America In The Balance

Dr. James Dobson

Dear Friends,

As I write in late December 2020, America faces the possibility of catastrophic change. By the time you receive this letter, you will know what I can only speculate about today. Everything depends on two legal developments. The first is whether or not the U.S. Supreme Court addresses the contested presidential election in the next few weeks. The second depends on the outcome of two senatorial runoff elections in Georgia, scheduled for January 5th. On these two turning points hangs the future of our great nation, and eventually, the world. You probably know what is at stake, but let me give you my perspective.

For me, the issue goes back to a significant day in my childhood when I was in the fourth grade. My public school teacher was Miss Eunice Harris. She was a 60-year-old, never-married "school marm" who really knew her stuff. I was 10 years old, and I remember vividly what happened that afternoon. My desk was in the middle of the room, and we had just returned from lunch. Miss Harris walked to a large blackboard and wrote three words in chalk, "Executive, Legislative, Judicial." Then she told us that these are the three branches of the United States government. She explained that the executive branch carries out the laws of the land, the legislature makes the laws, and the judiciary interprets the laws, according to the U.S. Constitution.

Miss Harris explained briefly what the Constitution is and told us that it's where the three branches of government originated. She talked about the founding fathers who wrote it, and how most of them were godly men who knew that mankind is flawed by sin. (Miss Harris was herself a strong Christian.) Even great men, she said, cannot be trusted with unlimited power. Therefore, our designers set up a system of "checks and balances." Miss Harris then described how each branch limits what the other two can do on their own. They have to work together to get anything done.

Finally, Miss Harris said that the ultimate power belongs to the American people, not to the three branches of government. I don't remember if she quoted from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, but if she didn't, she could have. Our 16th President concluded his immortal speech with these words, "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."1

Reading Lincoln's passionate address at Gettysburg moistens my eyes today. Within his words lie the genius of our Constitutional republic. There has never been anything like it in human history. Sadly, our government appears to be about to abandon this system in the next month. If that occurs, government of the people, by the people, and for the people may well perish from the earth. This moment is that significant! If the awesome power of government can function, dictate, demand, tax, and penalize its citizens without accountability, democracy will have ceased to exist. How is that possible? I believe this is what the far left has in store for us if Democrats win two additional senatorial seats in the upcoming Georgia runoff. Very quickly, that will mean the demolishing of checks and balances—and America's greatness could be lost. Lord Acton said it best, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." That is invariably true.

In essence, one party could hold power in the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. All that remains to make that power absolute is to gain control of the judiciary. They can do that first by appointing liberal judges who have been nominated by the President. The next step would be to create two new states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, which would give them four more senatorial seats. With that majority they could "pack" the Supreme Court by creating three to five new justices. An independent judiciary, representing the third branch of government, would be within their grasp. The Democrats' hold on power would then be consolidated.

Even that would not satisfy the new rulers. The next step would be to end the filibuster rule in the Senate, which presently gives the minority the ability to block measures put forward by the majority. Without a filibuster, those in the minority would be "power-less." Every piece of legislation put forward by the Democrats would sail through to passage.

But there is one final avenue to a virtual dictatorship. It would be to eliminate the Electoral College, which would then allow the most populated states to determine the outcome of all future elections. Bingo! That would end accountability to the people in smaller states. If that happens, Democrats would have run the table on power. From there, they could eliminate or rewrite the Constitution or pass any legislation they dream up. There would be no stopping them. Checks and balances would be eradicated for the first time since the adoption of the Constitution on September 17, 1787.

With this consolidation of power, the federal government would become rather like California today, where Democrats dominate the affairs of State in perpetuity. Their laws are designed to guarantee that they will never lose another election. Year after year, power is held by Democrat governors and the heads of the various departments. They need not negotiate or compromise. What they want is what they get. The result is certifiable craziness. As a Californian for nearly 40 years, I watched one-party rule "up close and personal." It is a form of tyranny. Based on what radicals have already told us about their plans, this is what we can anticipate if checks and balances are eliminated. First, an oligarchy (defined as a small group of ultra-powerful politicians) will control every dimension of our massive government, which will include an entire federal bureaucracy, and from there unrestrained power over the economy, commerce, public education, higher education, the military, medicine, taxation, the IRS, labor, federal lands, water, agriculture, international affairs, the family, and the church. The cherished freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights could easily be compromised or overridden. And from there, we would have...socialism.

To get a further taste of what is to come within this scenario, consider what Joe Biden has already told us. He said that on his first day in office, he will cancel every executive order enacted by President Donald Trump. That means the excesses and restrictions of the Obama administration will be restored in one fell swoop. All of the regulations that paralyzed the country for eight years will again be in place.

