Truth or Consequences: Political Consciences, Convictions, and Consequences

Gary Johnson, the current Libertarian candidate for President of the United States (POTUS), is a former governor of the state of New Mexico, home to the small town named for a long-forgotten radio quiz-show, “Truth or Consequences.”

I thought of this factoid last Thursday night, while watching the Republican National Convention, in Cleveland, when former Republican POTUS candidate Senator Ted Cruz spoke about Republican social convictions and the freedoms of American exceptionalism. Cruz concluded his principled speech, by telling the people:

“Please don’t stay home in November. If you love our country and love our children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience.” He went on, “Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.”

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The audience’s responses changed from cheers to boos, as Cruz left the platform (without endorsing Donald Trump). As I pondered what was happening, three words came to mind: consciences, convictions, and consequences.

  • Consciences are our moral guidance systems. They are our personally developed ethics, which inform, guide, or condemn our own actions.
  • Convictions are deeply-held, personal beliefs, with pre-determined decisions. If X, Y, or Z happen we will do A, B or C.
  • Consequences are the relational or circumstantial results of our actions and decisions. We must learn to accept and be accountable for these consequences.

At the convention, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich soon swerved from his prepared speech to suggest that Senator Cruz had — indirectly — endorsed Trump:  “Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience, for anyone who will uphold the Constitution. In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution. So to paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the Constitution of the United States, the only possible candidate is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket.”

With the Democratic National Convention scheduled for this week in Philadelphia, we will soon see their collective consciences, convictions, and consequences. While the Republican convention platform featured the most pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-religious freedom planks ever, the Democrat platform will likely be dramatically less supportive of these values.

Four years ago, the DNC delegates booed the mention of God and affirmed their collective commitment to deny any human rights to unborn human babies. This year, Hillary has highlighted her Methodist background and has selected Catholic Tim Kaine as her vice presidential partner, while defending their radical pro-choice positions and socialistic goals.

Also this week, the consequences of the Democrat party and Clintons’ alleged corruption will be on display nationwide, as Dinesh D’Sousa’s “Hillary’s

America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” begins in theaters. Despite a major factor in the film is the revelation that “the Democratic Party was the party of slavery,” even the New York Times has reluctantly called it “…some kind of masterpiece.”  We’ll see if the film changes convictions of viewers about the Democrat Party.

And finally, the consequences of Libertarian Gary Johnson’s pro-abortion convictions and underwhelming religious-freedoms positions are yet to be realized. So, Gingrich’s paraphrase of Cruz may be correct, “If you want to protect the Constitution of the United States, the only possible candidate is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket.”

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