CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

5 Common Myths about the US Elections

Jul 26, 2016

That passions are high and emotions are running wild over the upcoming US election goes without saying. But far too often feelings trump facts, and mere emoting takes over from sound reasoning. I have seen this in full measure over the past year, and it is painful to behold.

There are so many myths and misconceptions about this election that it is a full time job just to deal with them all. Indeed, it is becoming clear to me that the more people attack me and hate on me because of their Trump support, the less they actually know about American elections.

Most seem utterly clueless about all sorts of basic matters, both political and biblical. Therefore let me deal with five common myths I encounter on a daily basis.

‘We have no other choice: it is Trump or Clinton’

Um no, not at all. Are these folks really so clueless? There are of course all sorts of options here. For example, there are many other political parties fielding candidates for President. Those that may appeal to conservative voters would include the following, to name but a few: the Constitution Party of the U.S.; the Libertarian Party; the American Freedom Party, and so on.

trump 51Plus there would be hundreds of independents and various write-in candidates. What are write-in candidates? They are those whose name is not on the official ballot but can nonetheless be written in as your preferred choice in most American states. This is a very common practice in American elections.

That the great bulk of these folks will not win the presidential election is immaterial: the point is, America is most certainly not confined to just choosing between the two top dogs. There is much more freedom to move here than most people suppose – especially many of my Australian friends who are not very up on how the American political system works.

Thus those who insist that Americans have only two choices – and two poisoned choices at that – are being quite misleading. Americans can in good measure vote for whoever they like in the election. That is why Ted Cruz was 100 per cent right to say that we should vote according to conscience, not just blindly sell our soul to the two main parties. No one needs to be tied to one of the main parties if they feel that they have abandoned them.

‘You are voting for Hillary then?’

I get so sick and tired of hearing this one. Every time I make the case for why I believe Trump is not at all someone I can support, I get some Trump zombie regurgitating the tired old line: “Oh, so you’re going to vote for Clinton then?” Um no.

Anyone who has read one word of the nearly 4000 articles on this site or heard me speak knows full well what I think about Hillary. She is appalling, and she will continue the destruction of America that we witnessed under Obama for the past eight years.

And anyone who has read the nearly two dozen articles I have written on Trump will know the raft of sound reasons I offer as to why I believe Trump will not be much better – and may in fact be even worse. He will certainly trash the conservative brand, as he has already trashed the Republican Party. I can support neither devilish choice.

Related to this is another common claim which is equally idiotic: “Oh, you’re not going to vote then, and you are telling others not to vote.” Duh. As I just pointed out, these two New York liberals are certainly not the only ones running and Americans can vote for who they like. To say one does not like the two liberals running does not mean one will not vote.

Thus I, because of my Christian and conservative commitments, will not vote for either one of them. Yet I get people telling me that no matter how lousy Trump is, “If beating Clinton means supporting Trump, that’s how it is.” Baloney. You might as well argue that “If beating Stalin means supporting Hitler, that’s how it is.”

Next thing you know these same folks will be telling me, “If beating Clinton means selling my soul to the devil, that’s how it is.” And that is exactly where so many of these folks seem to be heading regrettably. Once Christianity and conservatism degenerate that far, they are both no longer recognisable, and I want absolutely nothing to do with either one.

Away with such appalling idolatry. Count me out of this insanity. No one has to vote for these two devils. People are free to vote for who they like. I certainly will not sell my soul for thirty pieces of Trump silver. Here I stand, I can do no other.

An evolving Trump?

I hear this all the time from the Trumpians. ‘Yes, I admit, he spent his whole life as a liberal and a Democrat and Clinton supporter, but he is now evolving.’ They insist that he must have had some Damascus Road experience and is now one of us. Um, really?

They now believe every single word he says while pretending to be a conservative Republican, while disbelieving every single thing he said to the contrary for most of his life. There would be several choice terms we could use for someone who does this.

Imagine that: they disbelieve every single liberal thing Trump has said and done for the last 30 years, but believe as gospel truth (as if Jesus himself said it) the few conservative things he has thrown out over the past few months to con gullible conservatives to support him.

I would not want to buy a car from someone like that. What would you think of a Jewish person who grasped at anything he could possibly find in the words and writings of Hitler to ‘prove’ he really was not such a bad chap and did not really hate the Jews?

In similar fashion I am completely bewildered by conservatives who will clutch at anything – ANYTHING, no matter how remote, how sus, and how dodgy – that Trump said to ‘prove’ to us that he is actually a terrific guy and a real conservative. I am utterly staggered at this. He hurts my head and heart when I encounter this every day.

