The Road Back

 

 

About one day of being depressed over the election results is as much as I can stomach.  Here are some practical suggestions for electoral comeback:

1.  Professionalism-The Democrats and their campaign staffs approach politics as a business, if not a war.  Republicans have for far too long tolerated well-meaning amateurism as a substitute for professional competence in politics.  Politics is a job like any other, and professional staffs can help take a lot of the ineffectiveness and clumsiness out of our campaigns.

2.  The Mainstream Media are an Arm of the Democrat Party-Republicans often react with shock and helplessness when they learn for the millionth time that most of the Mainstream Media owe their entire allegiance to the left-wing of the Democrat party.  It is not a fact to bemoan, but one to accept and to plan for.  Attack the media constantly for its bias and have plans to go over the heads of the members of the media to reach the voters.

3.  Conservative and Proud-Too often conservatives act as if they are ashamed of being conservatives for fear of alienating voters.  This is a mistake.  Confident assertion of what a candidate believes in is the only honest and effective means to win votes.

4.  Leave no Attack Unanswered-Romney left unanswered a constant barrage of attacks against him, husbanding his resources for a media blitz in the final weeks.  The election results demonstrate what a mistake this was.

5.  Outreach to Minorities-The Republicans cannot win national elections when they lose 95% of the Black vote and two out of three Hispanic votes. Conservative groups among Blacks and Hispanics must receive large funding from the Republican party and not just in election years. We have many able Republican members of minority groups who can spearhead this effort.  This is not tokenism or racial spoils, but an effort to engage conservative members of minority groups in forging a movement that can convert and inspire all Americans for the benefit of the entire nation.

6.  Don’t nominate Idiots-Too often we put forward candidates who are unable to convincingly articulate what they believe in and who alienate rather than attract voters.

7.  Recognize trending Red States-Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are all trending red.  Major resources should be dedicated to party building operations in these States.  Romney came within a few points of victory in each of these states and with some hard work these states can be on our side in the years to come.

8.  Generational Change-It is time to put forward some of the younger rising stars of the Republican party to help lead us out of the political wilderness.  We have a lot of bright, young energetic office holders and it is time to use this resource.

9.  Attack-Obama’s policies are a disaster for the nation.  The Republicans must remind the public of this unceasingly and of the alternative policies they back.  After a big defeat there is sometimes a temptation for the losing party to tone down its criticism.  Such a temptation must be resisted.

10. Bad Times Coming-We know that Obama’s economic and fiscal policies cannot work.  In another four years the havoc he will wreak will be a pity to behold.  By 2016 the people will be ready for an alternative, and the Republican party must be prepared to be that alternative.

49 Responses to The Road Back

  • Good points. I would like to bring up a thought for discussion about the professional /amateur politicians part.
    The word “amateur” has to do with love. Amateurs are lovers whether they are tennis players or oarents. The laity at church who volunteer to do the weekly reading, lead the Christmas pageants, sit on the school boards, town council– all amateurs.
    Some amateurs are more brilliant than others! George Washington for example, who was not a career politician, but a gentleman farmer who loved.
    if professional means hired hands with degrees and knowledge of marketing as qualifiers–I can see that– but first of all they should be amateurs– who love.

    If the republican party goes to decision makers who do not love the ideals that now signify the GOP they will have lost the most important thing. Those ideals are winning people over.
    Many people just beginning to trust the Republicans left the Democratic party (or it left us) over so called “social” issues. All issues are social. All issues come down to love (Deuteronomy)

  • I was thinking Anzlyne of staffers who actually know the nuts and bolts of politics: how to set up an effective get out the vote campaign for instance. If they are dedicated conservatives all the better, but for too long the Republican party in campaigns has tolerated truly reprehensible shoddy staff work.

  • The Romney Campaign website is a good example of your point Don. When Ryan was selected as his running mate, there was plenty of momentum because Ryan is an articulate and attractive guy… So my wife tells me anyway. However, a search by Ryan’s name didn’t bring you to the official campaign website. The first two pages of a Google search led to blogs and unrelated pages aince his name is common. Not so for the Dems since their official site was always first in search results by “Biden” and “Obama”.

    I looked into this and both of the IT folks I asked told me that a relatively minor expense would move the Romney sit up in the rankings if the campaign paid a provider to “hit on” the site with searches.

    Simple trick, not terribly costly, and not immoral…

    The GOP acts like the campaigns of yesteryear will suffice. They won’t and rewarding “loyal” rank-and-file with influential positions in campaigns is daft. Merit should be the primary consideration.

  • It’s just as important to recognize Trending Blue States as it is Trending Red States. The Repubs are increasingly playing a game of thread the needle. The results are obvious,

  • yes- I am for for efficient and effective! I guess underlying my worry was keeping the raison d’etre. There are no doubt things that can be learned and improved.. but remember why R attracted so many ex D (who after all see themselves as lovers!)

