R.T. Johnston
Pragmatism vs. principle: What should govern our vote?
By R.T. Johnston
November 7, 2016

While the right to vote is a most important one, it's also a most awesome responsibility. It was fought for, and earned by, the shed blood of patriots past who would be saddened today at witnessing too many citizens either squandering it, or taking it for granted. An educated, informed, and vigilant "We the People" are a force to be reckoned with in our constitutional republic (as designed). However, when we neglect those three pillars, we're easily manipulated, and taken advantage of, by would-be tyrants seeking to wrest control of an already out-of-control government. Unless we return to the foundations set forth during the birth of our nation, by a vigilant and well informed populace grounded in Biblical values, we simply cannot hope to exist much longer as we are.

Our founding fathers were crystal clear that our Constitution was made only for a "moral and religious people" (John Adams) and that we should "prefer Christians" (John Jay) as our leaders. Sadly, too many today diminish that wisdom as not being important. Even on the "Conservative" side, growing numbers are content to abandon Christian/moral principles in order to "score" what "they think" is a political victory against the "other side." Yes, the "other side" has evolved into a very dangerous threat to our liberties and the way of life that affords; but it's not much of a "victory" if we've abandoned the bulk of Judeo-Christian principles, and values, to achieve it. So much so, that a "win" won't contribute one thing in aiding the reining in of our runaway course, much less restoring our nation.

This election has become an extremely important and grievous one. The last eight years have seen us divided and weakened in every way imaginable, and our nation is truly poised at the precipice's edge. If Clinton becomes president, we know she'll certainly worsen the liberal damages already done, perhaps even beyond repair. With Trump, we are faced with someone who has held the very same leftist political views his entire life, and only "changed them" with his decision to run for President. Since becoming a "Republican," he's demonstrated no pivot point to speak of, nor can he substantively articulate his newfound positions on his own. Additionally, his obvious lack of moral character, coupled with his own legal woes, and you have the perfect storm of someone who's clueless on how to truly "Make America Great Again." Hint: It can ONLY happen if we first turn back to God!

So, what are we to do? The pragmatic approach many have decided to follow is: voting for him in hopes he won't be quite as bad as we know Clinton will be. I completely understand that approach. However, it's important to realize we're not in our present predicament due to a lack of pragmatism. In fact, it can be argued that too much pragmatism, mixed with repeatedly choosing between the "lesser of two evils" (which Trump is not) is precisely how we've arrived where we are. Many of our founding fathers warned us of the dangers with political parties, and now, because we've refused to heed those dire warnings, we're reduced to voting for a candidate with an "R" next to his name simply because we HAVE to gain victory over the one with the "D"! Let's not ignore the fact that, except for their differences in terms of political "experience," and particulars of crimes committed, there's not a dime's worth of difference between them when defining their moral character and actual positions.

Washington said: "If we mean to support the liberty and independence which it has cost us so much blood and treasure to establish, we must drive far away the demon of party spirit and local reproach." He also referred to parties (factions) as the "worst enemy" of our form of government in his farewell address and expounded rather extensively on it.

Jefferson said: "I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever,...in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."

So, what then? First of all, we need to pray and seek God's face! Secondly, we need to understand that unless/until we return to our founding principles and put them BEFORE allegiances to ANY party, we'll never see the return of America's greatness and exceptionalism. Pragmatism definitely has its place from time to time, but it should never be at the price of compromising our principles. And most assuredly, it certainly shouldn't be the primary determining factor governing how we vote.

BOTH of the two major party candidates are unfit for office. And yes, one of them will undoubtedly be the next president. But, that doesn't mean we're limited to having to choose between the two of them. There are still other candidates existing we can vote FOR; and God is still in control no matter who wins. Sometimes God does use wicked rulers to accomplish His will, but that doesn't mean He expects us to choose them, nor does he want us to form our decisions based in fear. We should pray, do our homework, and vote our conscience down ballot for the candidates most in line with our principles. Whatever you do, please do NOT get discouraged and stay home! The Presidency is not the only race on the ballot, but knowing our country is about to select an unfavorable president only illustrates the fact that all the other races, from Congress down to your local dogcatcher, weigh even more in importance! Keep up the "good fight" (2 Timothy 4:7)!

"I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14 – KJV).

© R.T. Johnston


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R.T. Johnston

R.T. Johnston is the founder of the Facebook page Conservative American Patriots and a potential future Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Texas 20th Congressional district.

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