I love computers, gadgets, PDA's, cell phones with GPS capability and cars with voice activated phones and MP3 players. I'm hooked on satellite radio and I never go anywhere without my IPOD. In short, I am a bonafide, southern fried techno junkie. I cried for three days when I found out AT&T would be the exclusive provider of the Iphone because I am locked into a long term contract with another mobile phone service provider.
But alas, the affection I have for all things high-tech is not returned to me by my beloved gadgets. Every technological marvel I touch instantly becomes dysfunctional. I was told that I need to switch from a PC to a Mac because Apple computers were foolproof. The Computer Services people at North Greenville University told me once I made the switch they would be able to reassign the lone Computer Services technician they hired just to look after me. In turn, they assured me I would be able to delete the Computer Services extension from my speed dial.
I am now known as the only person in the known universe who had to send two bad apples back to the Mac tree. Tim, the campus computer guru tells me in the world of computers that is a record comparable to Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles.
But all my face time with Computer Services has taught me a lesson or two about troubleshooting. I was talking to Tim about my latest crisis and he told me what my computer needed was to return to its default settings. It seems a big part of my problem with computers is I like to add lots of programs. Sometimes, Tim says, the best thing to do is just wipe the slate clean of all the added programs and take the computer back to its original settings. So Tim whips out something called the restore program and faster than you can say, "what happened to all my downloads," my computer is back to its original programming, humming along at warp speed without a single glitch.
Wouldn't it be nice if political candidates worked like computers? It seems to me a lot of the confusion associated with the race for the Republican nomination for president finds its source in everything the candidates are trying to add to the original idea of conservatism. Republicans are divided because no one has fully captured the imagination of the majority. All of the candidates have plenty of impressive programs they have added to their to their campaign speeches. But the question many Evangelical conservatives are asking is, when you strip away all the pat answers and the red meat rhetoric, where is the candidate whose core values will anchor them to something solid in this stormy time in which we live? The first candidate who answers that question will not only win the nomination they will win the White House.
America is ready for a leader whose default setting is the Word of Go d. A leader whose fall back position is to fall back to the idea of a smaller government that protects its weakest citizens and defends all of its citizens against the threat of annihilation from radical Islamic militants. We are ready for a leader who defends our borders and defies those who would transform our culture into a politically correct caricature of itself. Conservative Evangelicals are looking for a leader who will be a stand up straight shooter depending on core values that are rooted in absolute truth and grounded in a true understanding of compassion.
Ronald Reagan's name has been raised more than once on the Republican campaign trail. Amazingly enough it has also been at least whispered in more than one Democrat stump speech. What is it about Reagan's legacy that makes candidates of both parties invoke his name? It's simple really….Reagan's core values, his "default setting" captured the hearts of all Americans. All anyone has to do to understand why Reagan was so wildly popular is read a few excerpts from his diary. Reagan would bend over backwards to work with anyone who was willing to recognize he couldn't be budged off of his default setting. Smaller government, the protection of life, the defense of the family, victory over our enemies, the greatness of the American people, and the unlimited potential of the American dream were all programs that made up Reagan's default setting.
Its time for the Republican Party to remove the latest add on programs to fix America and return to the default settings that will make America great.
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.