This article is not for the faint of heart, the idealistic, or the politically naïve. It will challenge your preconceived notions about the alleged "objectivity" of the American political system. It will also expose the hidden philosophical underpinnings of the liberal Democrats and statist Republicans. This essay will elucidate why the so-called "conservative" political battle in America is nearly over, and why conservatives will ultimately lose unless a radical change in political strategy is employed.
The 2000 Presidential Election, A Case Study
There is no need to rehash the entire sordid affair of the 2000 Presidential election. Instead, we will look at the strategy the Democrats employed in the pre- and post-election battle for the Presidency.
After the state-mandated recount in Florida, Governor George W. Bush led Vice President Al Gore by some 300 votes. At this point in time, the rule of law mandated that Florida Secretary of State Harris certify the vote within seven days. The intent of the Florida legislature was clear: to expeditiously end the voting process within a set time frame to avoid partisan bickering and endless contests. Secretary Harris did just that, nothing more and nothing less. Because the results were not in the favor of the Democrats, an endless series of personal attacks against Secretary Harris and numerous legal challenges ensued.
In what could be characterized as a blatant disregard for the rule of law, the Florida Supreme Court arbitrarily extended the voting deadline so that three counties could complete hand recounts of ballots. The testimony given by Bush attorney Michael Carvin before the Court summarizes the issue at hand:
I just did want to bring the court's attention very quickly, if I could, to 3 USC, Section 7, which makes it clear that the federal courts federal law will not allow this court or the Florida legislature to change the rules of the election after the election has taken place, to avoid precisely the evil I have been discussing, which is that there will be ad hoc decision making that could be influenced by subjective or partisan concerns.1
Exactly. Mr. Carvin's characterization of the Gore campaign's efforts as "evil" was right on target. Not only was there a systematic effort to register more votes for Vice President Gore by subjectively counting dimpled and pregnant chads after the election; it now appears that systemic voter fraud was involved even before the election occurred.
Western Journalism Center investigative reporter Ken Timmerman is currently exploring these allegations of voter fraud by the Democrats:
- A plan to grant immigrants "immediate" citizenship and register them as Democrats prior to the November 7 election.
- The creation of a special "CLINTON VOTING CARD" to allow illegal immigrants the right to vote in California.
- State election offices mailing absentee ballots to our men and women in uniform THIRD CLASS. They're supposed to be mailed FIRST CLASS.
- The deliberate delay of the return of those ballots.
- The disappearance of tens of thousands of absentee ballots shipped to military personnel overseas.
- Completed ballots left on board American ships of war while the Pentagon tells media and family members all ballots were on their way home.2
The rejection of over 1,500 military ballots was clearly orchestrated by the Gore campaign. An effort was underway to disenfranchise the military even before the votes were counted. According to Fox News:
Before the canvass, Gore campaign attorney Mark Herron circulated a five-page memo encouraging volunteers to look for errors in the military ballots that would disqualify them.
The memo provided a sample protest form for overseas ballots that listed 11 reasons for rejections, including late postmarks, domestic postmarks "(including Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.)," or no postmarks.3
This move by the canvassing boards and the Gore campaign drew fire from some of America's top military figures, including retired Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf. General Schwarzkopf stated, "It is a very sad day in our country when the men and women of the armed forces are serving abroad and facing danger on a daily basis ... yet because of some technicality out of their control, they are denied the right to vote for the president of the United States who will be their commander in chief."4
Now, imagine the outrage and media attention that would have occurred if Republicans attempted to disenfranchise the inner city black vote! By comparison, the attack against our men and women in uniform by the Democrats received little attention and only a token response from Republicans.
The above allegations of fraud and outright illegality demonstrate that the Democrats favor disenfranchisement of those who are likely to vote against them while strongly favoring enfranchisement of those inclined to vote Democratic.5 If anything should be learned from the 2000 Presidential election, it should be that the voting process in America is highly partisan and governed by the presuppositions of those in control of the process. The Democrats are just more willing to manipulate the system than the Republicans which brings me to my next point.
