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Executive Summary

This executive summary provides a very high-level overview of the material presented in each section of this site.  Much more detail on each of these topics (including the Biblical rationale for the material presented) is provided on the pages specific to each topic.

  1.  Introduction

The purpose of this site is to explore the question of what it means to apply a Biblical (or Judeo-Christian) worldview to some of the most important political issues facing America today.  My hope is to promote reasoned discussion that will both educate the public and help refine the site.

Early Christian tradition held that “the way of an eagle in the sky” in Proverbs 30:18 referred to man’s spiritual journey with God.   Since the eagle has also always been a symbol of America, and since I believe that the Judeo-Christian moral and religious traditions are a vital part of America’s heritage, I have chosen “the way of an eagle” as the theme for this site.

  1.  First Principles

This section of the site summarizes the key elements of a Christian worldview (as it applies to politics).   Since it is Christian moral principles (i.e., principles that relate to how we treat one another) that have the greatest application to politics, this site will focus primarily on Christian moral principles, and will leave detailed discussion of our duties to God to the church, synagogue, or mosque (and/or to each individual’s conscience.)

Many of these principles are in fact Judeo-Christian, originating from the Old Testament, and many of them also have been endorsed by other religions and by the greatest secular philosophers, from ancient Greek and Roman times through the Enlightenment in 16th-18th century Europe and America.  Thus, endorsement of these principles does not require the endorsement of any particular “establishment of religion.”

  1. The Authority of the Bible (as a Guide to the Natural Law)
  2. Love is the Highest Virtue
  3. A Commitment to Individual Freedom
  4. The Rule of Law
  5. A Commitment to Truth
  6. An Acknowledgement of Man’s Great (and Permanent) Moral Imperfection
  7. A Commitment to Justice
  1. Our Spiritual Heritage

The key factor that has distinguished America from every other nation in the world (over the entire 400-year history of our nation), and continues to make America the freest and wealthiest large nation in the world today, is our strong commitment to individual freedom throughout our history.

And this commitment is derived directly from the Bible.  The greatest commandments in the Bible can be summarized by saying that we should love God, and love one another as we love ourselves.  Since love is an act of the will (or an act of free moral choice), a strong commitment to individual freedom is implied in saying that love is the highest virtue.  God also specifically said that the Ten Commandments were given in order to preserve the freedoms of everyone who chooses to obey them (see Exodus 20:2 and Deuteronomy 5:6), [1]  So it is clear that from a Biblical point of view, any government or institution (whether religious or secular) should exist to protect the God-given rights and liberties of individuals.

The Our Spiritual Heritage section of this site explores how the Biblical idea that governments exist to protect the God-given rights and liberties of individuals developed and began to influence American and world politics over time (starting with the scriptures and the Magna Charta), and how it has continued to influence America’s political leaders, political dialogue, and political institutions through the present day.

  1.  Parallels Between the Bible and the Declaration of Independence

The Bible and the Declaration of Independence agree on many points:  that God is our Creator; that He has created us morally equal; that He has endowed each of us with “inalienable” rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which remain imperative and imperishable regardless of the pretensions of authoritarian governments; and that governments exist primarily to protect these sacred, God-given individual rights. There is also nothing in the Declaration of Independence’s statement of these fundamental human rights that is inconsistent with the Bible.  Therefore, although the Declaration of Independence was influenced to some extent by the Enlightenment and Greek and Roman philosophers, it can also fairly be said to represent a Biblical worldview.

And as Thomas Jefferson said, we would all do well to remember that God is the ultimate source of our liberties.  Whatever rights secular government grants, secular government can take away, but God intends that our most fundamental rights should rest on firmer ground.

  1.  The Role of Government

This section of the site discusses the Biblical perspective on the Role of Government extensively, and also presents comparisons between the American and European systems of governance and taxation, which demonstrate the substantial economic value of America’s strong historical commitment to individual freedom.  To summarize the rest of the discussion:

a) Since the Bible does not explicitly endorse any particular political system, any attempt to apply the Bible to political issues must begin with defining the first principles of a Biblical worldview (as it applies to politics.)  Essentially, these are the Bible’s key moral  principles, or the key principles for how we should treat one another.  As discussed in detail in the First Principles section of this site, these principles are:

  1. The Authority of the Bible (as a guide to the Natural Law)
  2. Love is the Supreme Virtue
  3. A Commitment to Individual Freedom
  4. The Rule of Law
  5. A Commitment to Truth
  6. Man’s Moral Imperfection
  7. A Commitment to Justice

b) The Biblical worldview says that love is the supreme virtue.  Since love is an act of the will, or a voluntary choice, a strong commitment to individual freedom is also part of the foundation of Biblical morality.  However, the fact that God intends for us to have extensive freedom of moral choice does not mean that all moral choices are equally valid or equally meritorious.

c)      Biblical principles of governance place a very high value on limited government and individual freedom.  This has been the key to the success of the United States (from both economic and spiritual perspectives) over the last 400 years.  Although the Bible does not explicitly endorse any particular political system, it features a strong implicit critique of authoritarianism and a strong commitment to individual freedom.  From a Biblical perspective, governments exist to protect individual rights.  These themes set the Bible apart from most political writings (either ancient or modern.)

d)      The only power that is explicitly given to secular government in the Bible is the “power of the sword” (i.e, the power to keep order, which in our modern context would include military, judicial, police, and other emergency response powers.) 

e)      Within a free society, the essential question of governance is how we can best maintain the proper balance between freedom and order.  In other words, from a Biblical perspective we should thoughtfully ask ourselves what is the minimum amount of governance we need to accomplish a particular task.  The Ten Commandments are an example of how to accomplish this, which has stood the test of time.  The final six of the Ten Commandments (which deal with our responsibilities to one another) to a large extent remain the foundation of our current system of common law (whether they are explicitly acknowledged as such or not.)  As the brevity of the Ten Commandments implies, it is best for the government to focus on setting the proper boundaries of our conduct (rather than intervening in detail in every aspect of our daily lives), and to prohibit only those things which are, by broad popular consensus, harmful to others.

f)  A brief comparison of the American and European systems of governance and taxation shows the substantial economic value of America’s strong historical commitment to individual freedom.

g)      The key principle of Biblical economics is “if you work more, you earn more.”  This is one of several reasons why the only system of taxation that is explicitly endorsed in the Bible is proportional taxation.  (Proportional taxation is a very efficient form of taxation, because it applies relatively low tax rates to a large tax base, and is also fairer and more transparent than most other forms of taxation since it forces each individual to think in terms of what government programs are worth an increase in their own taxation.)  Reform of both the individual and the corporate income tax codes to bring them into better compliance with Biblical principles (by applying lower marginal tax rates to a larger base of income) could increase future employment, after-tax incomes, and economic growth, without reducing the total amount of tax revenue collected.

h)      A flatter tax code will also tend to be a fairer and more transparent tax code.  If tax rates are kept relatively low, then economic success will depend more heavily on what you know and how hard you work.  If tax rates are relatively high, then economic success depends more on negotiating exemptions to the tax code (i.e., on politics and “who you know.”)

i)       We need to focus our efforts at regulatory reform on drawing the right boundary lines that will prevent the 1% from abusing their power (such as campaign finance reform and reasonable regulation of Wall Street), rather than merely indulging our resentment of the wealthy.  My views on campaign finance reform are discussed later in this Executove Summary.  And to summarize my views on the proper regulation of Wall Street:  I am in favor of re-imposing the separation of commercial and investment banking that we used to have in the Glass-Steagall Act (wjhich would require the big investment banks to bear the risks of their own operations.)  "Too big to fail" is a fail” is a fatally flawed principle, which essentially makes it explicit that there are different rules for small businesses and big businesses.

j)      Regardless of exactly what we do with either individual or corporate income tax rates, we will need to rely primarily on a national sales tax (and on the Biblical principle of proportional taxation) to close the current gap between revenue and expenses in the budget of the U.S. federal government.

k)      We also need a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to force a more honest discussion of what should be in the federal budget (and prevent the 1% from continuing to exploit the federal taxation and regulatory processes for their own benefit to the extent that they currently do.)

l)      If we don’t take these measures, we risk another financial crisis within the next 10-20 years, brought on by the combination of excessive national debt and dysfunctional and unsustainable trade policy.  (Trade policy is discussed in a separate section of this site.)  Conversely, if we do implement both a national sales tax and a Balanced Budget Amendment, that will not only keep our national debt under control, but also help improve our trade position, before we even get to the table for formal trade negotiations.

m)   In order to counteract the erosion of the rule of law within our federal government, and give ordinary American citizens more of a voice in the U.S. government’s decision-making processes, we need to limit the powers of both our courts and the Executive Branch agencies of our federal government to exert quasi-legislative powers (and take over what is legitimately the legislative role of the U.S. Congress, or the states and the people.)  As discussed in the Education and Environment sections of this site, this can partly be done by Congressional legislation.  But we also need a need a Constitutional Amendment that allows the U.S. Congress to overturn (or vacate) individual decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress. 