  • #2 – I read an article recently, maybe on Slate, about how the conservative alternate press has lost momentum. It developed in response to the mainstream press – talk radio, MRC, Fox News, et cetera. The left responded to online media critics with Media Matters-type organizations, who are critics of the conservative media. They converted MSNBC into a Fox News-type format. The “mainstream” press looks more mainstream when it’s got critics on the left and right, and the Confirmation Bias Left has a steady stream of material just like their counterparts on the Right.

    #5 – I was listening to Chris Corr’s radio show this morning. He opened it up to only Hispanic callers, asking them what the Republicans need to do to make inroads. The consensus seemed to be: amnesty. Not freebies, not something for nothing, but amnesty for those in the US.

    #8 – Libertarianism is cool among the kids. That’s a problem. At least when liberalism was cool, there was a sense of commitment to the common welfare. Now it’s social liberalism and fiscal conservatism – or, from a religious standpoint, selfishness. I worry that the cultural difference between the average kid and the evangelical kid makes it tough for the traditional moral code to find its way into the mainstream lexicon.

  • I probably have a more dystopian view of the nation now. Many of the items listed are items mentioned before the election, and many followed through on it. Result: Failure.

    My view is dystopian for the following reasons:

    1. A significant portion of the public has under developed critical thinking skills. They accept an argument at face value, e.g. “I have the right to choose,” and are unwilling or unable to delve into the argument any deeper. Too many live lives on the FM dial rather than AM. People laughed at Obama for doing interviews at all those pop culture outlets during a campaign. Turns out that was very wise because the content on those venues exhibits the depth of too many people’s thinking.

    BTW, I think this a challenge for the Church too. Understanding the Catholic position on some issues requires thinking… thinking deeply. I call Catholicism the “thinking man’s Christianity.” The others are very emotion driven, which is a close cousin to the FM society.

    So, for much of the recommended list to work requires a thinking society. And with a broken education system, this isn’t going to happen soon.

    2. The absence of a virtuous society. Much of America is self-serving and obsessed with convenient and expedient solutions. “What’s in it for me? And, don’t bug me about getting it done or its costs.” This runs against the grain of conservatism because it sometimes requires giving up personal gain. It requires evaluating worthiness of solutions, weighing the costs with the benefit. To the FM society, this is selfless, laborious and too time consuming. Just give out free birth control if someone wants it. Done!

    This is a two edge sword for conservatives because while it cuts, it has also served the conservative argument on cutting taxes. The problem is many supported lower taxes because they saw what’s in for them, more money in their wallet. They did not support lower taxes because higher taxes represented a reduction of freedom and rise of government power or because it was a good economic argument that money in the private sector being more productive than money in the government.

    For an additional take on a virtuous society, watch the first 30 minutes of Bill Whittle’s video. I don’t quite get the remaining hour of it. A conservative’s Angies List maybe.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s02SypCcYIc&feature=g-user-u

    3. They don’t get “it” until it all comes to a grinding halt. I believe no argument is more persuasive than disaster. For example, no conservative speak enough hours on the dangers of terrorism and radical Islam and be as persuasive as 9/11. People simply don’t want to think about, deal with or having anything to do with issues until they see evidence of a problem that personally affects them. The debt could be $160 trillion, and the general populace will not care at all about it if day to day life is generally unaffected.

    There are more reasons for my view, but those are the top 3. I have personally tried recommended item #4. I have walked liberals through their arguments until it hits a brick wall and under normal conditions, they would have to change their mind. Any sense of reasonableness would cause the mind to change or at least request more time to think on the issue. But, they either go silent with no answer or resort back to their superficial argument, e.g. “People have a right to do what they want with their bodies.” And, they are not going to request more time to think on it. See my point #1 above.

    I think America will continue its re-uniting with Europe socially, politically, intellectually and culturally. American exceptionalism, altruism, personal responsibility and freedom as outlined in the Declaration will be relegated to the list of archaic notions.

  • I thought of my point 4. Still not in top 3, but a serious challenge to conservatives and the Church and a contributing factor to the top 2.

    4. The color of gray. Making good choices requires understanding there is a right and a wrong path. For too many, when they are unable to clearly understand issues fallback on the argument that nothing is really right or wrong. Everything is gray. People maybe get this way out of laziness or they are constantly being fed the hero/anti-hero line in pop culture.

    This spills over into politics. “Both parties are equally corrupt and have basically the same answers which neither will deliver on. No one party offers anything truly better than the other.” This is partially what feeds the third parties, especially with the confused youth of today. They embrace third party as a way to stay in the gray zone. It’s a comfortable place. And when the two major factions rip each other up and achieve nothing, they can say “Well, don’t blame me.” They never have to stick their neck out because the parties never have enough power to be in a position to take that risk.

  • Hogwash. I’m with you on the rest but third parties aren’t the result of looking for an easier intellectual path. Third parties tend to be very specific and directed towards a narrow concern that the major parties won’ address as radically as third party members want.

