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Idealists vs. Pragmatists

Pat Robertson’s recent endorsement of Rudy Guliani has accentuated a long running struggle in Washington – indeed, in the hearts of all men – between idealism and pragmatism.

Idealists are those who will hold to the purity of an idea at all costs. Pragmatists are those willing to compromise on nearly any point if it means some measure of progress.

Robertson’s endorsement was a clearly pragmatic move. Rudy is wrong on all the points that matter and half the ones that don’t, but he’s looking like a front runner. Petrified of a third Clinton term, Robertson apparently decided he’d best lend his support to the only person who he thinks might beat her.

My guess is his endorsement isn’t a vote for Rudy, it’s a vote against Hillary. It’s purely pragmatic. It also is a dark mark on evangelical Christianity.

Today, CNN’s Roland S. Martin wrote:

Evangelicals cursed and screamed when President Clinton had an affair in the White House, but it’s clear they are willing to overlook the past marital failures of Giuliani, his fractured relationship with his children and his support for gay and abortion rights when mayor of New York. Those are not the family values they have beaten into the nation’s consciousness for nearly 30 years.

This isn’t the Rapture when Christians say Jesus will return to Earth, but it is the day of reckoning for conservative evangelicals. Will they abide by their faith and absolute opposition to abortion and homosexuality being first and foremost, or bend to the will of the party?

For years I have maintained that the focus of evangelicals was never really principles of the faith but the Republican Party. By aligning themselves with the GOP, they’ve put themselves in this position.


Robertson’s pragmatism has put him in the distasteful position of endorsing a candidate who stands squarely against him on the issues that Robertson would lecture the nation on – gay rights, abortion, etc. With this endorsement, does Robertson have any moral authority with which to speak on this issues?

Electing Hillary is not the worst thing that could happen to the church. Surrendering our ideals on the altar of political expediency is.

Ted Kennedy is a pragmatist – he’s Capitol Hill’s host of Let’s Make a Deal. John Quincy Adams was an idealist – whose refusal to keep quiet about the evils of slavery nearly cost him everything. At the end of the day, when your grandkids are looking up at you, who would you rather be?

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6 Responses

  1. Have you checked out Duncan Hunter? I know little about him, but friends in Calif. seem to tout him as a viable candidate.

  2. Well considered, well said. Say On.

  3. well spoken

  4. I like it.

    I’m not so sure that this race will be between just HC and RG though. I’m preparing to be surprised this year.

    I’m also looking forward to you coming to Vineyard Westside this weekend.

    Keep it up.

    Love Wins,
    Ryan

  5. Ryan – I’m with you. It ain’t over. Oh praise God it ain’t over.

  6. There are many good canidates out there. Unfortunately the American dollar, I mean people, will only choose between those with huge pocketbooks and no real morals, just those of their constiuents of the moment.

    I sometimes wonder if sitting back and watching it all play out is better than voting for the lesser of two evils. When you sit back and watch you can hoestly say you had nothing to do with the mess that follows, but when you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil.

    Sorry, cold medicine and idealism collided here…Hack hack!

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