By David Tulis
The balloting in Chattanooga gives occasion for thankful celebration that the people of God and of good sense had sufficient votes to overturn domestic partner benefits by roughly 13,700 to 8,200.
But elsewhere there was much about which to complain, particularly about conservatives and people of a free market persuasion who chose establishment candidates. A strong tea party-oriented federal candidate, Joe Carr, failed to oust Sen. Lamar Alexander. Mr. Carr led a field of challengers and got roughly 266,000 votes. Altogether, opponents of Sen. Lamar pulled 330,000 votes, about 4,000 more votes than Mr. Alexander received. In other words, more people voted against the incumbent than for him in the primary.
Engineer Tommy Crangle pulled about 4,100 votes compared to 5,600 won by the establishment opponent, Patsy Hazlewood. “Both Hazlewood and Crangle ran on conservative platforms,” reports the Times Free Press. “But Crangle *** took a more extreme approach to state issues” by opposing Common Core and trying to kill the state income tax.
I don’t quote this remark in the newspaper to suggest its superficial treatment and its subtle bias for the statist quo was a controlling factor. Insofar as the Times Free Press has influence on the public mind, its disregard of one candidate may have helped defeat her. The newspaper largely ignored a write-in effort by Rhonda Thurman, a feisty member of the school board who ran against an establishment Republican, Randy Fairbanks. The newspaper planned a run a major feature story about Mrs. Thurman three days AFTER the election.
Mr. Fairbanks got 3,400 votes, Mrs. Thurman 1,700. Her supporters were repeatedly urged to remember the protocol for the write-in candidate. One must fill in the dot and also write in the name of their candidate. I am told that in coverage of that county commission race she was ignored by the Times Free Press, led by a women newsroom bosses, Allison Gerber and Chris Vass. The storyline of Mrs. Thurman, a plain-spoken and popular maverick female conservative, was simply not convincing.
Lana Sutton, who oversees Chattanooga News & Review on Facebook, was distraught that in the election the majority refused to vote — refused, I would suggest, to give consent..
“It’s disappointing that out of 206,044 eligible voters, only 53,685 bothered to take part in the August elections,” she says. “We can’t make appreciable change in how our government works until people realize a democratic, representative republic — that they don’t participate in — will certainly give way to an undemocratic, unrepresentative fascist state. It already has, and is getting worse. Our wealth and resources are being sucked into the upper strata of society at a blinding rate by the representatives that Big $ installs to rig our government for their benefit, and to exploit us.”
This comment gets a little heated in its denouement, but Miss Sutton touches on a point that both free market and classical liberals can make in unison with progressives and pro-state liberals such as that editor.
Christianity’s weak showing
I thank God that He gave victory to the parties defending marriage as against those who equate marriage to live-in and love-in domestic partnerships.
The overturned ordinance was unconstitutional, a private inurement to unmarried sexual partners and discriminated against marriage. Marriage is a standard in law and in public policy, as it is marriage (not war, as Randolph Bourne argues) that is the health of the state. But the small numbers of people who went to the polls to overturn it is striking. Only 13,000 voters. Why not 25,000 or 32,000? Why did not more practicing Christians take part in the overthrow? The blame for the low numbers on the most important item on the ballot goes to that great weakness in Christianity in the United States. Namely, its pietism, its privatization of the faith so that its relevance is to nothing in the larger world, but only to one’s inner and private life. Insofar as it rejects God’s law in its antionomianism, Christianity in Chattanooga has little way to connect the claims of God with the vitals of the world — capital, free markets, government, law and the structures of society, among which marriage is key. Another reason: It’s negative view of the future and its vision of the purported sovereignty of Satan.
Christians should understand that politics is a dying god. Since the rise of the nation-state (roughly 1789) it has brought virtually every area of human existence into state control, hence politicizing everything, ranging from calorie intake to classroom labeling and immunizations. Low voter turnout can be attributed to politics’ loss of status among the people, its exhaustion in the minds of ordinary people as a rational act.
Ordinarily the editorial scolds in the daily press say, “You didn’t vote, so you don’t have a right to complain.”
Maybe they really do represent us
Our free market analysis is exactly the reverse. You voted, so you have no right to complain.
The problem with taking part in the voting franchise is that it makes people who vote responsible for the actions of government, whether they be wars, illegal surveillance, regulatory harassment, illicit taxation and prosecutorial abuses of the innocent. The blame for these crimes flows back to voters through the concept of conservatership and the doctrine of clean hands.
A conservator is an official given charge with the protection of something affecting the public interest. Chuck Fleischmann and Patsy Hazlewood represent the interests of every person in their voting districts.
As Hans Sherrer points out, “lawful authority for the winning candidate to act as a representative of the people for their particular office is derived from the people who voted both for and against him or her. The percentage of voters is irrelevant.” By voting we give consent to the system as it is — the one Lana Sutton identifies. By voting, a man affirms the authority of the state and its use of power against (on behalf of, I should say) the family, the enterprise, the church and against economy. “Persons empowered to act by voters,” Mr. Sherrer says, “from the mayor of a small hamlet to the president of the U.S. – can and do engage in, or authorize others to engage in activities that would land John or Jane citizen in jail or prison if he or she did the same thing, or those illegal activities are conducted under the auspices of their office’s authority for which the elected person bears responsibility.”
Clean hands are a biblical concept. “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?” The Psalmist asks. “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3, 4). At law, one whose hands are clean can accuse another. One with fouled mitts cannot complain of the dirt on the hands of another.
People who vote, then, lack clean hands by which they have liberty to complain — of unpayable government debt, violations of the constitution, foreign interventions, inflation, bloody police departments and federal blacklists that contain 1.5 million names. For the voters, ostensibly, are these acts performed and programs put into operation. Voters are the principal, the government the agent. Fault always flows to the principal.
Joe Carr wanted to be a man in the U.S. senate who would be shouting to the captain on his bridge that the thunderous roar ahead and the bank of mist suggest a waterfall toward which the ship glides. Voters favored Lamar Alexander, who is happy to let the vessel steam midstream. Had he won, Mr. Carr might have gotten the boat 100 feet closer to shore, to make it easier to pull over once everyone realizes a cataract is just ahead. But as the day of reckoning closes in on the U.S., it makes little difference that a lesser man retains his senate seat. As voters, we are to blame for everything that has been done in Washington, D.C., whose orators we have had a hand in selecting. The election winner will bring us what we deserve.
Source. Hans Sherrer, Aug. 5, 2014,“Voters are accessories to murder and other crimes,” Forejustice.org.