    Look at the Green Party. They did surprisingly well in local races around the country. (For the record, I don’t see the connection between the state and local entities and between the Greens in the states. They look like individual entities of loosely affiliated groups.) They argue that neither party is serious about environmental causes and they certainly look to have a point. There is no lack of specific proposals or specifically identified evils.

    I’m with you on the rest, but not on this last point.

  • Kyle Miller wrote in part, “A significant portion of the public has under developed critical thinking skills. They accept an argument at face value…”

    This is true not just of members of the general public, but sometimes even an otherwise quite erudite and well-informed blogger or two here at TAC. Example: a blogger wrote in a totally unrelated post something to the effect of the following, “Fukushima continues to threaten all life on Earth.” The statement is ludicrous at face value. Yet without any substantiating web links to reputable nuclear engineering and radiation protection sources, it was made.

    I use this not to get side-tracked about an irrelevant issue to the topic of this post, but to point out that even otherwise well-educated people sometimes lack the ability to apply their critical thinking skills when the topic involves something to which they may have an emotional attachment or on which they lack education, and that criticism which I am making applies very much to my own self (as most of you already know). I am guilty as charged.

    What all of us have to do is engage our brains before our mouths or our keyboards, and again I am guilty all too many times of failing to do that (hence Donald McClarey’s oft repeated warning to back off or calm down). We have to use logic – dispassionate reason – passionately. And we have to get the facts to the last decimal place if need be. That means using history as it is and not as it is re-written (a subject in which Donald is expert and I amm ignorant), and using real science (a subject about which I know a thing a two), not the false scientism of materialistic evolution or the anti-nuclear eco-wacko propaganda from those who haven’t spent a day of their lives working in a nuclear power plant (to refer again to my example).

    Only Truth matters whatever the subject or topic may be, and Truth is NOT a thing but a Person – the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

    OK, enough of my ranting.

  • KM lists 3 points

    1.A significant portion of the public has under developed critical thinking skills.

    When has this statement Not been true. Perhaps in the past people were less insulated from the consequences of bad choices and thus had more common sense. Take the McGovern $1000 grant. Even low info voters back then understood that this was ridiculous. Today they would say why not $10,000?

    The answer has to be figuring out a way to communicate the message (different than changing the message) to the low info voter. The problem is that Repubs have fecklessly allowed their microphone to be taken away and they never tried to get a new one. The Repub establishment really hates the alternative media as well so forget that

    2. The absence of a virtuous society.

    Again this is a relative thing although I think it’s on sounder ground. In such times there’s a feeling “that you have to grab it fast because you know it will not last.” Thus Obama’s advocacy of partial birth abortion is no big deal but some one-off statement from Mourdock or Akin is finis.

    3.They don’t get “it” until it all comes to a grinding halt.

    Again like #1 when has this Not been true. But Dems seem to able to convince voters that Repubs will take away their b/c pills although it never happens.

  • As far as outreach to minorities a couple of things need to be borne in mind. 10 Our appeal to hispanics and other minorities have have an inclusive tone in that we need to appeal to them as Americans, not as whatever hypen they have. All too often repulicans try to pander to Hispanics by defending illegal immigration, thinking that’s gonna get more Hispanic votes. All the while, the Democrats not only defend illegal immigration but also put them on the welfare dole.

    I have believed for a long time that the left will continue to play the race card so long as conservatives allow themselves to be intimidated by it. Conservative response to left race baiting is Pavlovian. I mean the response to Rick Perry owning a piece of property having the word “Niggerhead” written on a rock, should have been “So, what?” All the while it’s the left that are the real racists and need to be called out as such. It’s time to demonize the demons. They need to start running ads on how leftist policies victimize minorities, especially blacks.

    They need to put the correct back in political correctness.

  • Greg M. stated in part, “All the while it’s the left that are the real racists and need to be called out as such. It’s time to demonize the demons.”

    A truer statement has not been made. The left supports abortion that disproportionately murders more black babies percentage-wise. The left supports Planned Parenthood that started as a eugenics program against black people. The left is the Democratic Party which supported slavery 160 years agot. The left supports social welfare programs that keep minorities including black people dependent on the teat of the public treasury instead of being independent and self-supporting. The left is nothing but racist in all that it does.

  • I’m with you on the rest but third parties aren’t the result of looking for an easier intellectual path. Third parties tend to be very specific and directed towards a narrow concern that the major parties won’ address as radically as third party members want.

    I tried to carefully word that point because I knew there were people here with an affiliation with or affection for 3rd parties. So look at what I wrote… “This is partially what feeds the third parties,” I work with youth and every one of them that are third party are there for the reasons I stated. Third party adults are sometimes a different story.

    I realize there are third party members entirely because of other reasons. Addressing some of those reasons is another post.

    The Green Party didn’t do well in Texas. :-D

    We have to use logic – dispassionate reason – passionately. And we have to get the facts to the last decimal place if need be.

