Five Truths About Elections

by Deana Chadwell11/02/18
Elections are always important because power is always important. We are not only deciding which individuals we will place in power over us, but which ideas we will allow to control our lives. We can hold our noses and say politics stinks, or that Democrats and Republicans are all the same, and both of those attitudes have some basis in reality, but politics will not go away, and left vs. right is the only real choice we have. So let’s peel this back and look at the undeniable truths facing us.

Truth #1 – Elections are binary. Basically all choices are – up or down, right or wrong, to be or not to be, eat your dinner or go to bed. Those who insist that their opinions are so finely honed as to require a third or fourth or fifth choice don’t understand the reality of elections.  It always comes down to a race between the top two contenders; any additional candidates merely siphon votes from the top two and create a situation where no one has a mandate. An election is not the time to be a purist – Donald Trump and his remarkable successes should have taught us that. A candidate has to have two weapons – the right ideas and the ability to win. One without the other is useless.

Truth #2 – Elections are the fulcrum on which our unique system of government balances, therefore our elections are crucial. They are also under attack. Whereas the Russians don’t seem to have been very effective, if, in fact, they were tinkering with our presidential choices, forces inside America are working hard to make elections pointless. The integrity of the voting process itself must be protected. We learned that in the hanging-chad election. Without assurance that our votes are not being canceled out by infected voting machines, or dead, illegal, or felonious voters, we lose our ability to choose our future. Without the enforcement of election laws, we make a mockery of the whole system.

Without properly vetted candidates, we lose our ability to make intelligent selections.  We still don’t know who Barack Hussein Obama is. We don’t know much about Barry Sotero either, though they appear to be one and the same. We have people running for congressional seats and for gubernatorial offices that have criminal records, are deeply in debt, or have broken election laws, yet our media seem little concerned. We know next to nothing about the names up for judgeships – and we can’t find out much even though those judges are now busy making law.

Our elections are also seriously affected by gerrymandering. If the district boundaries are adjusted just so, one party wins. If not, the other party does. This idea is a lot of what is behind the effort to remove the Electoral College from our presidential elections. The deck would then be permanently stacked for the heavily populated areas and those with more rural concerns would be disenfranchised altogether and freedom would take a major blow.

Truth #3 – Truth is a crucial component of elections. Our nation is now split between those who see truth as variable, open to infinite manipulation and those who see truth as an absolute concept, the foundation of our society. We have seen recently the secret videotapes of Democrat campaign workers copping proudly to the fact that their respective candidates are lying about their positions on issues in order to be elected. They talk as if that kind of prevarication is just business as usual – and for many in government that is the case, as scandal after scandal has recently demonstrated. Half of the Senate Judicial Committee was just fine with condemning a man on the basis of what were unsubstantiated and ridiculous accusations by women of questionable character. The “I believe her” mantra came forth with no corroborating evidence at all, and with no concern for its lack.

We are left standing in the voting booth not knowing which candidate is telling us the truth about ideas, policies, or positions. If these people promise us they will tend to veterans’ affairs, or healthcare, or immigration, or education, or pet licensing and HOA fees, we need to know if these candidates are being truthful about both their intentions and their ability to follow through. If, however, we live in a society where truth is nothing more than the ghost of long-past goodness, then that alone could do in our important elections and therefore our control over our own lives.

Truth #4 – Elections are about ideas. This is more true today than it has ever been. In the early days of our nation most everyone was in favor of freedom. They’d had a taste of it and weren’t about to go back to bondage. There was disagreement over how that was to be accomplished, but not about whether or not it should be done.

Slavery was the main idea our forefathers dug in about and that eventually triggered a civil war.

Now, however, we are fighting “principalities and powers.” This is a battle over all the principles of righteousness and law. We are up against the forces of darkness – of deceit, of envy, of corruption. We have to decide if we are so craven that we are willing to take from those who have earned money in order to provide ourselves with a transient glow of appearing to care about our fellow man. (Those who want to welcome the illegal immigrant into our nation are not inviting these same people into their homes.)  We have to decide if we are so infantile as to need our government to provide us with food, clothing, and shelter.  Are we willing to elect to high office those we know to be despicable people just so we can salve our consciences or line our own pockets?

