I'm an Adventist and I'm a Republican

(system) #1

With this article, we introduce a new regular feature we call the Spectrum Roundtable. In it, we invite participants with differing viewpoints to address the same topic or question. In this first edition of the Roundtable, Tom Gessel and Michael Peabody discuss the political outgrowths of their Adventist faith. -Editor

When Spectrum asked me to participate in this Roundtable from a Republican perspective, I said, "Of course!" Now that I'm knee-deep into writing this, I've got to say that it's not as easy as it sounds. Like most people, I tend to see things in terms of issues and not from the perspective of one particular political party. I've always been somewhere in the middle - with conservatives thinking I'm too liberal and vice versa and I've grown to dislike general labels.

I'm used to making arguments in court where a judge will ultimately determine who is right, but in the world of politics there is no ultimate human arbiter of the correctness of a position, so I understand that perspectives can evolve over time. Since this essay is written in the year 2014, if you're coming in from the future and reading this, please feel free to ask future me what I think, or ask my grandchildren what they think I meant.

I like to think of myself as being politically tolerant. My wife is a Democrat who often cancels out my votes in the ballot box. I also believe that as Seventh-day Adventists we need to look past politics and see people as individual brothers and sisters, and that we need to try to solve issues together rather than engage in destructive political partisanship.

Successful political structures are a lot more about balance than power. The Founders of this nation called them "checks and balances." That means that more perspectives are on the table. The President of the United States doesn't call the shots alone--he has to go through the Legislature and the Judiciary to get things done.

If you have one political party in power controlling everything, it doesn't turn out well. Take my home state of California for example. As a Republican, I'm in the political minority here. You'd think that this place would be a utopia after so many years of Democrat rule. But surprisingly that isn't the case. People in California pay some of the highest taxes but we have some of the worst schools, legendarily bad traffic, a repellant business climate, and more people living in poverty than any other state. Last week, the left-leaning Sacramento Bee reported that 23.4 percent of Californians live in poverty using a method that measures income and the cost of living. The high taxes haven't done anything other than to make job creators leave the states, and labor unions have made it impossible to make government manageable.

It's true that Democrats seem to love taxes a lot more than Republicans, but so far higher taxes don't seem to equate to better living conditions. You can only tax people so much before they start getting nervous and lock down the finances that they have left. I've looked around and can't find any correlation between high taxes and a successful climate where people truly can achieve the American dream of buying a house and raising a family.

I've met people who have never met a tax increase that they don't embrace. But normally they aren't in a position where they are paying very much in taxes. Believe it or not there are people who don't pay taxes while getting tax "refunds" who still complain that the rich are not paying their "fair share." But let's think of it this way - if you're a little kid and you have two siblings and you have a single Pumpkin pie, you divide it into thirds. A third is your "fair share." During FY2013, the Federal government collected $2.77 trillion in tax revenue. That's the pie. At the same time, there were 316,148,990 U.S. Citizens per the U.S. Census. So you divide the tax pie by the number of citizens and you end up with $8,761.69. That's your fair share. If you paid more than that, then we thank you. If you didn't pay that much, don't complain.

The people who generate the money and hire people and buy stuff in this nation should be celebrated. They got rich and were able to provide their families with financial security. They deserve it because they took the risks and ended up succeeding. Many of them came to the United States with nothing as immigrants and spent years sacrificing so that they could finally live the American dream.

Most Democrats like the idea of the American dream but like to complain that it is not achievable. Republicans tend to take their lumps and move on. Democrats tend to embrace victimhood. The second somebody stops believing that they are a victim, of whatever circumstance, the left tends to distance themselves and claim that the achievement was not possible and that the person had some kind of "unfair advantage" or "cheated" in order to succeed.

A social program that works is not one that identifies victims and keeps them there. In fact the best way to help people is to help businesses create good, solid jobs that can hire people who can then contribute to the economy. It's necessary to have people working for the government, but government jobs simply absorb tax money and don't create wealth. But if you create wealth, then there is more tax revenue and more money flowing through the system. There is no social safety net as solid as an environment in which people want to do business.

