Right Revolt–Wrong Standard-Bearer
Pundits have been saying for months–some for years–that the driving force of the 2016 electorate is an unabashed and unleashed anger at the political establishment in the United States.
It’s especially aimed at Republicans elites. We’re told that anger fueled the rise of the Tea Party in 2010 which took over the House of Representatives. But nothing changed. Then a new wave of angst led to the toppling of the Senate in 2014.
But nothing again happened.
So Donald Trump is now riding this populist heat wave to the top of the Republican nominating process.
There’s only one problem.
It’s the right revolution but the wrong standard bearer.
I’d like to first say something about the “anger” thing which seems to be the word-du-jour at the present. In one of the most inspiring concession speeches I’ve ever heard by Florida Senator Mario Rubio, he also referred to this phenomenon:
“The politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party. They’re going to leave us a fractured nation. They’re going to leave us as a nation where people literally hate each other because they have different political opinions.”
“American needs a vibrant conservative movement, but one that’s built on principles and on ideas, not on fear, not on anger, not on preying on people’s frustrations.”
We lost a great candidate in Marco Rubio. Watch his full speech and weep for our stupidity.
Now back to the anger problem.
There are a few of things I know about anger and most of them are bad. First, anger is an emotion that usually flairs up when you don’t think. It’s not for stable, thoughtful minds–just for loose cannons that like to spit out smoke.
Second, last time I checked, anger is a sin. It is usually a selfish response to something I don’t like. The Bible tells us quite clearly to not let the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4:26, 27). In other words, deal with it daily and don’t let it poison your inner being.
Yes, I know there’s a place for righteous anger. But I only trust God to practice it perfectly with a right motivation. Most times I try to do it, I mess up the situation with bad attitudes and actions.
So anger is usually a destructive, immature force.
And we’re happy about it driving the American electorate?
We shouldn’t be. The better response to injustice and poor leadership is deep burden and positive action. I think of the response of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the plight of blacks in the 1960s. That was a revolution worth emulating. Anger took a back seat to passionate impact.
If anger (sin) drives your voting, then you will pull the lever for angry (sinful) people. Which tells us why Donald Trump is riding the Republican wave.
I’ve already made the case that a back-slidden American nation, whose evangelicals seem to have left our shores (or their values), are looking for a king to rescue them. The Donald fits that description. He’s tall, tough and uncouth, and embodies the things that many Americans desire (wealth, supermodel wife, and entertainment fame).
He’s also extremely vulgar, childish, mean, unprincipled, and cunning. Street smart would be a good word with emphasis on the part next to the pavement.
A third of the Republican Party, including many Christians, are unthinkingly following an angry man. To understand how ridiculous this is, check out this two minute video by humorist Andrew Klavan.
It is right and necessary to rescue the Republic from the entrenched bureaucracy. But we’ve chosen the wrong standard-bearer and now only one good alternative is left.
Ted Cruz. Revolutionary. Man of faith. Principled. Courageous. Not an anger-induced barbarian.
Listen to the wisdom and warnings of an economist and a prophet.
“There is a reason why polls repeatedly show Donald Trump producing the highest negative reactions of any candidate of either party. Yet the small hard core of Trump supporters seem oblivious to his antics, his recklessness and his all-consuming ego.”
“Some of these supporters may simply not be paying careful attention. But there have also been some very knowledgeable and intellectually talented people who have backed Trump. Sometimes it takes a high IQ to evade the obvious.”
“What does Trump offer his supporters that makes them so willing to overlook so much? He boldly articulates the resentment and anger they feel at having been betrayed by smug elites in general and the Republican establishment in particular.”
“Charismatic leaders who articulated the just grievances of the people have often risen to power on the basis of that talent alone. And those who put them in power have often paid a catastrophic price afterwards. That story was repeated in countries around the world in the 20th century.”
“Will that story be repeated in America in the 21st century?”
“The only candidate who has any real chance to stop Donald Trump at the ballot box is Ted Cruz. But the Republican elite, who have never liked Senator Cruz, may prefer to stop Trump with chicanery at the convention. That can cost Republicans the votes of Trump’s followers, putting Hillary Clinton in the White House — and the country on the ruinous road to a point of no return.”
“It is now or never for America. Embracing the reality of that statement is our major hope. Whatever we are going to do—we must do now. Don’t delude yourself into thinking we have more time. You deceive yourself at your own peril. Those who handle warnings carelessly, will almost certainly be fatalities in the maelstrom.”
“In the midst of these great horrors we are still a divided church. This is the most jaw dropping fact of all: U.S. Christians refuse to unify. Everything is at stake—how is this possible? What decadent arrogance allows Christian leaders to keep building empires? Why do they steadfastly refuse to join their brothers and sisters in the struggle to save the nation? How can they ignore the deafening air raid siren? What will they do if the church is driven underground and their little kingdoms are gone in an instant?”
“What has happened to America and the church is dreadful. But just as dreadful as these things are that is how wonderful it is to know that all God needs is a core. 1 Samuel 14: 6 says, ‘Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.’
“Martin Luther said, ‘One with God is a majority.’ Gideon proved this. When all of Israel was dulled by immorality, and failed to rally to the cause, God honed 300 men to save the nation. God seeks a core that will not hold back in prayer, action and sacrifice. He seeks you.”
“You and I can’t wait for the church to wake up. No pastor should stall revival in committee. No soldier of Jesus should look for the right amount of support or a consensus. There is nothing—and no one to wait for.”
“The anger you see in the election is not political…it is rooted in their spirits. They are sick to death of the lies of our culture. They feel outrage at the betrayal of our leaders. If we seize this moment—if we go full bore—if we abandon ourselves to outreach—we will see the greatest harvest in 40 years.”
These are voices of burden and intelligence.
Let’s stop being foolish and angry. Ted Cruz is a true statesman/outsider that could lead America into a time of desperately needed renewal. We must repent of both our anger and apathy and join a righteous revolution that would make our founders proud.
We don’t need a king.
We need a principled-leader who will point us to the King of kings.
Thank you, Ron, for this very insighful and urgent call to prayer and other action. May followers of Christ unite at this very crucial time in history.
Rubio, Cruz and Kasich are RINO's. We do not need MORE of the same. The Establishment are shaking in their boots, afraid of losing their power. I don't trust Cruz; both he and his wife are too close to the Bush family. His wife works for Goldman Sachs! That's one of the reasons this country is in the shape it's in: Wall Street and bankers have bankrupted this nation. Trump is not beholden to anyone.
I'm not voting for a pastor of my church. I am voting for someone who I think can get this country back on track.
I always enjoy Ron's post.
I agree with this article but believe it is an overstatement to equate anger with sin. ["… last time I checked, anger is a sin."]
The scripture often talks about "the anger of the Lord" yet we know that God can not sin. Even Jesus displayed anger when he drove the money changers from the temple. The verse that Ron partial quotes says: “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" (Ephesians 4:26) According to this verse, we can be angry and not sin. But do let it go unresolved or it will turn into sin through wrong attitudes and actions.
It may seem like a subtle distinction, but I think that anger can be a righteous reaction when encountering injustice.