"Haslam Calls for Trump to Step Aside. ...
"Governor is first prominent Republican in state to join growing national chorus."
So reads the headline in our state newspaper following Sunday night's presidential debate. Some prominent G.O.P. leaders like John McCain and Carly Fiorina echo the refrain while others are dialoguing on conference calls and in behind-the-scenes closed-door meetings on the Hill.
Donald Trump states emphatically that he is not going to step aside. Should he?
What triggered this "October Surprise" was the release of a videotaped private conversation from over 11 years ago between Donald and a relative of the Bush family, Billy Bush. In it, Trump made vulgar comments that condone inappropriate sexual conduct with women.
In fairness to Mr. Trump, something should be highlighted that's conveniently ignored by biased media supportive of Hillary Clinton.
Hillary's husband's sordid sex life is surfacing once again as four victims of Bill and Hillary's past sat uncomfortably nearby at Sunday night's debate. WikiLeaks just revealed that a journalist told campaign chairman Podesta, "The Clintons would be well-advised to advise the people in their orbit to shut the (expletive) up about this!"
Mr. Trump has apologized, saying he was wrong for what he called "locker-room talk." Being a "brand-new Christian" as Charisma founder Steve Strang calls him, this is probably the way he's accustomed to acknowledging wrongdoing.
Mrs. Clinton and her campaign were quick to capitalize on this disclosure as multitudes cite her hypocrisy in vilifying victims of her husband's immoral behavior over the decades. Repeatedly she's said Trump is "unfit for office." Interestingly, the same charge that was leveled by opponents of Winston Churchill in Roy Jenkin's Churchill: A Biography.
What Should Donald Do?
Here's the deal: Donald should do what God tells him to do! Divine direction is assured him if he comes humbly in faith and stays single-minded. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without wavering" (James 1:5-6).
How God guides him can be confirmed through wise counselors on his Spiritual Advisory Team and then he should remain resolute, remembering the wisdom of Proverbs 24:10, "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small."
At the end of Sunday night's debate, the final question posed to the candidates was about the quality they most respect in their opponent. Hillary spoke of Trump's beautiful family while he applauded her perseverance. Her husband's nickname is "The Comeback Kid" and I think Mr. Trump respects the Clintons' tenacity and is not about to let them trump him here!
Where Do We Go From Here?
Our 2016 presidential campaign seems like we're having a bad dream, awakening disturbed, only to doze off then discover—yikes!—it's repeating in more bizarre forms again. It feels like we're being whipped around white-knuckled on Disney's Space Mountain ride as we lurch for relief at the end of the line.
In a matter of weeks, we'll reach that point. Soon we'll elect the 45th president of the United States, breathe a collective sigh of relief and shortly thereafter Barack Obama will ride off into the sunset. Some will offer "Good job!" while others will say (hopefully with respect), "Good riddance!"
Since I value transparency, I state the following up front so you know exactly where I stand as we hit the homestretch.
Cruz I endorsed. Trump I support without endorsing. Hillary I oppose without reservation. The president and the candidates I pray for daily and urge you to do the same.
Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker saying, "I'm a deplorable," referring to Hillary Clinton's dismissive statement of those backing the Republican candidate and platform. I know it's risky, but the alternative is anathema to countless millions opposed to her, her platform and what she and her husband represent.
Billy Graham's son, Franklin, said recently, "The most important issue of this election is the Supreme Court. ... Trump and Clinton scandals might be news for the moment, but who they appoint to the Supreme Court will remake the fabric of our society for our children and our grandchildren for generations to come."
Be Merciful and Discerning
Jesus told us, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Matt. 5:7). The Bible also warns us, "Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judges, for when you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things" (Rom. 2:1).
One former Republican governor of California immediately said he was now not going to vote for Trump. He's the same guy who committed adultery with his housekeeper, fathering an illegitimate son that led to his wife divorcing him!
Working across the street from the White House and living in D.C. for 24 years, I was constantly amazed at the usual "black out" or excusing of foul and sexual language by JFK, LBJ, Nixon and more recently Barack Obama (captured on YouTube "Presidents Being Colorful"), Bill Clinton's accuser's testimonies and Hillary's vulgarities and use of profanity.
These are just a handful of examples of the duplicity that is so prevalent today, requiring us to be very discerning. Again, this is not to condone or excuse comments made 11 years ago by a less mature man.
Corey Lewandowski did tell Wolf Blitzer on CNN Oct. 7, "It does not reflect or bring to mind the Donald Trump I've spent 18 months with traveling. I've never heard anything like this out of him."
If you're feeling a bit discouraged by all the mudslinging in this campaign, welcome to the club. Brace yourself because the modus operandi of the liberal progressives in campaigns is to demonize and destroy those standing for conservative values and America's Judeo-Christian foundation. Remember how they shredded men of character like Mitt Romney and George W. Bush?
They excuse their own and excoriate others. The very ones promoting and celebrating abortion, homosexuality, pornography, cohabitation, adultery and licentiousness in the name of "tolerance and freedom" will raise the morality card if they can find a flaw in the opposition. They're vicious and attack with ferocity.
May we be vigilant and also guard ourselves from self-righteousness when one of our own is hit.
Pressure Reveals the Person
Recently a much-anticipated film titled The Birth of a Nation was released dealing with the true story of Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in 1831. There was Oscar buzz and excitement that the "white" pattern for the award would be broken.
All this came to somewhat of a screeching halt when someone leaked that the actor/director in the film was accused of a sexual crime 17 years ago. He was acquitted but many feel the damage was done.
Pressure will prove the person in the midst of the trial.
At the risk of being misinterpreted as soft on sin, I mention the following regarding a bespectacled Founding Father graced with the title "The First American." He was a wealthy entrepreneur, author, businessman and later a politician and diplomat.
Along the way he had numerous sexual involvements and took some heat for statements like this: "She that paints her face thinks of her tail and others!"—Poor Richards Almanac.
Benjamin Franklin is considered an American icon and legend. He worked diligently to cultivate 13 virtues like frugality, order, industry and cleanliness. The one where he had his greatest challenge was with chastity.
Understanding the presence of sin in every heart and the temptation to corruption for those in power, Ben Franklin and the Founding Fathers devised a system of government with checks and balances and separation of powers. The three branches of our government, the legislative, the executive and judicial were to prevent abuse of power and protect individual freedom.
Unfortunately, up until today, some politicians try to subvert these foundational principles in our Constitution, intended to safeguard them and our republic. I for one don't believe the man whose motto is, "Make America Great Again" would do that. I could be wrong but I sure hope not.
I stand with Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their quest to lead our nation back to conservative principles and the greatness that comes from honoring God's Word, though sometimes they and we fall short. Others stay the course like Dr. Robert Jeffress, Dr. James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Jentezen Franklin, Ben Carson and scores of others, probably a bit nervous like myself.
When Richard Nixon was president and feeling the heat for his sins, Billy Graham was asked if he still supported him.
"I am still his friend. I have not forsaken him. I have met and prayed with him many times."
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" (Prov. 17:17).
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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