In my single-party home state, manufacturers have left in droves and people have lost jobs. Most recently, the environmentally-friendly electric car manufacturer Tesla, which is based in California, decided to build its massive battery factory in the “red state” of Nevada because Nevada offered Tesla $1.3 billion in tax breaks. Business Insider magazine reports that the new $5 billion Tesla factory in Reno will add 6,500 jobs at the factory itself, with a total of 22,000 new jobs added because the factory will be there. In the past three years, 50 companies moved to the Reno area and unemployment in Reno was cut in half.

I’m a huge proponent of religious liberty and separation of church and state. As Ronald Reagan said, “There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”

If you look at examples of nations where there has been the least freedom, you’ll find that they had the most expansive governments. The most extreme examples are places like the Soviet Union and Cuba where the government took ownership of everything and denigrated private ownership. But even though leftist college students wear T-Shirts featuring Che Guevara and red communist star logos, the reality is that these were oppressive. During the 20th century, communists killed over 100 million people.

The United States has been founded on a principle that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights given by God, not a dispensation from the government. That means that they are part of who you are as part of your existence, and cannot be given and taken away from you at the will of other people.

It is interesting that where Democrats favor group rights (i.e. "power to the people"), Republicans tend to favor individual rights.

Mr. Gessel brings up an unfounded theory that someday Republicans are more likely than Democrats to bring about a National Sunday Law. Many Adventists can't get past the concept that the complete essence of religious liberty resolves around Sunday laws. In reality, religious freedom also includes freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and other freedoms which are currently under attack – today primarily from the left. In October attorneys for the mayor’s office in Houston, Texas subpoenaed presentations, text messages, and emails from five pastors to find out what they said. Other pastors have been threatened with fines or imprisonment for refusing to perform same-sex marriages which they believe violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

If you can't preach and act as you believe without fear of government interference or investigation, it begins to look a lot like religious persecution. This is where the real action is taking place in relgious liberty and, quite frankly, when it comes to these freedoms as a party, the Democrats are missing in action.

Granted, it is true that since the 1980s there has been an attempt by the religious right to use the Republican Party as a base of operations as a means to diminish the mutually protective wall of separation of church and state. But even the most conservative Republicans recognize that the state should not try to infringe on the free exercise rights of religious people by requiring them to act against the dictates of their conscience. It is of note that the strongest voices against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which requires the federal government to recognize the rights of conscience of individuals, come from the left who want the government to ignore individual rights of conscience and to treat everybody the same even if individual relgious freedoms are threatened.

Of course, I have some points of disagreement a few of my Republican friends who claims that America is now zipping around the drain because America “removed God” from public schools in the 1950s when school-mandated prayers and Bible readings were found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. To me, the idea that some public school teacher could be mandated to acurately and lovingly preach the gospel is ridiculous. The government can’t build a simple healthcare website. It can't handle religious instruction.

But the Republican party is a large tent. In fact, the Republican candidate who will face off against California Democrat Governor Jerry Brown in November, Neel Kashkari, is a practicing Hindu. Republicans chose him because they believe he is the best guy for the job.

Since Mr. Gessel brought it up, the issue of abortion is perplexing because the law and the debate are all over the place when it comes to defining whether a fetus is a human being or some other kind of creature. If you were to ask a random person to name a Supreme Court case, they could probably only name Roe v. Wade which was issued in 1973. But hardly any have read this decision, or thought about the linchpin of the decision. Justice Harry Blackmun cracked open the door for fetal human rights when he wrote, "The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.”

From slavery, to the Trail of Tears, to modern racism, the strategy of those who denigrate human rights has always been that those adversely affected are not humans. But people are awakening to what Justice Blackmun said, and this November, voters in Colorado, North Dakota, and Tennessee will have the opportunity to decide what it is when they vote on “personhood” amendments to their state constitutions.

The legal status of the unborn child is not as clear as most people think. There are glaring inconsistencies. For instance, if a person kills a fetus in California without the consent of the pregnant woman or for medical necessity, it considered murder under Penal Code section 187. This is why Scott Peterson was convicted for double-homicide when he killed his pregnant wife, Laci, in 2002. In Florida, a man was recently sentenced to 14 years in prison for murder when he tricked his pregnant girlfriend into taking abortion-causing drugs. These were charged as murders, not as property crimes.