The candidates we choose from this election are either Americans who value our heritage, our devotion to truth and freedom, to free enterprise and ingenuity, to independence and self-reliance, or we choose socialism and all the horrors that provides. It is an idea that has disproven itself every time it has been applied, is doing so right now in foreign countries and in some of our own states and cities. It’s not like we don’t know what it does. Yet I talk with people on a daily basis who think it might still be the right answer to all human problems – just add a little more salt, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and it’ll be just dandy. Never mind Cuba or Venezuela. Don’t pay any attention to San Francisco, or Chicago, or Detroit. Socialism is cool, they insist. The problem with the socialist approach is that it requires the confiscation of people’s property, which requires the government have hugely expanded powers, which results in tyranny and most of the confiscated moneys going to those at the top. We’re back to a binary decision.

We have arrived at a cross-roads where we will either abandon the lofty goal of a righteous and free nation, opting instead for greed and sloth, or stand up to immense pressure from every known evil power and fight yet again for the liberty and decency that our forefathers set out to create.

Truth #5 – no matter how this election turns out we must remember that God controls history. How else could Donald Trump have won an election stacked against him?  So we’ll pray and we’ll vote and we’ll watch His plan unfold.


Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. She is also an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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39 Responses to Five Truths About Elections

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Very nice analysis, though there have been a few occasions here (and more in other countries) when more than 2 serious candidates ran. Consider Wilson-Roosevelt-Taft in 1912, or Lincoln-Breckinridge-Bell-Douglas in 1860. Britain for a while had a serious 3-way struggle between the Conservative, Labor, and Liberal parties. After the 1920s, the Liberals retreated to a few rotten boroughs. And most mainland European nations had multi-party elections and coalition governments at times. Spain before the Civil War had 3 large parties (the Socialists, the no longer Radicals, and the Catholic CEDA) as well as many smaller ones. The largest group in some areas was the anarchists, who voted for the left when they chose to vote at all.

    • Timothy — I didn’t mean that multi-candidate elections don’t happen. They do, but nevertheless the race always comes down to a contest between top two. Look at the Ross Perot debacle — all he accomplished was to get Slick Willy elected with only a third of the votes. There’s no net improvement there; nothing was accomplished.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Slick Willie got 43% in 1992, compared to 38% for Bush and 19% for Perot. (I remember Rush Limbaugh’s parody ad for Sugar-coated Rossperots, with its slick packaging.)

        In 1860 there was basically a pair of 2-way races — Lincoln against Douglas in the north, Breckinridge against Bell in the south. There were a few states with 3- or 4-way races, but it usually came down to one of those 2. The biggest exceptions were 3-way races in Oregon and California (Breckinridge’s running mate was Joseph Lane of Oregon). The 3-way race in 1912 simply ensured Woodrow Wilson’s election, with 42% of the vote to 50% for Roosevelt and Taft combined.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I don’t recall hearing that, and we used to play that album (until the death of C. S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley, of course). We also later had a similar one on LBJ. I do recall reading of a Democratic pastor in Vermont, when the state’s Democratic governor (Philip Hoff) was running for re-election, telling his congregation that while he couldn’t advise them how to vote, he would remind them that Tuesday was Re-election Day.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think I’ve got that whole comedy album in mp3 format. I have the vinyl. I’ll upload it if I get a chance. I think the album is so old (and certainly out of print) that copyright consideration are likely moot.

        Yes, I do have “The First Family” album in mp3 format. Each side is about 24MB so I’ll have to see if I can get it a lot smaller.

        Here’s side one of Vaughn Meader’s “The First Family” album in mp3 format. It’s in mono and exported at 48 kbps. It still sounds fine and the file size is now only about 6.1 MB. If there is popular demand, I’ll post the other side. There are some great comedy bits on this album.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I do remember some good stuff from it, and by now it could be played again. It’s not like it was an anti-Kennedy screed calling for the president to be killed, as leftists create now (and did against Bush 43 as well).

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I just finished listening to both sides. I guess you still can buy the album here. The audio CD (didn’t know they ever made one) goes for $209.95. The vinyl for $4.49.

            I think my favorite track is “Caroline’s First Date.” There’s another one, a much longer one, about the world leaders all sitting around and ordering lunch. It’s hilarious.

            It’s good, clean fun. That was a different age.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I remember the lunch one, theoretically set at the UN. (Of course, West Germany wasn’t a member at the time, but never mind.) JFK decides to have ordinary American working-men’s lunches, and orders a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich with a side order of coleslaw, to which Charles de Gaulle replies, “Yecch.” It also had Khrushchev banging his shoe on occasion.