    True. But what do you do when someone is faced with every logical argument and there is simply no way out for the receiver to slip away from reason? “So, you see? The sun does rise in the east.” Response: “Yes we can!” (face palm)

    This mental stubbornness, this inability to take in new information and come to new conclusion, is where we are. And why the stubbornness? I used to think it’s a pride problem. It still is, but I think it’s mostly because truth threatens self-interest.

    Rozin,

    1. I mostly agree, but I think on average, America of the past was more reasoned, more rightly skeptical. Maybe I’m a romantic. Back then, information came at a slower pace. Decisions are formed by the intake of information and processed by reason and conscience. Today, there is more information coming at a faster pacer and with lots of noise. Combine this with unnurtured reason and a malformed conscience, and you have the recipe for making a bad decision. That’s what we have today.

    2. Why do you think people get more angry about a bad call by substitute refs vs. a president covering up a Libya debacle or (insert hot topic here)? I’ve seen more people get passionate about the NFL substitute refs than the long list of issues that really matter. These are people I never see show passion about anything. That’s just one example.

    3. I guess I should have specified “it” being truth or the consequences of bad decisions. The public buys propaganda for all the reasons I mentioned above, but that is not evidence of them getting “it.”

  • I largely agree with Rozin’s response. The Catholic emphasis should be on improving the morals of a population. Improving their thinking is more of an Enlightenment approach, and it’s not necessarily a winner.

    Kyle made a great point about tax cuts. It’s a Republican hallucination to think that everyone became a supply-sider in 1980. The truth is, they heard “taxes lower blah blah blah” and it made sense. Now they hear “someone else’s taxes blah blah” and it makes just as much sense. I made a comment earlier equating libertarianism and selfishness. I probably overstated it, but the idea is similar to Kyle’s. Morally, the idea of sexual license and low taxes isn’t much different from the idea of sexual license and raising other people’s taxes, unless the tax argument is grounded in a notion of human freedom. There is a legitimate libertarian instinct that’s compatible with Catholicism, too (nod to Bonchamps), but an immoral libertarianism doesn’t do anyone any good. This goes back to the morals vs. intellect question.

  • Pinky says The Catholic emphasis should be on improving the morals of a population. Improving their thinking is more of an Enlightenment approach, and it’s not necessarily a winner.

    Yes yes yes. Morals come first then critical thinking. Unmoored rationality seems to result in desperation and nihilism.

  • Kyle M. said in part, quoting me at the beginning, “‘We have to use logic – dispassionate reason – passionately. And we have to get the facts to the last decimal place if need be.’ True. But what do you do when someone is faced with every logical argument and there is simply no way out for the receiver to slip away from reason? ‘So, you see? The sun does rise in the east.’ Response: ‘Yes we can!’ (face palm)”

    Perhaps this is crude, cruel and crass, but sometimes people have to suffer and die as a consequence of their decisions and no amount of compassion and reason to the contrary can save them. This is exactly like the alcoholic who knows that he has a terminal disease for which there is no cure, and the only respite is complete abstinence and attendance at 12 Step meetings. To see what our society is like, go to the middle paragraph on PDF page 3 or physical page 32 here:

    http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt3.pdf

    Then go to PDF page 6 or physical page 35 and read Jim’s story that lasts until PDF page 8 or physical page 37. Jim is typical of the average person in our society that is drunk with sex and luxury.

    Now the example is alcoholism, but really, how is that any different from the sexual addiction that enslaves far too many people today? This is exactly what St. Paul wrote about in Romans chapter 7 when he was discussing our enslavement to sin and asked rhetorically who would deliver us from such bondage. The answer is Jesus – only God’s grace. That’s always the only answer. And when Bill Wilson wrote AA’s Big Book and used those examples which I cited above, I feel certain that he had St. Paul’s writing in mind.

    One cannot reason with a committed liberal progressive Democrat any more than one can reason with an alcoholic who hasn’t reached his bottom yet. I fear, however, in our case that the bottom will be a lot more painful than what an alcoholic has to reach before he goes into recovery – and some don’t make it that far. They die. My 2nd sponsor told me that some people have to die that others may live. We know that’s true – Deicide, Crucifixion of our Lord. That’s the reality. St. Paul knew that. So did Bill Wilson.

  • KM

    I think points 1 and 3 are converging with the idea of practical knowledge of action and consequence. No question that there was a better sense of that in the past. Maybe it will return in the near future.

  • MT 25:35-26 For I was…a stranger and you welcomed me.

    Full blown immigration welcoming is in order if the Republican Party is to survive. No way around that. As simple as that. Doesn’t Jesus command us to welcome the stranger anyways? And these strangers are practicing catholics to boot! Sheesh it seems like a no-brainer. Is having someone like Barrack Hussein Obama president worth not embracing the stranger wholeheartedly? Really?!? Can people sleep at night better thinking, well we might have Obama president but at least we haven’t given amnesty! Seriously?!

  • The GOP and conservatives DO welcome immigrants. So much so that we wouldn’t find ourselves being absurdly unfair to people who come here legally at great personal expense by turning a blind eye to people who simply cross the border.

