This, too, shall pass

This too shall pass

It was November 2, 1992, on the eve of the election. I was part of a group that gathered at a church for a final prayer meeting before the election. A group of us pro-lifers came together, almost out of desperation, hoping to stave-off the worst possible outcome– a Bill Clinton Presidency.

I still remember the sense of foreboding we felt as we met. We knew George H. W. Bush was vulnerable. We knew Ross Perot was set to take a large number of votes from Bush. And, we feared the worst from a Bill and Hillary Clinton administration that would be undoubtedly corrupt and radical. And yes, we knew it meant an assault on the rights of the unborn if the Clintons were to gain the power of the Oval Office.

As history would have it, we did get the “Bill and Hill Show” for the next 8 years. The very first thing Clinton did as President, the day after his inauguration, was to sign an executive order expanding abortion. As an “in your face,” he did it just as the annual March for Life was going on outside the White House on the streets of Washington D.C.

Clinton won the Presidency twice without ever getting a majority of votes from the American people– thanks largely to Perot’s insane personal vendetta against the Bush family. That, along with his huge ego and his need to be in the spotlight.

As we expected, the Clinton scandals came fast and furious over the course of his tenure. Both Bill and Hill were consummate liars, able to look straight into the camera and deceive the America people without batting an eye.

Even when Clinton finally “got caught” in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, he managed to wiggle his way out of impeachment removal, thanks to his sleazy connections. I wrote about that history a couple of months ago on my blog in an article entitled: How a Pornographer and an Ex-Klan Member Destroyed America.

It is absolutely true that the Clintons deeply divided and coarsened the American culture. They proved themselves to be “above the law.” After leaving office, the Clintons used this elevated status to enrich themselves immensely; ethics and legality be damned in the process.

Now, we find ourselves on the cusp of yet another national election where a Clinton is likely to enter the Oval Office once again. The Clinton machine manipulated the events of the election so that Hillary had to face the least competent candidate for President in modern history. Bill gave his friendly advice in the infamous chat with Trump last year; no doubt playing to Trump’s frail ego while he talked him into running.

The Clintons were leaving nothing to chance. Hillary would be an extremely weak candidate and any reasonable Republican candidate would likely be on the verge of a landslide as Election Day approached. So, Trump was needed, to use his influence, his con man’s instincts, and his ratings’ value with media, to insure Hillary would have a very beatable opponent.

Yet, she has been such a weak, flawed candidate that even Trump has appealed to a large segment of otherwise uninformed American voters. Last minute missteps involving Clinton’s arrogant disregard for national security protocols with her email server have made the race closer than anyone could have imagined just a month ago.

Trump has repeatedly shot himself in the foot, and then stuck the wounded foot in his mouth, belying his ineptness as a national candidate. And, it has just been reported that his campaign has had to remove his access to Twitter to insure no further last minute gaffs from Trump’s middle-of-the-night, ultra alt-right persona.

Through all of this, the American people are tired, shocked and saddened by the way things have turned out. Aside from the rabid pro-aborts on the Clinton side and the blue collar, somewhat racists on the Trump side, most people aren’t enthusiastic at all about what will happen by Tuesday night.

How does America possibly win with two losing candidates to choose from? The short answer, in the short term, is: we don’t. No matter who wins, constitutional freedoms will be under assault. Clinton from the socialist left, and Trump from the demagogic right. America, come January, will become a different and worse place than it is today.

But, the sense of foreboding I felt in 1992 isn’t the same as I feel now, just hours before the 2016 election. Perhaps it is because the “devil you know” is far less scary than “the devil you don’t.” Now, I feel far more a sense of “this, too, shall pass.”

Despite a really rotten campaign year, some good things have happened.

First of all, the RINOs who run the Republican Party have been unmasked. They cut their deals with Trump to the detriment of those they sought to lead– the grassroots citizens who had put their faith and trust in them. The Republican Party already lost the ability to recover from this election season. Those who remain will be commanding an ever-shrinking group of followers.

The good in this may be the emergence of a new political Party in America – one firmly founded on the principles of conservatism. It is only through the conservative principles of limited government, far less burdensome taxation, free markets, peace through strength in the world and religious freedom here at home, that America can recover from the repeated body blows of the “Washington cartel” elites who’ve dominated government for the last generation.

Another “good” to come out of this election cycle is the exposure of quite a few hypocrites in the “religious right.” These men and women who have compromised their faith for political expediency and vague promises have been unmasked as the phonies they really are.

