America - A Nation in Denial


We have a great program today. Our studio guest is archaeologist, Jonathan Gray who'll be speaking about some of his discoveries in the Gulf of Akaba.

About two years ago we reported how Jonathan traced the journey of the children of Israel in their exodus from bondage, and found the map in our Bibles erroneously depicts them crossing the Red Sea at the Gulf of Suez, rather than the Gulf of Akaba.

This is no arm-chair archaeologist. So stay tuned for Jonathan Gray's first-hand account. We'll also be speaking about President Clinton's re-election and what this reveals of the moral condition of America. Let's start the program with a little music.

The western world is about to sink as rapidly as Pharaoh's Egypt. Brother Branham preached, "The World is Falling Apart", and it is. Opinion from The London Times, called, "A Nation in Denial", confirms this:

"Americans have re-elected a corrupt Administration; they will regret it.

The re-election of President Clinton is not an unprecedented political event; 13 out of 18 incumbent US presidents seeking re-election this century have been successful; but its an important moral event that could prove a dangerous economic portent.

Thirty years ago, Clinton's behavior would have been absolutely disqualifying. Since the 1992 election, the public has learned far more about what's known euphemistically as, the "character issue".

The additional information adds new charges to a list that is already lengthy. Yet, none of this appears to affect Clinton's popularity. It's difficult not to conclude that something about our moral perceptions and reactions has changed profoundly. (Back in the 60s, Brother Branham said, "I no longer pray for America".) If that change is permanent, the implications for our future are black.

It's not just what Clinton's done, but the electoral acceptance of what most people now believe he's done that's disturbing. No doubt the details of his conduct are still matters for investigation and dispute. On my judgment, he ran a corrupt administration in Arkansas as Governor, and has run a corrupt Administration in the White House as President; there are ex-colleagues in jail to prove that. The classic standard for the government of human society is "justice, truth and the common good". There's substantial evidence that Clinton's Administration has habitually obstructed justice, told lies in its own defence, and put private before public interest.

Clinton's been re-elected after a campaign in which these issues were widely discussed; serious new issues of improper political funding now emerge. More than half of those polled said that they regarded Clinton as untrustworthy. Less than a quarter of the electorate actually voted for him. If these issues had not been raised, or the electorate had not believed the charges, one could have said that Clinton won his second term because people did not know what sort of man he was. That, after all, could've been said about the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, when very few people knew about his private life, or the past connections of his father. this explanation is not now available. However few may have voted, the American people knew what they were doing. They knew that their President had been repeatedly involved in what would, until recently have been considered unacceptable conduct, and they decided it did not matter.

The political culture of the United States was founded on puritan idealism. President Reagan used often to quote John Winthrop's statement that the new colony of Massachusetts, which he founded in 1630, must be "a city set on a hill". What Jesus actually said was: "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hig." The US is a very large and diverse nation. Unless its held together by shared idealism, its hard to suppose that it can long be held together at all. When a President runs a morally defective Administration, that will have an impact on the coherence of the nation.

Not so long ago, Americans, most of whom had come from Europe, used to compare the innocence and virtue of their country with the cynicism of the continent they left behind. There may now be no country in the EU where a prime minister could survive the charges that have been brought, with substantial evidence against Clinton. Perhaps it could still happen in Greece. It is inconceivable that a British Prime Minister could survive. France did suffer two terms of President Mitterrand, which may be the closest parallel, but the age of Mitterrand is over, and the French, when they re-elected him, did not know half what they know now. The Americans have re-elected Clinton with their eyes open.

Jesus said "If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, 'we see;' therefore your sin remaineth" (John 9:41).

The consequences are alarming, both for America and for the Western world. The West has a brief opportunity between the decline of Russia and the rise of China. Europe has wasted most of the present decade by pursuing the dangerous irrelevance of the single currency. America has wasted it on a shallow prosperity; even the recovery has not greatly strengthened the American economy. Neither Europe nor America is prepared for the global competition of the next century. For America, the progressive shift of wealth and power to Asia will be humiliating, and perhaps destabilizing.