With the advent of ultrasounds and advanced treatments for premature babies, the pro-choice lobby seems to have moved past the issue of whether it is a “tissue” or a “baby” and now argue, like Hillary Clinton, that abortion should be “legal, safe” and “rare.” In other words, there is tacit acknowledgment that a fetus is more than an unwanted tumor. As a society, we are on the cusp of a watershed moment where we will need to decide whether, as Justice Blackmun predicted, they are deserving of the rights of personhood. If we decide that they are people, but are not entitled to human rights, something will have forever changed in our collective psyches and engage in a culture of death? How how long will it be until those with expensive debilitating diseases or severe mental disabilities are similarly terminated? Will our lives have no meaning apart from the value that is placed on us by others? Will our rights be revocable rather than inalienable?

Adventists have avoided an honest discussion of abortion for many years, and while the church officially says that it does not “serve as a conscience for its members” on the topic of abortion, its position on jewelry is much clearer. If Jesus is indeed the “master physician” as the paintings in our hospitals say, then we need to come to grips with the question of whether He would guide the hands of an Adventist physician as he or she performs an elective abortion. Does Jesus love the unborn fetus facing incineration as much as the premature child of the same age clinging to life in an incubator?

On the issue of same-sex marriage, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that it will be recognized as a legal right nationwide. The issue is rather how people who disagree on religious or moral grounds will be required to relate to the emerging right to marry and most of the debates over accommodation of same-sex couples will still take place at the state level. One should not be compelled by the government to participate in a religious ceremony in violation of his or her conscience as this would violate the Establishment Clause.

On the issue of Voter ID, I still fail to see why there is so much resistance to the concept. People who don’t have identification are at a complete disadvantage throughout society, from being able to get a job, obtain bank accounts, rent a bicycle, or travel on a plane. If Democrats were serious about bringing people up from victimhood, they would be at the forefront in making sure that people are able to obtain identification so that they could participate in society. But again, this doesn't appear to be the case.

I don’t have time to get into the various scandals that Mr. Gessel identifies other than to say that every president has had his day from Watergate to Iran Contra to Whitewater and onward. What I will say is that President Obama has wisely avoided many of these scandals by spending his time on vacation, on golf courses, and not attending morning intelligence briefings. As Obama has often said, he has learned of these scandals by reading the newspaper, just like everybody else.

When it comes to politics, as Mr. Gessel points out, we are probably at a low point in political discourse. In the past it was a virtue for politicians to be able to work with each other across the aisle. But today it seems that both sides are being driven to the extremes and that the extremes are unwilling to interact with each other. Democrats are just as guilty of this as Republicans. The best way to get over this gridlock is being able to hold open and honest dialogue on these topics, and I would like to thank Spectrum for this opportunity.

Read Tom Gessel's article, "I'm a Democrat Because of My Adventist Faith."

Michael D. Peabody is an attorney in Los Angeles, California and editor of www.ReligiousLiberty.tv.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6359

(Peter Marks) #2

With this new Spectrum Roundtable, once again this blog is showing itself to be Ameri-centric. Please be aware of this!!

This week a former Australian Prime Minister, and real icon of the left, died. He was 98. He died early one morning and the media ran hot all day and night about him. It is said that his prime ministership divides Australian political history in two - before Edward Gough Whitlam and after him. He and his deputy were sworn in 3 days after the election and ruled as a duuverate with his deputy for 14 days holding all 27 Cabinet portfolios between them. He continued as Foreign Minister as well as Prime Minister for the next 11 months. He embarked on a whirlwind legislative agenda, the likes of which Australia has never seen. His government was mired in a sea of scandal. Gough only lasted 3 years in office and became the only Prime Minister of Australia ever to be sacked by our Australian Head of State, the Governor General.

He was a flamboyant, larger than life character with a wife to match him in most respects. (She insisted on having her own views).

I turned 18 the very day the money supply bills were voted down in Parliament, meaning that his government could no longer pay its public servants. Less than 2 months later I had the glorious duty of voting his government out of office.

(Jared Wright) #3

Thanks for the note. It would be interesting to hear from Aussies on the ways faith informs politics in that context too! This Roundtable format will feature a variety of perspectives on a wide range of topics in the future.

(Peter Marks) #4


Faith and politics in Australia?!

To the extent that faith has fashioned individual politicians, they are willing to talk about it and acknowledge its influence. Many of our Prime Minister’s from all points of the political spectrum come from deeply Christian roots.

