What do a farmer, a business owner and a pastor have in common?
They all represent Americans who are being assailed by an intrusive government. More taxes, regulations and fines for non-compliance are the result of a “bully” government. The farmer loses access to water because of the Environmental Protection Agency, which values fish over people. The job-providing business owner is forced to raise prices or hire fewer employees to comply with myriad regulations. The pastor and religious institutions face legal threats if they take biblical positions on marriage and the sanctity of life.
Indeed, in the past several decades, we have seen government metastasize like a cancer that affects every part of the body.
The 2016 presidential election will be pivotal to the future of our country. Either we will choose Hillary Clinton and socialism, where government controls business, farming, religion, health care and education – essentially every part of our lives. Or voters will choose Donald Trump, who will decrease government control and allow Americans to invent, invest, build, educate and worship unimpeded by hostile government.
All of these issues will be decided by dozens of judges who will be appointed by the next president. There is one Supreme Court vacancy and most likely, there will soon be several more. In addition, the next president will fill at least 80 lower-court vacancies.
Clinton has signaled that she will appoint justices who believe in an elastic Constitution, whose words can be interpreted to fit the changing needs of society. In contrast, Trump has released a list of potential judges who are originalists; they interpret the Constitution to mean what its authors originally intended.
Clinton’s judges will incrementally eliminate our rights and Trump’s judges will defend and uphold our rights. Free speech, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion, property rights, national security and numerous other issues hang in the balance. The world view of future judges and all elected officials is of utmost importance. Our entire legal system is based on Judeo-Christian principles. Without this foundation, law becomes arbitrary, the Constitution becomes irrelevant and corruption becomes commonplace.
This is now our nation’s hour of decision. The course of our country will be set in just a few weeks and the voters will choose between more government or more independence. These two concepts are mutually exclusive.
Historically, when government increases, freedom decreases. However, our founders designed a unique system that would serve the people and they strongly advocated for individual rights, local control and limited federal government with more power given to the states.
Many times in history, an unusual individual arises to lead a nation during a time of crisis. Winston Churchill, who could be bombastic, rude and insulting, stood alone and saved England from Adolf Hitler – long before America entered World War II. He was not only the man of the hour, but arguably, the man of the century.
Churchill’s other passion was his disdain of socialism. He pointed out that faith-based charity is based on the principle that “all mine is yours” and that socialism is based on the idea that “all yours is mine.” He understood that the poor and needy can best be helped by private organizations and churches.
Government assistance creates dependency, bureaucracy grows exponentially and the poor are worse off than they were before.
Interestingly, leaders are usually defined by a phrase. For example:
▪ Franklin Roosevelt – “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
▪ Harry Truman – “The buck stops here!”
▪ Ronald Reagan – “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
▪ Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
▪ Hillary Clinton: “What difference does it make?”
▪ And Donald Trump – “Make America great again.”
This election is destined to make a significant difference for ourselves, our nation and the world. We would be wise to consider the world views of our candidates and vote carefully so that we can make America great again.
Fred Vanderhoof is chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party.