The lesson of 'Two Corinthians'
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, March 3, 2016

Two Corinthians walk into a bar.

There, that’s the funniest line I’ve ever heard in the Political World: one short sentence, which can get me through the rest of this bizarre campaign season.

For those who might have missed it: Because Ted Cruz kept quoting the Bible, Donald Trump decided he needed a Bible quote, too. So when campaigning before students at Liberty University in January, he chose “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” And he added “Two Corinthians, 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame,” drawing laughter from the crowd of students who knew Trump was attempting to refer to “Second Corinthians.”

I was raised in a small-town Catholic church that didn’t ask us to memorize Bible verses, though we read Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. The only reason I knew how the citation is properly given is that I have friends in the local Jehovah’s Witnesses who quote the Bible when they visit me.

So no matter what the crazy political question, my answer may be ... “Two Corinthians walk into a bar.” Simple. Says it all.

My partner Chip Ford and I voted for Ted Cruz, thinking that a Cruz-Kasich Republican ticket would be nicely balanced, personality and experience-wise. Winning four states keeps him viable. If however, the eventual presidential nominee is Donald Trump, I can live with that.

On the occasions when Trump is imperfect, I remind myself that he’s the only one who could create the perfect image of another candidate by referring to “Little Marco,” which I do not consider an unfair reference merely to appearance. Hopefully this actively social conservative will soon disappear from the campaign scene.

The candidate most likely to address the deficit/national debt is Ted Cruz because he already kept his word to his Texas constituents on those subjects; he ran to become a tea party U.S. senator then led the fight against raising the debt ceiling. If I had run for U.S. Senate that tea party year, I would have stood with Ted, and there would be two senators that other senators detest.

Of course no campaign ambitions would have made me pander to the religious right on social issues, so I wouldn’t have had a chance to hang out with Ted at all. Though sometimes I’ve wondered what would happen if some Republicans just refused to pander, and instead showed refreshing honesty.

Notice how Cruz and Trump, unlike Rubio, don’t go out of their way to bring up abortion and gay marriage, and they are doing better even with evangelicals than expected. Some Republican primary voters do recognize how important this election is to the future of America and the free world. Note how Cruz successfully opposed ethanol subsidies in Iowa: courageous. Trump unfortunately pandered. I try to weigh the candidates, instead of being an uncritical robot or believing all the opposition attacks.

Now that Super Tuesday is over, let’s move on to the rest of the primaries and then, the general election. Let’s hope that the world economy doesn’t collapse before then — since few Americans are paying attention to anything but silly stuff. Example: Mitt Romney, who I envisioned standing above the primary fray in a dignified manner, instead attacking Trump on, of all things, Trump’s refusal to turn over all his tax returns — though Mitt had also refused. Two Corinthians walk into a bar ...

When Donald Trump first mentioned making Mexico pay to build a wall, I knew he was referring to the deal-maker’s leverage with a county to which we give assistance. When he said he wanted to control illegal immigration, I knew this did not refer to legal immigrants (who should learn enough English to vote without ballots printed in Spanish).

Personally, I thought David Duke was dead: now the Republican establishment tries to tie him into Trump? Please. Over the years of my political activism, I have grown accustomed to the name-calling against those who favor limited government. The attacks often contain the word racist or fascist, and I see similar tactics used against both Trump and Cruz, even by other Republicans.

I “get” why so many of my friends here voted for Donald Trump. I get why others did not. What I don’t get is why some of them don’t understand each other. Our country needs someone with no sense of political correctness, to lead the way back into regard for free speech, especially on college campuses.

I get those big truths that liberals think we should all understand. The world has changed. But I would argue that truth does not change. Spending more than can be raised is bad. No matter what the other issues, uncontrolled debt makes it impossible to responsibly address them.

Since it would do serious damage to the economy to raise taxes enough to cover all that debt, we must cut spending. Another truth: dependence on government is bad, except in the face of unavoidable, unexpected travail suffered by American citizens. And by the way, Medicaid is just another poverty program.

Immigrants to this country must understand and honor the U.S. Constitution: if they can’t, they should go elsewhere to live. We don’t have an official religion; our women are equal. As of recently, gays can marry. God bless America.

Hold the “Two Corinthians” cynicism! I just read that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked his first questions during a recent Supreme Court hearing, apparently stepping up to fill a role of recently departed Justice Antonin Scalia! I remember the way Thomas was treated during his nomination to the court, and admired most of his quiet decisions; now he has apparently decided to be a different kind of justice. Bravo!

Europe has decided to stop accepting unlimited refugees from the Middle East, and may be ready to help Greece deal with those who arrive there first. Syria is working on some kind of peace process. Is there still hope for civilization?

My friends: Let’s get on with the 2016 election, the most important of our lives.

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a weekly columnist for the Salem News and Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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