              One joke in that one I didn’t get at the time, when Kwame Nkrumah orders watermelon and JFK says, “Don’t put me on, Mr. Nkrumah.” He then orders some type of sandwich, and when Nikita bangs his shoe again, adds, “and I guess a bowl of borscht”. (As I recall, Castro ordered “a chicken sandwich with a live chicken”).

            • pst4gop says:

              Great album Brad, Thanks for the mp3, I have the vinyl somewhere, or had it for a long time. But I had not heard it in a long time either.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I’d like to know how to download it. I tried it just now and it started, but I’m already playing an mp3 file (by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap). I’ll try sometime later.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I’m glad somebody else enjoyed that. I could email you the reverse side of the album if you want. Just email me.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I’m listening to side one now (currently on the Kennedys at dinner), and it’s quite funny. I notice that JFK is saying “Let me say this about that”, which I recall RFK saying in later such parodies.

              I just heard “the Malayan Ambassador for dinner” — one I remember from when we first listened.

              Now I’m on the White House tour, which is another I recall from back then. I specifically remembered the Richard Nixon dumbwaiter, though at the time I didn’t know what a dumbwaiter is.

              Now, if you can make side 2 available . . .

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Richard Nixon dumb waiter. Still good for a laugh. We’ll consider your interest “popular demand.” Here’s the other side:

                The First Family: Side 2

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Nice, but for some reason the volume was weaker on this one, especially for Jackie. I remember that in the Saturday night alone piece, she suggested getting a pizza, and when JFK reminded her that they could hardly call up a pizzeria and say, “This is the President. I’d like a pizza,” she replied that they could just ask them to send it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But I couldn’t hear it on the recording.

            • Rosalys says:

              I enjoyed that trip down memory lane. It was sure a different time, wasn’t it?

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                The comedians, at least, had more soft wit and decency. The politicians and press back then were arguably as rancid as now.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Regarding the midterms, Brandon Morse has a rare article of substance to be found on the web: Ted Cruz Won, But the Blood is un the Water in Texas, and Democrats Smell It.

    Given the Kavanaugh hearings, Americans have just declared themselves to be a dumb mob by turning control of the House to the Democrats. The floodgates for illegal aliens will open even wider now.

    The extreme views of the Left, as shown in the Kavanaugh hearings, were supposed to turn off Americans. This extremism was supposed to be Trump’s best friend. So the pugilistic stage is set for a battle between Trump and the House, for sure. But it will also be interesting to see just how accommodating to them he is.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The GOP didn’t do too badly last night, or so it currently seems. But if so, they dodged a bullet by winning a disproportionate share of very close state races. I’ve heard that Washington voted in favor of its strict gun-control referendum, though not what the margin was. Such referenda can be very important, and it will take time to learn enough about the results — if we ever do.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Brandon Morse is correct in his analysis as to the main reason why the Senate race was so close. In Collin County, where I live, over 100,000 new voters registered in less than a year. Most of these people came from Blue states as their company management decided that the policies in California, New York and Illinois were detrimental to their businesses. Unfortunately, they are bringing their leftist infection with them.

      As recently as two years ago, there was not even a Democrat on the ticket for most elective offices in my area. The Republican primary was the election. I checked the numbers on local elections last night and was somewhat surprised at how close the results were. This is not a good sign.

      People like me have been trying to fight this for years, but there is little we can do.

      • pst4usa says:

        I had read that this has been a leftist target state for about a decade. Moving leftist companies and people from all over the country. The story said that they felt that if they could get Texas back, (it used to be a Democrat strong hold), they could retake the entire nation.
        You have got to hand it to these leftist, I think they taken a page right outta one of my favorite presidents book and put into practice one of my favorite quotes;
        “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. ” ~ Calvin Coolidge

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent

          That is why I think all children should be given a copy of “The Little Engine That Could.” Read it to them every night before bedtime.

          It is also why one should not read “Jack and the Beanstalk” to children. All the wrong messages. Jack is the perfect thieving socialist.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I had read that this has been a leftist target state for about a decade

          It is true. Some Obama operatives came here years back with that objective in mind. I don’t think they have been so successful. It is more that greedy politicians and land developers have pushed for internal immigration to Texas. With the hundreds of thousands (millions) of new people come higher property prices which mean the state and local governments gain huge increases in property tax which is the major tax imposed in Texas. We have no personal or company income tax. And as you know, bureaucracies have no morals other than protect and expand the bureaucracy. So these companies and government entities couldn’t give a damn about the rest of us. Lenin was on to something when he said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

          • Timothy Lane says:

            And sometimes the capitalists even loan them the money to buy the rope to hang them.

