After a strong start a few months ago, the Republican debates have become increasingly frustrating to watch. It’s not just that the nine or so candidates have often formed a circular firing squad by walking into the liberal moderators’ traps. It’s also the fact that some issues just seem untouchable. And I can’t help thinking that the left and their friends in the media are succeeding in intimidating the Republicans from making the inspiring, passionate positions that heartland America is longing to hear, on key issues besides the economy.
It goes without saying that our nation is at a crossroads, at which one very important turn will be made come the 2012 elections. However, a combination of the 24/7 news cycle, constant gotcha journalism, and general apathy make it very difficult not only to predict who the eventual Republican nominee will be, but whether that nominee will indeed have the support and wherewithal to defeat Obama. One thing is certain: a candidate who is not sure-footed and confident with his or her positions on the major issues is going to have a hard time of it in a campaign that promises to be the nastiest in our nation’s history.
If there is one issue upon which I can confidently state that my candidate had better be all-in, that is no-fudging support for the state of Israel. Two recently released books make the case compellingly.
The Everlasting Hatred, by Hal Lindsey of Late Great Planet Earth fame, does a great job of telling the truth about the roots of Arab and Islamic hatred toward the Jews. Two key things that it’s a safe bet will never come out of a politician’s mouth: (1) the land of Israel, more so than any other parcel on this Earth, belongs first and foremost to God; and (2) God has clearly chosen the Jews as the people to inhabit that land. Then, of course, there is that verse in Genesis (12:3 to be exact) in which God tells Abraham, the father of the Hebrew/Jewish nation, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.” Lindsey applies this verse to the downfall of the British Empire, not coincidentally at the same time the Brits were reneging on their support of a Jewish state in the land of “Palestine.” He also makes it clear that the U.S. may be headed in the same direction as a result of our flagging support for Israel in recent years, most notably by the current reckless administration.
The other recent book that discusses these themes is I Never Thought I Would See the Day, by Rev. David Jeremiah. Although I haven’t read the book yet, I have listened to Pastor Jeremiah’s preaching about it, and he makes the same case that Hal Lindsey does—the U.S. is headed for big trouble if we continue down the path Obama is taking us with his Middle East policies. Arguably, we are already seeing evidence of this in our economic and military decline and the rise of China as an economic and military power with which to be reckoned. But mostly we are seeing it in our moral decline, which Jeremiah rightly points out, is directly related to the economic and military problems but most notably to our misguided foreign policy toward Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Now, as we listen to the crickets chirping in the background, which Republican candidate has taken Obama to task for his ill-advised policy toward Israel? Which candidate has challenged America that in order to restore our greatness, we need to return to moral clarity versus moral relativism, not just reduce federal spending and taxes? I don’t know about you, but I won’t be holding my breath waiting in the coming months for this to happen. And that’s a shame, because bold proclamations, risky as they may be, are what’s going to be needed to win the next election.