By Thomas Ertl
March 18, 2016
(Originally published in NewsWithViews.com)
THE COMPROMISE OF THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT
During the present election cycle, we are seeing the usual endorsement of candidates by Christian Right leaders alongside all the other endorsements being announced. Most Christian Right endorsements were going to Cruz and Rubio. Very few prominent leaders have endorsed Trump; exceptions are Jerry Falwell Jr., Pat Robertson, Phyllis Schlafly and Dr. Robert Jeffress.
Sadly, many of the Christian Right Evangelical Establishment leaders are not qualified to make informed political assessments. They may well be effective and successful businessmen and administrators. They are no doubt sincere and well-qualified for the day-to-day work involved in their ministry leadership. Most of them, however, do not have a biblical view of civil government and have not been theologically and strategically trained in the art of Christian political theory. American elections are plagued by “low information voters.” Evangelicalism suffers from its “low information leaders.”
Most of these leaders get much of their political knowledge, insight and beliefs from Fox News, thus the term “Fox News Christians.” Their political worldview is taken more from Krauthammer, Kristol, and Will rather than from Augustine, Calvin and Beza. In fact, most of them have no idea who Theodore Beza is, much less his Christian political theory published in the 16th century. Charles Krauthammer was a Mondale speechwriter, Bill Kristol’s father, Irving, was a Marxist and a disciple of Leon Trotsky. George Will is a self-proclaimed soft atheist. Relying on sources like these for one’s political worldview and, baptizing these views with a thin veneer of “Christian-ese” is a recipe for failure. Today’s supposedly conservative outlets for news and commentary are more often part of the problem rather than contributors to real solutions.
These are the Evangelical leaders who have enthusiastically supported all of the unbiblical, unconstitutional Bush Middle East wars and the slaughter of over 1.5 million innocent lives. They have never studied or understood the historic Christian theory of just war, established long ago by Augustine and the Protestant Reformers. Their promotion of this Neo-Con, Republican blood-letting has greatly compromised their pro-life doctrine and stands in direct violation of the command in Scripture against the “shedding of innocent blood.” Do the fifty-one verses against the shedding of innocent blood mean anything? Well, at least Trump is dealing with this critical pro-life issue with his criticism of American foreign policy.
These respected Christian leaders are often tied too closely to the Republican Establishment, so they can’t prophetically confront them and call them back to truth and justice. These men are easily manipulated by the Republican Establishment, which figured out long ago how to manipulate Christian Right leadership. Give them a little “God talk” (“I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ”), tell them you support the sanctity of life and traditional marriage and, voila, you have their support and their vote. The Evangelical Establishment should be hammering the Republican Party for their treasonous policies and their sell-out of the country to the money class. They should be calling for a new party or a complete overhaul of the present one, yet they remain silent.
The Christian Right has been politically irrelevant on the federal level mainly because of its limited two issue constituency. The four decade failure of the Christian Right to influence American culture is because they have been a reactionary group in their strategies and organizations instead of one with an aggressive Christian vision of cultural renewal. They have failed to take a comprehensive worldview in every area of culture and life and develop strategies to build new Christian institutions in the places where ordinary Americans live out their daily lives.
vWhat is interesting about Trump’s candidacy is that the Christian Right rank and file is separating from their leadership and voting for Trump. They seem to be expanding beyond the traditional two issues to the ones Trump is raising. They are very worried about the future of their country, its economic and national security.
Both the GOP Establishment and Evangelical Establishment lost big in the South Carolina Primary. The people are finally starting to figure out who the GOP really is. The indignation is at unforeseen levels. The peasants are mad. The trust is gone. In the recent primaries, if you add the numbers of both Trump and Cruz, who are considered as anti-Establishment candidates, you get an anti-Establishment vote well over 60%. I don’t think the GOP will ever recover from this to re-establish its control over its base. This is a historic battle and a positive step towards liberty.
TRUMP’S POLITICAL POSITIONS
Along with Donald Trump’s populist theme of “Make America Great Again” come many key issues on which he is outspoken.
This is where I see his real strength. Trump goes after issues of national interest that other politicians won’t touch. Many of these issues are of primary importance and so are more critical than the ones raised by conservative purists.
Trump, labels himself as a “common sense conservative,” not a purist but, in doing so, he shows himself to be the most conservative of all the Republican candidates on the issues he is raising. Following is a list of some of his political positions.