Bob Hawke, a leading Australian trade unionist before becoming Labor Prime Minister in 1983 had a father who was a congregationalist minister. Wikipedia reports, "Hawke says, while attending the 1952 World Christian Youth Conference in India, “there were all these poverty stricken kids at the gate of this palatial place where we were feeding our face and I just had this struck by this enormous sense of irrelevance of religion to the needs of people”. He subsequently abandoned his Christian beliefs.[9] By the time he entered politics he was a self-described agnostic.[3] Hawke told Andrew Denton in 2008 that his father’s Christian faith continued to influence his outlook however: “[My father] said if you believe in the fatherhood of God you must necessarily believe in the brotherhood of man, it follows necessarily, and even though I left the church and was not religious, that truth remained with me.”

John Howard, leader of the Conservative coalition and Prime Minister from 1996 - 2007 had strong Methodist roots.

Edward Gough Whitlam had parents who were Baptist but from the upper middle class. Though he was the leader of the Labor Party and Prime Minister from 1972 till 1975, he was very early despised by many in the party because he didn’t have working class roots but was a silver tongued barrister. He also was from Protestant roots not from a Roman background like many leaders in the Labor movement. Gough once asked the Roman Archbishop of Sydney whether their might be space for him in the crypt of the cathedral. When the archbishop was surprised by the request, Gough assured him that he would only need the space for 3 days. On another occasion Gough blasphemously assured an inquirer that if he ever were to meet his Maker, he would treat him as an equal. With an ego like this, religion would appear to be superfulous.

Our current Prime Minister is a church-going Catholic, though his daughters are not. He was once a seminarian. He and several of his senior colleagues in government were high school students in Jesuit schools. He is opposed to same sex marriage, though most goverment members in the Australian Parliament are probably in support of it. At the present time the stance of the Australian government is to oppose same sex marriage and a conscience vote on the issue has been disallowed by their party. The Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament is also a good Catholic. Curiously, the Labor opposition allows a conscience vote on the issue.

In Australia, there are only two Adventist people that I know of, who have ever made it into the State Parliaments and none have ever made it into the Australian Parliament. Both of these have been members of the leftist Labor party. One of them was there for a very brief time after which he did not gain party endorsement for another term. One assumes that those in the party hierarchy imagined that they could do better. Presently, a loyal Adventist woman serves as a very effective local member of parliament for a very depressed area. She has held this seat for many years. It is one of the safest seats in any Australian Parliament. But she is set to retire early next year. For the last few years, she has been part of the shadow cabinet.

(Tom Loop) #5

Maybe the best thing if I don’t like something is just keep my mouth shut.
but I’ll open it long enough to say this. I don’t l;ike dividng our church into Democrats and Republicans. I think this is a mistake here. In partisan politics “come let us reason together” is going up in smoke. So why even bring this political dog fight into a religious forum like spectrum? there is enough division in the church. Next thing you know we’ll have Democrats sitting on the left side of the church and Republicans on the right side. An Independent won’t want to come near the place.


Interesting to note is, our last Prime Minister, Julia Gillard (an atheist) was against changing the definition of marriage to include same sex couples, and in the U.S they have a President, who claims to be a Christian, and has no problem doing so…figure that one out hehe.

I’ve come to learn very quickly in my short Christian life that when someone says their a Christian, it means nothing to me anymore. I’d sooner vote, and would, for an atheist with principles then a shifty politician who would quote scripture in a heart beat for one extra vote. Which sadly, there are all too many of.

(le vieux) #7

I will say the same thing that I said on the blog about being a Democrat because of one’s faith.

I refuse to belong to an political party because of my faith. To join them, means to endorse and be responsible for their policies. We have been given counsel about these things.

“The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these
themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come
into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in
the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for
we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part
in any political scheme.” Counsels for the Church, p. 316.

(George Tichy) #8

I don’t believe this discussion will divide the church more. The political divide already exists, people are either/or on politics anyway. I thing discussing these ideas more will actually help people to make a better, more educated decision about who they want in government considering the Christian proposal.

Sometimes I see people supporting political ideas that are completely the opposite to what Jesus taught, to what Christianism is about. But it seems those people are blind to those contradictory facts, and some discussion and deeper thinking may help them.

(George Tichy) #9

Therefore I am assuming that you don’t vote, right?
I hope so, otherwise it would be just an hypocritical position.

