Principles & Principled

The Talmud, in Tamid 32a asks:  Who is wise?  One who foresees the consequences of his actions.  This teaching suggests that we should make every effort to contemplate and consider the results of the actions we take or neglect to take.

The race for the White House has produced much consternation across the broad spectrum of the American political landscape.  Should the current front runners of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prevail – Americans will face the dubious dilemma of having to choose who in their estimation is the lesser of two evils.

There is little doubt that liberals and moderates will indeed vote Democratic.  They have their eye on the prize; they have a determined objective to keep the enormous flow of government largess coming along with the added incentives of enhancing and enlarging of the welfare state.

As for evangelicals, conservatives, and libertarians the issue isn’t who they will vote for as much as it is will they vote?  If the Democrats remain true to their principles and evangelicals and conservatives also remain true to their principles then we will have our first female President.  Thus, in the end evangelicals and conservatives steadfast in their principles set a course for defeat because those of lesser principles will triumph.

By definition, to be principled means to be guided by moral principles. It’s highly commendable to have principles but in this world it’s also prudent to make principled short term decisions that will afford a better hope for future reformations. The question before us is simply this: will our current dissatisfactions keep us from performing our civic and patriotic duties to vote? I remind you of the famous words of Edmund Burke: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Principled people have a strong aversion to the bloviating, bombastic and boastful ways of Donald Trump but on the other hand what does Hillary Clinton offer?  From Arkansas to Benghazi her sordid legacy is one of scandal, deceit, fraud and criminal activity. While we may not know how Mr. Trump will govern if elected, we certainly know exactly how Mrs. Clinton will govern and that alone should scare us.

What issues are most critical to principled voters?  Once we have settled within ourselves the issues that to us are of paramount importance, then we must consider who’s best equipped to adequately remedy the situation.

Contrary to the naïve words of President Obama or Pope Francis, the greatest threat to the world is not climate change but the serious escalation of global Islamic terror.  Islam has declared jihad on the world with its main sights set on the destruction of Israel and America.  As a pro-Israel American I would highly favor a candidate whose foreign policy is firm against Islamic terror and strong on national defense.  This would bolster Israel’s security in that she would not stand alone amidst the wrath of the nations. Can such strength and resolve be found on the Democratic side of the aisle?

Another issue to contemplate in this election is which candidate can be better trusted to nominate a conservative Supreme Court Justice? A Hillary Clinton Presidency would guarantee another liberal justice thus defeating any hopes of restoring moral clarity to the laws of our land. Again, if our principles are offended by legalizing same sex unions then we must vote principled.

Ideally we would love a candidate with a love for God and country, one who sees the greatness of America and understands the core values behind American exceptionalism.  The greatness of America rests in the freedoms afforded her citizens. Which candidate would better promote the ideals of free enterprise and a government “of the people, by the people and for the people?”

Objectively, one can stand on their principles by not voting but in so doing they give the election over to one who shares none of our values. One can also hope for a third party to emerge but that would only siphon off votes from any candidate opposing Mrs. Clinton, insuring yet again that our principles will be dealt another setback as another election will be lost.

Given the high stakes of this election it’s prudent to be principled, to opt for the candidate who offers the best opportunity to advance the principles for which we stand.  It isn’t about personality as much as it is in winning and moving the country forward.

Yeshua offered these instructions to His Talmudim (disciples) prior to sending them out on their mission:  “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Let us be as wise as serpents (referring back to the Genesis story of Eden, where the serpent is coy and subtle in deceiving Eve) while at the same time innocent as doves (remaining loyal to our mission, avoiding further dangers) in maintaining integrity and pure motives.

Respectfully in His service,

Rabbi Frank Lowinger

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