Objectivity and Fairness Do Not Exist
The sooner you get the concepts of "objectivity" and "fairness" out of your mind, the better. These notions are legal fictions and wishful thinking on the part of idealists and evidentialists. The presuppositionalist knows better. For example, was it a surprise to anyone when the Democratically controlled Florida Supreme Court willfully violated the law and set arbitrary deadlines for the manual recounts in three Florida counties? The Court was simply acting on its presupposition of liberalism and radical democratic socialism. After all, that's why Democratic governors appointed them. Like biological evolutionists, all the facts were filtered through their presuppositional framework. Even the words in the Florida statutes were re-interpreted to fit the paradigm.
Conservatives react to these things with horror and cite the law, objectivity, fairness, and the "facts." Guess what? The liberal Democrats and their political henchmen don't care about such antiquated notions.
Herein lies one of the main differences between conservatives (particularly theological conservatives) and liberal socialists conflicting worldviews. The question never is what is fair and objectively true, since the antithesis between these worldviews inherently considers the opposing view unfair and biased. The question always is which worldview makes the most sense out of the world and is true to God's revelation and which leads to epistemological futility and arbitrariness.
Because theological conservatives have the correct worldview (even though they do not consistently apply it), they tend to be honest and uphold the rule of law. Not only that, they tend to abhor confrontation and thus embrace compromise to make the liberals go away. On the other hand, the liberals have no barriers to lying because in their worldview the end justifies the means. They embrace confrontation and will do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals whether it is legal/moral or not.
Senator H.L. Richardson (retired) of California summarizes this dilemma:
Traditional Americans dislike conflict and withdraw from it as a matter of habit and training. On the other hand, the humanist looks upon confrontation as a necessity, a positive ingredient in advancing humanistic programs. They expect confrontation, plan for it and anticipate the predictable, negative reaction from their opposition, often using the reaction to further promote their cause. Conflict, therefore, is expected, welcomed, analyzed and then used to advance their goals. Momentum is obviously on the side of the aggressors since they have the tactical advantage of initiating the attack. Once the conflict is engaged, the Leftists anticipate the opposition's response and judge their effectiveness accordingly. The issue is pursued until the Conservative resistance becomes formidable and an overall negative result could occur. At that time, a dialectic step, a backward move, is in order. A strategic retreat, giving up some ground.6
Senator Richardson goes on to say that this dialectical step backwards leads to a compromise solution with the conservatives. The conservatives agree in order to placate the Leftists. The liberals then pick up where they left off with the next legislative or judicial initiative starting the cycle all over again. This is why conservatives must always lose. Conservatives are caught in a vicious cycle of "attack-compromise-retreat" that steadily erodes our civil liberties.
If conservatives want to win, they must play hardball and move from defense to offense. They must be willing to advance their agenda to create their own dialectical moves in the political process. They must abandon the "Democrat Lite" philosophy for a fully-orbed conservative program. (Why would anyone vote for "Democrat Lite" when they can have the real thing?)
When the liberal Democrats (and liberal Republicans) slash and burn, conservatives must not only put out the fires, but initiate their own conflagrations inside the enemy camp. Politics is like war without the guns. It's dirty. It's cruel. And someone is going to get hurt. It's high time for conservatives to start creating some casualties in the liberal camp. If conservatives don't change their paradigm, it will only be a matter of time before Christian principles are totally defeated in the United States.
Republicanism vs. Robespierre
The conflict between liberals and conservatives is one of dueling worldviews. Conservatives are losing this war with their faulty paradigm of compromise instead of engaging and confronting the enemy with a conservative agenda. Now, we will turn our attention to an analysis of the competing presupposition of liberalism.
Modern democratic socialism (along with her close cousin, communism) is a direct outgrowth of the evil of the French Revolution.7 Whereas traditional Americans view our War for Independence as our political birth, the liberal socialists esteem the Jacobin philosophy that fueled the French Revolution in 1789 as theirs.
There is no better summary of the beliefs of these social engineers than that of Frederic Bastiat. Bastiat describes the "Doctrine of the Democrats" as:
The strange phenomenon of our times — one which will probably astound our descendants is the doctrine based on this triple hypothesis: the total inertness of mankind, the omnipotence of the law, and the infallibility of the legislator. These three ideas form the sacred symbol of those who proclaim themselves totally democratic.