In Brazil voting is mandatory. If one misses voting and does not have a very convincing excuse, there are sure “grave consequences.” I didn’t like it, so when I came to US I liked the voluntary system. But after a while I realized that it’s much better to have it mandatory for all, it’s a civilian obligation for everyone.

The way it is here in the US keeps the door open for manipulation. Look what the Republicans are doing to obstruct voting. This is just crazy. I don’t know how any Christian could support such an infamous practice. But many do, and sleep well at night anyway…

Another absurdity is the electoral college system. How come the majority can vote one way but the so called democratic system allows the minority to win? This is in place with the same goal for which is was created: manipulation.

(Fabian) #10

The two party system is one more than a dictatorship. At the end of the day, both parties take money from large corporations who wish to destroy the environment and denigrate God’s Creation. We shouldn’t, as SDAs, vote for a party, we should vote for values and principles even if they are hard to come by. Michael’s most articulate explanation was on the topic of abortion. It made sense, from an Adventist perspective. However, on the economy, I’m struck at how most Republicans are idealistic and naive. Corporations and those who own the means of production don’t care about individual rights. They move to where there’s tax cuts because they can pocket a few more billions, it’s greed at it’s core and most governments are complicit. To suggest that those who control our economy are willing to let their wealth “trickle down” so that more money circulates is looking at the world through a child like prism. Profit is the ultimate goal of capitalism regardless of what state or country you operate in. Benefits, decent work hours, environmental safety, and other considerations are often overlooked by industrialists who use the government as a shield against the people. The money changers at the Temple had no interest in helping the community or the upkeep of the Temple. You may recall that this angered Jesus.

(le vieux) #11

Of course I vote. But one does not have to belong to a political party to vote. And one does not have to vote for any of the candidates. I vote on issues only. I don’t believe in choosing “the lesser of two evils.”

The idea that the Republicans are trying obstruct voting is ludicrous. One needs proper ID for all kinds of things. Voting, which is so important, and has been plagued with fraud in the past, is no different. If one is too poor to get an ID, the State can provide one.

My major problem with Republicans is that they are opposed to separation of church and state, and they fight gun control laws. I don’t think the second amendment was intended to allow every weapon known to man to be purchased by anybody and everybody, especially without some sort of background check.

I don’t have a problem with the electoral college. Without it States like Wyoming, New Hampshire, Montana, and Nevada would become irrelevant. It may not be perfect, but the Founding Fathers were trying to level the playing field a bit.

(Jared Wright) #12

Perhaps a valid takeaway from this first Roundtable discussion is that thoughtful, well-reasoned people in the Adventist Church can worship together while holding positions on both sides of the aisle. Much like the issue of women’s ordination. People can read the same Text and come to very different conclusions.

(George Tichy) #13

End of conversation for me.

(le vieux) #14

You don’t think one should be required to prove that they are the person they claim to be at the voting booth? One must do so to cash a check; open a bank account; get a driver’s license, etc., etc. What am I missing here?

(Rheticus) #15

Correct - taxing production or labor at the town or state or federal level simply makes it other places have an advantage. This is an obsolete way to get government income. It is why sales taxes and asset sales or leases are the right way to get govt income - those things can’t move.

Conversely providing welfare at the town or state level simply causes people who need it to move to where it is provided. Again this is an obsolete method for doing it. Welfare must come from the federal level, so that people will move to where it is cheapest to live.

Don’t forget you have to pay for your pre-earner and post-earner parts of your life, as well as your non-earner spouse’s share.

Inherited wealth has recently overtaken earned wealth at the high end. Furthermore much of that earned wealth is due to things like patents, roads, laws, and government not selling assets at their fair market value.

Do you have any data backing this generalization?

Wrong. There is no difference between a government run power generation company and a privately run power generation company, between a government run jail and a privately run jail, between a government run social welfare system and an insurance company run welfare system.

Given the voter behavior, it is clear that the R and D have about 50% of the voters each in their tent. The crowd in the D tent has few older white males.

That is because the biological status of the unborn child is not as clear as most people think

because it is an explicit attempt to disenfranchise those who have the most trouble getting an ID.

