have already seen how ambivalent the left is towards street violence and there will be nothing to rein them in when Biden loses. The only question is how long the winning side will allow the violence to continue without a serious confrontation.

Dale B.

Denver Snuffer said...

There is this:
From Proverbs: "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that waters shall be watered also himself."
From Isaiah: "The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the scoundrel said to be bountiful. ... But the liberal devises liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand."
From Alma: "Therefore, they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need."
Meanwhile, prosperous and highly respected rich churchman Dallin Oaks declared that "Black Lives Matter is an eternal principle" to a Brigham Young University audience this week. Meaning what, exactly? That young white anarchists who call for eliminating the police are onto something? Because the "Black Lives Matter" slogan used by young white anarchists comes from rich white people who call black policemen "racists" because they are on the wrong side.
Don't you wish all dialogue, political, religious, social and personal could be accomplished with something other than imprecise sloganeering. Who would think for one moment that a black person's life does not matter?!? That is self-evident. But the slogan is associated almost entirely with a white-anarchists' movement to abolish the police. They are after political power through intimidation. They are the opposite of liberal.
The present national political debate is the least clear, most vague, stupidest bunch of arguing about "virtues" while completely unanchored in any clarity about what the hell the respective political candidates actually intend to do. So we have to let the opponent tell us what the other side's vague language really means, or what it is really hiding. This is the heart of negative campaigning.
And if you are unfortunate enough to be in or near a contested congressional office you will see nothing but negative ads about the competitors that are intended to make you dislike the candidate, loathe the individual, suspect his/her morality and fitness to walk about freely instead of being imprisoned where they belong.
THIS is how we decide elections?
I've seen better electioneering in Jr. High Schools than what now passes for a national campaign for President or Congress! I think we are to blame. We allow this nonsense to upset us enough to motivate us in voting. Almost always we now vote for someone because we are decidedly AGAINST someone else.
Ever since the first Bill Clinton campaign and invention of the "War Room" national politics has become more and more the product of slander, insults, lies and irrelevancies baked into catchy slogans and appeals to false "virtues."
By the time a campaign is over, if the slogans are to be trusted, then you only have a dangerous and vile man or woman to support. So resign yourself to trusting the untrustworthy, because someone has got to win.

Rhone said...

Well said Rock. Always glad to see another of your posts. I honestly feel like our remaining days as a nation are few in number. I'd vote for a true statesman like Ron Paul again in a heartbeat. Trump pales in comparison but I feel like he's the best chance we've got to keep this thing going just a little longer. The idea that anyone could logically support Biden as a leader after seeing his physical condition and these new allegations, is wholly and completely baffling to me.

I personally feel a near overwhelming sense of powerlessness in all of this. For the last few months there have been times when I've nearly been overcome by despair. I keep asking myself what I personally can do to wake people up, to improve the situation? At times Captain Moroni's example comes to mind. But the conclusion I always come to is to just become more educated, prepare physically, teach my children the scriptures, council with my wife, and hope for God's deliverance.

God bless you sir.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I understand the temptation to feel powerless, Rhone, but I'm certain that God is in his heaven and he is in full control right now. I'm convinced that the Worldwide Day of Repentance (see my previous blog post) will have had had an effect on the outcome of the election next week. Donald Trump, for all his personal failings in the past, has proven to be the right man for the job right now and I believe God is using him to achieve His purposes.

That is not to say we have reason to be at ease; the prophecies of devastation and despair will eventually come true. But I think that due to the many Americans who have repented and turned to God, we have bought ourselves a bit more time. God WILL stay his hand when he sees there are sufficient people who are awakened to their awful situation and willing to turn to Him for their salvation.

We are privileged to live in a time when those who would rule over us are tripping all over themselves in their urgency to take control. I don't think that's a coincidence, I see it as divine intervention as the Lord allows our enemies to expose themselves for the power-hungry demons they truly are. Even those who couldn't see it a few weeks ago are now seeing the lies they have been fed. So be of good cheer; as we learn from the book of Daniel, our God is able to deliver.

Connie Waterman said...

In the transcript of Dallin Oak's talk the words "Black lives matter" appeared exactly like I wrote them here. Meaning, the words "lives" and "matter" were NOT capitalized, meaning he was technically NOT referring to the movement. I think that was a tricky 'slight of hand' to skirt around not actually or legally endorsing the movement while giving the very ambiguous impression of doing so.

-Afton Eastley

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I'm sure you're correct. Though it's difficult to believe that Dallin Oaks did not know that Black Lives Matter -the corporate entity- proudly advertises itself as a Marxist revolutionary organization.

Connie Waterman said...

He knew.

Liberty Ghost said...

My feeling is that the 12 are a chameleon body; always appearing to reflect and embody whatever group they are in front of. In front of a conservative group, you can expect conservative rhetoric, in front of more liberal youth, the rhetoric turns progressive. The result is that they appear to be all things to all members; all members look at them and see themselves as if in a mirror. That is why members love them. It is a false image.

It is the same with political candidates. Biden appears to Democrats as a kind, benevolent grandfather; they do not see, nor would they believe it if they saw it, any hint of corruption. Trump appears in much the same light to his followers, who simply cannot believe anything negative about him.

Trump has no ideological underpinnings, thus he allows himself to be pushed into positions which he later regrets. He may be generally against the wars, but has allowed himself to be manipulated by the Pentagon into keeping them going. He may be against Covid restrictions now, but didn't reject them at the outset because the Constitution isn't his North star. He claims to understand economics, but begs McConnel to spend another Trillion for relief, proving that he doesn't. Trump is a terrible candidate, no one should vote for him, unless his opponent(s) are even worse, which has been the case so far.

Biden has no ideological underpinnings, thus he allows himself to embrace Socialism, the Green New Deal and any other cockamamie scheme Democrats put forward, even if he was solidly against them in the past. Even after 47 years in government he is still a blank slate, willing to let anyone write on him, if it keeps him on the stage.

Being a chameleon has great value in maintaining power. If only Abinadi or even Christ had learned that, things would probably have turned out very differently for them. Apparently the 12 have a lot to teach them.

Dale B.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Trump is certainly not flawless, but he's the closest to a classical liberal we're likely to see in office, and he is teachable. Ted Cruz was right when he pegged Trump as "just a New York Democrat, but he was a Democrat more in line with JFK than anything we see today. Back in the day there was no way I would have gotten behind John F. Kennedy, but Kennedy saw himself as a conservative democrat, and he's much more a conservative than most Republicans in office, so if he were alive today and running I would probably support him. Which is why I've gotten behind Trump, however belatedly. You can bet that JFK would not be running as a Democrat today. Neither would Bobby. Ted would, though.

I am, of course, concerned with Trump's enthusiasm over the covid vaccine, but he also acknowledged after his own recovery that we have treatments now. We don't need a vaccine. He's right about that. Anyone who would take a vaccine to treat a virus that is recoverable 97.9 to 98.9 of the time would be foolish for many reasons, not least because a vaccine injects a small amount of the virus into the body, and if you're very likely to recover if you caught the virus naturally, why in hell would you deliberately have it injected and take the certain risk?

I'm waiting to see if Trump tries to make the vaccine mandatory, or if, as the Democrats would sure do, make it difficult for people to buy or sell if they don't take it. Since Trump has not exhibited dictatorial tendencies thus far, I'm betting he won't go that direction.

He's a flawed man. The kind of flawed man the Lord always uses for his purposes. But make no mistake, if Trump goes Ruling Class on us, God will find some other servant.