Charisma Caucus

A Raucous Caucus: Part 2

Immigration Protesters
The "top three" candidates in Iowa have decidedly different views on immigration, despite what you might hear from advocates. (Reuters)

What do you do when you've already eaten way too much? For heaven's sake, you should not eat more! And may I add that by his refusal to eat more, it would be senseless to accuse the bloated man of being "anti-food" or "nutrition-o-phobic." This is essentially what the antagonists do in dishonest custom regarding immigration. If one advocates what is best for America, one is branded a "racist," "anti-immigrant" or "xenophobic." What is truth? These particular antagonists hold the esteemed title of being America's enemy in the gates.

In a similarly situated scenario, imagine an insecure Republican official trying so hard to push back against the media bloviators (claiming that he is guilty of racism) that he starts making appearances at NAACP events and praising politically correct racist schemes like "affirmative action." When the applause dies down, he looks like a fool to the conservatives who helped him get elected and a silly panderer to black liberals who are still never going to help him get elected.

So far as refusing to eat more goes, Marco Rubio clearly does not see it that way, but then neither does Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in this particular instance. If America has endured way too much immigration (illegal or otherwise), then let's find a way to increase more immigration! It sounds good if you're using one of those 17th century "ear-trumpets" anytime a deeper discussion erupts over dinner. (Huh? Say that again? I didn't hear you, Sonny Boy.) Have you eaten too much junk food? Well, let's not stop eating; let's keep stuffing ourselves with nice things like celery sticks. Even better, let's eat the entire plastic jar of Flintstone vitamins in one sitting. That will solve our stomach problems, right?

Don't believe me? Here's a video of Ted Cruz defending Donald Trump for advocating an increase in H1B visas. Before and after watching it, please inform your emotions that if you continue to insist that Ted Cruz (or Donald Trump) has always been against increasing H1B visas, you are, by definition of the English word, a genuine "sycophant."

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Here's Marco Rubio staying the course on H1B visa increases, just like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. I would be very surprised and disappointed if Rep. Steve King of Iowa agreed with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or Donald Trump on this particular issue. Frankly, I doubt that he does. But for the record, if he does agree with Cruz or Trump on this issue, then he's wrong too.

Here's reality. Information on the corruption of H1B was common knowledge for years, long before Cruz proposed his now-infamous H1B increase. Mr. Cruz has recently responded to intense criticism on this issue by suggesting he will put a six-month moratorium on the corrupt H1B visa program. While I commend him for that, I am not happy that he has at the same time insisted that he still firmly believes increasing H1B visas (without the existing corruption) would be good for America. Could an H1B program ever be good for America? Yes, but not until you tell me what you're going to do about the 11 million illegal immigrants already here. I don't want to swap my chips and dip for celery sticks and chewable Flintstone vitamins. I'm stuffed and in pain. While it's a step in the right direction, a temporary moratorium does not accept the larger problem—that increasing H1B visas is bad for our country, even if the H1B system wasn't entirely corrupt.  

Here's the weird irony. Many of my friends who support Ted Cruz firmly believe that increasing H1B visas is a very bad idea. They believe it so strongly that they have gone so far as to insist that the video showing him advocating a 500 percent increase in H1B visas was not his true position at the time it was filmed. Rather, he was being savvy and sarcastic by offering it as one small part of his "poison pill" take-down of the "Gang of 8." Conclusion: rather than accepting that their favorite candidate has long held a position that they disagree with, they have chosen to believe it can't be true... when it is true. Ted Cruz is absolutely wrong. His position on this issue is bad. Those are two thoughts the fanbase doesn't want to accept but needs to face. Why? Because whether he becomes president or not, he needs to come to terms with this bad policy and improve our country.

Why should we be against any significant increases in H1B visas (legal immigrations)? Because those increases would result in nearly the exact same problems created by illegal immigrations—foreigners usurping and filling American jobs. That's why. We could talk about many problems related to our hemorrhaging immigration, but we'll stick with jobs in this article. (It's already too lengthy for many in our culture who suffer from political narcolepsy.) Let's review my conclusions offered in the first installment of this two-part series: 

Marco Rubio is profoundly terrible when it comes to mishandling the enormous problem of immigration in the United States.

Ted Cruz is much better than Marco Rubio when it comes to offering solutions to the problem of immigration in the United States.

Ted Cruz has shown startling flaws in his approach to the issue of immigration in the United States.

For all his bluster and hyperbole on the issue, Donald Trump isn't nearly as good on the issue of illegal immigration as so many of you apparently believe he is.

Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump all say that H1B Visas should be increased, and by agreeing on this particular issue, they share the same superbly puzzling defect.

Holman Jenkins Jr. once wrote: "Even when politicians tell the truth, they do so in the spirit of a lie. They speak the truth instrumentally, to gain advantage." But I don't think it has to be true of every politician, and I suppose that sets me apart and makes me the odd man out. I can only speak for myself when I say that I grew weary of the "spirit of a lie" the first time I was on the brunt-end of one. I appear to be in the minority. I've observed plenty of it this cycle too, even from the most evangelical candidates out there. I'm fascinated with the "Spirit of Truth" and actually think well enough of the Republican crème de la crème to know they can and must do better in the days ahead when they choose which one of these two "spirits" to channel. I can prove it too. You see, unlike the bandwagoners, I'm willing to chide them all the way to the end of the line.

Voters who do not hold these candidates in high enough esteem, as I do, are much more willing to turn a blind eye toward plenty of red flags. If you don't believe a man is capable of doing better, you just take what you believe is the best you can get at that time. But isn't that how we got here? Stop the world—I want to get off. I mean, why would you promote a man to the most powerful position on planet Earth if you don't think he's capable of being a better candidate tomorrow than he is today? Oh, I already know the answer. I'm just toying with you.  Here's why: people want to win a contest. They are intimidated by the greater evil on the other side should they lose.

So as the Iowa caucus approaches, I continue my search for a candidate who best exceeds (not barely meets) the minimum Biblical plumb line for this level of power and influence in my nation. Some retort that I'm "terribly unreasonable" and that I have "set the bar way too high." Others have gone so far as to imply that I am jaded by the "heresy of perfectionism." The most loathsome jabs more often come in the forms of the two senseless clichés: "Well, Jesus isn't running for president this time," and "There is no perfect candidate." (Thanks for the political science education! What was I thinking?)

Speaking of educations, here's a quick one for those who settle too soon too often: presidents have neither the raw power to "boil the ocean" nor the ability to "fix the economy" (which is slightly larger and more unpredictable than the ocean). Oh, and please try to remember this as well: "fixing an economy" hasn't been done by an individual soul since the times of King Midas, and he retired to help Santa make golden toys at the North Pole long ago. I said that to say this: you dear and precious folks who talk so much about your candidate "fixing the economy" and "creating jobs" are the last people that should be lecturing anyone about "being pragmatic."

As it turns out, there are some things a would-be president could do. I think he can and should do these four reasonable things everyone seems so afraid of demanding. Here is the plumb line the Bible gives us all to lean upon when searching for a representative: 1) honor marriage, 2) don't murder, 3) don't steal and 4) don't lie.

Yes, I think well enough of self-described Christian candidates that I believe they can and should accomplish those four things. If you happen to be holding a drink on the other end of my article right now, I propose a toast. Here's to the "Spirit of Truth." Choose your presidents carefully, America.

Rev. Cary K. Gordon is senior pastor at Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, Iowa.

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