SUMMARY OF TRUMP’S POLICY POSITIONS
WALL AT THE MEXICAN BORDER
- He is firm in his position of building the wall, sealing the border, and talks of changing immigration policies.
- He talks aggressively of reversing all of the anti-American trade agreements that have sent industry overseas. He might possibly undo NAFTA, GATT, WTO and TPP.
- The US industrial base is being dismantled by the globalists and their politicians and Trump seeks to reverse it.
- He talks about dealing with the US corporate tax rate to get industry back on American soil.
- He uses threats of tariffs to get industry back.
- He talks about dealing with China’s internal tariffs that hurt US industry.
- He has attacked present healthcare which he says was written by corporate interests for the enrichment of the corporation. He promotes a repeal of the current system with a plan that involves much more free enterprise.
- He has been a huge critic of the Bush foreign policy that is used to serve global interests rather than that of the United States.
REDRESS US MILITARY POLICY
- He is a constant critic of the human and financial cost of the Iraq War and calls it a 2 trillion dollar fiasco.
- He questions US soldiers in Europe and South Korea for over 70 years.
FEDERAL RESERVE AUDIT
- He knows that the Federal Reserve is a private corporation. What he will propose here is unknown. At least he is making an appeal for an audit here.
WALL STREET PILLAGING
- He has gone after hedge fund ethics and he talks of reform in this area.
- By not taking Wall Street donations he may be more effective in dealing with their criminal activity.
- He questions the toxic vaccine industry and complains that pharmaceuticals, because of their control of the political class through donations, get a free ride.
- He said he will start bidding on federal pharmaceutical purchases.
- This is where most of the Establishment works for their dream of a world government and one world currency.
- Trump might reject any movement in this direction in favor of American sovereignty.
WESTERN LAND RIGHTS
- Trump has come out against the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and has called them a “dictatorial agency.”
ROLLING BACK FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
- He advocates the elimination of the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency and states that he will go after government fraud and waste.
- Solid on the 2nd Amendment.
You can see with this list that Trump is going after the Establishment’s financial and corporate control. This is the heart of many of our national issues, including issues related to US sovereignty and protection of the American people’s interests.
Related to Trump’s policy positions is his constant attack on elements of the Establishment, whether Wall Street, corporatism, or Republican Party policy. This courageous stance, if continued, will reap many political rewards. Trump, in his policy positions, is truly going after the head and core issues that have led to our national demise.
TRUMP THE ANTI-POLITICIAN POPULIST
Donald Trump follows two lines of populism in American presidential history.
The first is that of 19th-century populist Andrew Jackson. Jackson was the “alpha male” in his time. He had the tremendous courage and determination to take on the international banking Establishment represented by Nicholas Biddle. He was victorious in that great battle against the Second Bank of America and the Establishment of his day.
Jackson has been criticized for his lack of personal refinement, his crudeness, and his questionable manners. Sounds like Trump!
The second line of populism came in the 20th century. Here Trump is in the line of four American populists, Charles Lindbergh and his America First Committee of the early 1940s, Senator Robert Taft of the 50s and Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot of the 90s. A common characteristic of national populism is its attack on the Establishment’s agenda.
Trump’s aggressive America first populism is his tremendous appeal. In a day of undelivered political promises made by compromised conservative politicians, we have Donald Trump addressing the areas where Republicans have sold off America’s future and economic well-being. He is exposing how these so-called conservatives have promoted all these horrendous trade agreements where our country has lost its economic and political sovereignty.
These agreements, supported by the Bushes, McCain, Cruz and Rubio, will one day create a North American union of the United States with Mexico and Canada. This would be intolerable to Trump and most Americans. All such agreements could be dealt with and possibly reversed by the new American populist Donald Trump.
CRUZ: ESTABLISHMENT CONTROLLED
Ted Cruz is a whole different candidate, and is not who he appears to be. In-depth research on him and his wife, Heidi, is very revealing and shows strong ties into the Establishment. He is an Ivy Leaguer, having attended Princeton and Harvard Law School.
Ted Cruz was a “Bushman” and an insider and top policy advisor to George W. Bush. It was Cruz who vetted and encouraged Bush to nominate John Roberts to the Supreme Court. So much for principled conservativism!
Cruz is also a confirmed Neo-Con and very much a supporter of the disastrous Bush wars and the current aggressive involvement of the American military in the Middle East and beyond. He has former CIA directors as his advisors and recently hired Neil Bush to join his national finance team.