           6.  Rights of Conscience

The free exercise of religion (which is supposed to be our Constitutionally guaranteed right, and which includes not only freedom of religious expression, but also the right to live according to our faith) is essential to the maintenance of a free society for many reasons.  Among the most important of these are:

  • All true religions advocate voluntary moral restraint, or the governance of ourselves from within, and submission to the God-given moral order.  The more people are willing to govern themselves from within, by voluntarily making good moral choices, the less external coercion from the government is required.  
  • The best way to ensure that our political leaders genuinely serve the American people is to try our best to vote for leaders who have a genuine sense of accountability to God.  (See Deuteronomy 17:15-20 for a Biblical example of why this is important.)  Political leaders who do not have a genuine sense of accountability to God will have a tendency to become the kind of people whom the Bible describes as “fearing neither God nor man,” who will lie, cheat, and steal to the maximum extent that they think they can get away with it.  And since politics is a field that tends to attract more than its share of egotistical people, political leaders who have a genuine sense of accountability to God will most likely only come from a society that has a strong sense of genuine accountability to God.
  • One of the world’s greatest scientists, Blaise Pascal, once said that there is an “infinite abyss” inside every person that “can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”  Partly because of this, anyone who does not acknowledge a higher authority than the state will eventually end up worshipping the state to some extent (which is fertile ground for tyranny.)  In the United States today, our political, media, and educational establishments are generally trying to train us to think of government as a benevolent provider (which sometimes subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, replaces God in that role.)  But this is far different from George Washington’s view of secular government:  “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
  • Whatever rights secular government grants, secular government can take away.  But as the Declaration of Independence shows, God intended that our most sacred liberties should rest on firmer ground.

Fortunately for America, our founding fathers understood all of these principles very well.  To quote a few examples:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.  The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

-          George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  

-          John Adams

 “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?”

-          Thomas Jefferson

“If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.”

-          William Penn 

“This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

-          Benjamin Franklin

For these reasons, we need some form of additional legislation to protect our Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion, which has become increasingly imperiled in recent years. 

At a minimum, we need a federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which exempts every citizen from being required to fund or participate in any activity to which they object on religious grounds (including, but not limited to, abortion and gay marriage ceremonies), and also exempts religious organizations from having to employ people whose beliefs conflict with their statement of faith or code of conduct.

But it would be better to correct the erosion of our religious freedom at its source (which is primarily the Supreme Court), by passing a Religious Freedom Restoration amendment to the Constitution, which would read approximately as follows:

“Religious Freedom Restoration Amendment

1.         The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall apply only to the Federal government.

2.         State Legislatures, or the People themselves (acting through popular referendums, in states where such referendums are allowed by law, or through amendments to their state constitutions) shall be the primary regulators of all questions having a strong connection to the free exercise of religion, including but not limited to the definition of marriage, questions of sexual morality, abortion, and the allowable role of religion at public institutions located within the borders of each state.

3.         State and Federal courts shall presume that the governments of each State, and the Federal government, have a strong interest in allowing the free exercise of religion, which helps in many ways to preserve our liberties.  Congress, and the State and Federal courts, shall regulate the free exercise of religion only to the minimum extent necessary to preserve public order.”

Essentially, what this Amendment proposes is to:

a) Restore the original meaning of the language of the First Amendment (which listed the free exercise of religion as our first freedom, separate from freedom of speech and presumably deserving of even more protection than freedom of speech in general)

b) Restore the original meaning of the Tenth Amendment, which states that all powers not specifically assigned to the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people.

c) Empower the states and the people, rather than the Supreme Court, to decide all questions relating to the role of religion in our public life.

d)  Apply the same standards of regulation (which are, appropriately, very light) to religious beliefs and religious speech as are currently applied to non-religious speech.

In addition to protecting the vitally important role of religion in America's public life, I believe that a renewed commitment to federalism is the only way we will be able to reduce tensions on the "social issues," which are currently among our most divisive issues.  We need to allow  for all points of view to be represented (and for the right to disagree to be institutionalized), rather than imposing one point of view on these issues by executive or judicial decree as at present.  By allowing everyone to vote on these issues (either directly, or by electing state legislators who support their point of view), we can allow everyone a forum to express their views and engage with the political process.  And therefore, win or lose, more people will be able to feel that they have done their best to advocate the values that are important to them.  This was the Founding Fathers' intent, which was well summarized by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., when he said that the U.S. Constitution "was made for people with fundamentally differing views."    