            One reason emigrants from Californistan are so willing to vote in the same sort of politicians who drove them out is that so much of politics today is cultural. And the rich can afford leftist economics.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      In addition to the change in demographics in Texas and the amount of money, Cruz did not run a good campaign.

      He was not campaigning in Texas until the second half of September. This was a mistake.

      He had virtually no yard signs out until October. The reason for this is that his campaign had determined that yard signs did not effect votes. This might be true in the specific, but is not true on the more general level. Yard signs work on the public subconsciously. Cruz’s name was not out there on a visual level. On the other hand, Beto signs were omnipresent across the state. In my town, Beto signs were already up by July ( maybe earlier) and there were lots of them. Sometimes the house owner would put two Beto signs up on opposite sides of the lawn to increase the effect. By the time the election had come around, everyone knew who Beto was. Cruz not having enough yard signs out was a big mistake.

      There are also other factors which hurt Cruz. For example, I believe his presidential run hurt him overall. Some thought he should have waited to serve a full-term as Senator, before running. Then his vicious fight with Trump damaged him. Trump’s nick-name “Lyin’ Ted” hurt him a lot. And while it is quite understandable that Cruz resented the lies Trump told about him, his wife and father, I know he hurt himself with many in the party because of his stance at the presidential convention. Instead of giving a speech and not endorsing Trump, he should never have given a speech and let things cool down over time.

      Then there are the physical things which should not be important, but are. Cruz should stop using Brylcreem. It makes him look like he is from the 1950s and a bit oily. He should try to lower his speaking tone. And although I don’t think he means to, he sometimes comes across as being snide in a way that is annoying. Trump is not so much snide as just bombastic and crude. This works better for Americans.

      So much for my analysis. I am sure Ted, and others, won’t pay any notice.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Timing of putting out signs (and bumper stickers) can be interesting. Steve Shadegg, in his memoir and study of campaign tactics, argued in favor of doing it late. (He was talking specifically about bumper stickers.) The idea was that when you something that has long been ubiquitous, you don’t really notice. But when you see something different, you do. Thus, his notion was to do them late, to earn a lot of notice close to the actual election.

        Shadegg’s point was that the campaign should read peak support on Election Day. Of course, early voting greatly alters this, since persuading someone who has already voted is meaningless.

        Whatever the reason, Anne Northup’s approach was to put out her signs around mid-October. I rather liked this (as someone who always had a Northup sign) because the signs interfered with (ugh) lawn-mowing. The less they were up the better. She tried to have all the signs go up on a single day. (Elizabeth and I became very familiar with this approach because we would do a precinct or two ourselves. That was all we could do because she used large signs, and they took up a lot of space in our car.)

        Of course, practices can change as the population does. Shadegg was Goldwater’s long-time Senate campaign manager, but he was dropped late in the 1980 campaign because they decided that his methods were no longer working.)

  3. Steve Lancaster says:

    I ran the numbers. If the 17th amendment had been repealed last year, using the current makeup of state legislatures and governorships. Where Gov and both state houses are Republican 2 senators, Gov and State houses Dem 2 senators or Mixed legislature and Gov 1 and 1. The count would be 61 GOP and 39 Dem. The current election would not have significantly changed anything.

    Not that it would ever happen, but it does give insight into the thinking of the founders.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Of course, what counts is who holds the legislature when the election is held — though there are possible shenanigans. After the Democrats lost control of the Indiana legislature in 1854, they didn’t vote for the Senate seat that came up that year until they regained the legislature 2 years later.

  4. pst4usa says:

