I met Doug Simpson in 2006 when I made an unsuccessful run for state office. At that time, Doug was known as one of the smartest political consultants in the country. He’d also just published Looking for America:Re-Discovering the Meaning of Freedom. It remains one of my favorite books on liberty and the principles of good government. (Would make great summer read!)
Below is a recent article Doug sent to friends that clearly explains why America is in trouble. It is brutally honest, very insightful, and rightly encourages us as believers to 1) Win the culture before putting our trust in laws, 2) Focus on training (education) the next generation, 3) The church is the key to freedom being enjoyed in a nation, and 4) God is guiding history, and we need to cooperate with him in the next spiritual awakening he might have up his sleeve.
Are you wondering “What’s Next?” for spiritual and political activism in the US?
Here’s the hope you’ve been looking for.
By Doug Simpson
Twenty-five years ago I embarked on a personal mission to change the faces sitting in the seats of government. At the time, I had been awakening to the lessons of history and didn’t like the direction our country was headed. Like many others, I believed that slugging it out in the political arena was the only way to right the listing ship.
I was wrong.
That’s not to say that political war isn’t one part of the solution. But, now I see that it was only half of the equation, and that the other half is probably even more important. So, the best I could have hoped for was to buy time. But, time for what?
I now see that, like Vietnam, we had lost the war before it started and – surprisingly – for the same reason we lost in Vietnam: we had lost the culture. When that occurs, you’re finished before you begin. Almost nobody now remembers why we went to Vietnam in the first place. I do. Here we were, 12,000 miles away, supposedly battling the evil of communism, all the while, its ideals were infesting our society and undermining our way of life here at home.
That’s exactly what is going on in the political arena. We are off to Olympia or the other Washington to do battle against the ever-encroaching tyrannical socialism through political warfare; meanwhile the masses are being educated by a leftist media, in collusion with a self-serving socialist bureaucratic education establishment paid for with our tax dollars. In essence, we’re paying for our own demise.
Now, 25 years later, I look back and see what our founders knew from the start: You cannot defeat ideas on a battlefield. You defeat them inside your own culture through ongoing education. Only in this way can you make your culture impervious to invasion. Too many of us never learned about our history until way too late in the game. Unfortunately for us, and the country at large, we relegated the “education” of upcoming generations to the very minds who stand against the American way of life.
So, throughout most of the past 25 years, it never dawned on me that the Vietnam thing was happening all over again. We were winning a few battles, but losing the war and we knew it. Today, our foes control every major institution in America – starting with public education – not to mention a large part of the church and both political parties. Right under our noses, even as youngsters, our adversaries have stolen two generations of Americans by undermining children’s education on their way to capturing the flag. They’ve done a great job of it, since most of America and the church never hear the good news about the great foundational principles responsible for the great nation we once were.
If we would pay attention, we could learn a lot from our adversaries. They’ve certainly taught me, and now I see that political warfare and education go hand-in-hand. Political warfare fought single-handedly doesn’t work. You cannot make godly laws for an ungodly people – a people who no longer have a common purpose, or history, or umbrella societal code. They will either reject such laws by repeal, or ignore them altogether – exactly what we are witnessing today in our liberal courts.
Who would have guessed 25 years ago that today we would see legalized homosexual marriage, open marijuana usage, government approved and funded murder of innocent children,and euthanasia? What’s most amazing is that these changes in law here in Washington State were not enacted by the legislature, but by the people themselves through the initiative process. So, here’s a lesson. If you don’t have the people with you, you have lost the war before you start.
Again, simple observation reveals so much. Take Iraq or Afghanistan for example: just like Vietnam, wars of independence cannot be won without cultural education. In other words, how can you fight for people’s liberty, yours or someone else’s, or get them to want to, if they have no comprehension of what liberty is in the first place?
Here at home, who would have believed that a government once erected to protect the inalienable right to life and liberty would become its greatest enemy? This would not surprise our founders who had seen it in history and feared a civil government that reached outside its proper jurisdiction – exactly what propelled them to war with King George. A Constitution or rule of law to an ignorant and waffling-minded people has no value.
So, what now?
First, we need to grab a hold of the truth that ideals and political-ism’s are won or lost inside our own culture, not through political or actual warfare. The biggest threats we face are here at home, not in some foreign land. It isn’t about nukes in suitcases, suicide bombers, or fanatics with, so-called, assault weapons. All that is merely an endless line of boogeymen created to scare you into bigger government. So is global warming, and other environmental and ideological terrorism. If you’ve lost the culture, you’ve already lost the war against terror anyway. The real war is about people with empty heads and contaminated hearts. Like the Sons of Issachar, we need to understand the times we live in, in order to know what we should do. There is nothing happening that surprises God, nor is there anything new under the sun.
Second, if we’re going to retake the culture, the church is the only institution capable of leading the charge. Jesus will have it no other way. We need to renew our understanding of just what the real job of the church is; what real evangelizing truly is. The Word of God translates into real everyday world living or it isn’t worth much. That is to say that the Good News of redemption, salvation, forgiveness and – doing unto others – was the foundation of the America now lost. It is these principles that are the foundation of all our laws and culture and, therefore, the reason for our past success and prosperity. The more we’ve wandered away, the more we’ve ventured into no man’s land. Gone are the days when great principles reigned above lawlessness in the land.
Third, we need to get our minds around the understanding that liberty is the highest ideal and comes at the highest of prices. Our Father in Heaven gave us the greatest example when He shed His Son’s precious blood on the Cross for our spiritual liberty – the precursor to any civil liberty. And blood is, and will always be, the ultimate price of liberty. Quoting from Looking For America.“The great paradox lies in our understanding that to avoid the bloodshed we so abhor, we must always be willing to bleed in the first place.”
Last fall, right after the Election, I had a friend ask me what happened. How, he asked, did Obama get re-elected? Many others have been asking that. Why are you asking me that question, I asked? He looked dumbfounded. So I asked him if he had ever put a sign in his yard, ever given money to a cause, or to a candidate he supported? He responded by saying no and no. Yet whenever we are together, he is always full of good opinions about politics. So, I asked him what he thought would happen when he and countless others don’t join the fight?
Do you see … opinions aren’t worth much if you don’t put your money where your mouth is. Freedom and liberty costs. And if you let it get away from you, it costs three times as much to get it back.
Finally, this …
The principles of Christianity are the only road to civil liberty, freedom and prosperity. There is no other path. Without them, liberty cannot possibly be manifested into a civil society. Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Whosoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.” We did that once as a country and it worked. If the mission of America that began with the Pilgrims was another waypoint on the road to establishing His Kingdom on earth, then hope remains. I never figured it would stop where it has.
I personally believe that without some providential intervention, we can never get the great ship righted. That’s why I believe God will do exactly that. Maybe not by judgment in the traditional way of thinking, but by natural consequences that occur when you defy His principles.
When I look back over the past 25 years, it pains me and I feel tired, even that I have failed. The America we grew up in is long gone and we need to stop using the terminology that says we’re “going to save it.” The fact is we’ve lost nearly every major battle, and now the war. But we’ve only truly lost, if we don’t learn from it.
Perhaps, this past 100 years is but a step back, before the two steps forward. I hope so, because our children and their children, who for the most part are not paying much attention, are coming upon a rude awakening just over the horizon.I want to help them if I can. They are the ones who will have to rebuild from the rubble.
Thank God for redemption.