But I have written about this before. I have asked countless Trumpites to give me honest answers to the honest questions raised in this article. Not one – NOT ONE – has done so. Either they are unwilling or unable to do so. Believing in something (or someone) despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary is not warranted belief but mere superstition:

An “Evolving” Trump?

Pagan rulers used by God

This is one of the most ridiculous and oft-heard claims made by rather clueless and biblically illiterate Christian Trump fans. They insist that God is using Trump just like he used pagan kings in Old Testament times. But two minutes of clear thinking and biblical realism will show how unhelpful this nonsense is.

That God can use anything or anyone for his purposes is of course a given. Please tells us something we don’t know. He can even use Balaam’s ass for his purposes. So that of course is not the issue. The real issue is how God uses someone or something.

A pagan king can be used by God for good and for blessing, as was Cyrus when he allowed the Jews to return home and rebuild. But more often than not, as Scripture clearly demonstrates, a pagan ruler or nation is used by God as a curse, an instrument of his judgment. Assyria in Isaiah 10 is an obvious example of this.

There are countless other such examples. So of course God can use a Donald Trump – and a Hillary Clinton. But how are they being used? In my books they are both being used as instruments of divine judgment. They are both part of God’s just judgment on a rebellious and unrighteous America.

I just read again this morning Isaiah 30 and 31 about God’s anger unleashed when his people put their trust and faith in pagan rulers and pagan nations. That is always something God detests and breaks forth in judgment over. Yet that is just what I see millions of Christian Trumpites doing. They are in for a rude awakening.

See more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/28/memo-to-evangelical-trumpites-forget-the-crowds-and-ungodly-alliances/

And here: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/05/08/ungodly-alliances-relying-flesh-rejecting-god/

Pray for one, but not the other

I am told over and over again that I must pray for Trump because God wants to use him. But for some odd reason these same Christians never tell me to do the same for other candidates. It seems only Trump must be held up to God in prayer.

To be honest, I will take the Christian Trumpites a lot more seriously when these double standards cease. When they start to talk about Clinton like they do Trump I might have a higher view of their Christianity. But I have yet to hear them say, ‘We must support and pray for Hillary Clinton – she is God’s chosen vessel for such a time as this.’

When the Trumpites make foolish claims that a lying, liberal, New York egomaniac pagan like Trump can somehow be turned around and redeemed and blessed and used by God, while insisting that a lying, liberal, New York egomaniac pagan like Clinton cannot, then I must say their take on Christianity is highly suspect.

Either everyone has the possibility of being turned around by God’s grace and used for good, or no one does. But somehow I never hear that from the Trump groupies. Of course we are to pray for both these candidates. I have been doing so repeatedly. And I pray especially that God’s will be done, not my own preferences.

Afterword

Since so many of my Australian friends, and even many American friends, seem a bit baffled by some of the normal acronyms used in this discussion, let me offer a few of the main ones here. (Of course I happen to think that self-education is a good thing, and a few seconds googling these for example would answer the questions most folks have!)

DNC = Democratic National Committee, or Democratic National Convention
RNC = Republican National Committee, or Republican National Convention
POTUS = President of the United States
VPOTUS = Vice President of the United States
FLOTUS = First Lady of the United States
SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States
GOP = Grand Old Party, an older name for the Republican Party
Elephant = symbol of the Republicans
Donkey = symbol of the Democrats
PAC = Political Action Committee
FEC = Federal Election Committee

[1796 words]

32 Responses to 5 Common Myths about the US Elections

  • “There are of course all sorts of options here. For example, there are many other political parties fielding candidates for President..(et al)the Libertarian Party ”
    I that the Libertarian Party who’s platform includes favoring minimally regulated markets, a less powerful federal government, strong civil liberties (including LGBT rights), (the party supports same-sex marriage), the liberalization of drug laws….
    Just the party for the Christian vote eh Bill?
    And, just because one realises the dilemma facing US voters and that Trump may be the only legitimate joice, doesn’t make one a “Trump supporter”.
    I can’t cast a vote for the POTUS, but we were faced with a similar dilemma last election. I voted for neither major because I wouldn’t vote Socialist led by a serial adulterer, a Green party which hates Christianity and will do anything in its power to destroy it and Malcolm Turnbull who is not a genuine conservative. But we had some minors we could vote for- Family 1st, Christian Democrats to name a few.
    In any case, democracy in itself is a flawed system- a sort of civilised “mob rule” and has survived because of the fundamental Judeo/Christian Heritage of the Westminster system. As that system and its objective moral codes are degraded, so too is our democracy. We have a social system and an economic system which have both jettisoned their respective ontic referents- God’s objective morality and the gold standard.
    Jesus was no fan of earthly government- rendering unto Caesar and stating His kingdom was not of this world.
    We live in the system and have to make the most of it, even if the choice is between a rock and a hard place.