    I would like to add, what I think is an uplifting true story to this mix. My wife and I moved to the left cost about 13 years ago from a congressional district in Arizona where Democrats did not bother to run very often, because when one was foolish enough to do so, they would waste a lot of time and money and get no more than 20% to 30% of the vote. But the need to breath overcame me and I moved to an area where we wash our air almost daily. Needless to say the politics here in the upper left coast are just slightly different than what we left.
    As you know I do not have the education that seems to permeate the crowd here at Stubborn Things, but I do have an overabundance of passion for this country and the things that made us great. So driving through the looking glass and into the land of freaks, where up is grapefruit and down is post-office; my wife and I decided that maybe we needed to do more than just vote. We got involved.
    Now, when we moved to Mason County Washington, there were a whopping total of one elected Republicans out of the 150 or so elected position. Republicans did not bother to run because there was no point, much like Dems where we lived down south. Well like my quote from Silent Cal, persistence is required and something I also have, (some call it stubbornness). So we jumped in with both feet.
    We started building teams, we started talking to people in the stores, in our neighborhoods, at the fairs, where ever we found them; and you know what, people responded. They would frequently say that they thought they were the only Republicans in the county. So sometimes we felt like the pied piper, and sometimes like the rats. But we just kept swimming and before you knew it, the water is not so bad, it was starting to clear up around here.
    Sandy and I were looking at the results from our local election and she said wow! I said wow what? She then explained to me that as of last night’s election we are down to a total of 6 elected Democrats in Mason County. Wow indeed. Now not all of the newly elected are Republicans, we have replaced some of the Dems with independents, but not too many, (maybe 3).
    I would like to take all the credit for this, but I cannot, it has been a growing number of people that are fighting for Republican values and principles. But persistence does pay off and just voting is not enough. Thanks for all you guys do. Keep up the fight and maybe just maybe this country can be saved.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Keep up the great work, Pat. Arizona lost a good one when you came to this state.

      • pst4usa says:

        Thanks Brad, but politically, I was just another voter, one of millions in AZ. Here I had to get involved and do something. The quote I go a lot comes from John Quincy Adams, and it goes like this. “Duty is ours, The results belong to God”. He was referring to his fight against the institution of Slavery, which beginnings proceeded him. My fight, our fight really, is only different in that we are fighting to prevent another form of slavery, Totalitarian Government.
        This fight is not new and has proceeded me and all of us, but if we do not continue to fight, we will as Reagan said, “…one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      As you know I do not have the education that seems to permeate the crowd here at Stubborn Things

      Pat,

      I can’t say that I have noticed some failing in your education. And by the way, I haven’t built a successful software company either.

      But since we are on the subject, one should never confuse degrees with education. If there was ever any doubt of this, all one has to do is have a look at the breakdown of voters for each party. The lying, hare-brained, pie-in-the-sky Dims always win the “college-educated” voters, whereas the Reps always win the “less-educated” voters. This tells me that many, many “college-educated” voters are brain-washed cut-outs and not terribly bright, certainly not as bright as they belief themselves to be. While the “less-educated” voters would appear to be securely tied to reality and learn from life that leftist lies are not to be believed.

      Thanks for putting in the hard ground work required to try and turn back the tide in the Upper-Blue Coast. I know it takes a huge amount of time and energy, with the character to accept a lot of set-backs.

      I believe Texas conservatives are going to have to ramp up their efforts to maintain their position here.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Nice progress there. Too bad we can’t replicate it here in Jefferson Country.

      As for education, it depends on what you mean. There is knowledge, which can come from many sources. (Barry Goldwater was something of an auto-didact, for example.) There is intelligence, which may have nothing to do with education (although it is possible to teach logical reasoning, assuming anyone still does that today). I know of no reason to believe you’re deficient in either respect.

      Then there is credentialism, in which what counts is degrees, licenses, titles, and such. The more of them you have, the more highly you regard them, which is no doubt one reason the Demagogues do well among the overly educated, and have for several decades now. It also helps that so many of them take up occupations such as social workers, lawyers, newsliars, etc. (The GOP traditionally did well among voters with more modest college credentials — such as my own BS in computer science. Of course, today many of these degrees really are BS, even if they’re often actually a BA rather than a BS.)

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Then there is credentialism

        I can’t say as I have heard it before, (or at least not recently) but I like that term. I have come to the conclusion that one of the main reasons “credentials” are so valued in modern bureaucracies is that by attaining said credentials those who have them demonstrate their willingness to put up with a huge amount of nonsense and to kowtow to authority, right or wrong. This characteristic of amoral persistence is perfect for modern systems.

      • pst4usa says:

        Well I just got off the phone with someone who wants to do the same thing in Jefferson County Washington, I do not know if that is the same Jefferson County or not. But we will start the process.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          There are a lot of counties named Jefferson (and I believe one parish in Louisiana). Mine, of course, is in Kentucky and is dominated by Louisville. Good luck there in Washington. If Kentucky could switch from Demagogue domination to GOP domination, maybe Washington can, too, despite Seattle.

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