His wife Heidi Cruz worked under Condoleezza Rice in the Bush Administration in the crafting and implementing the North America Free Trade Agreement. She is also tied to David Rockefeller’s globalist, one world government organization, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). She is still listed on their site as a member who worked on the Taskforce of the Future of America.
She served as deputy to U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, who was formerly president of the World Bank (2007-2012). She worked with the globalist, Zoellick, on the U.S.-China trade policy.
Mrs. Cruz is on leave from her vice-president position at the notorious investment bank, Goldman Sachs, which is well known as a key player in the Establishment’s global financial control apparatus.
You can hardly get more Establishment than the Cruz family. Their close political association inside the Establishment would be detrimental to the sovereignty and future well-being of the United States.
TRUMP AS PRESIDENT
Age and experience always temper political hopes and excitement. Despite Trump’s high energy and passionate promises to bring our country around, as president he will need a consensus with Congress to move aggressively on his agenda. Even more difficult in carrying out his agenda will be all the maneuverings of the Establishment that would seek to undo the Trump agenda. The latter is of greater concern.
Even with that understood, commentator Alex Jones says that if he can deliver only 20% of what he promises, he will be in the presidential category of a George Washington. Geo-political expert Joel Skousen says if he could only seal the border and build the wall, it would be a monumental accomplishment in light of our useless Republican leaders.
The Christian is told in Scripture “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3). How wise. This puts our political hopes in perspective with the reality of the human condition, putting our final rest in God’s sovereignty.
As president, would Donald Trump become some kind of a great Christian statesman? No, probably not. But, in a Trump presidency, we hope we would get someone who will fearlessly go after the Establishment, its financiers and corporations that, in monopolistic fashion, have pillaged the country. He may make a tremendous leader who will hold back the forces of evil and of further destruction of our country and culture, benefitting the Church in the process.
When considering a Trump presidency there is still the unknown. If he starts to appoint Establishment men as his close counselors – vice-president, chief of staff and cabinet positions – then his effectiveness as an American populist will be greatly diminished and possibly co-opted.
This was the case with Reagan. The Reagan revolution was over before it began when he succumbed to Establishment pressure and appointed George H.W. Bush to the vice presidency and Bush confidant, James A. Baker, to Chief of Staff. Reagan, the outsider, became president over a Bush, Establishment, CFR staffed administration. The reform of government was stopped in its tracks and all we got thereafter was great speeches.
The pressure on Trump to line his administration with globalist, CFR insiders would be beyond intense. It would take a tremendous depth of courage to reject the Establishment and staff his administration with true American patriots. Reagan caved! Will Trump? Time will tell.
In our political activism and responsibility in the public sphere we can never forget the goal of our faith. The Word of God gives us the assurance of Christ’s triumph in time and history. The Christian also is to build for the day when the nations of this world are discipled (as per the Great Commission), and bow their knee to Jesus Christ as Lord. Until we see a worldwide Christian renewal, we work to keep our enemies at bay and to labor with what we can to improve the Church’s situation in the world.
We are in the midst of a historic political movement, a sea change in the political landscape for many years to come, and most of the Evangelical Establishment leadership has no idea what is happening politically right before their eyes. Instead of embracing this historic national rebellion and pushback against the Establishment, admitting their four decades of mistakes and compromise, rethinking their positions and strategies, they remain in the comforts of the past, endorsing Establishment Republicans with the hope of maintaining their status quo positions and living off the political crumbs that fall from the Republican table.
Fortunately in this election cycle, the Evangelical rank and file is not listening to their Establishment Evangelical leaders.
Many Americans, for the first time, are beginning to understand how the geo-political world works. This means they are also grasping the bigger picture in the domestic battle over the future of America. They are seeing that the real enemy is not secondary institutions like the Democratic Party (within the false ideological/political paradigm of left and right) but the Establishment itself.
Fundamental to Christian responsibility is questioning anything that comes out of the Establishment. The rejection of their influence goes beyond that of the political parties to their policies and their candidates for federal office. A candidate who espouses so-called conservative ideology but who is tied to the Establishment should be rejected by the Christian voter because that politician will end up falling in line with Establishment policies.
Evangelical Christians are now given a unique opportunity in American political history to play their part in reversing the fortunes of Establishment control and redressing the Establishment’s pillaging and destruction of their country.
© 2016 Thomas Ertl – All Rights Reserved
Tom is a home builder in Tallahassee, Florida and is a member of a local congregation in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). He is a publisher of Christian theological works and has sat on the boards of several Evangelical Christian organizations.