There are three things that must happen in America for us to salvage a country that has already collapsed morally. We must have a spiritual revival; we must educate ourselves and others about the American Founding; we must elect office-seekers who are leaders of strong character. These principles have always applied, but right now they are imperative for our nation’s survival.
Since returning to op-ed writing in January of this year, I have mainly focused on issues that the Republican presidential candidates should know and promote in order to: save our country from impending economic doom; safeguard liberties; and educate the voting public. My columns have at times focused on facts and statistics, while other times focused on philosophical approaches. My focus is such because our national peril is so great, but so few seem to realize it.
Multiple quotes have been mashed together to form the following truism:
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage.
Attribution is fuzzy (Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler did not write it), but the substance is what matters. America is beyond 200 years- an important milestone, historically speaking. Yet the quote is missing one key element: education. Perhaps one would place it with either complacency or apathy, or both. A lack of education within the general populace about the nature of liberty, combined with avarice and the lust for power by government officials, spell an end to liberty for the general populace. If a citizen does not know that a political leader is breaking the law, but is happy with the outcome, then the law breaking will be repeated. Some even know when laws are broken but are too morally weak to care.
So the president renamed a mountain? Who cares? Never mind that the mountain was named by way of law; therefore, a president lacks the constitutional power to rename the mountain. The president ignores current immigration laws on the books, but there is outrage when a woman ignores an illegal Supreme Court ruling (illegal on several levels) that arguably violates religious liberty. Somehow, the Supreme Court means something but the Constitution and laws do not.
It is with this backdrop that we speed toward the next presidential election. We need to elect someone who can have the backbone to tackle the deep problems listed above, but there is another, deeper issue at hand: character. The next president of the United States is going to be tempted to be a law-breaker in order to undo the law-breaking of our current president.
An example of this temptation will come with some of this president’s Executive Orders. The next president should rescind every harmful and illegal EO, but the temptation will come, for example, with the opportunity to overturn judicial fiat with EOs. Such illegal EOs could then be justified by citing the precedent set by his predecessor. The long term impact of such a decision would be to ensure that all succeeding presidents have unwarranted, unlimited power.
The Founding Fathers meant for Congress to be the most powerful and important body of the federal government, followed by the Executive branch, with the Judicial branch being the weakest. Currently, that structure is inverted, with the current president trying his mightiest to elevate the Executive further. The next president cannot continue this trend. If we are to restore the legal balance, which was damaged by runaway progressivism, restoration must come legally or it will not last.
The lack of character displayed by most federal politicians is so alarming that the top Republican presidential candidates are “outsiders” (I count Senator Cruz as an outsider because of his relatively brief stint in the US Senate, combined with his constitutional approaches). While it remains unlikely that Donald Trump or Dr. Ben Carson will receive the Party nomination, the anti-Washington mood runs deep amongst average citizens.
Temptation is an important tool of Evil. Evil is not just dismembering unborn babies or killing Jews in concentration camps; Evil is in opposition to what is good and right. America is not at “a crossroads,” as the expression says: America is past that junction. The only way to save America from political and/or financial collapse- collapse that is inevitable following moral collapse- is to completely turn around our current course.
Educating the public about liberty and electing political leaders at all levels who have a great amount of character are the only weapons that remain in our arsenal, and only a spiritual awakening can bring this about. So little time, so much to accomplish. Nevertheless, while spiritual awakening begins in the hearts of individuals and the churches still brave enough to preach God’s Word; while education takes years; we can ensure that whichever 2016 candidate receives our backing has the character to do what is right and will gain accomplishments the right way.
Yes, it is that serious. We have to think about recovering from moral collapse. The clock is ticking - for 2016 and for America.
Brian W. Peterson has been a columnist for a mid-size California newspaper, is a veteran of political campaigns, and was a member of the publicly elected Republican Central Committee of Los Angeles County. His psychological thriller Dead Dreams and sci-fi adventure Children of the Sun are currently available through Amazon.com. You can follow Brian on Twitter @cybrpete.
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