    Anyway, you are confusing precepts of personal morality with national policy, and meanness with concern for the cultural, fiscal, and territorial integrity of the United States. Mass illegal immigration is not sustainable, and it isn’t desirable. By all means be kind to the people you meet in your daily life. But as a matter of policy, support the survival of your country and the rule of law. Catholics don’t get a free pass to do whatever they want from other Catholics.

  • I’ve had to delete and rewrite so many times because this is a very educated blog and I didn’t want to go all uneducated on ya’ll but they’re so many things wrong with what you say that I feel the need to reply something, so I’ll just bare bone it:

    Opening Thesis:

    Option A: Godless elite leading America= not good

    Option B: God-fearing servants leading America= very good

    Body:

    Option A will remain if it continues to get elected.

    Option B must take up cross, trust in the LORD, embrace the stranger and get e-l-e-c-t-e-d

    Conclusion:

    The LORD will Bless land with people who trust in him with option B leadership.
    The LORD will have a harder time helping land that falls further into abomination with the help of option A leadership.

    Bonus:

    Legal immigration is a total nightmare to go through. You can’t imagine how hard it is to want to do things right but having the hardest time trying to do so.

  • It IS sustainable to embrace the stranger because the LORD blesses you!

    E.G.; Heartland Draws Hispanics to Help Revive Small Towns
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443696604577645500654098514.html

    Check out this rant by a liberal fearing Rep Governor Susana Martinez in 2016:
    http://frankwu.livejournal.com/384100.html

    Now re-evaluate Susana Martinez’s GOP convention speech:

  • Well, I’m glad you opted for a logical argument.

    I would quibble semantically with “Option B.” I don’t side with the GOP because it is “God fearing.” George W. Bush was supposedly God-fearing, but he did little to solve the deep structural problems of this country. I salute his pro-life efforts, quite a bit was accomplished, but on foreign policy and/or immigration he was as horrendous as any of his Democratic predecessors from Clinton down through LBJ and as far back as Woodrow Wilson.

    On the other hand, Rand Paul doesn’t strike me as particularly “God fearing” though I imagine he is a believer of some kind. He is pro-life and pro-marriage for many of the same reasons I am: reasons that are almost entirely secular. He’s my choice for 2016 and the day he announces his candidacy is the day I join the campaign.

    I reject the notion that you have a pipeline to the LORD, through which he communicates to you his party and policy preferences. Unless you can point out some precept of the natural law or divine law that forbids the establishment of territorial boundaries or laws that regulate the flow of people through those boundaries, you really have no argument to make. “Welcome the stranger” does not necessarily or likely mean “open the borders, dole out billions in welfare and benefits to non-citizens who send most of their income abroad in the form of remittances, and fail to demand linguistic and cultural assimilation.” This punishes the citizen who pays taxes and the legal immigrant who waited in line. I don’t see anything particularly moral about that.

    Just be honest, at least. Stop hiding behind “the LORD” and tell the truth: you want the GOP to radically alter its policies to appease emotional demands for votes. If you think that’s a viable strategy, fine. I think it stinks.

  • “It IS sustainable to embrace the stranger”

    This is semantic B.S. To identify your policy preferences with the moral precept of “embracing the stranger” is illogical and dishonest. I do welcome strangers in my midst. What I don’t embrace are policies that will destroy my country.

  • Long time reader, first time commenter. I have to admit I read sites like this just as people rubberneck after a car crash. The complete lack of self-awareness among you people is fun to read, and many of you would meet Hegel’s definition of a “beautiful soul”: people too caught up with principle to fully engage the world. I don’t believe I have to elaborate, but I think sooner or later the people who pay the bills for your quixotic crusades are going to make all of your change your tune, even so they can just get their money’s worth:

    http://m.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/11/quote-day-americas-billionaires-are-pissed-karl-rove

    And pace what everyone has said here, that is going to mean getting down from your hobby horses and outright lying. After all, that’s what Obama does, which is why I voted Green. It’s all just smoke and mirrors, and until the GOP embraces that, they are going to have their asses handed to them. I can say this because I live in a solid Red State. Trust me, this ain’t the future, and if it is the future, there is no hope for humanity. (There might be no hope anyway, but this path is particularly dismal.)

    Then again, you can double-down on your fundamentalisms on human reproductive parts and natural law theories (basically marrying God and Mammon), but that would only remind me of fellow commie Bertolt Brecht’s poem written after the first anti-Stalinist uprising in 1953:

    After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

  • Of your Responses I read, few are pointing out the Will of God in what has just happened to your beloved Country. Can someone dig into this and explain what God is telling America. Of special interest to us who have been praying for you is: what is He telling the Bride of Christ in America???? If we can discern His message here, we can begin to know what He wants us all to do. Remember, nothing happens without His Will and Permission, even the Evil things like this Disaster of epic proportions which has just befallen the U.S. of America

  • “Long time reader, first time commenter. I have to admit I read sites like this just as people rubberneck after a car crash. The complete lack of self-awareness among you people is fun to read, and many of you would meet Hegel’s definition of a “beautiful soul”: people too caught up with principle to fully engage the world. I don’t believe I have to elaborate, but I think sooner or later the people who pay the bills for your quixotic crusades are going to make all of your change your tune, even so they can just get their money’s worth:”

    No one gives us a dime. We are all unpaid volunteers, so that means we can engage in our “quixotic crusade” forever.

