TWO MORE STEPS IN THE PRIMARY PROCESS
HAVE BEEN TAKEN; MORE AND LARGER
ONES ARE JUST AHEAD
This past week we went through more hours of TV
news coverage of the Nevada Caucuses, and the South
Carolina Republican Primary. The results offered no
surprises, and did little to change the overall picture.
Well, that’s not exactly true -- the picture did change
slightly as three candidates, two Republicans and one
Democrat, withdrew from the race. Congressman
Duncan Hunter, and Governor Bill Richardson both
announced they were giving up on trying to win the
presidential nomination based on their poor showings
in the primaries. And yesterday another Republican
candidate, Fred Thompson, made public his decision
to withdraw from the race.
Interestingly enough, two other members of Congress,
Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich
remained in the race, although neither would seem to
have any hope of ultimate victory.
In the Nevada caucuses, on the Democrat side
Hillary Clinton repeated her New Hampshire win
with a substantial margin over Barack Obama, and
John Edwards as a distant third. On the Republican
side Mitt Romney won over John McCain and Mike
Huckabee, neither of whom had made much of an
effort in Nevada.
In South Carolina, the Republican primary was
won by John McCain, producing a further shuffle of
the top three Republican candidates. Now those three,
McCain, Romney and Huckabee head for Florida and
the primary there on next Tuesday, January 29 -- just
one week ahead of “Super Tuesday,” February 5, when
as many as 23 states will hold primary elections.
Just before the Florida primary is the Democrat
primary in South Carolina on January 26.
Now prior to the concentration of primaries
on February 5, the Democrat race has narrowed to a
contest between Clinton and Obama, with Edwards
running well behind the two leaders. The Republican
race remains much more cluttered, with McCain and
Romney in a frequently changing lead, and Huckabee
looking for another win after his one victory in Iowa.
Former poll leader Rudy Giuliani is apparently pinning
his hopes on a decisive win in the Florida primary.
In the Democrat race, a sharp, almost vitriolic, tone
of dispute has entered the race between candidates
Clinton and Obama, with former president Bill Clinton
engaged in unprecedented -- for a former president --
attacks on a fellow Democrat candidate. Unpleasant,
but enlightening for American voters.
Our recommendation to our readers is still the same:
ignore the polls, watch the primaries . . . and do not
give in to meaningless prediction and speculation.
In all of these events, it is helpful to look beneath
the headlines, and consider exactly what is at stake in
this, or any other national election. In certain aspects,
this election is different from any other in American
history. Previously the candidates for the highest
office in the nation had been white men and members
of some denomination of the Christian faith. John
F. Kennedy provided one slightly different variant:
he was the first Roman Catholic president. This time,
however, we are considering a pool of candidates
which includes for the first time a Mormon, a Black
and a woman, in addition to the traditional choices.
But looking back in time to 1787 when America’s
new Constitution was being considered for adoption,
Alexander Tyler, a Scottish professor of history at the
University of Edinburgh, wrote: “A democracy is
always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist
as a permanent form of government.”
Tyler went on to point our that a democracy will exist
until the time that the voters discover that they can
vote for themselves generous gifts from the public
treasury. Today we call that scheme “entitlement
programs,” or from active government participants,
“earmarks.” He warned what the result would be:
“that every democracy will finally collapse due to
loose fiscal policy …” He cited the historical stages
for the great civilizations of the world as: (1) from
bondage to spiritual faith; (2) from spiritual faith
to great courage; (3) from courage to liberty; (4)
from liberty to abundance; (5) from abundance to
complacency; (6) from complacency to apathy;
(7) from apathy to dependence; (8) from dependency
back into bondage.
It is easy to trace the history of our nation on Dr.
Tyler’s schedule, and note exactly where we are in the
historical process. Thinking along this line brings the
importance of the current election into sharper focus.
A similar warning, was sounded by one of our
nation’s “forgotten founding fathers,“ Fisher Ames,
who suggested the wording of the First Amendment,
and who said concerning democracies, “The known
propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which
the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be
liberty.” (From a speech which he delivered in the
Massachusetts Ratifying convention, 1788)
Afterthoughts . . .
An unfortunate juxtaposition of two important
dates in American history: on Monday this nation
observed Martin Luther King Day, and again and
again we heard recordings of his “I have a dream”
speech, in which he recalled the phrase in the
Declaration of Independence that “all men are
created equal,” and are entitled to certain rights,
including life. But just yesterday, Jan. 22, we
observed the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court
decision in Roe v. Wade which legitimized abortion.
During those 35 years it is estimated that 50 million
babies have been killed, and derived of the right to
live. But 32% of those 50 million abortions have been
to black mothers -- who make up only 13% of the
US population. These facts should be in our minds
as we vote in this election.
The public may be waking up to the biased news
coverage of the war in Iraq. According to CNS News,
a new poll conducted by Sacred Heart University
disclosed that nearly half -- 49.1% -- of the American
people agree that “things are likely going better for
the US (in Iraq) than the US media portrays.” After
the poll results were released, Jerry Lindsay, director
of the Sacred Heart Polling Institute, said that scores
of American military personnel sent emails of thanks.
US Homosexual Bishop again in the news: In a
story in the London Times, New Hampshire Bishop
Vicki Gene Robinson last week declared that if it was
forced to operate without gay clergy, the Church of
England would come close to having to shut down. He
said that many of the Church of England‘s clergy live
openly in their rectories with gay partners with the
full knowledge of their bishops. And he said “It’s a
terrible way to live your life, and a terrible way to
be a Church.” At least he seems to be faithful to his
chosen life style.
Founding Fathers on morals: “Without morals
a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they
therefore who are decrying the Christian religion,
whose morality is so sublime and pure ... are
undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best
security for the duration of free governments." - from
Charles Carroll, the only Roman Catholic signer of the
Declaration of Independence, in a letter, Nov. 1800.
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