  • Is the American presidential voting system first to get a majority or just the candidate who gets the most votes, even if not more than 50%? I.e. if you vote for a write in candidate, can you give next preference to Trump?

  • Thanks Philip but if you read carefully what I wrote you would have seen that I clearly said conservatives – not Christians – might be interested in some of these other parties. And if you had bothered to read my site carefully, you would have seen I often have written against libertarianism, and how I am not one. And when people spruik for Trump, defend Trump, make excuses for Trump, and presumably vote for Trump, then yes, they are Trump supporters of course.

  • Thanks Michael. Short answer: the US has a first past the post system while Australia has a preferential voting system.

  • Bill, there has never been a time in the US History when a write in candidate or a third party has been able to garner enough support to win an election. The two parties would never allow a viable third party to take root. I would LOVE to be a part of the Constitution Party, but the “big two” will never allow it to be a viable option . Here in Pennsylvania, if you are an Independent, you are not even allowed to vote in the primaries. I became a Republican when I had my drivers license renewed in Oct just so I could vote for Cruz in the primary. As it turned out I need not have even bothered, but I tried. I will vote for Trump, because the alternative is unthinkable. I honestly believe that you feel that Trump is possibly worse, though I do not agree or understand how you can feel that way, but I respect your opinion. I do urge you to check out his VP candidate, which I strongly support and am happy with. I was watching and waiting to see who he would pick, rather than listening to anything Trump said, because I know, and I would think you do by know, that anything we hear that any candidate or public figure “says” is filtered through the media, and I trust the media to lie, withhold info and be about as trustworthy as well, Hillary and/or Deb Wasserman Shultz. I do my own research and do not listen to them, and I trust you to too, and I trust you to do what you feel you have to do to follow God, and our Constitution.

  • Thanks Michelle. I have a fair amount of evidence to consider here: thirty years of what Trump has said and done. All that leads me to believe he may well be as bad as Hillary – possible even worse, since he not just will trash America, but trash the entire conservative brand, along with the Republican Party. But I have said all this before many times and in many ways, including here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/07/23/rip-gop/

    And I have checked out Pence of course. Sadly he flip flops almost as much as Trump, most notoriously when he ditched religious liberty and caved in to the homosexual lobby. These are without question some top notch conservative issues, and when you flip flop on them that tells us a lot about how conservative you might be – or might not be.

    One can argue who was more evil: Stalin or Hitler. But I have no obligation whatsoever to support either one. The same here. Arsenic or strychnine will both kill you. So I am no masochist – I am however committed to following and promoting Jesus Christ at all costs, not one of two NY liberal pagans.

  • This article is excellent in explaining everything. Thank you so much for it, Bill!

  • As long as the Yanks cling bitterly to their crazy “first past the post” voting, a third party will be a wasted vote in the general election, and in the GOP primaries, we will always get a liberal or moderate candidate as the conservatives cancel each other out. There are many Trumpettes who think Trump proved his ability by beating 16 experienced candidates. In reality, they beat each other, so Trump could win with a mere plurality. Under Preferential Voting (as we Australians have known for decades), third party votes would not be spoilers of the major party closer to them, and Trump would not have stood the slightest chance. (The Yank term for the Australian version of preferential voting is “Instant Runoff Voting”, IRV)

    But don’t expect Trump and his RNC Establishment allies to change the system that benefits the RINO (Republican In Name Only) wing of the party and continues to make conservatives act as each others’ spoilers.

    The other major problem that the RINONC won’t change is open primaries. Most people think it’s daft to let the enemy choose our own nominees, but millions of Dems voted for Trump. There are only one of two reasonable choices for why: Trump was the closest to the Dems in ideology, or the Dems thought that Trump would be the easiest for Hillary to bet. Or maybe both.

  • Bill it is very hard to know what to do about this. Each one of us need to make sure we are right with GOD and pray that the HOLY SPIRIT will show us what to do. On the one hand if we go with just the ones who we think are right with GOD, They will not get in because too many people do not like someone in the White House who is a true CHRISTIAN. On the other hand we should do what we can do to get the better of the two in. The only thing we can do is pray about it and vote our conscience.