    “And pace what everyone has said here, that is going to mean getting down from your hobby horses and outright lying.”

    What lying?

    “After all, that’s what Obama does, which is why I voted Green.”

    Well, that means that you are a far left zealot undisguised which gives you a point for honesty if not for judgment.

    “Trust me, this ain’t the future,”
    Leftists have such a charming, albeit completely erroneous, belief in their ability to discern the future as they completely misunderstand and misinterpret both the present and the past.

    “Then again, you can double-down on your fundamentalisms on human reproductive parts”
    The sacredness of innocent human life is a concept as foreign to you as algebra is to an albatross isn’t it?

    “and natural law theories”
    I doubt if you could define natural law if your soul depended upon it and wikipedia is of no assistance whatsoever.

    ” After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?”

    I have always liked that poem. Then I recall that initially Brecht supported the measures to crush the protests implemented by the East German regime, and any disgust he felt thereafter never caused him to give up his status as a “kept intellectual” of the regime. He thought he saw the future in East Germany and thank the God in which Brecht did not believe that he was wrong about that also.

  • “I doubt if you could define natural law if your soul depended upon it”

    Oh, he can. It just makes him all the more culpable.

  • Mary@42

    Recall that, through Jeremiah, God twice calls Nebuchadnezzer “My servant” (Jer 27:6, 43:10) and through Isaiah, he calls Cyrus “My servant” and “His anointed” (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1). Whether they knew it or not, they were God’s instruments, fulfilling His hidden purposes.

    St Augustine explains, “But God, just as He is the supremely good Creator of good natures, so He is the most just exploiter of evil wills; so that, while they make an bad use of good natures, He makes a good use even of evil wills.” (my translation – Sed Deus sicut naturarum bonarum optimus creator est, ita malarum uoluntatum iustissimus ordinator; ut, cum illae male utuntur naturis bonis, ipse bene utatur etiam uoluntatibus malis) [De Civ Dei, XI, 17]

  • I don’t want to have to argue with you people, since it ruins the entertainment value of reading. but my understanding of the natural law flows from the pithy scholastic axiom: operatio esse sequitur. That is: action follows from being. In the sexual realm, one could say that “Tab A enters Slot B”. A thing must act according to its being. Humans’ ultimate end is God (homo capax Dei), but they could only achieve that end through grace, though grace builds on “nature” but doesn’t do violence to it (gratia perficit et non tollit naturam). Theologians, riffing off of Aristotle, thus began to conceive of “natural ends” to human endeavors: natural hierarchies between classes, sexes, races, etc. Ultimately, these ends were accepted in a fallen, unredeemed cosmos as absolute in themselves, and coming directly from the nature of the very individuals in question (thus, Aquinas accepting that a woman was inferior in her nature and thus by that token subordinate to a man). Of course, people like John Paul II updated such conceptions to suit modern tastes (see his theology of the body), and in the political and economic realm, such theorists as Murray Rothbard, Alasdair Macintyre, and others have tried to recuperate the theories with mixed success. In Catholic theology, the voice that perhaps undermined the idea of natural law the most (perhaps not intentionally) was Henri Cardinal de Lubac, in his work on the problem of the supernatural in Catholic theology, at first rejected by Pius XII in his 1950 encyclical Humani Generis, but later widely adopted as having a point in most Catholic circles.

  • Try again. Think of Cicero. Perhaps one of our contributors or commenters could give EML a hand?

  • It is possible that Jesus would count as a racist today. He insulted the Canaanite woman pleading for her daughter’s life, by making an unkind reference to dogs. What I take away from this portion is that it appears alright to put one’s own tribal affiliations above that of outsiders. He did of course cure the woman’s daughter but that is another part of the story.

    Welcoming the stranger is all very good, but sometimes the stranger is here to take your job or at least drive you to a seventy-hour week in desperation. it happened in the software industry where sometimes one had to train a newbie who would in turn pressurise one’s own wages. How then is one supposed to welcome this stranger whose labour profits only the financiers? Supply and demand dictates wages, but in the topsy-turvy world of finance capitalism this becomes a call to issue H1B visas. Now software programming doesn’t require an Einstein (and there are precious few Einsteins anyway), it can be handled by the locals at the right price. The Americans managed to put man on the moon in what is the greatest technical achievement in history (with some help from old Germans) but somehow cannot find enough programmers to handle routine C++. The moneyed class set their own rewards with what is effectively an old boy’s network – the question is why is labour effectively on a Dutch auction while the wages of say American bankers are set by themselves in the name of outstanding talent? Why don’t they follow the pay scale of Japanese or Germans bankers who run much larger banks? The Catholic Church is out of its depth on this and should stay out. Further isn’t it the duty of Catholics in Mexico to look out for their own poor? Isn’t NAFTA supposed to spread so much prosperity around that Mexicans no longer need to travel outside for work? The American border controls are ridiculous. When a friend of mine was seconded to work in South California for a few months, he faced no end of harassment on his daily commute across to Mexico where he had his lodgings, while all manner of travelers manage to get across through other channels.

