Todd McKinley was a 2018 Republican Candidate for Congress in TN-01, he's a retired Army Paratrooper, Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, and Presidential Service Badge recipient. He’s served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as well 6 ½ years at the White House Communications Agency & White House Military Office. He’s served as an Advance Representative for the Trump Administration, and as an Advance Representative for the 2020 Trump Campaign. Follow Todd: ; ; ; ;

Census. Taxes. Refugees.

That may sound like the beginnings of a news story from the last year, but it easily could have been a headline in the Bethlehem Tribune 2,000+ years ago. One doesn’t often attribute politics to the Christmas narrative, but surprisingly, it plays a large role in both the story we know and the story we are currently living.

Rumor has it that Mary and Joseph, law-abiding citizens like many of us, were traveling back to Joseph’s home country to obey the decree that they must return for a government-ordered census. What was the reason for the census? “All went to be taxed, everyone to his own city” (Luke 2:3). That doesn’t sound too far-fetched, considering the government we have today. The two young parents, seeking to obey the law, made their now famous journey, only to be forced into fleeing not long after when King Herod ordered the murder of all boys under the age of two.

What an integral role the government played in the story we have heard thousands of times. Thankfully, in America, we aren’t ruled by a king. We have the freedom to elect, and we have a duty to ensure we do not elect a group of sinister Herods, who have only their own well-being in mind. Those who do fail to take the initiative to study candidates and what they truly stand for are the ones responsible for nailing shut the coffins of our wealth, prosperity, and freedoms. We are fortunate to have the ability to worship and celebrate the holidays should we choose to or not. We can choose to go to our churches or not this Christmas Sunday without fear of persecution, which is as it should be. However, Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Small exceptions to rules have become larger and larger to the point that “wrongs” of the past have become “rights” of the present and those “rights” have become persecuted. We cannot continue to sit and watch decisions be made that will grossly affect our grandchildren. The establishment will only worry enough about the public’s well-being to ensure their own needs are met. If we, the peasants, don’t act and involve ourselves in the workings of our local and national government, the Bob Cratchits of the world will continue to rely on their measly Christmas geese while the Scrooges of the establishment feast on prize-winning turkey.

Sit in your living room. Soak in your tree, your family, the gifts, and food (or lack thereof). The major components of the holiday we love to celebrate are all affected by politics. People we vote into office make the decisions that directly affect our finances, which then affects how much we must work to get by, which then affects what we are able to spend, both on necessities and frivolities. If there is less under your tree and less on your table this year, think back to who you helped put in charge. Maybe you voted for someone different than who is in currently in office and the change just didn’t occur. In that case, it is still up to you to change hearts and minds to help move our government in a direction that ensures prosperity in years to come. Where do the interests of our leaders lie? Look at their voting records. Look at their ties to companies and other individuals where they may have deals running under the table. At the culmination of Dickens’, A Christmas Carol, the antagonist-turned-hero, Ebenezer Scrooge, realizes that to change his future and the future of others, he must change his own ways. In turn, when it comes to our officials, do your homework, and encourage your neighbor to do theirs. Take no one at face value. Failure to become involved only hurts us all.

In this modern age, there is no reason anyone should be celebrating the holidays just “barely getting by” in a land that was once ripe with opportunity. The worst thing we could do is stare longingly at the barrenness under our trees and hope the government will give us more, when in fact, we need the government to get out of our way and take less, paving the way for us to strive for the American Dream instead of a socialist handout where the sky is NOT the limit.

In conclusion, we should all be like Mary and Joseph in a way, seeking to do the right things under the law. However, we should not bow down to the Herods and Caesars of our world, do our research, and realize that sometimes the “right” thing is anything but that.
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