As momentum begins to build ahead of the 2024 election, we are once again reminded that America has lost her heart.
If we’ve learned anything from recent national elections, it’s simply that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats; both parties are contributors to the sick condition of America’s lost heart — a heart of liberty.
For example, there was plenty of armchair quarterbacking by politicians and pundits about what happened on November 3, 2020 — complete with conspiracy theories about how Trump had the election stolen from him — and there was plenty of discussion about the role played by the Republican Party in those failures even though it was directly responsible for the rise of Donald Trump in the first place.
Republican strategy in 2020 included recycling the lies and broken promises used in past campaigns mixed with pleas for conservatives to “Vote Republican because #notDemocrat and #notSocialist.” At the same time, the Fellowship of the Pharisees and the faux-conservative media worked in partnership with Republicans to completely destroy conservatism to bolster Donald Trump.
Of course, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and a plethora of faux conservatives launched their war on conservatism long ago when they decided that their future laid not in conservatism, but in being more like the far-left Democrats they pretended to oppose every election season.
Gary Barkalow (Founder of The Noble Heart) is an expert on how individuals can live the life they are created to live and how the keys to living that life are written on the human heart. In a blog post written over ten years ago entitled A Dangerous But Necessary Road, he shares this thought:
I recently overheard a conversation between two men. One said, “The strong rule the weak. That’s how your God made the world.” The other responded, “God makes us strong only for a while, so that we can help each other.” To which the first man responded, “My God makes me strong so I can live my life.”
This conversation was in a movie I re-watched called First Knight, the King Arthur and Camelot story. The first and last man to be quoted was Malagant, the fallen knight from Arthur’s Round Table.
Malagant captured in a sentence the general belief of the era that we are living in – “My God makes me strong so I can live my life.” In a word this belief can be described as narcissism – and is defined as excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness. (Emphasis mine)
Though Barkalow is addressing the heart of the individual, a thought struck me about how it could also apply to America today.
Could it be that Americans continue to vote for men and women who demonstrate a total disregard for liberty and the principles established by our Founding Fathers because America has lost her heart and become as narcissistic as the politicians they vote for — people full of excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness?
The next part of Barkalow’s post answered my question:
Erwin McManus wrote in his book Stand Against the Wind, “When we are in love with ourselves, we are prone to listen only to what we want to hear. We become willing to trade insight for affirmation. We want to feel good about ourselves more than we want to become good.” (Emphasis mine)
Quite simply, America has fallen in love with herself. She has wandered so far from her heart — a heart of God-given liberty — that she no longer desires to hear what she needs to hear, but only what she wants to hear. To put it another way, when the people casting the votes are only looking for someone to rubber stamp their behavior, it’s not necessary for the candidates to be different. As Scripture tells us in II Timothy 4:3, tickle the ears of the voter and they’ll do whatever you want them to do.
The 2024 election boils down to a choice between fear and tyranny or the Constitution and liberty. How can we make sure to choose correctly? Gary Barkalow provides us with the answer:
The pursuit of God and our calling is through the restoration and release of our heart. It is desire, not duty; passion, not passivity that leads and compel us in this pursuit. And yet on this narrow road of desire and passion, we are exposed to the deadly sheer drop-offs of self-centeredness.
To travel this essential road, we must build guard rails – structures that will save our life when we are too close to the edge but may feel damaging when we encounter them. (Emphasis mine)
God didn’t give America a heart of liberty simply to provide a way for self-centered individuals to live their lives any way they choose. Instead, it was given to equip us with the desire and passion necessary to be the shining city upon a hill often spoken of often by Ronald Reagan but highlighted in his farewell address from the Oval Office on January 11, 1989:
“And that’s about all I have to say tonight, except for one thing. The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the “shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.
“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be
city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”
America has plummeted over the cliff of self-centeredness because the guard rails — the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Faith of our Fathers — have been destroyed under the misguided and selfish assumption that we are capable enough to maneuver without them.
America can find her heart again, but not by attempting to journey the narrow road of liberty without the guard rails Republicans and Democrats have been tearing down for years.
By the way, I’m still working on my book, Heart of Liberty. I’m self-publishing it and to ensure that it stacks up against the big names with bigger platforms than mine, I need to raise thousands of dollars. I’m working with Story Builders, a creative team whose focus is crafting compelling books, resources, and experiences that will have a positive impact. Story Builders has worked with top names in the conservative political space, from U.S. Congressmen to influencers in media.
If you’d like to help, I’ve launched a fundraising campaign hosted by Give Send Go.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.
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