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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Who are McMullin, Stein, and Johnson: and what could they mean to you?

If you’re like many American’s today you value your right to vote but feel trapped between a rock and a hard place—you don’t like either of the primary political party candidates.

And if you’re like many others (on both sides), you might be tempted to simply vote for your affiliated party even if you don’t like that candidate simply because you REALLY don’t like the opposition.

But what if you had another option? 

What if a third party candidate better represented your beliefs?

Now, you might be thinking that’s a wasted vote (after all, that’s what the media is trying to make you believe). 

History (and our constitution) disagree. 

4 Times in American History neither candidate reached the needed 270 electoral votes to become president. If you’d like information on that please click here

So what happens if neither candidate reaches the needed 270 electoral votes?

“If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.”

Here are 3 other options:

Evan McMullin- Is a constitutional conservative. For 10 years he worked for the CIA spearheading counterterrorism in places such as the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Later he used his Master’s in Business to help industries such as energy, biotech, technology and more. 

Here are a few of the issues he is focused on. 

1.       Military- “…we will rebuild the military and give our service members the tools they need to defend our freedoms and our way of life—while also protecting Americans’ hard-earned dollars.”

2.       Economy-“…make the tax code fairer and simpler, helping to spur business innovation, especially the growth of small businesses... Small businesses should pay closer to 25 percent of their profits in taxes, whereas now there are many that must pay almost 40 percent. Right now America also has the highest corporate tax rate – 35 percent – of any advanced economy.”

 3.       Healthcare- “…repeal Obamacare as soon as possible, replacing it with a more streamlined, pro-market approach to insurance…encourage competition and innovation by putting patients, families, and doctors for first.”
4.       Government Accountability- “…support House Joint Resolution 100, a proposed constitutional amendment for the re-empowerment of the states. This amendment would enable a two-thirds majority of the states to repeal any Executive Order, regulation, or administrative ruling issued by the executive branch.”

5.       Immigration- “The path to reform begins with securing our borders. Once they are secured, there should be a process of earned legalization for the illegal immigrants who are already here. There is simply no efficient way to deport 11 million individuals; doing so would break apart families and likely cost $100 billion. Furthermore, legalization is not amnesty.”

6.       Trade- “…supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement recently signed by 12 countries, including Japan, Australia, and Vietnam. The TPP will eliminate tariffs for all the countries that sign, but it will not go into effect until ratified by Congress.” SIDE NOTE-This is NAFTA on steroids. While there are many benefits of NAFTA, the disadvantage of it includes “…destroying half a million American jobs and lowering U.S. wages. In addition, NAFTA increases the U.S. trade deficit.”To learn more about NAFTA (pros and cons) click here.

7.       National Debt- “…enact reforms that make these essential programs more efficient while fighting pervasive fraud and abuse…simple truth that you can’t keep spending money you never had.”

To learn more about McMullins Platform click here.

Dr. Jill Stein- 2012 Green Party candidate for president. Wants to revitalize democracy. She’s a mother, physician, and an environmental-health advocate. 

Snapshot of her platform:

1.        Jobs as a Right- “…replacing unemployment offices with employment offices. Advance workers rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, and keep a fair share of the wealth they create.”

2.       Health Care as a Right- “Establish an improved “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings.”

3.       Education as a Right- “…Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high stakes testing and public school privatization.”

4.       A Just Economy- “Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.”

5.       Protect Mother Earth- “Lead on a global treaty to halt climate change. End destructive energy extraction: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, and uranium mines. Protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, parks, and pollinators. Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Protect the rights of future generations.”

6.       Freedom and Equality- “Expand women’s rights, protect LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination, defend indigenous rights and lands, and create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants. Protect the free Internet, legalize marijuana/hemp, and treat substance abuse as a public health problem, not a criminal problem.”

7.       Peace and Human Rights- “…End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases…”

To learn more about Stein click here.

Gary Johnson- Libertarian Candidate. Two term Republican Governor of New Mexico. A business owner who describes himself as “fiscally-conservative and socially-liberal.”

Here are a few of his beliefs:

1.        Taxes- “…elimination of special interest tax loopholes, to get rid of the double-taxation on small businesses, and ultimately, the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that determines your tax burden by how much you spend, not how much you earn.”

2.       Civil Liberties- Supports Same Sex Marriage and Abortion Rights

3.       Immigration- “we should focus on creating a more efficient system of providing work visas, conducting background checks, and incentivizing non-citizens to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment, and otherwise assimilate with our diverse society .Making it simpler and more efficient to enter the United States legally will provide greater security than a wall by allowing law enforcement to focus on those who threaten our country, not those who want to be a part of it.”

4.       Environment- Believes in Climate Change. “…believe that the federal government should prevent future harm by focusing on regulations that protect us from real harm, rather than needlessly costing American jobs and freedom in order to pursue a political agenda.”