The Christian Church in America used to be this nation’s voice of conscience. Now, we have national Christian leaders excusing possible sexual assault for the vain hope of better judges on the SCOTUS. This is a far cry from the Church of the Revolution. This is a far cry from the Church of emancipation. This is a far cry from the Church of the civil rights movement. And, it is a far cry from the original “Moral Majority.”

The words of 19th century revivalist Charles Finney have never been more appropriate and rightly condemning of the present-day American Church:

“The church must take right ground in regard to politics. Do not suppose, now, that I am going to preach a political sermon, or that I wish to have you join and get up a Christian party in politics. No, I do not believe in that. But, the time has come that Christians must vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics, or the Lord will curse them. They must be honest men themselves, and instead of voting for a man because he belongs to their party … they must find out whether he is honest and upright, and fit to be trusted. … Such is the spread of intelligence and the facility of communication in our country; that every man can know for whom he casts his vote. And if he will give his vote only for honest men, the country will be obliged to have upright rulers. All parties will be compelled to put up honest men as candidates. Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But, the time has come when they must act differently, or God will curse the nation, and withdraw His Spirit.” .. “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.” —Charles G. Finney, Dec. 4, 1873

Yes, the Christian Church in America and its jaded leaders must repent first if the nation is to make a recovery from all that is facing the republic. Perhaps now, a whole new generation of leaders will rise up to replace the “dinosaurs” and “world-lovers” that infest far too many pulpits.

A third “good” that may yet come about is the fact that if Hillary becomes President, she will be one of the least liked Presidents in the history of our nation, from her very first day in office. Those who want to see freedom and constitutional law restored to the nation will have a very clearly defined battle, and opponent to focus on opposing.

She may, in all likelihood, drive the American people further right than they have been in a long time. It is an opportunity that conservatives haven’t had in a generation. Not since the feckless Jimmy Carter gave rise to Ronald Reagan have we been primed to promote and teach real American conservative values to listening, desperate ears.

It is highly likely that, regardless who wins the election, they will have less than a majority of people voting for them– just like Bill Clinton’s two elections. No matter what the final electoral college numbers may say, neither candidate will have “a mandate” from the American people to govern.

So, instead of moving to Antarctica after Tuesday, we need to focus on the future and put 2016 behind us as quickly as possible. We made the mistake of failing to unite behind a good conservative candidate. We were left with a caricature instead. Lesson learned.

Trump may move on to his TV network; at least until he micromanages it into bankruptcy like many of his previous ventures.

His alt-right supporters will scream fraud, conspiracy, and recriminations against those who failed to bow down to Trump Tower. But, many of them will fade away in the coming months– unwilling to do the real work of transforming the nation.

The TV preachers and “evangelical” organizations who kissed Trump’s ring will rationalize away their failures and their followers will shrink in size and enthusiasm – distraught from being led down the garden path as they were.

But, those of us who are true patriots and faithful believers will stay the course; continuing to fight for eternal principles and practical solutions to America’s problems. Eventually, the truth will come out. Eventually, the exiles will return and rebuild. Eventually, the embers of revival will be fanned into a raging wildfire that will sweep across the nation. And, eventually, America will learn the needed lessons from the debacle of 2016.

Until then, we need to keep hope alive that – This, Too, Shall Pass – and America will be “the shining city set on a hill” once again.

Russ Hepler

Russ Hepler is a pastor, teacher, political activist, author, and conference speaker with over 30 years of experience. He holds a B.A. from Messiah College and an M.A.R. from Evangelical School of Theology. He has been an issues’ advocate, a campaign volunteer for local, state, and federal candidates, Regional Field Director for PA Christian Coalition, president of a county chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life, local Republican Committeeman, and an elected member of a town council. He is also a former and current homeschooler and taught in a Christian school (middle school History and Bible) for a number of years. He was formerly a blog writer for The Federalist Papers Project with over 900 articles published. He has been a guest on the American Family Radio program Today’s Issues with Tim Wildmon and on the Bill Martinez Live radio show. One of his sermons – Father’s Day – Where Have All the Heroes Gone? – was featured on the American Pastors’ Network. His first book – Yes! We Can Turn This Nation Around! A Practical Guide for Christian Political Involvement – was published in 2012. It has recently been updated and expanded for 2016 – Yes! We STILL Can Turn This Nation Around! An Updated and Expanded Practical Guide for Christian Political Involvement. Both works are available at Amazon.com. He and his wife, Sherry, have founded Transformation 1202 Ministries to educate, encourage, and challenge people of faith to get involved in the political and cultural issues of our day. The ministry has a website, a blog, and a Facebook page: Turn This Nation Around.