The 1996 election has been compared to that of 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt won his second term. It was nothing like that. Roosevelt won by a landslide, and had a large majority in both Houses of Congress. A better comparison might be the presidential election of 1928, when Herbert Hoover was elected. Then as now there was a booming stock market, widespread economic optimism, and incumbents given the benefit of the doubt by a complacent and comfortable electorate. We know, of course, what happened in 1929.

In the election of 1872, Ulysses S. Grant, the greatest general on the Northern side in the Civil War, was running for re-election. His first Administration had enjoyed some foreign policy success; Hamilton Fish was one of the best 19th-century Secretaries of State. The economy had enjoyed a boom, with extensive building of railroads. If you'd asked any American in 1872 whether he felt better-off than he had in 1868, he'd have answered with an emphatic "yes". But the first Grant Administration had been corrupt, and the public knew it. That's probably the only other occasion in American history in which a popular President who'd run a corrupt Administration was triumphantly re-elected. What happened afterwards is much less cheerful. The story is told by Joseph Schumpeter in his great book on Business Cycles.

Once the panic had broken out in the autumn of 1873; (up till then general business kept up well); the typical sequence of events followed. Speculation in land and stocks collapsed, prices fell, exports increased, imports decreased, firms of all kinds failed in large numbers, the stock exchange had to be closed, banks suspended payment, unemployment became serious, almost immediately - as far as mere figures go, some aspects of the Depression were quite as dark in 1873 to 1877 as they were in 1929 to 1933.

The psychology of the business cycle is one of over-optimism, with its flight from reality, alternating with excessive pessimism. The period of over-optimism naturally produces a political leadership which shares the characteristic of the time. Such politicians do not face up to harsh realities (including moral choices), and are inclined to think that tomorrow will be better than today, and that unpleasant consequences can always be avoided, or at least postponed. These are the soft periods of human history; they're followed by sterner periods, when the bills come in.

"Behold, you have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).

Whether the next harsh period will start in the first year of Clinton's second term, as it did in the first year of Hoover's presidency and in the first year of Grant's second term, no one can tell. But the political cycle of the US has gone soft; about as soft as it could be. In the past that has often marked the end of an economic cycle. Usually, the year after an incumbent is re-elected sees a sharp downturn in the stockmarket. There'll be much justified anxiety on Wall Street next autumn.

A moral deficit tends to create a financial deficit. If the Americans elect a President whose integrity they do not trust, why should anyone else trust him? But the deficit in international confidence extends far outside finance. In defence and foreign affairs, everything depends on trust. Questions such as Japan's non-nuclear policy depend upon Japanese confidence that America would run very great risks to protect Japan. Otherwise the Japanese will have no choice but to defend themselves. If America has a President like King Charles II, "whose word no man relies on", its foreign policy is crippled before it starts. No nation can exert power unless there is a general conviction that its leader means what he says.'

Clinton will now have to spend time and energy defending himself. Some Washington insiders think he'll be impeached; others think Hillary Clinton will be indicted. There will probably have to be a new special prosecutor to investigate the foreign campaign funds. These investigations are not under any one man's control, least of all the President's. The Republican victories in both Houses of Congress mean that the Democrats cannot block the investigations.

Most of the Americans I know are, as individuals, far better than this election suggests. Before the reaction occurs, much harm has been done to America's moral confidence and its ability to provide the co-ordination of world policy no other nation can give.

Very simply it was the Media who elected him. They did not pursue him for the various scandals, Watergate, Filegate, Travelgate, FBIgate, etc.

If they'd used the same zeal as they did when Quayle spelled 'potato' incorrectly, Clinton would have been toast.

Unfortunately the American people, like Australians, still rely in large part on the Main Media to let them know what's happening. If the media aren't outraged then it's no big deal. Australia's honest politician, Graeme Campbell, said, "If you want to know what's really happening, stay away from the Media".

History will blame the media for this corrupt presidency. God will blame the citizens who elected it.

(Interview: Jonathan Gray, "The Real Red Sea Crossing"). radio057.html

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