 

          7.   Helping the Poor   

From a Biblical point of view, properly caring for the poor requires balancing the sometimes conflicting priorities of a) maintaining a strong commitment to individual freedom, while still b) remembering God's special concern for the poor, and maintaining an adequate “social safety net” that provides sufficient help for those in genuine need.  Biblical charity should be generous but not infinite.

I think there are three main ways in which the government can best help the poor.  These are:

a)      Maintain a “social safety net” that is consistent with Biblical principles.

b)      Support and encourage the work of private charities (including faith-based charities)

c)      Support an overall set of policies (or “rules of the game”) in many different areas (such as taxation, healthcare, education, and environmental and other regulations) that maximize economic opportunity and individual freedom for ordinary citizens in all of these areas, while also considering the impact of each of these policies on our neediest citizens as an integral part of the policymaking process.   How best to accomplish this goal is the focus of the other topical pages on this site.

          8.  Healthcare

One of the most striking instances of media bias in recent months has been that the media has barely covered the fact that Obamacare is currently in the process of failing.  We need to repeal all of Obamacare except for the Medicaid expansion and the requirement that insurers cover everyone (regardless of pre-existing conditions).  Obamacare needs to be replaced with market-based reforms that put healthcare decision-making power back in the hands of doctors and patients.  And this absolutely can be done, if we repeal the many absurd mandates contained within Obamacare that have made health insurance needlessly expensive.  Two alternative plans for healthcare reform will be presented.

          9.   Education

From a Biblical perspective, the education of children is first and foremost the responsibility of the parents.  The reason for this is so that our children can be taught our values, and not someone else’s.   This does not necessarily mean that parents should provide all of their children’s education, but it does mean that parents should always be actively involved in, and closely supervise, their children’s education.

All levels of the American educational system are sliding into mediocrity for many reasons, the most important of which is that the educational system is not sufficiently accountable to parents.  In order to restore appropriate and healthy levels of competition, accountability, and parental involvement throughout the educational system, we should :  a) implement school choice programs (including choices both within and outside the public school system) as broadly as possible, and b)  shift the responsibility for curriculum development and standardized testing from the federal government back to the state and local governments.  (Since the federal education bureaucracy is more or less completely unaccountable to America’s parents, shifting the curriculum development and testing responsibilities back to the states and localities is the only way to restore a meaningful level of parental control over these processes.)  This is a program that should bring us all together, since many parents throughout America (regardless of their backgrounds or their differences on other issues) are in favor of school choice. 

The role of the federal Department of Education should be limited to the need-based distribution of federal education funds.  And we should explore ways to provide slightly more federal funding to the neediest localities, in order to eliminate (or at least reduce) one of the excuses for poor performance.

At the college/university level, I think we should offer partial forgiveness of student loan balances incurred before a certain date.   (For example, we could offer forgiveness of one dollar of student loan principal for every three dollars of principal that is paid back.  This would both reduce the amount of debt outstanding, and reward financial responsibility – a concept that has so far been missing from the Democratic Party’s discussion of this issue.)

And we should also reform the way higher education is financed going forward.  Key elements of this reform program would likely include:

  • Providing a partial “rollback” of tuition and fees at public universities by injecting additional federal government funding to replace a portion of the state government funding that has been cut over the past decade or two.
  • In return for the additional government funding, requiring that future increases in tuition and fees at public universities be limited to the overall rate of inflation (GDP Chained Price Index.)
  • Limiting the number of foreign students that can be accepted in our public universities (to 5% or 10% of the student body instead of the 20% that is more typical today), so that more places are available for American students.
  • Limiting the amount of educational funding each individual student can borrow from the federal government to a maximum of 90% of the tuition and fees for in-state students at universities within their state of residence.  Putting this kind of reasonable cap on the total amount of money that can be borrowed (regardless of which university each student actually attends) is the best way of ensuring that students do not borrow excessively in the future.
  • Requiring that public universities expand their use of on-line education (so that fewer students have to attend courses in person and incur fees for housing, meals, etc. at the universities.)

          10.  The Environment

The Bible resoundingly affirms that humanity’s presence on earth is “good,” and that humanity has a special place in the order of creation.  This is in stark contrast to secular environmentalism, which often views humanity as a parasitic species that is disrupting the natural order.

Although the earth is God’s creation, and therefore we need to take good care of it, from a Biblical perspective there is also a need for balance, moderation, sound science, and preferential consideration of human needs in setting our environmental policies.  We are supposed to worship the Creator, not creation.

