Supporting the Republican, even if it’s Trump?

In Thursday’s debate, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich all ripped into Donald Trump.  But then, in response to a question, they all agreed that if he gets the Republican nomination, they would support him.

That made me lose respect for all of these candidates.  If their criticisms of Trump are true–that he is a genuinely bad man and would make a terrible president–how could they ever support him?

Since when should loyalty to a political party trump (sorry) loyalty to one’s country?  Or to one’s principles?

I suppose they felt bound by their pledge in the very first debate to support the eventual nominee, which everyone but Trump–who was at the time a very unlikely winner–agreed to!  But still, as it says somewhere in the Lutheran confessions, immoral vows are not binding.

I stand with Ben Sasse on this issue.  (Read his open letter on why he would rather break from the Republican party than support a Trump candidacy.)  What about you? [Read more…]

Ben Sasse calls out Trump on the adultery issue

Sen. Ben Sasse (R, Neb) has called out Donald Trump for all of his bragging about his sexual exploits, including adultery with married women.  He asked him, in a stream of questions on Twitter:

You brag abt many affairs w/ married women. Have you repented? To harmed children & spouses? Do you think it matters?

Sen. Sasse–a fellow Lutheran whom I know personally–is raising an issue that Christian supporters of Trump like Rev. Jerry Falwell, Jr., have been steering clear of.  Why is that, do you think?  Doesn’t that sort of thing matter to Christians anymore?

Having set aside the requirements of being a Christian and being a conservative, many of our Christian activists are now also setting aside the requirement of good character.  So what is left for a distinctly Christian political activism to support?  Has being against immigration become the new single-issue voting criterion, replacing opposition to abortion? [Read more…]

The epic cybersecurity fail

A hacker–probably connected to the Chinese government–has hacked into the databases of the Office of Personnel Management, stealing personal records on some 21 million federal employees.  The stolen information includes the results of security clearances, as well as coercion material on people with security clearances, meaning that this is an intelligence disaster.  Nebraska freshman Senator Ben Sasse, perhaps my highest-ranking personal acquaintance, has written perceptively about this in Wired Magazine, no less.  Excerpt and link after the jump.

(HT to Anthony Sacramone, whom you should also read on the subject.) [Read more…]

Airport insecurity

In a recent test of airport security measures, 70 attempts were made to smuggle weapons and explosives past TSA checkpoints.  67 got through, a failure rate of 96%.

Apparently, the details from the classified report are worse than that.  Freshman Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb)–the only politician I know personally–is taking up the cause.  He wrote an op-ed piece for USA Today on the problem. [Read more…]

Friend in the Senate

My friend Ben Sasse whom I’ve blogged about, won the Republican primary race for Senate in Nebraska.  Observers are saying he will be a shoo-in for election.  Pundits are calling this a “Tea Party” victory, but Ben is nothing like the angry-rabble of the stereotype.  He’s a scholar of public policy, the president of Midland University, and a former White House official.  (And, of interest to this blog, he is a Lutheran.)

Molly Ball, writing about Ben’s victory in the Atlantic, comments about the way the media keeps trying to make the elections fit the Procrustean bed of “Tea Party” vs. “Establishment.”  In reality, she points out, the best candidate tends to win against “rank incompetents” no matter who endorses them.  She calls Ben a “fusion” candidate that may be a herald of the future. [Read more…]

Move the nation’s capital to Nebraska

We talk about politics here at the Cranach blog, being careful to keep the two kingdoms distinguished, but we don’t do politicking, in the sense of agitating for one candidate or another.   But I wanted to show you this campaign video as a virtuoso example of the genre.

Ben Sasse is running for the senate in Nebraska.  I have known him personally for a long time in different capacities, and he’s a good guy.  He’s a Lutheran, and I’ve worshiped with him at  Immanuel in Alexandria, where he attended when he lived in the D.C. area.

I know at least one of you will cringe at the exaltation of rural midwestern values, and I admit that some of the conventions of the genre–brilliantly realized in this video–can get kind of cheesy (the waving flags, the obligatory interview with the wife and kids, etc.).  But Ben presents himself ridiculously well.   As for his signature issue here, I am pretty sure he is (mostly) being ironic and metaphorical, but he’s got himself a clever slogan, one that voters will remember and that sets him apart from the pack in the Republican primary.

We are certainly not endorsing him, knowing nothing of his competition or of the issues in the state of Nebraska.  But you’ve got to see this video, after the jump. [Read more…]


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