The Kings of the World Need the Daniels of the World

When my husband and I were younger, just a couple years ago (snort), we held a house church for high schoolers in our home. We were full of energy then, or maybe just coffee and delusionistas grandiosa. Our evenings began with what teens considered food (sigh), the memory of it firmly glued to my thighs. Then came a little worship of different musical flavors — rock, indie, rap, or your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine. But a favorite request of all was titled, “Daniel”. Much to our neighbors chagrin, they’d hear us bellowing…

“I wanna be like Daniel in the lion’s den waiting for God’s love to save him. I wanna be, I wanna be…”

That song came to mind today as I pondered Daniel and the state of American politics.

It’s no secret that I’m an apologist for Senator Marco Rubio. But it’s not a mindless, sycophant, star-struck devotion. I deal with Hollywood and once you’ve met a few ‘stars’ their shine falls off faster than drugstore lip gloss. No, my commitment’s borne over time and observation.

When the Senator produces legislation or votes on an issue, I research both sides of the debate and see where I fall. These days I mostly agree, but I didn’t always. My trust has developed by consistently seeing the Senator’s ability to foresee future consequences of current legislation. Marco Rubio sees the long game. I was bewildered by his choices at times — Is that conservative? Is this political posturing? But his foresight would be true in the end, sometimes years later.

Consider immigration. In 2013, Rubio knew that if we didn’t tackle immigration, our borders were going to remain unsafe and become a bigger problem. And Obama was going to make some inane executive order that would open the gates. Which he did. If the Republicans had persevered and dealt with the issue then, today we would already have safer borders, more visa accountability and e-verify established. Criminals would be gift-wrapped and sent packing to their country of origin and Congress would be working their way through the mess of what to do with the 11,000,000 peaceful illegals already living here.

I also believe the presidential circus of 2016 could’ve been avoided and Donald Trump would be an asterisk in political history. And I predict that when this current wall or barrier is built, the new policy on those 11,000,000 living here peacefully and productively will look much like Gang of Eight proposals which the GOP ate each other over. Those willing to come from the shadows, will have fines, taxes, and at least a decade long process before any can go to the end of the legal applicant line to apply for permanent resident or citizenship. But we shall see what Donny does, won’t we?

Rubio’s recent vote against the constitutionality of Trump’s border National Emergency caused much controversy even among his supporters, the Rubio Republicans. The Ever Trumpers and some newly born-again Trumpsters in their midst went on the attack calling Marco a traitor for not supporting the National Emergency funds for the border wall. The other 11 dissenting senators suffered equally with their base. I get it. It was a tough call for the legislators, especially Rubio who had struggled to develop a working relationship with Trump.

But as I read the statements of all 12, their consensus was compelling. They believed in ‘the wall’ and they passionately wanted border security…but in a constitutional fashion. Trump HAD a constitutional right to declare the emergency but NOT the right to demand funds from areas Congress had already appropriated funds by vote. Especially to our military. This will go to higher courts to decide, but on the surface the 12 voted for getting financing in a different way — a constitutional way.

Congress holds the purse strings and it is an important distinction in the Constitution. It protects citizens from dictators and kings. Now don’t get bunched. No one said Trump is a king, dictator, potentate, or grand poobah. But the next executive could be. Congress has usurped their authority to the executive branch for too long and it’s past time Congress did its job. If this had been a Democratic president stating a National Emergency for The Soylent Green New Deal or The Government Food Nanny Initiative or the National Piggy Bank Confiscation Act, Republicans would be screaming at the other 40 GOP senators for not exerting their congressional authority. This is important and past time.

It reminded me of how much we need our Daniels…

In the biblical time of Israel’s Babylonian captivity, Daniel was a god-fearing Jew who served 4 kings. How each king faired, was the result of how they heeded the God of Daniel. King Darius was a fair king. He was thoughtful and determined and he admired Daniel. But he also loved power and the adulation of his base. Darius fans didn’t like Daniel the Jew constricting any of their plans and wanted Darius to follow their lead and satisfy their desires.

But Daniel was devoted to his God first and foremost; not the King. So the king’s constituents used the king’s nationalist tendencies and deceived him into poor legislation. Darius got trapped by his own ego and his own law and was forced to send Daniel to the lion’s den. But God was sovereign and Daniel was protected from harm. And so was the nation when Darius served the lions a new lunch menu item — Lying Backstabber Stew.

This is a VTTI (Very Thin Tie-In) but Darius represents our presidential role and God represents the constitution — our American sovereignty. It’s so easy for humans to get caught up in their goals, even good goals, and lose site of what’s best under the Constitution.

So even if you think Trump is a great president, he still needs his Daniels to hold him to the Constitution. The next president may have goals that we, the GOP, find appalling so the Constitution must remain that plumb line to keep our country as intended by the founders.

These recent 12 Daniels in the Senate held us to that constitutional standard even though the president was trying to do something they desperately support. But they wanted to accomplish it constitutionally, so it would endure. And detractors will have no leg to stand on if we have followed the law.

We need borders. Without them, the US would just be a landmass. But we need a constitution to remain a country and a republic. Within those bounds, we will continue to be blessed.

So maybe this change in Congress, the taking back of constitutional authority and rebalancing the government’s power, should start now and start with us. Maybe the GOP should be proud that we are the standard bearers instead of tearing each other apart.

I’ve read statements from these 12 senators, and also many senators on the fence, that propose ways to obtain other funds for the wall and secure our border. No one’s saying the border isn’t a mess, but we need to stop the frenzy and listen to our Daniels. If we stridently hold to the Constitution, the progress we effect today, will endure tomorrow and not be overturned by future liberal administrations. We can stand firm on this precedence that will be needed in the gathering storms to come.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

- Mark Twain-

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Ruth Ellen Johnson

A remnant Conservative Christian from the beaches of SoCal. Working screenwriter, film festival judge, political contributor