This election matters — but our principles matter more

Photo by Michael Stravato / Shelby Tauber

Often the claim is made that "this is the most important election in our lifetime." I am not sure anyone in the present has sufficient knowledge to make that determination.

What I do know and believe is that elections are important — not just presidential elections, but who we choose as our representatives on school boards, city councils, commissioners courts and in our state house. Their decisions have significant consequences for us and our children.

However, is any election all-important? Is electing a candidate or stopping the other party's candidate from holding the most powerful office worth any and all sacrifices?

I can understand the rationale of voting for "the lesser of two evils," for "at least a chance" to have a president who might nominate a jurist to the U.S. Supreme Court who respects the Constitution, and for a candidate who "wants to make America great again." But is there no prerequisite or minimum standard that must be reached before one would trade the currency of one's consent?

The above reasons have been cited again and again, especially by Christians, as justifications for supporting someone they quickly admit bears false witness, boasts of arrogance and illicit sexual exploits and whose record is more progressive than conservative. I think they protest too much.

Will not advancing a political cause or candidate be short-lived, if Christian principles are denigrated and cast away in the process? Which will have more lasting consequence — the political cause or the inconsistent behavior observed by one's children, neighbors, constituents and opponents?

In considering these issues, I am reminded of Jesus' searching questions: "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Have we exchanged our moral compass for political expediency? I believe we have. We have forgotten faith—faith in the unseen God who judges nations. We have forsaken the foundation of liberty and limited government in a desperate pursuit of political power.

Opposing a crooked Democratic politician with an immoral, jello-like Republican only propels the establishment's two-party system. It does not overthrow career criminal politicians; it just makes us like them.

Our delusion has progressed so far that we have extolled "the courage" of the alternative conservative who fearlessly lies, rants and rails, and abuses all — not just women but any who dare question him.

C. S. Lewis wrote, "The descent to hell is easy, and those who begin by worshiping power soon worship evil." That is what we have done as Republicans. We have chosen and supported a nominee that undermines our principles. Power without principle soon turns to tyranny. It does not matter what party it is associated with.

What is more important than party and power? It is character. It is commitment to a moral compass. What good is a constitution, a platform, a political promise without fidelity?

What is worse than a Clinton or Trump presidency is giving up on character and integrity, on honesty and covenant keeping, on decency, civility and trustworthiness. Once we have given up honor, we have established our profession. Then it's only a matter of negotiating price.

We would do well to humble ourselves and reflect on Roger Williams' admonition: "Having bought Truth deare, we must not sell it cheape, nor the least graine of it for the whole World, no not for the saving of Soules, though our owne most precious."

David Simpson

Former state representative