Carlton Fletcher’s “Dueling for the souls of the ‘true believers’” (Jan. 11) was an eye-opener. The dueling became sad when politics entered churches because both need votes and money, but are about neither.
Karl Rove, reputed to be the GOP’s architect, announced on TV when they were sending information to churches. Some tapes or DVDs of talking points were shown, or alluded to, in services to influence votes no doubt, which is illegal under tax exemption laws.
Rove is also known as a student of Machiavelli, a 16th century political philosopher and author of “The Prince,” a book teaching methods of winning and keeping power. He said religion and morals had no places in politics, but “stick to the good so long as (you) can,” but, if needed, “be ready to take the way of evil.” A candidate “must seem to be merciful, faithful, humane, frank and religious. ... All men will see what you seem to be; only a few will know what you are.” And he said “men are so simple that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.” In the 132 pages, Machiavelli gives methods and examples of those uses, words studied by ambitious prospects ever since.
Another student was Allen Raymond, an operative for the Republican National Committee and author of “How to Rig an Election” He said that general public has “pretty low comprehension” and they are “dupes ... who let themselves be duped” while politicians “twist, spin and contort reality until the reporters, the voters and even (they) can’t look at the Frankenstein they created.” So after they “pretty much stole the presidency ... and congressional majority in 2002,” he said, they thought nothing they did in politics could be a crime; but he wrote the book in prison. He got caught jamming his opponent’s phone lines and, by mistake, those of a fire station. Others involved denied knowing him, the RNC denied legal assistance, so instead of being their “fall guy,” he took documents showing who hired him to the judge and his bosses joined him in prison.
None of the above belongs to a Christian church, society or nation. Christ said, “No man can serve two masters.” In the Sermon on the Mountain, he blesses the poor in spirit, meek, merciful, peacemakers, persecuted and all who need help (Matthew 5,6 and 7).
Mr. Raymond detailed 10 years of political tricks of the trade in 240 pages, ending by saying he had told all he could from the inside of politics and asked a poignant question, “Now what are you going to do about it?”