Yesterday I exhorted the saints at Christ Church to remember their down ballot duties. I did not mention any specific candidates or issues there because worship is not the place for partisan politics. But it is a place for God’s people to be reminded that their presence in this society is inescapably political.
And that means that Christians will not display the same demographic spread as everyone else does—if that happened, it would simply mean that the salt had lost its savor, and was fit for nothing but to be trampled on by men. Taken as a group, if we limit our use of the word Christian to those who believe the Bible is true, and who have the Spirit of God, we will not celebrate sodomy as a human right, we will not change on the dignity of the unborn, and we will protest the persecution of faithful Christians who refuse to use their professional skills to join in on all the mandatory North Korean applause.
But those are our instincts, and sometimes information that is a bit more specific can be helpful. Since this blog is my own private space, I am not under the same constraints as I would be in the sanctuary.
HJR5: The Big Deal
For those of us in Idaho, the ballot tomorrow contains a wonderful measure fetchingly called HJR5. Every Christian who loves liberty—and that should be all of us—should get themselves down to the voting station first thing to vote for this baby. As you vote for it, others in the polling place should hear loud whoops coming from your general direction.
The measure is a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Idaho. It provides that the legislature can review, approve, and reject administrative rules, and that their actions in this regard are not susceptible to a gubernatorial veto. This is something that the legislature can already do by statute, but this measure puts it in the Constitution, which means it is put a little further out of the reach of the regulators, our despots-behind-desks.
Here is an explanation on why this measure is such a crucial one.
Carl is running for House seat 5-A in the state legislature against an incumbent Democrat, Paulette Jordan. This is a race where conservative Christian turnout in Moscow is crucial. Our district is a large red one, but with a rather biggish blue dot in the middle of it (Moscow). Carl is going to do very well in all the outlying areas, and simply needs to do better than expected in Moscow. If Christians here stay home because of the goon show at the top of the ballot, then they will have thrown away a real opportunity to be represented in the state legislature by someone who actually believes the way they do. I have said already that we have down ballot duties, but in this case, it is not just a down ballot duty. This is a real down ballot opportunity.
A Small Grab Bag
I have been generally happy with the Idaho delegation to Congress, and will be voting for Raul Labrador and Mike Crapo. At the local level, I will be voting for Richie Skiles for Latah County Sheriff.
Comrade or El Presidente?
The main presidential choices are between the profound corruptions of Clinton and the tawdry clownishness of Trump. I would prefer that Trump win, as I have noted before, because I think we will be in a much better position to resist the bad things that he will attempt, and we will not need to resist the good things he will attempt. Clinton will attempt nothing good, and will be a strong position to fight dirty, which she most certainly will.
I am going to be writing in Ben Sasse for president. He is not on the ballot, and so some will say this is a futile gesture. Others will applaud the futility of my gesture, but will maintain that I ought to have made a different kind of futile gesture. They want me to have made a gesture that was a little more pure—but with the purity defined according to an algorithm I haven’t figured out yet.
As I do this, I want to extend the right hand of fellowship to every Christian who feels constrained to put a bag over his head to vote for Trump. I feel your pain, as I hope you feel mine. But I do not feel the same unity impulses with that raucous group that thinks that Trump is the next Huey Long, only better and more messianic.
Remember that there are two kinds of #NeverTrumpers. The first kind is motivated by the fact that Trump is an uncouth outsider, not a member of the establishment. They do not object to Trump because he is not a conservative, but rather because he is a populist and a nationalist. Republicans voting for Clinton would be in this appalling category. If I am asked my preferences, I would rather be governed by Trump than by this kind of NeverTrumper, and I do appreciate the wrecking ball aspects of all this. If asked my preferences, I would rather be captured by the crazy pirate than by the cruel one. But—and I trust I may be forgiven for this—I still don’t want to put up a yard sign for the crazy pirate.
So there is another kind of NeverTrumper, the kind of person who objects to Trump because he is not really a conservative at all. I am in this category, in the same general place that Ben Sasse is, or Jonah Goldberg. Sasse has opposed Trump from the beginning in a principled way, and I like it. I like him.
So there you go. Hunker down, everybody.