A draconian measure at the top of Biden's agenda is passage of the Equality Act.2 Brace yourself, America. This could be coming your way. Here are just a few of the provisions of this egregious act:

• It would force people of faith to violate their consciences in regard to human sexuality and gender.
• It would also spell an end to sex-specific locker rooms and other private spaces, putting women and girls at risk.
• It would allow biological men to compete in women's sports.
• It would gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was passed in 1993 by a unanimous U.S. House and a nearly unanimous U.S. Senate.
• Children in our overloaded child welfare systems could be left without homes, if faith-based providers are forced to choose between abandoning their beliefs or closing their doors to children.
• Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers could be forced to participate in abortions or radical "gender transition" procedures. If they refuse, they could lose their licenses to practice.

Religious liberties would be assaulted. That is already operational in many states. As you know, many churches are shuttered, while bars, casinos, and abortion clinics are exempt as "essential services." This is just the beginning of the harassment and persecution to come.

Biden has also said he wants to "transgenderize" the military. Who knows where that will eventually lead? On and on the revolution will rumble. Another anticipated measure includes a return to partial-birth abortion, the Nazi-esque procedure whereby babies are murdered without anesthesia while in the process of delivery. Yes, that is what it means to allow babies to be dismembered through nine months of pregnancy.

Biden will have plenty of help in turning this country leftward. The current Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, who may become the next Majority Leader, said he intends to "fundamentally change the Senate and the nation."3 Where have you heard that before? Remember that former President Barack Obama promised repeatedly to "fundamentally change" the nation. Here we go again.

Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, has said that she hopes that prostitution will be decriminalized throughout the nation.4

Of all these disturbing plans laid out for America if Georgia elects two more Democrat senators, I am most concerned about what will be done to the nation's children. The LGBTQ ideology, which already predominates in thousands of our nation's schools, will become even more radicalized. Parents will not be allowed to "opt out" their own flesh and blood, leaving millions of boys and girls to be taught a godless curriculum. Parents, does this worry you?An entire generation of young Americans is at risk as we speak.

Well, we have to ask, "Is there any good news in the road ahead?" Yes, what I have described today is a "worst case" projection for the future. It may not come to pass. I pray that it won't. I don't claim to be a prophet. The courts or the runoff election could change our circumstances. Also, as Christians know, God is in control. He still cares about this great nation. I believe that repentance for sins and a return to righteousness are our only hope. Remember that ancient Nineveh was under divine judgment, but the people heeded the warnings of Jonah and turned from their wicked ways. The Bible tells us that Nineveh was spared and prospered for another 100 years because of their repentance. It is not too late for America, but the days are short.

There is another scriptural reference that is comforting when God may not appear to be paying attention to our troubles. I included that passage in my book, When God Doesn't Make Sense, as follows:

You'll remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego reported in the third chapter of Daniel. They incurred the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar by refusing to fall down and worship the idol he had set up. He made it clear that if they again refused to obey his command, they would be thrown into a "burning fiery furnace." Their response to that murderous threat is one of the most inspiring passages in Scripture. These godly young men said in reply:

"The God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)

What courage these men showed in the face of a horrible death! What conviction! What faith! "God can save us," they said, "but if not, we'll serve Him anyway." That is the biblical prescription in its simplest terms. He can heal the disease that grips my body—but if not, my faith will survive. He can correct my child's disability, or save my bankrupt business, or bring my son home safely from the war. But if not, I will continue trusting in Him. That's what Job meant when he said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15, NKJV).


This is where we are in January 2021. America is looking disaster squarely in the face at this moment in history. The runoff senatorial election in Georgia is breathtaking in its significance. Millions of believers are calling on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to save them from those who would destroy the nation we love. I believe He will answer our fervent prayers and preserve this Constitutional republic. "But if not," we will continue to serve Him, knowing that His purposes are superior to our own. We can trust Him even when we can't track Him.

Keep the faith, dear brothers and sisters. Continue praying for our beloved nation during this time of crisis. He will see us through.




P.S. I will close by expressing my appreciation for the generosity of our friends during the year-end season. I know that this has been a difficult year financially for so many people, and it is humbling to receive your gifts and words of encouragement. Rest assured, we will steward these funds carefully and wisely as we uplift faith and family in 2021.


1 Lincoln, President Abraham, “Historic Documents: The Gettysburg Address,”, November 19, 1863,
2 Anderson, Ph.D., Ryan T., Nancy Pelosi’s “Equality Act” Would Undo Trump’s Most Significant Achievements, The Heritage Foundation, May 7, 2019,
3 Phillips, Morgan, Schumer: ‘Now we take Georgia, then we change the world’,, November 7, 2020,
4 Freiburger, Calvin, 2020 Democrat Kamala Harris endorses decriminalizing prostitution after outcry from sex-work activists, Life Site News, February 27, 2019,

This letter may be reproduced without change and in its entirety for non-commercial and non-political purposes without prior permission from Family Talk. Copyright, 2021 Family Talk. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Printed in the U.S. Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk is not affiliated with Focus on the Family.


Donate today and
support our mission