Tuesday, June 03, 2014
LA Weekly: "GOP Is Wounded Elephant" Searching For Identity
The LA Weekly cartoon of a wounded elephant, bleeding and bellowing in pain, being pulled by, among others, a caricature of a Klu Klux Klansman, is an over statement to say the least. It is also a lie.
However, the GOP is still seemingly searching for its identity.
The caricatures joining the KKK person in trying to control the Party are a cowboy wearing an American flag shirt, a man in military fatigues, a man in colonial era clothing, and a "Tea Party" person.
The white hooded and white robed KKK figure seems to be anchoring the group.
Ironically, I don't see any clergy.
The elephant has one damaged tusk, blood dripping from rope burns and other signs of injury caused by internal battles.
It's a pathetic picture and it overstates the facts, but there is a search for identity within the Grand Old Party.
Identity is at the core of what any organization is and can become.
As a pastor I have observed that the lack of identity is at the core of most people's personal problems.
The LA Weekly has gotten a lot of attention, both in LA and across the country with the pictures, more than the narrative of their story, but it does underscore the GOP issue.
Let's take a closer look at "identity."
The LA Weekly is actually focused on the California primary vote today. Specifically, its about the two Republicans who want the opportunity to run for Governor against Democrat Jerry Brown in November.
Polls show either will likely lose to Brown.
The candidates are State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a favored Tea Party candidate, and former US Treasury official Neel Kashkari, who is supported by the "mainstream" or so-called "moderate" Republican establishment leaders.
Toby Marie Walker, founder of the Waco, Texas Tea Party, told Breitbart News, "To depict people who believe in the Tea Party principles, which include freedom and liberty for all, in such a manner is grotesque, it is ignorant. Obviously the cartoonist has missed his history lesson about the KKK origins in the Democratic Party."
That is a fact, the origins or the KKK trace to the Democratic Party, not the GOP.
Joel Pollack wrote an interesting article with a focus on the KKK issue. There is an equally concerning piece of this regarding the GOP identity and the Party's seeming blindness to it.
There is indeed internal strife within the GOP.
Every election cycle is looking more and more like the movie "Groundhog Day"---a repeat.
There is a prevailing notion in the Party that we must try to identify with moderates and left wing "moderates" to win.
Even Rand Paul suggested last week that we should put the divisive social issues aside for this election.
While its true, the candidate that gets the most votes wins the election, it is also true that Republican candidates who have a split personality regarding principles seldom win on the West Coast and elsewhere.
For every moderate-left person they are able to capture, a dozen conservative people of faith sit out the election or at least the vote on a particular candidate because they perceive him as a faux Republican, someone who does not hold the beliefs of the Party platform.
It is burdensome to support a Party with a platform that affirms the most important issues for many people of faith---social issues, but is led by people who openly disagree with the platform.
It has become a repeat performance traveling sideshow.
Act one is where the candidate winks and lets the "moderate" to left people know that they really don't believe all that stuff in the GOP platform on social issues.
Act two is where the candidate winks at the people of faith and true conservatives and lets them know he is only trying to "broaden the base so we can win" by appealing to the moderates and left, but we're all in this together and its very, very important that a Republican win.
Act two may also contain an appearance in an evangelical church by the candidate who doesn't actually hold biblical beliefs on say, marriage or the sanctity of life, but assures the people we are one in this political fight.
After the candidate is gone, the pastor points out that our candidate is not as bad as the person he is running against.
Act three is where the Republican candidate loses, again and again and again.
Following each defeat, the GOP regroups, recommits itself, the consultants hold "take a-way sessions"---what we learned from the last election, then begin again to walk the same path---freezing out candidates that are "too conservative to win" especially on the "social issues" putting the sweat and money of well meaning people into yet another failure.
Why would a secular or left progressive vote for a Republican when they can vote for a Democrat who is authentically one of them?
The elephant in the room is that a double minded person is unstable in all their ways.
Character counts. And so does conviction that exceeds the desire for the job.
Moving toward the upcoming November elections, it is very important that voters learn who these candidates are, not just what they say.
It is also important we decide if the most important thing is a Republican winning, or standing firm on the principles.
Or. Find the qualified candidates who actually believe the platform because they have strong Christian convictions and are willing to stand on conservative and biblical principles.
Josh McDowell has said, "I am not a Christian because God changed my life; I am a Christian because of my conviction about who Jesus Christ is."
This can begin by "We the people" affirming our own Christian identity.
It's important that people of faith know who we are and why. It is written, "If my people who are called by My name will....."
I'm talking about Christian identity today on the radio. You may join me live from anywhere in the world at 9 AM PDT or rebroadcast at 7:30 PM PDT. Here's how.
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Bold. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.