by: Allen Domelle
The first Republican presidential debate is finally over and people are speculating as to who won the debate. I’m always amused how pundits come out after a debate and declare a candidate’s presidential run over. The one thing that is clear after this debate is that no candidate is out of the race.
The debate itself was a whopping success if you look at it from a viewership standpoint. According to Nielsen Media Research, 24 million people watched the debate. That is more people than the seventh game of last year’s MLB World Series. I think this clearly shows that people are engaged in this next presidential election and can’t wait for a change in Washington, D.C.
Since the presidential debate, I have had several people ask me about my thoughts on the debate. Let me give you several thoughts that I took away from this debate.
1. Fox News is NOT Fair and Balanced.
From the very first question, it was clear they were out for Donald Trump’s blood. Brett Baier set the stage for the night by asking the candidates if they would promise to forego an independent run if they lost in the primaries. This was clearly aimed at Donald Trump and everyone knew it. Megyn Kelly showed her unprofessionalism and angst for Trump through her attitude and questioning. Chris Wallace showed his ignorance of bankruptcy laws and the common practice of businessmen claiming business bankruptcy to reestablish a business by negotiating debt with a bank.
For the first half of the debate, it was clear this panel was out to assassinate the character of each candidate. They asked questions about the past to corner each candidate about something that wasn’t politically correct. It was as if they were trying to smear the candidates instead of allowing them to tell us their vision for this country. You would have thought this panel would be very interested in how they might defeat Hillary Clinton or undo the damage President Obama has caused this country, but they didn’t.
Moreover, the panel failed miserably because they forgot that the debate was not about them but about the presidential candidates. Only one candidate spoke 10 minutes in this 2-hour event compared to the 30+ minutes that the panel spoke. The rest of the candidate averaged a little over a measly 5 minutes. If the panel had done their job, then we would be talking about the candidates’ positions and not about the panel. Sadly, they thought they were the show. What can be taken away from how this panel handled the debate is that there was nothing fair or balanced about their approach.
2. The Republicans have a deep bench from which to pull.
Though I clearly don’t agree with some of the candidates, I believe it is obvious that the Republican field is deep. Not only are there plenty of candidates to choose from, but there are plenty of good candidates who are young and can contribute to conservatism for many years to come.
3. The media doesn’t understand the anger of the American people.
I am amused at watching the media constantly predict the demise of Donald Trump. I’m not endorsing him or any other candidate, but he has channeled the anger of the American people into his campaign. What the media and the political establishment doesn’t understand is that Americans are tired of their manipulation which seems to only benefit them and worsen America’s future. What I have noticed is that the more they attack Mr. Trump and what he does, the more it galvanizes and drives people to back him because they feel that they finally have a voice from the outside that will represent them. As long as they push their middle-of-the-road politicians, which is obvious, they will continue to anger the majority of those who are tired of the moderate or liberal politician.
One thing is very clear, there is no perfect candidate. By the way, there never will be because everyone is a sinner. However, every one of the candidates who stood on the stage last Thursday night are far better than anyone the Democrats have offered. If you are looking for the perfect candidate, then you will continually be disappointed.
5. The candidates who championed small government and the Constitution were the biggest winners.
Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Scott Walker and Donald Trump seemed to be the biggest winners in this debate. Of course, this is a personal viewpoint, but I think in the days ahead we will see these candidates rising in the polls. I believe the reason they will rise in the polls is because the Republicans are tired of the rhino Republicans who run the party. The American people are tired of Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer continually suggesting their liberal Republicans who promise everything and deliver nothing.
HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS RESPOND?
1. They should pray for God to give us the right leader.
Daniel 2:21 says, “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” We should be praying that God doesn’t give us what we deserve, and we should be praying for His mercy. We should pray that He will give us someone who will help turn the tide back towards conservative and biblical principles. God has always given nations a chance to return, and with all that America has done in the past few years to anger Him, we need His mercy. God can help the right candidate to get elected, so start praying now.
2. Be engaged.
One of the things that has greatly disturbed me over the past few years is how little Christians know about the political landscape. Christians have no right to whine about what is going on in our country if they are not willing to get engaged with what is happening with our freedoms. Esther was warned by Mordecai about being engaged with laws that had been enacted. Mordecai said in Esther 4:14, “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Every Christian alive has been placed on this Earth at this moment “for such a time as this.” Don’t be so disengaged that you don’t know who to vote for when the primaries start.
3. Encourage others to start studying the candidates now.
Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”I’m afraid that we are in our present condition because we have been afraid to engage in dialogue with others about politics. I know that Christians commonly think that we need to stay busy soul winning and building our churches instead of being engaged in politics. I’m thankful that the Danville Baptists didn’t have that mentality when they were asked to assist in the writing of the Bill of Rights. Certainly, Christians shouldn’t forsake their duties as a Christian in reaching the lost, but if we don’t encourage others to stay engaged then we could lose the freedoms we currently have to publicly witness. These freedoms are slowly being taken away because too many Christians have put their head in the sand when it comes to what is going on in the political realm.
4. Give candidates a chance to grow.
2 Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” If God gives Christians space to grow, then we should give those who are running for public office a chance to grow. With the mentality of many Christians today, Ronald Reagan would have never been elected as President. He made some decisions as Governor of California that were contrary to biblical and conservative beliefs, but he grew. Don’t completely count out a candidate just because they had some questionable positions in the past. You need to be more concerned with their direction than their position. If their direction has consistently moved toward conservatism, then don’t discredit their position believing that they are only moving to the right so they can get elected. If they have consistently moved in the right direction over the years, then credit this movement to growth.
Over the next few months, several things will change and many of those running for President will drop out. I believe if you follow these suggestions that you will be able to make an educated vote on election day.