First let me go through the mandatory disclaimers: I am a Christian, I am more or less conservative, and Obama was not my choice. Now that I have declared my hand, and revealed my biases, a few random thoughts on the outcome of the US elections.
Less than 24 hours ago Obama was declared the President-elect. With a 5 per cent gap in the popular vote, and a larger gap in the electoral college vote, we now have a new President (or will in 75 days from now) and a new political landscape. With Obama in the White House and Democratic control of both Houses of Congress, we will have a political party with a huge amount of clout and power. Fortunately it appears that the Democrats will not be able to get a 60-seat majority in the Senate. If they do manage to pull that off, then we will effectively have a one-party state for at least the next two years.
So what about the Republican losses? The short answer is that given the major economic meltdown of the past month, probably no Republican could have won the race to the White House, and probably no Democrat could have lost it. The financial crisis was really the straw that broke the camel’s back here. (The issue of whether Bush and the Republicans are solely to blame for the financial mess is another question which I will not here explore. But a good case can be made that prior decisions made by the Democrats have played a large role in the crisis.)
So with the economic climate such as it was, the result was pretty much a foregone conclusion. Too many Americans simply fell for the mantra of “change”. Never mind that there never was any clear content provided for that nebulous term. Simply repeating the word over and over had its magical effect.
It now remains to be seen whether Obama in fact can achieve any qualitative change. As a man with minimal political experience (he is a first-term Senator), the challenges he faces are daunting, to say the least. And all his rhetoric will soon be met by the hard cold world of reality. Whether he is really up to the task is a moot point.
Another major reason why a Democratic victory was almost a foregone conclusion has to do with the role of the mainstream media. The absolute bias on the part of the MSM for Obama and Co. was a wonder to behold. That the media has tremendous influence and power goes without saying, and the left-denominated media did everything it could to ensure that Obama was deified while McCain and – especially – Palin were demonised.
Indeed, the utter viciousness and ugliness of the MSM attack on Palin was mind-boggling to observe. I have witnessed nasty character assassination by the Left and the leftist media before, but this was almost unprecedented.
As an example of the media bias, the coverage of the election yesterday was quite a spectacle. Both Australian and American media commentators were absolutely gushing in sycophantic praise, adoration and worship for the new Messiah-King. It really smacked of frenzied idolatry.
Plenty of examples could be mentioned. One Australian ABC radio reporter was interviewing supporters of the two candidates at an Australian-American gathering. The journo managed to get the most inarticulate and muddled McCain supporter to make use of, while finding a superbly articulate Obama supporter (who incredibly happened to be related to the journalist!). But of course there was no bias there, right?
And one American news anchor absolutely fawned over the fact that now there would be the ‘pitter-patter of little feet in the White House’. As if small children in the Oval Office will somehow spell the end of the global financial crisis and act as an omen of the newly-arrived utopia. But of course Obama worshippers will latch onto anything as an indication that the Kingdom of Heaven has now arrived on planet earth, or at least in America.
Funding of course is another issue. It is most interesting how in the past liberals have complained about how we can now buy elections in the US with huge amounts of money. Well it is remarkable just how quiet the liberals now are about this topic. Obama raised far, far more funds than McCain – over one billion dollars no less. So why no liberal outcry about all this?
And then there is the matter of Obama’s far left radical agenda. We know that he is the most militantly pro-abortion politician around. He has promised to make sweeping changes to abortion laws as soon as he steps into office.
Yet many people – including Christians – simply chose to overlook or ignore his pro-death position. ‘But he is black, and that is so important.’ Well, he is actually half-black, but so what? Will Obama be that good for African-Americans? Bear in mind that a full 35 per cent of all abortions in the US are carried out by African-American women. Black families are being decimated by the abortion plague, and Obama wants more of it. That doesn’t sound like helping black people to me.
And his anti-marriage and anti-family views are also a major concern. Just how long before he introduces a whole raft of legislation seeking to grant special rights to homosexuals, including the right to marry? Answer: we have a very good clue in what he told his adoring fans last night. Incredibly, in his acceptance speech it only took about two minutes before he mentioned the issue of homosexuality. I think that must be a world first – certainly an American first.
Christianity and the elections
Let me also offer a few specific thoughts about Christianity and the election. It is commonly reported that there are some 80 million evangelical Christians in America. The question is, where were they yesterday? Two replies come to mind.
One, far too many evangelicals, I suspect, simply did not even bother to vote. Too many evangelicals still have this appalling polarity in their thinking: spirituality, good; politics, bad. They foolishly believe that Christians should have nothing to do with politics – that political involvement is for some reason unbiblical and unspiritual.
I of course have made the case elsewhere for the Christian duty to be involved in the political and social battles of the day. But a second factor is this: for those evangelicals who did bother to vote, one suspects that many of them voted for Obama. Now as I have written before, believers must make up their own minds on these matters.
But voting for a man who was and is perhaps the most strongly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual rights candidate in recent US history would have been a reason to pause and think for believers. Are not these very important issues for Christians to carefully consider when choosing a new government?
But some Christians complain that conservatives are hung up on single issues like abortion, and that we should focus on other issues like justice and human rights. We should not be so “one-eyed” we are told.
But I would have thought that every other human right is predicated upon, and impossible without, the right to life. If one is denied the fundamental human right to even be alive, then why go on about socialised medicine or affordable housing? If you are dead, all this other stuff doesn’t mean a hill of beans.
So it seems that there remains a lot of teaching and instruction for believers when it comes to such things as political involvement and social reform. We need to learn afresh about what it is to be citizens of two kingdoms, with obligations and duties in each.
Finally, a bit of good news to offset the gathering gloom. There were numerous ballot issues voted on as well in this election. In total, some 150 measures were decided, ranging from issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, to “egg-laying chickens and renewable energy” as one press account mentions.
Perhaps the biggest victory was in California where Proposition 8 was voted through. This measure involved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in California. Given what a hotbed of homosexual activism California is – and its support by the Terminator Governor – this was a brilliant win, and should give us all encouragement.
Homosexual-marriage-ban amendments were also approved in Arizona and Florida. (But bear in mind that all this may be undone by an Obama Presidency.)
Unfortunately pro-life measures in California, Colorado and South Dakota were defeated. And the state of Washington became the second state – following Oregon – to allow the option of physician-assisted suicide. Nebraska however approved a ban on race- and gender-based affirmative action programs.
So it was a bit of a mixed bag concerning the various ballots around the nation.
In closing, Obama has now got to come up with the goods. The rhetoric part was always going to be easy. Simply tell the people what they want to hear: “change, change, change”. Now comes the hard part of actually making it reality.
Regardless of how things pan out in the days ahead, Christians have certain clear obligations as recorded in Scripture, chief of which is found in 1 Timothy 2:1-3: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”.