For 90 minutes, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton traded ideas and insults. It was the most watched presidential debate in American history. Predictably, each side has claimed victory. Meanwhile, much has been made of what was not said – little discussion of Trump’s contradictory statements in recent months, and still less about the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, or the tepid economic growth.
But in the bigger picture, none of that matters – at least not as much as four fundamentals on which America’s future will hinge. Whoever wins will really lose if they ignore these four issues. These are the four fundamental issues completely ignored by Lester Holt and both candidates. And they are the four issues Christians should care about the most.
1. The Supreme Court
It is likely that the next President will name three, maybe even four Justices to the Supreme Court. Given the divided court as it currently stands, the new court will either turn sharply left or sharply right. The issue of life should be enough to convince Christians to pray this doesn’t go wrong. One candidate says that while women should not have the right to do what they want with their own bodies when it comes to wearing seatbelts in cars and helmets on motorcycles, they do have a right to abort the unborn child, with a beating heart and functioning organs. This candidate even supports the radical position of partial birth abortion. Amazingly, this candidate dismisses Trump’s position on climate change as being out of touch with science, while she supports the taking of the innocent life. That the unborn is life is settled science. Only the Supreme Court can stop the insanity of abortion, and only one candidate will appoint Justices who support life. Yet, somehow, the Supreme Court never came up in the first debate.
2. Religious Freedom
The fundamental right to religious freedom hangs in the balance. To say otherwise is tantamount to sticking one’s head firmly in the sand. Only one candidate has questioned the right to continue tax deductions on giving to churches. Only one candidate supports punitive action against Christian universities that refuse to include insurance that covers abortion in their benefits. Only one party has mocked Christians for “clinging to their Bibles and guns.” Yet, religious freedom was completely ignored in the first debate.
3. Limited Government
One party promotes the 14th Amendments, which sanctifies states rights. One candidate supports a literal interpretation of the Constitution, while the other wants to expand government to impose yet more regulations on businesses, while changing the Constitution in the name of a “breathing document.” One candidate served in leadership as the national debt doubled in eight years. But the issue of limited government was of no apparent interest to the mainstream media who gave us the moderator for the first debate.
4. School Choice
President Obama’s children have the blessing of attending fine schools, rather than attending the inner city schools of Washington, D.C. Amazingly, both Obama and Clinton want to deny that same right to millions of less fortunate citizens. By promising free college (another unpaid give-away), one party would drive private Christian schools toward extinction, as they would be driven out of business by the inequality of costs. One candidate wants parents to decide where their children go to school; the other wants government to dictate this to the families. America is in trouble because our cities are in trouble. And one party has ruled most of the major cities for decades. It is there – Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland – where kids are as likely to get beat up as to get a good education, where shootings are becoming standard, and the economy is in shambles. There is a way out. It’s called school choice. And this most critical issue was completely ignored in the first presidential debate.