  • Thanks Bill for this informative article. I hadn’t realized that Trump and Clinton were not the only choices. I wonder if what we are reading and hearing on the news is the noisy minority? Or do you think that what we are seeing is a true reflection of the American public? It would be amazing if the “silent majority” voted in someone else.

  • Spot on! The option of Trump vs Hillary is the option of (1) a lying liberal egomaniac, or (2) a lying liberal egomaniac. Stop being deceived voters, and start thinking outside the box!!

  • I do know that there are other candidates, and that there have been in all (I think) presidential elections in the US. However, there, as here, there are are only 2 real choices. I would absolutely love to see a genuine conservative alternative, both here and there, rise up and genuinely contend for the top spot. (We could perhaps be on the cusp of this happening here in Oz.) Alas and alack!!

    In all practical sense, there are only 2, and more-so in the US. Here I can vote for my preferred party (in itself a major difference between here and there) and place my preferences where I’d like them to go. My vote is NOT wasted voting for a minor party. Alas, in the US, a vote for a minor candidate (one with little to no chance of making the grade) IS a wasted vote. Abstaining is is even more worthless, as even if only 100 (there might be some minimum number of votes required for a quorum) people vote, a POTUS will still be elected. Unless Trump is executed (assassinated) beforehand (quite on the cards) either Hillary or Trump will be POTUS!

    The choice for the Yanks is:
    1: vote for 1 or other of them – 1 of them will win.
    2: abstain – 1 of them will win.

    Depressing thought eh?

  • Thanks Kev. Yes it is depressing, but there are other options. For example if every true conservative and Christian refused to vote for either of the 2 Democrats running, and did a write-in vote for someone like Cruz, we could see an altogether different outcome.

  • Exactly Kev. Never in history has a third party candidate or “write in” won, and the “big two” are not a bout to let that happen. That is why in many states you cannot even take part in the primaries if you are not either Democrat or Republican. The chance of everyone agreeing on the SAME “third party” vote, or the SAME “write in” candidate are even less then everyone agreeing on voting for the “less of two evils” to keep the she devil socialist from stealing the election, and you can see how that is going, even among friends!

  • Thanks Michelle. At the end of the day Cruz was entirely right: the very heart and soul of Christianity and conservatism is the freedom to vote according to conscience, to do that which is right, to eschew compromise, and to stand firmly on principle, regardless of any short term outcomes. And it is exactly because I am a Christian that I believe God is fully able to do what mere pragmatic politics cannot, and that includes being able to bring in a third party candidate if that is his will and his people agree with him on it. I continue to be amazed how almost every value, principle and teaching of Scripture is so easily rejected and jettisoned by so many, to be replaced by secular concerns about winning at all costs with the politics of compromise and expediency. My faith simply will not allow me to do that.

  • I respect that, and I hope you respect my feeling that we need to keep Hillary out of control this country, even if you do not agree.

  • Thanks Michelle. Of course I do not want to see Hillary get in – that goes without saying, and I have discussed this in no uncertain terms in the second myth in my article. So let me repeat that one since it does not seem to be getting through to everyone: Not voting for Trump does NOT mean a vote for Hillary, any more than not voting for Hillary means a vote for Trump. When there are two evils on offer they BOTH must be resisted.

  • And for more on the bad choices we face, see this terrific piece by Alan Keyes, “If you reject Trump, will you elect Hillary? Bible says no”:

    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/keyes/160726

  • In the UK we have had two main parties for years, Conservative and Labour, with Liberal Democrats tagging along in third place. Every election has been about either a Conservative or Labour win…..the pendulum just sways back and forth between the same old, worn out parties year after year. However, in the last UK election, using FirstPast the Post, over four million people voted for the UK Independence Party, but gained just one MP as a result. Many of you will know about UKIP and how its strong-willed leader (now stepped down) fought the Establishment for years to get us our EU referendum.
    It would not surprise me if The Lord placed UKIP on purpose to disrupt the major parties. He is bringing about great changes, there is no doubt. This is an example of a new party rising in prominence to challenge the established; and people are definitely voting for it because (on the whole) it speaks the truth about problems instead of burying them in a sand-bucket.
    The Lord may yet provide America with that third candidate. None are perfect, but choosing between just one evil or the other is certainly a bad idea.

  • Are you eligible to run Bill? Maybe you should stand as a write-in candidate?

    You could start a crowd funding/advertising campaign to support you as an alternative candidate for disaffected Trump and Clinton groupies, also to win the Christian vote. I can see a lot of good comming from such a campaign as people are exposed to this blog site and are challenged by God’s word.

