Shocked. Truly shocked. That social conservatives are not monolithically endorsing just one Republican candidate. This article in the WaPo, which appears typical for the liberal media, tells the entire tale in its headline: “Consensus Lacking in GOP Endorsements — Evangelical Vote Still Appears Divided.”
Prompting the article is the surprising, some might say shocking, endorsement of Rudy Giuliani by Pat Robertson. From the WaPo:
Pat Robertson, the television evangelist who founded the Christian Coalition and once ran for president himself, threw his support behind former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, saying the “overriding issue” in the race is defending against the “bloodlust of Islamic terrorists” and calling abortion “only one issue” of importance.
Although I’ve little regard for Robertson, who seems more adept at engaging his mouth before he consults his brain, I believe what he said has merit. We are in an existential war against Islamic terrorists, who are supported at least tacitly by a majority of their co-religionists. So, the first test for any candidate to become commander-in-chief should be, “how tough will he be in our global war against Islamic terror?”
But aren’t abortion and the other so-called social issues important? Of course they are, as are economic policy, free trade, immigration enforcement, and a host of other important issues.
The key word is “existential.” As in, Islam on the march poses an existential threat to the West. Those other issues will not mean much if we have to surrender all our freedom to pursue those choices under a world-wide caliphate. Which, make no mistake, is the ultimate long-term goal for Islam.
Then there is the legitimate question of just how “liberal” Rudy Giuliani really is. As a New Yorker, I’ve paid some attention to Rudy for over 20 years, from his days as a lean, mean, prosecuting attorney for New York. He made some mistakes, doozies. But overall, while we may argue from sunup to sundown about Rudy Giuliani’s social conservative bona fides, there can be absolutely no doubt that he will be more conservative on all issues that actually matter than any Democrat now running.
From a secular perspective, Rudy may be the best answer to defeating the Democrat in next year’s election. At least if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. Rudy’s going to be tough to beat in that knife fight. But from a Christian perspective, perhaps we have to simply acknowledge that all candidates are sinners, and no matter what they promise, they will be fail to live up to what we expect of them.
Rudy Giuliani, as mayor, showed he was tough on crime, but soft on abortion and homosexuality. What we also must acknowledge is that Rudy did a magnificent job of improving living conditions in New York City. A social conservative who became mayor could not have done better than Rudy did, given the realities of how government actually works.
Purity is no substitute for action; Rudy got action. The open question is how well someone like Rudy Giuliani could work on a national scale.
As Christians, and as Americans, we need to recognize that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. But that we are expected to do the best we can while we are in this world. Rudy Giuliani would be better than Hillary, or any other Democrat now running. But the same sentence would work just as well with any of the top-tier Republicans names in place of Rudy’s.
The message? Purity is a great concept. In politics, compromise is sometimes necessary to achieve a better outcome.