Years ago, when I was in college, I was registered socialist. At that time, I truly believed that the best way to create a successful culture was to give up limited freedoms that I enjoyed.
I was wrong.
Then a few years after I graduated college, I worked for an audio-visual company that was responsible for President Clinton’s first inaugural ball. I was a technician at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel in DC and was sitting in the office on a break when a few Secret Service came in followed by a woman all dressed up. The woman told me that the President was going to be playing his saxophone at the Shoreham and he needed a way to get it mic’d. Being the only one there, and surprisingly cleared by Secret Service to be present, I was given the task. When I got up on stage and saw him in real life, I was in awe. I immediately thought to myself that was a man that I could trust and support. I became a Democrat.
Well, I was wrong.
Years later, 9/11 happened. I saw a very focused and driven Bush 43. The government came together, across party lines, for a little while at least, to support him and his choices. A lot happened that had made our United States safer, but compromised who we are as a culture. I had become a Republican.
Once again, I was wrong.
I made the promise to myself that going forward, the ONLY way I would cast a vote is if there was a candidate that believed the way I believe. Since then, I have not been able to find a single candidate who would support what I believe in.
This week, I want to begin reviewing each of the Republican candidates around what I hold the most dear, the gospel. In the coming weeks I will do the same with the Democrat candidates. I will have a host of litmus tests that will show where I stand, and, probably where others don’t.
- Sex Trafficking
- Religious Liberty
- Finally, the gospel
So let’s start in with the candidates. If something is missing, that means there is not enough information to provide a good answer. Also, I am only going to provide information on candidates that actually have a shot at winning this, even if it is a long shot.
Lindsay Graham – Graham is a senator from South Carolina.
Lindsay Graham is a liar outright. He claims to be pro-life, yet supports abortions up to 20 weeks. Directly from his website, he claims “There is no part of society more vulnerable and in need of protection than our unborn.” This is a great statement, however, Graham authored and sponsored a bill that bans abortions at 20 weeks. This means that he supports abortions up to 20 weeks. He even goes to claim that what is in the womb is defined as a fetus, not a child. He says on his website that “at 20 weeks,…a fetus is capable of feeling pain.”
He claims that he wants America to “remain that shining city of a hill.” He is interesting in his approach, trying very hard to walk on the fence between what he says he believes and what he says the people want. He even publishes on his website, “Rather than pursuing a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail,….” He then goes on to explain the steps he has taken that show his very watered down values.
While I am sure Lindsay Graham is a nice person, and his story of his sacrifice to take care of his sister after the death of their parents is admirable, I cannot in all integrity vote for a person for president who is wishy-washy on his values. It sounds like he is saying buzz words to gain religious groups while proposing plans that go against what those religious groups actually believe.
Sorry to tell you this, Senator Graham, you won’t be getting my vote.
Bobby Jindal – Governor of Louisiana
He has been called a “young Ronald Reagan.” But one thing I find interesting about Jindal is that I can’t find a lot of sources that really speak to his views on the Christian gospel issues. He is a huge opponent of Obamacare (which on that he would get my vote) but I can’t find much in the way of his other views. He has spoken out against gay marriage, claiming that traditional family values reduce poverty, not a war on poverty.
One interesting note is that his views of traditional Hinduism, which he grew up as Hindu, he said meshes well with his Bible-belt beliefs. He claims that in 1987 he accepted Christ as his Savior. It also looks as though he opposes gay marriage and also abortion from the start. His views on poverty are commendable, but he does show support for a significant border fence with Mexico. That, to me runs counter-intuitive to the anti-poverty stance, but that is minimal. He did vote for providing $70 million for Section 8 housing vouchers, which provided 10,000 families safe and affordable housing.
Jindal’s website is a little confusing to find the issues. I would hope that as the election moves forward, he will come out and specify his beliefs a little more clearly.
Governor Jindal, I wouldn’t withhold a vote from you, but you and I do disagree on certain key issues such as the Mexican border and gun control.
Rick Santorum – Former Senator from Pennsylvania
Rick Santorum has had controversy in his life. A gay activist gave his name a secondary meaning that went viral online. He has been reviewed to have a very strong conservative Christian outlook. With regard to abortion, he authored the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act in 1995 and has been very outspoken for defunding Planned Parenthood. He also was vocal on traditional marriage and fought against the redefinition of marriage. He also supports the Workplace Religious Freedom Act which calls for employers to accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees. Santorum also supports reducing immigration, but doing so through a simple reduction of immigrants let in legally. He doesn’t want to close off America, which most Republicans want to do. He wants to set limits to the number of people that can come in and reduce it from current levels until we can get immigration under control.
As of this writing, I could support Rick Santorum.
Carly Fiorina – Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
One thing Carly has going for her is her lack of experience in government. Apart from the failed California Senate seat run, she has no other experience in public policy. Unfortunately, beyond that, apart from her voiced stances, she is not easy to nail down with her actual views. She claims to be pro-life, but that can mean almost anything in the political realm. Her website is very cryptic about her views on the issues.