5.       Education- “…believes that state and local governments should have more control over education policy. Decisions that affect our children should be made closer to home, not by bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, D.C. That is why he believes we should eliminate the federal Department of Education. Common Core and other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools are costly, overly bureaucratic, and actually compromise our ability to provide our children with a good education.”

6.       War on Drugs-“…remove cannabis (Marijuana) from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which will allow individual states to make their own decisions about both recreational and medical marijuana -- just as they have done for decades with alcohol...do not support the legalization of other recreational drugs that are currently illegal. It is, however, their belief that drug rehabilitation and harm-reduction programs result in a more productive society than incarceration and arrests for drug use.”

7.       Wasteful Spending- “…pledged that his first major act as President will be to submit to Congress a truly balanced budget. No gimmicks, no imaginary cuts in the distant future. Real reductions to bring spending in line with revenues, without tax increases. No line in the budget will be immune from scrutiny and reduction. And he pledges to veto any legislation that will result in deficit spending, forcing Congress to override his veto in order to spend money we don’t have.”

To learn more about Johnson’s platform click here.

While no candidate is perfect, perhaps one of these lesser known candidates better represent your beliefs and concerns.

If so, I encourage you to not buy into the lie that you must vote for either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump. But if you like them, vote for them. It's your choice.

You are given one vote and are free to vote however you choose. And your vote matters.

Michelle Obama recently gave a powerful speech that highlighted how important each vote is.
In 2012 Barack Obama won the election by a small number of votes in certain states. Hilary Clinton recently showed a few maps of just how powerful each vote is. Examples: If 13 people would have stayed home in Florida Obama wouldn’t have won that state. Likewise he won Ohio by 19 votes, Wisconsin by 34 votes. Breaking it down by precinct- If 7 Obama Voters in each precinct had chosen to vote for Romney in the state of Florida, Obama would have lost that state. 
YOUR VOTE MATTERS- To see more click here.  

If you do like one of these candidates and they are not on your state’s ballet you can WRITE IN YOUR VOTE. So just because you don’t see your preferred candidate on the ballet doesn’t mean he/she is not an option. It means you must WRITE in the name you want to vote for.

I encourage you- Vote your Conscience. 

SIDE NOTE- McMullin has a real shot at winning Utah. For more click here or here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

How Would Jesus Vote?

First, let me say I have never before felt so much anguish over voting. I truly believe it is my Christian duty to be politically active and to exercise my Right to Vote. 

But if you are like me, you may not know how to vote this election cycle.

I’ve spent months in prayer over this. I delved into the Scriptures looking for answers that evade me.
While I cannot tell you how to vote, I do want to share with you the things I feel are important to God.

1.       ABOVE ALL- Know God is the answer. Man cannot save you. A government cannot save you. Only God can save. Trust in Him. (Psalm 146:3-6, Jer 17:5)

2.       God controls the elections. Man cannot circumvent God’s will. Whoever wins this election is put into place by God Himself. He sets rulers above the nations. He is in control. (Dan 2:21, Rom 13:1)

3.       When deciding how to vote (or if you will vote- never before have I felt this was an option) LOOK AT THE FRUITS not just the words coming from someone’s mouth. (Luke 6:44-46, Psalm 12:2, Rom 16:18)

Now to see what the Bible says about Fruit:

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Emphasis mine)

The first set of characteristics is NOT of God. The second set is.

These verses should make it easy to vote.

But what if you feel NO candidate represents the Characteristics of God?

What should you do?

Luke 14:25-27 provides some insight for this dilemma.

 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

This passage refers to decision making between conflicting loyalties. (Hate in this passage is not an emotional hostility)

Are we more loyal to God or those we love?

Regarding elections, Are we more loyal to God or the government?

Who are we putting our trust in?

Do we think a particular candidate or political party can deliver us from the evils of this world?

After much prayer, I can’t help but think that in this election cycle Christians are being forced to back a belief system (AKA political party) that is contrary to the Word of God. We are being told that we must vote a certain way because if we don’t someone “worse” will become president (this is true regardless of what party you are affiliated with).

Choosing a “lesser of an evil” does not mean we are obeying God. And the “Enemy of my enemy is my friend” is not Biblical. Worldly logic is combating for our loyalty and tearing us apart.

Yet, God is in control.

The candidates up for election are there because it is part of God's plan.

So how to vote?

I honestly don’t know.

But I trust God’s will is being accomplished.

I pray you find some answers and peace in these words.

I pray your vote isn’t influenced by fear.

I pray we find unity in the days to come.
Starting Jan. 2017 I will post a series on building a Frame-work of Hope so that you can stand no matter what shakes your foundation or may tempt your loyalty to falter.

Finally, if you're unsure why I'm having such a difficult time this election season or perhaps you're interested in learning more about the fruits these candidates have produced, please check out this article. In my opinion this is the BEST article I have read regarding the conundrum Christian's face in voting for either candidate. It's long but well worth the read- it gets really good about half way through. Trump Betrayed by Erick Erickson.