    Maybe God will do the impossible and cause you to win?
    Christians running America again!
    Bill Muehlenberg for POTUS with Ted Cruz VPOTUS

    (Not eligible? Think about Australian politics).

  • Thanks Tony. It is flattering but…. I likely would only get two votes: from my wife and my dog! Seriously however I know my calling is not in politics, even though various Australians have also asked me to run for office here.

  • Bill is a hell of a lot more eligible than the currant potus here in the USA! He was born here, is at least 35 years old, and reside here for at least 14 years. Now here is where they would get him of course…….. I am sure Bill did reside here at least 14 years in his youth, but it does not say if it has to be when he is running, or right before they seek office or not, so there is your “fuzzy area”, but hey, the libs engage in a lot more “fuzzy” all the time, like not even producing a valid birth certificate!

    I wrote myself in once, as it was a “safe seat” liberal pro abort representative that of course was going to win, as they were running un opposed, but I could not vote for them. I am sure I only got my vote. Another pro life friend told me they voted for themselves rather than him. I told them we should have gotten together, then one of us would at least have two votes down!

  • Thanks Murray. While I like Dobson, he says nothing new here, just the same old same old. As to Trump and Christianity, this is at best wishful thinking and clutching at straws. I see zero fruit or evidence of anything Christian about Trump thus far. And as I said before, if we are fervently praying for his conversion, why are we not equally praying for Hillary’s conversion?

    As to who is worse, I have spoken to this far too often already. Do I really have to choose between Ahab and Jezebel? Dying from strychnine poisoning is not much different to dying from arsenic poisoning. I need not support either evil, liberal NY Democrat.

  • I believe it is time for people disenchanted with the two major parties to start a third party that has Christian or traditional values and genuine concern for the poor and minorities. People can spend a lot of time thinking about what to do and describing the already-existent other parties and still get nowhere. As a result, I believe the effort should be put into starting a viable third party and maintaining a following that has a possibility — if not probability — of winning an election.

  • I agree with you Sheila but till more people get right with GOD this will not work right away. This is what we need but it will take time. We need to be in much pray that this will work out.

  • It is very interesting to get everyone’s take on the US elections. I don’t think anyone from Israel weighed in. There they have several parties and they sometimes combine. Think of the possibilities of a Libertarian/Conservative combination….or worse, a Libertarian/Socialist combination. How long before we have the Sharia Party? There are enough idiots here to vote that way because they have no idea what they’re doing! I appreciate Michelle’s comments above, and that’s where I am. Yes, we do have the freedom to vote for any candidate, even if we write in a name, but, like Michelle said, and I’ve said, it will get nowhere. The only possibility we would have to turn our nation back to Constitutional government is if everyone got the memo to vote for TED CRUZ! And that just ain’t gonna happen. I was rather surprised how quickly Reince Priebus got on board for Trump….Do you suppose Trump was the RINO Establishment candidate all along??? What will Phyllis Schlafly have to say about this in a year or so? Right now, she’s on board for Trump, as are Dobson and several others. I’ve read or written most of Bill’s myths! It is hard to concede that to God, America is not special. We may very well get His choice for judgment. I thought that was Obama, but it might get much worse before it gets better. Rampant, celebrated, forced-down-our-throats homosexuality/transgenderism/child rape and sex trafficking are the judgments we’ve heaped on ourselves. May God have mercy!

  • For the last 6 years we have prayed, letter boxed and handed out how to vote cards for a minor party. However at last election, even with a lower number needed in upper house, we failed to get a quota. At least 2nd preferences work here. If you vote for a minor party in America does it help towards 2nd preference?

  • Thanks Katherine. No they do not have a preferencing system there, but first past the post. But that is moderated by the electoral college system.

  • “If beating Stalin means supporting Hitler, that’s how it is.” It would be interesting to speculate on the outcome of history if Churchill and Roosevelt had not supported Stalin to beat Hitler. First-past-the-post elections give a false appearance of democracy. What do statements beginning “The people have chosen…” really mean?

  • Hillary is complicit in the cover up of Benghazi and Donald Trump has gold plated seat belts. Who among these two candidates is truly in touch with the average American person seeking moral and ethical leadership!

  • It seems to me people get lost in the little picture, and that is what short electoral terms produce. In Oz the independents and other parties are working the big picture. For the last two federal elections in Oz we have had almost hung parliaments. Who knows what the next election will bring as more people vote outside the two major parties because of the mess they are creating. Come on, Americans, think big picture. It takes time but it can be done.

Leave a Reply