My biggest concern for her is her lack of fiscal responsibility. When she ran for Senate in California, she totaled up $500,000 in debt that she has yet to repay. She was also terminated from HP for not sharing the same vision as the board.
All this together means that there are way too many questions to make her a viable candidate.
Rick Perry – Former Governor of Texas
Perry was the longest standing Governor in Texas history. In 2012 he got a very quick start in the Republican presidential bid and was top runner for a short while. Unfortunately, just like with all of us humans, his mouth got him into trouble. While he is a social conservative and very strong at creating jobs throughout the state of Texas, he made remarks about Texas seceding from the union and he made many people angry with his stance on immigration.
He is very big on the border fence with Mexico. With other issues, he is a little more nebulous. For example, he has shown an attitude of changing with the winds on issues like same sex marriage, he claims to be pro-life yet supports abortion up to 20 weeks, and has a dangerous view of government in that he feels that those who are “unelected cannot tell us when and where to pray.” Be very careful to read the language of that last one. That was a quote from 2011. It makes me wonder whether he feels that those who are elected can tell us when and where to pray, which would go against what this country believes.
Sorry, Rick, you are too weak of a candidate and an outright liar in some cases and are not worthy of my vote.
John Kasich – Governor of Ohio
John Kasich was a bright shining star in Ohio, getting elected at the age of 26 to a service position. His role model was Nixon, which concerns me greatly. And on many of the issues, we need to be very careful. For example, he claims to be pro-life, except in instances of rape and incest. Sorry John, but that makes you pro-choice, not pro-life. Why punish and murder the child for someone else’s crime? If you are going to claim pro-life, then be pro-life. Another example of his playing both sides of the fence is that he denounces Obamacare yet uses whatever benefits from it to bolster his programs in Ohio. If you are against something, you cannot, in all integrity, use it.
Probably the most fearful quote that Kasich said comes from two separate moments. In 2010 he claimed to belong to a Bible study for over 20 years but then comes back, also in 2010, with a scary proposition for Christians. He claims that the old law is gone. While he doesn’t define what he means by that, I would like to direct him to Matthew 5:17 where Christ has come to fulfill the law. He also claimed that Romans 12 pointed him to the fact that the old law is gone. Just so you know, there is nothing in Romans 12 about “old law” and “new law.” To that end, his first point in his “manifesto” for Christianity is “dedicating yourself to clean Christian living.” This is dangerous and, for those who are not Christians, will make no sense. They need Christ, Governor. They won’t understand what clean Christian living is until you give them Christ.
Sorry, Governor Kasich, but you cannot get my vote because you simply do not understand the Scripture and you are lying to the public about being pro-life. Sorry, I can’t approve of liars in government.
Chris Christie – Governor of New Jersey
Christie went from the top of the Republican hill to one who was written off when he praised President Obama for the federal government’s help during the crisis of Hurricane Sandy. The Republican base blamed Christie for helping Obama get re-elected. I applaud him for giving credit where credit is due. If the Republican party cannot understand that, then that is their loss.
But I am concerned about other areas of Christie’s beliefs. He claims to be “conditionally pro-life” in that he bands abortions after 20 weeks, unless there is an extenuating circumstance. He claims that homosexuality is not a sin and that God has made them that way. The actual quote is, “My religion says it’s a sin. I mean, I think–but for me I don’t–I’ve always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual.” So already, Christie is denouncing his faith for a greater party stance.
With that simple quote, I won’t even go any further on you governor Christie. You are a liar who is willing to give up the faith that you claim in order to get a sound bite. Don’t waste your vote.
Ted Cruz – Texas Senator
Cruz is one of those interesting candidates. He is the candidate that Democrats love to hate because he keeps his mouth closed when he needs to and when it opens he is filled with words of wisdom that cut to the core.
That doesn’t mean he hasn’t had to weather some scrapes and bruises. I am concerned on his views on pro-life. He has supported bills that only go half way to solving the problem of abortion and has not solicited any bills that will truly be called pro-life. For that, I am deeply worried.
I am also a little concerned about his Rally for Religious Liberty happening in August. He is coming out, guns blazing, against the gay marriage stance, which is admirable. But I pray that the rally is less about what we dislike and more about the God who calls us to a life of love and service. It is dangerous when the term “religious liberty” is used in a rally because then it is just the same old thing to the population, a Christian man hating on others who are not like him. Instead of firing the guns of hate, I suggest we have a day of showing people who Jesus really is.
Would I vote for Cruz? Maybe. He hasn’t come out and made blatant claims that he hasn’t lived up to like many of the other candidates. But he also has come out as a litigator, one who will argue in every situation, and that runs counter to the Bible. While I do believe an elected official needs to be able to stand up for themselves and their beliefs, I think with Cruz we run the risk of the argument leading the man, not the man leading the argument.
So Senator Cruz, I am cautiously watching you over the next few months to see what happens and I am anxiously waiting to see how your rally goes in August.
Next week, I will take the top 8 Republican candidates and discuss them and then following that I will talk about the Democrat candidates.