So we’ve looked at why we vote and what type of person deserves our vote. In this third part, let’s see if God has anything to say about the size of government.
As Moses was learning to govern his people by delegating to others, God instructed him on dividing the leadership into smaller groups. We have those same principles in our state governments, further divided into counties and cities, and even school districts and community associations. That God did not intend one person or one massive government to have power over the people is reinforced by these words of Moses:
Deuteronomy 1: 15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you – as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials. 17b Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.
Look for leaders who uphold states rights. The Constitution gave certain authority to the federal government, but Amendment X states that in all other matters, including those not mentioned, the states retain the right to govern themselves. Recent examples of issues in which the federal government has legislated without having constitutional authority to do so include education and gay marriage. These matters belong in the states. Why? Because the power to control education and define marriage was not granted in our Constitution. Therefore, it belongs to the states.
So why not just let the federal government make all our laws?
The problem with big government is that it’s easy to make laws and create departments, but it’s very hard to close them down. When government fails at a particular mission, like, say, to provide health care to America’s Veteran’s and do it according to a mission statement and core values, the big-government solution is always more government!
In other words, when a government department is failing to the point that people are getting hurt, then the way to fix it is to throw more money at it. The usual result is that failure continues, but on a larger scale. An over-sized Government is a self-propelled lawn mower that can’t get out of its own way.
We cannot expect a massive federal government to meet the needs of every American and do it well. Our country is diverse and our needs and expectations are different, from the populated coastal cities to the wide open spaces of the Heartland, each state has a different view of how they want to be governed.
There is no better reason for a strong state government and limited federal power. We need political involvement at home where it really counts. Sadly, too many state governments are eager to turn over their decision-making to the federal government in exchange for cash. The quickest way to give up your control over a part of your life, whether it’s your retirement plan, highway system or the educational system in your state, is to accept money from the federal government.
At the Iowa Caucus 2016, a candidate who promised to end corn subsidies won the vote. I didn’t believe that Iowa would ever vote for a candidate that threatened such a thing, so how did he change their minds? He did it by showing the people of Iowa how getting EPA regulations out of the way will actually increase the market share of ethanol by 60 percent.
Taking government out of the equation doesn’t spell doom for ethanol. To the contrary, it allows the market to decide. Rather than the government picking and choosing what types of fuel we are allowed, we decide by the types of cars and fuels we buy. The people of Iowa saw the benefit of removing government control when they took the time to listen and understand rather than reacting to the broad and vague promises void of details that we usually get during election season. We shouldn’t be afraid to get government out of our way.
Our history is of a strong and independent American spirit that was afraid of government taking away our freedoms and our rights, which includes our right to try and possibly to fail.
I’m not sure when we decided that government owed us success and happiness. What we need to relearn is that if we want to preserve our state’s rights and govern ourselves, then we also keep the right to fail. Some states are not going to make it. They are going to fail financially (New York, California). They are going to fail to provide their people with clean drinking water (Flint, MI) or overstep their bounds by taking something that doesn’t belong to them. It is up to the people of each state to step in and fix what they believe is broken. Or not. It’s their choice.
When the federal government is not working, making a change is like trying to move the iceberg out of the path of the Titanic. True, letting the smaller “state government” drive the ship didn’t work out so well for the people on the Titanic, but that’s a different topic. My point is that generally it is easier to steer a ship than redirect a massive iceberg. It’s easier to make changes at the state level than to try to fix a massive government program that is eating its people alive.
Fine. Now just tell me who to vote for!!!
We can look at voting guides put out by Christian organizations. Wallbuilders.com is my choice for a trusted source. They monitor the voting records of incumbents and let you know who has a history of leading with Christian values, but that doesn’t help when someone is new to the political arena.
Public figures like Donald Trump have plenty of history with the media to help us discern the true nature of their character, but others may not. It boils down to taking the time to listen to a candidate for yourself. You cannot believe what the media says about a person. You cannot believe what the other candidates say about a person. You need to hear them speak and there are plenty of sources.
Watch videos at youtube.com: Nearly every speaking engagement is available on the internet. If you can’t find them, look on the candidate websites for links.
Read a book: Candidates spill their guts in their autobiographies, often written years before they entered politics. They are a goldmine of information for those willing to dig. Read Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” and see if he’s the type of person we should have put into office. It was there on the bookshelf well before the 2008 election.
Share information with others. We’re busy and time is an investment. Share what you’ve learned with people in your network, especially other Christians.
Our country is in a desperate place right now. There is a good chance that Americans will elect an individual that will take us further down our current path toward socialism. Some may make a vote in that direction because they really believe that a big government can meet every need if we just give them enough. Enough what? Enough money in the form of taxes; enough power in the form of our rights that we hand over to them.
This next election just might show that there are enough people who believe that a socialist government will take care of everyone equally. If a socialist government is able to do that, not only will it be the first time in history, it will prove Jesus wrong when He said, “You will always have the poor among you” (John 12:8).
Even though we each vote our own conscience, we can unite over basic values and principles, live them out in our own lives, and then demand that our politicians do the same. In the end though, it is not up to us. Even with our vote, we do not have the power to fix our country. Only God can do that and only if it is according to His plan. We can only humble ourselves, look to Him, be the people we want our leaders to be, and pray.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14