If R really want everyone to vote AND everyone to have an ID they would fund the process of getting everyone an ID before trying to make it necessary - especially since they have been singularly unable to show any significant level of voter fraud that the ID is supposedly aimed at stopping

What I will say is this is an example of the baseless and irrelevant attack ads the Republicans have been specializing in, instead of making concrete proposals to identify and fix the issues facing the nation.

(P Kevin Wells) #16

The morning of our last Presidential election, in the United States, I had a member of my church call me seeking counsel. They were greatly troubled by the choices before them for President. The candidates each had points they agreed with and each had points they disagreed with.
The member wanted me to provide them with some guidance about who they should vote for. My counsel was this. At the end of the day Caesar is going to do what Caesar does.
This may sound cynical but it has been my observation, through six presidential elections in which I have been old enough to vote, that Presidents and politicians rarely take and maintain principled positions on any issue. Many people are under the mistaken impression that we elect leaders. We do not. Because in a democracy officials are beholden to the electorate we elect the most sophisticated followers we can find.
They follow the polls that indicate what will most likely make their constituents happy. If they accidentally find themselves at odds with the voters they will usually attempt to some how spin the issue, if they really want it, or if they just can’t make any headway with the issue, they will distance themselves from it and attempt to persuade the voters their real position was some how misunderstood. Whatever the case may be vote for me come November because I’m better than the other guy.
Because of this I have taken the position that I will do my best to look at the major issues we are facing against our historic background and then vote for the politician who will do the least amount of damage in my opinion. Sometimes it’s a Democrat, sometimes Libertarian, and sometimes a Republican will get my vote (NOTE: I listed the major parties in alphabetical order, not preferential. I must confess that every now and then I’m tempted to search for someone in the Anarchist Party but that would be an oxymoronic candidate indeed:).
In short, pray, think, vote and be a good citizen regardless of who wins. Remember also that just because a candidate has any particular letter behind their name that they are not going to suddenly start walking on water.

(George Tichy) #17
  1. I do agree to proper identification.
  2. The intent and the target of Republicans is not legit, it’s been more than proven that they are not concerned with fraud (which is basically insignificant anyway) but they target minorities known to vote Democratic.
  3. The country’s voting tradition has been flawed for ages, fixing it fairly requires a due process and not some laws that just wipe out thousands of voters for obvious reasons.
  4. Why do Republicans need to keep redistricting some regions so that they can win?
  5. I support a National ID that would actually eliminate this problem in the future. My Brazilian ID is national, and my Brazilian DL (a separate document) is valid in all national territory even if I move from one state to another (Don’t have to get a new one every time - which is crazy!). I expect a first world country to be better than any “developing country” in this respect.
  6. If one does not discern the clear Republican intent in all the electoral maneuvers… than there is nothing than can be done. That person will just keep finding excuses to disguise the visible, clear, and often publicly declared intent.
  7. What was, again, the State where the governor said it publicly that the voting rules were changed so that Romney could win? Anyone denying that???

(le vieux) #18

Maybe you haven’t noticed that both parties do it whenever and wherever they can. It’s called gerrymandering, and I think it should be illegal–period.

But this is only one example of why I refuse to align myself with either party–they are both corrupt and are not really interested in fixing the country’s problems, only in getting re-elected. Nice salary; good pension; first class health insurance; what more could one ask for?

OK, so I’m a cynic. :slight_smile:

(Sirje) #19

Seriously, George. Do you really think anyone who finds his way into the country should be able to control how this country operates? Why have any borders or requirements for citizenship at all? What does citizenship even mean when anyone can come across the border, and just glide into the culture with the same rights and privileges as those who are born here; and even more, those who have gone through the scrutiny of immigration procedures, to have the right to be counted among the citizenry. How can anyone who can’t read English be able to make an intelligent decision at the voting booth. The same crowd who would permit anyone without proper ID to vote, possibly multiple times, also is happy to pass out drivers’ licenses to folk who can’t read road signs and regulations.

Either the US is a sovereign nation with actual borders and a citizenry that understands and respects its laws; or just a dumping ground for anyone looking for a handout, some call “opportunity”. You want to help people escape poverty -set up a process that can accommodate the crowds without putting everybody else in the country at risk.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #20

your illustration doesn’t hold water, Remember the Reagan years and recently that German muscle man. The poverty issue is influx from South of the border and the East. At best hourly wages are pegged to the crops. There more off season than on. Tom Z