Why You Cannot Afford to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils

I have said this before, and I will say it again. Eventually, all things come to blood. If a nation heads in the wrong direction for long enough, good men will die. Here’s the thing though: how can you expect a nation to turn around if you do not pursue that which is great, rather than that which is barely acceptable? How can you expect goodness to come forth by choosing between the lesser of two evils?

Let’s take it a step further: If you believe that America is heading in the wrong direction but you are not willing to fight for what is good nor willing to look the part of a fool for the sake of righteousness; if you continue to be complacent and hope that tomorrow will be no different than today, then let me congratulate you on the murder of your children1.

For if you truly believe that all things come to blood, and you do not fight today, then you are leaving that fight to your children. You are leaving them to live in a world made worse by your inaction and to either become corrupted by that world, or to be killed by it.

You are leaving them to death.

And if you are that sort of man; if America is a nation composed of men who are willing to make that choice, then we will deserve the death that comes. We will deserve it, because day by day, in a million tiny ways, we will have chosen it.

1Let me be clear here: if you are fighting for good as well as you know how, I cannot accuse you. But there are those of you who are and have been compromising. Who know it, and need to be confronted with it. You have made easy choices for the very reason that they are easy. I have been one of you. I say, let it end today.

Turning Our Nation Around

Children die because of their father’s decisions.

Do you believe that? Lately that phrase keeps popping into my head, pushing out every other thought, until all I can do is stop whatever it is I’m doing and pray for my nation, for myself, for my wife, for my son and my daughter, and for the children that I hope they will have one day. If this seems strange to you, let me at least try to make a simple case for why I’ve been thinking about this.

I hope you won’t think I’m being melodramatic when I say that I believe America has been headed in the wrong direction for some time now. I hope you still won’t think it when I say that if a nation heads in the wrong direction for long enough, it means that at some point, there will come a day when good men will die as a consequence. If you aren’t shaking your head in disagreement yet, then humor me one moment longer. If both of those statements are true, then among the people who will die, will be my children.

Children die because of their father’s decisions.

Do you believe that? And if so, what are you doing?

Governor Huckabee, Breaking Things, and Honor, Honor, Honor, and Yet More Honor

Fresh from the New Hampshire Republican debate we have some of Governor Mike Huckabee’s comments on why we have to continue the surge in Iraq and why we can’t leave the country the way that Congressman Ron Paul wants us to:

We have to continue the surge. And let me explain why, Chris. When I was a little kid, if I went into a store with my mother, she had a simple rule for me. If I picked something off the shelf of the store and I broke it, I bought it.

I learned don’t pick something off the shelf I can’t afford to buy.

Well, what we did in Iraq, we essentially broke it. It’s our responsibility to do the best we can to try to fix it before we just turn away because something is at stake.

I should say this before I go on to say mean things about Governor Huckabee: I like him for the most part. I think he’s a nice guy who is probably genuine in what he says he believes and I think he probably loves his country, and clearly, he listened to his mother and all that.

But on the other hand, what does breaking something in a store and having to pay for it have to do with Iraq? We weren’t looking at Iraq and they slipped out of our hands. We weren’t playing with Iraq and let them fall to the floor. And does it mean that once we pay for it, we will own Iraq? Or does it?

No. Instead, we engaged in military action with Iraq based on the terms outlined in the cease-fire agreement from the 1991 Gulf War. We invaded their country and we overthrew their government. In other words, to try and use Governor Huckabee’s analogy, we were in a store and shopkeeper Hussein tried to kill us and in the ensuing battle we broke something. Do we still have to pay for it? And to who? The new shop keeper? The international police? Governor Huckabee’s mother? I have no idea. The real point I’m trying to make is not that the Iraq war was justified, but that the analogy is lame and just doesn’t work. We don’t need to try to make foreign policy by applying the Huckabee Customer Code of Conduct, we look at what happened and ask how we should respond righteously.

It gets worse, because he went on to say this:

Senator McCain made a great point, and let me make this clear. If there’s anybody on this stage that understands the word honor, I’ve got to say Senator McCain understands that word — (applause, cheers) — because he has given his country a sacrifice the rest of us don’t even comprehend. (Continued applause.)

And on this issue, when he says we can’t leave until we’ve left with honor, I 100 percent agree with him because, Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion that historians can have, but we’re there. We bought it because we broke it. We’ve got a responsibility to the honor of this country and to the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and ever served in our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor that they deserve.

What does this mean? I mean, I know what all the words mean, but what does it mean to not leave them with anything less than the honor that they deserve? Grammatically, the ‘them’ in the sentence refers to the troops, but what does this really mean when it comes to leaving Iraq? How can we know when we’ve fulfilled our honor to the Iraqis or to the troops? What is the criteria we should use so that we know when we’ve acted with sufficient honor? Do we ask Senator McCain? Do we ask presumably-then-President Huckabee? I have no idea.

But what scares me most of all about Governor Huckabee’s rhetoric is this statement:

…whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion that historians can have, but we’re there.

What Governor Huckabee is doing here is using the word “honor” as if it doesn’t matter that the word means different things to different people. He is using the word honor, in part because no one can object to being honorable. In many ways, he is like a 15 year old boy telling a girl he would like to bed that he “loves” her. They both hear the same word, but they think of very different things. A week later when he is no longer as infatuated, he will say quite sincerely, “It doesn’t matter that I loved you then, what matters is that I do not love you now.”

I would like to submit that we cannot determine how to act with honor unless we determine whether we went into Iraq rightfully or wrongfully. And while it is all well and good to say, “we’re there”, it is also necessary to ask how we got there, for no other reason than so we can properly answer the question of what we need to do now. It’s something that must be treated seriously.

You could say that our honor demands it.