OK, it’s time to take off the gloves. It’s too late for politeness, “political correctness,” consideration of anybody’s feelings – except for the deep feeling we all share, I hope: an intense desire to save our beloved nation from chaos, deeper division and eventual dissolution.

This is not an appeal to support one candidate or the other.

Let’s face it, about 70 percent of eligible voters don’t want either one. Too many are stating publicly they won’t even vote,or they’ll write in someone who doesn’t have a chance, just on “principle.”

Millions are too young to remember when, soon after President Kennedy was assassinated, a controversial Arizona senator challenged Kennedy’s vice president, Lyndon Johnson, for the presidency. Johnson was quite liberal, but the American public was sympathetic to the tremendous burden thrust on him by the shocking murder of our leader. Barry Goldwater, on the other hand, was the darling of conservatives, a real “cowboy” who talked tough and vowed to confront Russia and our other enemies. His famous quote at the time was “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

The campaign was very tense, and like today, accusations of the other’s inadequacies flew like a snowstorm. Though many knew Goldwater was an experienced, principled and strong man, Johnson’s campaign pictured him as a trigger-happy, inflexible and dangerous ideologue. As the pre-election polls were showing, a young Ronald Reagan said the following:

“They want to make you and I believe that this is a contest between two men … that we are to choose just between two personalities. Well, what of this man that they would destroy?

“And in destroying, they would destroy that which he represents, the ideas that you and I hold dear.” (Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing”)

My friend Ronald Reagan (and he was, before he ever became governor of California) was doing what he was so skilled at doing – pinpointing the real issue at hand, the basis on which the critical decision needed to be made.

And following his example, that’s what I want to do now.

We’re caught in a terrible impasse, a choice we must make between a woman who wants to be commander in chief and leader of the free world, a woman who polls show over 60 percent of other women believe to be untrustworthy and untruthful – and a man who never held public office and who has a penchant for fiery outbursts of accusations, name calling, bragging promises and flimsy outlines of impossible-sounding programs.

America’s future hangs in the balance. What in God’s name are we to do?

I’ll come back to God in just a minute. Meanwhile, here’s my urgent suggestion: I don’t care if the two candidates were Attila the Hun and PeeWee Herman – we need to forget the candidates and vote the platforms!

Under our blessed Constitution, there is a separation of powers, by the founders’ deliberate design. The person who occupies the White House does wield power and influence, of course, but the Congress has equal power, including the power to unfund or outright deny the president decisions he or she wants to force on the people. And the Judicial Branch can declare irrational decisions by a president unconstitutional.

And – extremely important – the person we elect is virtually compelled to follow up on the promises of his or her platform, and do for the people who elected him or her what he or she said they would do! And the “loyal opposition” in Congress and the rest of government will hold feet to the fire when the wishes of the citizenry are not being respected.

To a remarkable extent, the occupant of the Oval Office, like the one who’s been there the last eight years, can be held in check even if he wants to “fundamentally transform America.” Barack Obama, who has never respected the members of Congress or wanted to negotiate and reason from a position of equal power, has taken way too many “executive decisions,” creating 33 new regulatory agencies and appointed “czars” over them, reporting only to him and not to Congress, corrupting the very process of our historic government! But if those members had the backbone to exercise the authority given them by the Constitution, he could never have gotten away with that outright usurpation of unwarranted power.

And Congress still has that constitutional power! The Senate and House can still force a president to toe the line and do most of what the platform promised he or she would do.

So – if you want 600,000 unvetted Syrians to move in, see another trillion dollars a year added to our national debt, have an ultra-liberal Supreme Court unravel the very moral fiber of our biblical foundations (Hillary’s pronouncement last year to a women’s conference that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed”) and head America toward a socialist, eventual communist one-world government, by all means, vote the Democratic platform. And then we’ll have a one-party system.

But if you want our country to be more secure in this vile and violent world, with a stronger military, a solvent economy, a Congress still adhering to our Constitution, an enduring emphasis on the rights and beliefs of the individual instead of a Big Brother, all-powerful government – you have to vote the Republican platform. And try to preserve a two-party system for our descendents.

Are you OK with more massacres of police? With “sure, c’mon in” borders? With escalating racial division pitting police against the very people they’re trying to protect? With mega-millionaire football players dishonoring our pledge and anthem, attracting Little Leaguers into copycat disrespect? With more alienated, disaffected young people roaming the halls of our schools, gunning down fellow students who profess faith in Jesus? In case you’ve forgotten, a new film about Columbine will remind you of that horror, already repeated in various situations across America since that day.

How have we come to this? Here’s the word of God Almighty, through Jeremiah, the prophet:

“They all fool and defraud each other,
no one tells the truth.
With practiced tongues they tell lies,
They wear themselves out with all their sinning.
They pile lie upon lie
And utterly refuse to acknowledge me” says the Lord.
“But any nation who refuses to obey me
Will be uprooted and destroyed.
I , the Lord, have spoken!”

– Jeremiah 9:5,6 and 12:1

And in the New Testament, Romans 1:1: “God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

I urgently plead with my fellow Americans: PRAY … THINK … AND VOTE THE PLATFORM.

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