Many of the new regulations recently proposed (or currently being proposed) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (including the Clean Power Plan, the latest reductions in environmental ozone proposed under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and the Mercury and Air Toxins Standards for coal-fired power plants) are not based on sound science, and will provide minimal benefits at exorbitant costs to our economy.

For this reason, Congress should pass legislation requiring that all pending or future EPA regulations that cost $1 billion per year or more to implement must be approved (or ratified) by Congress before they go into effect.  In other words, Congress should not cede its legitimate power over environmental legislation to the EPA.

          11.  Immigration

From a Biblical perspective, our immigration policy should be about balancing the rule of law and America’s economic interests with fair and compassionate treatment of the immigrants.

We should not forget that we are a nation of immigrants, and therefore we should treat immigrants as we wish to be treated.  But we should also give due consideration to the interests of the American people.

Given the extent to which excessive immigration (and the associated oversupply of labor) has damaged America’s economy over the past 15 years, I believe an immigration policy that is fair to everyone concerned would include the following:

a) secure the border

b) implement the broadest possible moratorium on further immigration (legal or illegal) for the Next 8 to 17 Years

c)  offer most illegal immigrants who are already here legal status, but NOT a “path to citizenship”

d) treat the problem of jihadist immigration as the national security issue that it is

e)  reform of future/long-term immigration policy

f)  end birthright citizenship

         12.  Trade Policy

Our trade policy is dysfunctional and unsustainable, and needs substantial reform.

          13.  Defense and Foreign Policy

I believe strongly in peace through strength.  Because we live in a sinful (or very imperfect) world, our military must be strong enough not only to fight off any potential adversaries, but to deter any potential adversary from attacking us.  It has been two centuries since foreign armies were on the soil of the continental United States, but we cannot expect that blessing to continue unless our military remains strong enough to deter any potential adversaries.  Deterrence is expensive, but it is far cheaper (both monetarily and in terms of human lives) than a war.

Good foreign policy should begin with a clear definition of the national interests of the United States.  I believe that America’s strategic interests (both with regard to jihadist terrorism, and to containment of potential geopolitical rivals such as China and Russia) are primarily defensive, and that overall, we need a less interventionist policy that is more consistent with America’s earliest foreign policy traditions.  In particular, in the future we should generally not get involved in other nations’ civil wars.

Partly because we are already on the ground against ISIS, and partly because it is not in America’s interest to allow an overtly terroristic nation-state to go unchallenged, we need to defeat ISIS.  The way to accomplish that is probably both political and military.

We also need to give due consideration to the question of what type of world we want to live in, and continue to help our allies and friends defend themselves against bullying or invasion by potential adversaries such as China and Russia.  Containment was a strategy that worked well (and mostly peacefully) to defeat Communism between 1947 and 1991, and I believe it can be made to work well again.

        14.  Campaign Finance and Elections

America's Constitution is intended to protect the freedom of speech of individual citizens, and not to allow the voice of "We the People" to be drowned out by big corporations.  Unfortunately, due to the catagorical (and categorically wrong) nature of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision on campaign finance (which has essentially prohibited most regulation of campaign finance, citing freedom of speech concerns) we need a Constitutional Amendment that restores appropriate Congressional authority over the regulation of campaign finance.

Specifically, I believe we should amend the Constitution to allow the financing of federal election campaigns to be regulated by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, and to allow the financing of state and local election campaigns to be regulated by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of each State Legislature.

Such an amendment would force us to agree on a system of campaign finance regulation that was really fair to corporations, labor unions, individual citizens, and all of the other stakeholders in the political process.  I think a regulatory framework similar to the previous McCain-Feingold regulations (which limited the amount of money that could be spent directly on election campaigns, but allowed unlimited "soft money" to be spent on issue-oriented political advertising, and also included some specific protections of freedom of speech for media organizations) would be a good place to start.  This framework seemed to me to do a reasonable job (in principle) of striking the necessary balance between limiting direct spending on election campaigns, while also protecting freedom of speech.

However, I think the new legislation should also include a hard cap on total spending in federal election campaigns, at about one-third of the current average levels for Presidential. Senate, and House of Representatives campaigns, respectively.  To borrow a business school term, we need to lower the "barriers to entry" into federal political campaigns somewhat, so that more candidates are able to compete, but we should also avoid setting the "barriers to entry" too low a level in order to avoid suddenly having a thousand candidates and parties, and political chaos.  Setting limits on federal campaign spending at a moderate level will require candidates to have a reasonably broad base of political support in order to be able to campaign competitively.

