By Dr. Mark Creech
One very hot day during the month of July a lion and a boar went to a pool of water for a drink. “Step aside,” said the boar to the lion, “I was here first.”
“I showed you where to find the water,” the lion replied angrily. “I should be the first to drink.” Swiftly the disagreement escalated from a verbal confrontation and the two started to attack each other with ferocity.
A few minutes later, stopping to catch their breath, they both saw a band of vultures soaring round and round above them, waiting for one of them to be killed. The sight so sobered them that they quickly made peace, saying, “If we continue to fight, the only winner will be the vultures.”
Although I have always been careful not to wade into partisan infightings, the calling of my pastoral office, as well as Christ’s command to be a peacemaker, moves me to issue a warning to many of my conservative friends in the NCGOP. If you continue to fight with each other, the only winner will be the vultures.
The budget battle between the NC House and Senate ought to be resolved quickly this session. Granted, the NC General Assembly has already approved a biennium budget and the purpose of the short session is simply to make adjustments to it based on its performance the previous year. Nevertheless, a biased Press has refused to provide the first kind word about the Republican majority since they took office. Day after day, liberal think tanks, organizations and political blogs hound their every effort with unjust criticisms. Republicans may essentially agree on fiscal ideology, but their inability to resolve their differences on methodology and prioritization of state responsibilities will leave them wide-open for the worst kind of disparagement from these sources – a criticism laden with a proposition of doubt that could have a devastating impact on public opinion – one that asks the question – can the Republicans govern? Can they even agree over a central tenant to their own plank – the state’s budget?
Certainly Democrats, when they were in power, had similar issues. But now, after 140 years of Democratic leadership, the Republicans have supermajorities and a Republican Governor at the helm. If they cannot prove themselves with such favorable circumstances, the public’s confidence will most surely be shaken. This is their moment and they must get it right.
The bickering, finger-pointing, and gamesmanship needs to end. GOP lawmakers in both chambers must focus on what’s really at stake – the lives and future of nearly 10 million people living in North Carolina.
Recently, I also came across discontented conservatives who say they would rather see Democrat Kay Hagan win the U.S. Senate race than a Republican like Thom Tillis. One fellow is seen on a Youtube video burning his voter registration as an NC Republican and encouraging others of the party to do the same, arguing that under leaders like Tillis, Republicans are no different than Democrats. He advocates that Republicans like himself should vote for Kay Hagan to save the efforts of his own political persuasion. Then there are those advocating on behalf of a write-in candidate as an alternative to Tillis.
Seriously? Such politics could only be played out in the theatre of the absurd.
Some within the party need to understand that for those who choose to engage in the political process, very few ever get everything they want. Politics is about building a consensus of thought. This involves the necessity of making some compromises, accepting candidates with whom one may not be fully on board, but is closer to the desired position. It means in certain legislative matters that consenting to a glass of water half full is often preferable to getting a glass with no water at all.
This is not the same as abandoning one’s principles. In fact, it requires something altogether difficult and even more challenging. It requires working with others as much as possible, while continuing the relentless and persevering grind of civil discourse that seeks to reform opinion until there is enough agreement to remove what is culturally detrimental and replace it with something positive.
Let me be abundantly clear. A vote for Kay Hagan is a vote for socialistic big government, abortion rights, the redefinition of marriage, and the dismantling of religious liberty, not to mention a host of other bad policies.
Hagan encouraged voters to defeat the constitutional marriage amendment that today protects marriage as one man and one woman in the Tar Heel state. She has staunchly opposed anything pro-life. She voted for Obamacare, ENDA, and legislation to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision that protects religious freedom.
Why any self-respecting conservative, for any reason whatsoever, would ever vote for Kay Hagan over Thom Tillis, is outside the bounds of good judgment. To vote for Hagan would do nothing to save the conservative cause; it would likely only set it back for a generation or more. Furthermore, to vote for a write-in candidate is to throw votes to Hagan and those who oppose essentially everything conservatives believe.
Democrats and liberals who may be offended at my use of the word “vultures” need not take my remarks personally. Still, the word is meant to symbolically describe a political system of belief unrelated to the beauty and splendor of those principles represented in our nation’s grand Eagle of Liberty.
Republican infighting needs to cease. That translates into some being less boarish, while others quit being so lionesque. Jesus set the standard when he said, “And whosoever would be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister…” (Matthew 20:27, 28).
This is the time for every Republican to rally around the greater cause. It’s the time for all to stand with those who won the right to lead. If the conflict within continues, the only winner will be the vultures.