    President Reagan amnestied three or four million illegals in 1984. what proportion of them and their children vote Republican? It is a certainty that all the new immigrants will continue with the same shell game over and over again.

  • That all sounds reasonable enough to me, El.

    I just find it unfortunate that you really believe this is about “reproductive parts.” Maybe it is sheer projection, something you just can’t stop thinking about yourself so you assume we do it as well.

    This is about me not wanting to live in a society that can do horrific things to human beings on a mass scale, that can legalize it, sanitize it, sanctify it, obstruct and obscure the truth about it, lie about it, and mouth pleasant, sanctimonious bromides about it. Abortion is an incredibly violent act of aggression against living beings, human beings, that are innocent and defenseless. It has produced over 50 million corpses since its legalization 40 years ago, an entire generation wiped out – workers, taxpayers, citizens, brothers, sisters, etc. We are not better off as a society for it, regardless of what some people say about the crime rate. It has made us a more cruel, callous, and selfish people. It has taught us that human beings are disposable, that parental obligations aren’t inviolable, and that the fundamental questions of life and death can be overridden by nine men in black robes.

    If THAT is the future, I look forward to my own death.

  • I’d try if ELM had a relevant point, so far its only some assertions.

  • Don, I know you think Ron Paul is from Pluto, but he is correct in saying, post-election, that the U.S. is already over the cliff. Paul could have engineered genuine change, but Obama and Romney would govern in a “business-as-usual fashion.” The notion that true conservatives ought to move left to be more like the Democrats is absurd. The reason Romney lost is that he was too much like Obama, as validated by the third debate where there was virtually no difference between the two on foreign policy.

    Paul, who is retiring after 12 terms in the House, said voters rejected Mitt Romney mainly because he had opposed the government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.

    “The people in the Midwest voted against him: ‘Oh, we have to be taken care of!’ So that vote was sort of like what we are laughing at in Greece,” Mr. Paul said.

    “People do not want anything cut,” he said. “They want all the bailouts to come. They want the Fed to keep printing the money. And they don’t believe that we’ve gone off the cliff or are close to going off the cliff. They think we can patch it over, that we can somehow come up with some magic solution. But you can’t have a budgetary solution if you don’t change what the role of government should be. As long as you think we have to police the world and run this welfare state, all we are going to argue about is who will get the loot.”

  • I used to think like that but I started to see some basic stuff:
    Rand Paul is republican.
    No republican will ever get into the White House without the Hispanic vote ever again.
    Especially Rand Paul who is willing to modify the constitution to stop citizenship at birth from illegal immigrants.
    He will never get Hispanic vote.
    Again, without that vote no one will ever be able to get into office.
    I repeat, republicans—Hispanic vote = no White House.
    What is the only policy stance that can change on the republican side that can get many votes without going against God?
    That one.
    Blessedly it is one that can be justifiable to God. Softening on abortion or gay marriage or forced contraception all go against God. Embracing stranger doesn’t. I’m not saying that Jesus mandates an open immigration policy, what I’m saying is that somehow we need. To. Get. Votes.

  • “Don, I know you think Ron Paul is from Pluto,”

    And would stand a better chance of being elected President of Pluto than President of the United States. Paul’s analysis is the counsel of despair and ignores the more important factors that contributed to Romney’s defeat, and the lack of political competence, an aspect of which I address in the post linked below, is not the smallest of those factors.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/11/09/beached-killer-whale/

  • Bonchamps @ 7:56 am – well said.

  • Don, always have respect your views, however much I may disagree. At any rate, thanks for allowing me to have a say after being in limbo awhile. As Obama would say, “Forward!”…to the fiscal cliff.

  • “Bonchamps @ 7:56 am – well said.”

    Indeed. Outstanding. Bravo!

  • Mr McClary

    Yes Romney and the Repubs have no operational competence. But you are ignoring the dog that didn’t bark. Repub Senate hopefuls (non incumbents) were mowed down on Nov 6 Despite having many fewer seats to defend they Lost ground. Most of them ran far behind Romney!!! That means millions of people were Voting For Romney and then voting for the Dem in the Senate! You had an absolute Freak Show on the Dem side and now in the Senate. For example ND sent a Dem to the Senate where they can support the EPA to shut down oil drilling! So many voters wanted Romney as President but wanted to saddle him with a loony left Senate that would block anything he wanted to do including repeal Obamacare. Can anyone explain that in a way that doesn’t validate what RP said?