As the history of the Clinton Foundation demonstrates, we also need to strengthen the regulations against foreign money entering into the U.S. political process.  Donors to any political organization (whether a PAC, party, or individual campaign) should be required to be U.S. citizens (NOT legal permanent residents or immigrants) and to certify that any "bundled" contributions they have collected also originate solely from U.S. citizens.  And we also need to set strict limits on the amount of money that foreign individuals or governments can pay to holders of, or declared candidates for, federal or state political offices. 

Finally, with regard to voter fraud:  I'm not into conspiracy theories, and I agree with the mainstream media that there is as yet no proof that either a federal or state election in the U.S. has ever been decided by fraud.  And therefore, I think Donald Trump's repeated and categorical assertions (beginning in the early fall of 2016) that the 2016 election will be "rigged" are grossly irresponsible (to say the least.)

However, based on a 2012 report from the Pew Research Center, and various other more recent indicators, I also think there are significant flaws in the U.S. voter registration system (and therefore the potential for significant fraud.)  And I think the best response to Donald Trump's allegations would be a bipartisan agreement that we are going to fix the flaws in the voter registration system (and thereby preclude the possibility of significant fraud) by the 2020 election at the latest.

More specifically, the 2012 report from the Pew Research Center[2] indicates the following:

  • Approsimately 24 million (or about 1 in 8) voter registrations are significantly inaccurate or no longer valid (including 12 million records that contain an inaccurate address.)
  • Approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.
  • Approximately 1.8 million deceased people are registered to vote,

Additionally, as of October 2016 there are voter fraud investigations under way in Indiana, Texas, and Virginia, and there is also some evidence to suggest that illegal immigrants may already be able to vote in numbers sufficient to decide close elections.  And there is also a disturbing video alleging significant election fraud in New York City:

http://eheadlines.com/nyc-election-commissioner-admits-all-kinds-of-fraud-in-undercover-video/

So it seems clear to me that there is a need to upgrade the voter registration system, in order to completely and convincingly preclude fraud.  More specifically, I think there is a need for a federal voter registration data checking system that would electronically compare each state's existing voter registration records with:

  • The federal "E-Verify" database to verify citizenship
  • a nationwide list of death certificates, to cull the deceased out of the database, and
  • other states' voter registration data to eliminate the duplicate registrations.

I also think it is very important that photo ID's be required for voting in all states, in order to eliminate the most obvious potential for in-person fraud.

Additionally, once a person votes in one location, that fact should also be uploaded in real time to a federal database, so that it is impossible for the same person to vote multiple times in multiple locations.

And finally, since this whole data-checking process will require extensive dependence on electronic technology, cyber-security is obviously a critical issue.

In order for this system to work properly, we would probably need to close voter registration further in advance of Election Day than we currently do.  For example, possibly the deadline for voter registration should be 90 days before Election Day, and the deadline for the results of the data checking to be reported should be 60 days before Election Day (so that voters would have 60 days to provide updated documentation to correct the records, and re-activate questioned registrations.)

As long as we are careful to implement these safeguards in ways that minimize the burden on individual voters (for example, by allowing low-income voters to be reimbursed both for the fees normally required to obtain photo ID's and proof of citizenship,[3] and for the transportation costs they incur to obtain those documents), I think this should be an issue that brings us all together.  Polls show that large majorities of Americans, of all races, and of all political views, support reasonable voter ID laws.  And that's a wonderful thing, which shows that, once again, ordinary citizens understand the fundamental issues better than our so-called political "elite."  We all need to be able to trust the system. 

15.  Evidence for the Authority of the Bible

This section of the site presents evidence for the authority of the Bible, and also discusses my personal reasons for becoming a Christian.


[1] Note that order (which in a just and free society means moral order, enforced by a system of laws that apply equally and fairly to all) is an indispensible part and precondition of true freedom.  In other words, anarchy is not true freedom, and none of us have a right to exercise our liberties in ways that hurt others.  For more on this point, see the section of this site on the Rule of Law.  

[2] “Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient:  Evidence that America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade,”  Pew Center for the States, February 2012.

[3]  The least expensive proof of citizenship is a certified copy of a birth certificate, which typically costs only a few dollars and is useful for many purposes other than voter registration.  So actually enforcing the law that requires voters to be U.S. citizens with proper identification need not be very burdensome, and would help significantly to maintain confidence in the electoral system, and our political system in general.

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