When it is time to vote, apparently the voter is not to be asked for any guarantee of his wisdom. His will and capacity to choose are taken for granted. Can the people be mistaken? No, no, the people are and should be free. They desire to manage their own affairs, and they shall do so
But when the legislator is finally elected ah! then indeed does the tone of his speech undergo a radical change. The people are returned to passiveness, inertness, and unconsciousness; the legislator enters into omnipotence. The people who, during the election, were so wise, so moral, and so perfect, now have no tendencies whatever; or if they have any, they are tendencies downward into degradation.8
Man is like clay to be shaped by the legislator. If the law is a hindrance, the socialist will endeavor to change it through the legislature or via the courts as witnessed in this Presidential election and many other battles.
Standing opposed to this radical agenda is mainstream conservatism. There is only one problem with this brand of conservatism in the United States unlike the Jacobinism of the socialists, the average conservative politician does not have a comprehensive worldview that determines his actions. In truth, conservatives are really just the liberals of ten to twenty years prior, forever holding onto the elusive status quo and letting the socialists move the pendulum to the left in small increments. In short, the Jacobins frame the issues and the conservatives react to them. The battle is lost before the fighting even starts.
What is the antidote to the Jacobin poison? For starters, conservatives must believe in something and not accept the premises of the liberal presuppositions as most conservatives do. This means that they will actually have to formulate a worldview and implement an agenda to carry that worldview forward in a confrontational manner.
The Christian worldview is the answer. We need Christian statesmen who press for the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ in all areas of life. This isn't political salvation or an overnight fix. It will take decades of mobilization and confrontation to undo a century of godless socialism. It must be a grassroots movement that starts in individual families and churches and then moves outward to take dominion. It must encompass every area of life and not just the political arena. Finally, it must start soon, for there isn't much time left.
The Florida elections have taught us that the Democrats with their liberal/socialistic worldview will stop at nothing to seize control of the government. For the government is the instrument whereby the legislator and the courts shape man into what they want.
Instead of half-hearted and compromising responses from so-called conservatives, we need an explicitly Christian response in politics that has its own worldview,9 an agenda, and courageous men to implement it confrontationally.
1. Transcript: Florida Supreme Court hearing on election ballot recount, November 22, 2000 [article online]; available from http://www.cnn.com/2000/LAW/11/21/court.transcript.pol/#carvin; Internet; accessed November 23, 2000.
2. James Smith, "Massive Voter Fraud Right Before our Eyes," The Western Journalism Center, [article online]; available from http://westernjournalism.com/voterfraud/; Internet; accessed November 23, 2000.
3. Sharon Kehnemui, "Officials Ignoring AG's Opinion on Military Ballots," November 21, 2000 [article online]; available from http://foxnews.com/election_night/112100/militaryballots_kehnemui.sml; Internet; accessed November 23, 2000.
4. Associated Press, "Schwarzkopf, GOP Criticize Rejection of Military Votes," November 18, 2000 [article online]; available from http://foxnews.com/election_night/111800/recount_overseas.sml; Internet; accessed November 23, 2000.
5. Witness the efforts of the Democrats to garner votes by giving homeless people cigarettes in Wisconsin and keeping the polls open late in St. Louis.
6. Senator H. L. Richardson, Confrontational Politics (Springfield,VA: Gun Owners Foundation, 1998), 22-23.
7. The reader is encouraged to listen to the audio lecture entitled, "The French Revolution" by the Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee located at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/historicism.
8. Frederic Bastiat, The Law (Irving on Hudson, NY: The Foundation for Economic Education, 1995), 59-61.
9. We should look to the model of the Scottish Covenanters, the Solemn League and Covenant, and National Covenant for guidance in this area. These often maligned and forgotten subordinate standards to the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) hold many of the keys to formulating a program of national covenanting. Some of the so-called conservative Presbyterian denominations have also modified the Westminster Confession itself, removing important passages that define the role of the relationship between the church and civil magistrate (see WCF 23.3 in the original version and compare to the pseudo-Westminster Confession of the PCA and OPC).
- Val Finnell, M. D.
Dr. Finnell has served as a grassroots lobbyist for Gun Owners of America in the Virginia legislature and was the first President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a statewide gun rights and Constitutional liberty organization. He has taught confrontational politics to activists in three states. He is an e-mail junkie and can be reached at [email protected].