  • North Dakota has a long history of voting for Republicans for President and sending Dems to the Senate. Adkins and Mourdock were victims of hoof and mouth disease. George Allen lost by a whisker in Virginia as did Romney. Tom Smith, although he ran a great campaign, was always a long shot against Casey. Denny Rehberg should have been able to defeat Tester in Montana, although Tester was the incumbent and a former governor. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin never was able to raise the money to get in the game against his opponent and Josh Mandel, in many ways an attractive candidate, in Ohio ran up against a very successful GOTV campaign by the Democrats in OhIo against Romney with the Democrats, as they usually do, voting a straight ticket.

  • El Mono Liso

    Cardinal Henri de Lubac knew exactly what he was doing

    The Neo-Thomists had developed a theory of Natural Law, based on Suarez’s interpretation, or rather, travesty of St Thomas. They have talked of a “natural order,” governed by Natural Law, consisting of truths accessible to unaided human reason, as something that can be kept separate from the supernatural truths revealed in the Gospel. This “two-tier” account of nature and grace was based on this view that the addition of “grace” was something super-added to a human nature that was already complete and sufficient in itself and apart from any intrinsic human need

    In the memorable exchange in 1910, in Blondel’s publication, L’Annales de philosophie chrétienne, between Maurras’s Jesuit defender, Descoqs and the Oratorian Lucien Laberthonnière, Descoqs, a follower of Suarez’s interpretation of St Thomas had allowed the political sphere a wide degree of political autonomy and he was prepared to detach “political society” from “religious society.” Laberthonnière had retaliated by accusing Descoqs of being influenced by “a false theological notion of some state of pure nature and therefore imagined the state could be self-sufficient in the sense that it could be properly independent of any specifically Christian sense of justice.”

    So far as I know, this exchange has never appeared in English, which is astonishing, as it was what united such disparate thinkers as Blondel, Maréchal, the Dominicans, Chenu and Congar and the Jesuits, Lubac and Daniélou. It was a fundamental moment for the Nouvelle Théologie, much as Keble’s Assize Sermon had been for the Oxford Movement.

    Thus, Maurice Blondel, insisted that we must never forget “that one cannot think or act anywhere as if we do not all have a supernatural destiny. Because, since it concerns the human being such as he is, in concreto, in his living and total reality, not in a simple state of hypothetical nature, nothing is truly complete (boucle), even in the sheerly natural order”

    Jacques Maritain, too, declared that “the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being . . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account”

    What de Lubac denied in his controversy with Neo-Scholasticism was the claim that the natural and the supernatural have utterly separate ends in and of themselves. He spelled this out in two of the most important theological works of the last century, his 1946 work, « Surnaturel » , but then, more decisively, in his 1965 book, « Le Mystère du Surnaturel »

    The Neo-Thomist view of Natural Law is now utterly discredited. The much more modest theory, as propounded by John Finnis at Oxford and Robert George at Princeton shares little with it, except the name and it has, very wisely, no theological pretentions whatsoever.

  • I don’t want to go on and on about this but I will restate my point. Millions of people voted for Romney but then voted for far left Dems in the Senate who would then block whatever Romney tried to do. This is sort of what Ron Paul alluded to. I am Not a Paulbot at ALL. I’m just pointing out that to turn around the country it would have taken more than Romney as President even assuming he was any good. However, people were not remotely on board for whatever reason.(Maybe they were reachable and Repubs blew it.) You can always come up with reasons why this or that candidate lost. I’m just saying that RP’s point that the voters are not going to put enough sensible people in Congress in time seems to have been validated this election.

  • If I get your drift here, Michael Paterson-Seymour, God has just given America Obama as a Whip with which to punish her for the massacre of the unborn, the horrendous immorality and depravity which makes Sodom and Gomorrah Saintly nations and as a wake-up punishment to the American Catholic Church Faithful who have trashed His Faith and Morals’ Edicts and Precepts. Well, if that is what you mean, I totally agree with you.

  • I do not agree. When God punishes, it is dramatic… All Sodom and Gemorrah and Great Flood. God has removed His Grace. Not the same thing.

    When God punishes, only the righteous survive. When He removes His Grace, mankind is given the chance to turn away from sin.

    We are Ninevah, not Sodom. Question is, do we take the lesson from Ninevah or not. God’s love is eternal, His patience is not.

  • Oh, G-Veg. Do you honestly believe God will not punish America for the massacre of the millions of the unborn babies you have annihilated and which annihilation will now be accelerated to horrendous proportions?? And do you surely believe He will just wink at the depravity of homosexuality, lesbianisism, sterilization of teenagers, sniffing out the lives of the aged like this 74 years’old grandmother??? Well, if you do, read the Scriptures again and again. I do pray for your country but by pushing viciously the promotion of these bestialities, your Country shall surely pay, and pay dearly. God’s condemnation of these intrinsic Evils is unambiguous. God is Truth. His Word is Truth. And God does not change. He is the Same yesterday, today and for ever.

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