Why a Catholic Democrat Votes for Trump

Donald Trump Laconia Rally, Laconia, NH by Michael Vadon July 16, 2015

People who have known me for a long time have always known I am Pro-Life. In fact, they've always known me to support the traditional family too, opposing "same-sex marriage" and any other oxymoron concerning the word "marriage." So naturally, most people who know me think I'm a Republican. They just assume it. After all, the only Americans who think like that are Republicans. Right?

I suppose living in the Bible Belt of the United States doesn't help much. Here, the stereotypical Pro-Lifer is usually a right-wing Republican Baptist. So when I'm standing in a life-chain, or helping out at a crisis pregnancy centre, I'm usually surrounded by Baptist Republicans. I suppose I couldn't fault anyone for assuming I'm a Republican too. I suppose I couldn't fault anyone for assuming I'm a Baptist as well.

Here's the truth though. Both my parents were Democrats. My father was a Lutheran Democrat, and my mother was a Baptist Democrat. They started voting Republican in 1984, and became "Reagan Democrats," namely just because they liked Reagan and his fiscal policies. By 1992 however, they were solidly voting Republican, namely because the Democratic Party had completely gone off the deep end on all sorts of moral issues, the abortion issue in particular. I remember my father telling me, during the late 1980s, that he didn't oppose all cases of abortion, but he did oppose "abortion on demand" and that he was deeply disappointed in the Democratic Party's promotion of this. These days my parents are senior citizens, and like many people in their 60s, they're set in their ways. They see the way the Democratic Party has run amok, and I don't think they'll ever go back. The DNC has lost these people for good.

I began voting in 1988, and my first vote was for a Republican president, namely over the Pro-Life issue. I continued to vote Republican in every single election since, only voting for Democrats sparingly, in races where the Democratic candidate was Pro-Life, or in an office where a Pro-Life stand didn't matter. (For example; it doesn't matter if the county assessor is Pro-Life or not. So in such races, and other similar offices, I usually favour Democrats.) Politically speaking, however, I can honestly say that I've never voted for a president who actually represents my political views on a majority of issues. For example...
  1. I favour a higher minimum wage -- $15/hour
  2. I favour universal healthcare. I would prefer a decentralised state and county run version, with limited federal intervention. So it doesn't totally match the Democratic model often proposed, but I do believe healthcare is a right, and nobody should have to worry about losing their house over paying their medical bills.
  3. I believe in 100% free prenatal healthcare, and 100% free newborn healthcare, as well as 100% free basic assistance to new mothers; diapers, baby formula, baby food and 90 days paid leave of absence from work. 
  4. I believe in better option for the poor, so that mothers are not penalised in welfare when they marry.
  5. I believe in school choice for all people, especially inner city children who need better options.
  6. I don't believe in policing the world or "nation-building" and I oppose preemptive military strikes.
  7. I oppose the draft.
  8. I believe in busting up monopolies, and making it harder for big business to dominate markets. I want to see better government support of small business.
  9. I want to see fair trade (not "free trade") policies, wherein American business is protected from unfair foreign competition, and workers are free to organise in unions 
  10. I want to see better immigration policies that favour Latin Americans, and persecuted Christians in Africa and the Middle East.
Take a long look at that list. It's pretty obvious that I'm an old school Democrat. So what happened? Why am I voting Republican on the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as many state offices? It should be obvious. I'm Pro-Life, and the Democratic Party supports (even promotes) abortion on demand. Yes, that issue is so important to me, that I'm willing to give up on the other ten, just to try to protect some "unwanted" babies.

I know a lot of Democrats who are perplexed, even baffled, by my decision on this. They just can't understand why an economic progressive, like myself, would vote against his own self interests over a single issue like this.

For them, the ends justify the means. "Who cares if you kill a few unwanted babies," they say, "because if you can get the above 10 policies enacted, you won't have to kill as many in the long run." They can't seem to understand why I would vote against my own self interest to save the lives of a bunch of "unwanted" children.

Truth be told, my family would do much better with a higher minimum wage, universal healthcare and less monopolies. In a very real sense, I am voting against my own self interest. I am voting against the interest of my children too. I know it. We would all do much better with the above 10 policies in place. If I didn't have such deep religious convictions, I would certainly be voting Democrat right now.

I converted to the Catholic Church in 2000, and so did my wife. As Catholics we learned the end never justifies the means (Catechism 1753). It is never "okay" to vote for something one knows to be intrinsic evil (something that is always wrong), even if one intends good to come of it. Such a clear moral teaching absolutely precludes any Catholic from voting for a "Pro-Choice" (i.e. pro-abortion) candidate, regardless of whatever other "goods" that candidate has to offer, so long as there is a viable Pro-Life candidate available.

These days a lot of people like to point to the evils of Nazi Germany, usually in demagoguery of those they dislike, but often without any knowledge of what the Nazis really were, or why they did what they did. I actually know a thing or two about Nazi Germany. My immediate family wasn't there, but my extended family was, and I've made it a point (on a very personal level) to understand what happened there and why. 

The average German was not a Nazi. The average German soldier, who fought valiantly for his country, wasn't a Nazi either. In fact, the Nazi Party only comprised a small percentage (10%) of the German population at its height. The average German thought the mistreatment (and ultimate mass murder) of Jewish people, along with others, was abhorrent. Most Germans didn't know it was going on, or at the very least, they were willing to dismiss the rumours as nothing more than that -- rumours. It wasn't until after the war was over, when the Holocaust was put directly into their faces by allied forces, that they were no longer able to deny it.

So why did the majority of German people go along with the Nazis in the first place? It wasn't like Hitler made his intentions toward the Jews a secret. He was quite open and vocal about it. Why would respectable and modern people just ignore this, dismiss it, and act as if its not that important? I'll tell you why. They went along with it because the Nazis put food on the table. That's why. Under Nazi Germany, there was a roof over every head, food on every plate, and beer in every stein. Well, that was true if you weren't Jewish anyway, but Jews were considered an "unwanted" segment of society, and they were a small minority. So it was easy to deprive them of necessities, and ultimately their very lives, without the majority of Germans having to see it. 

You see, what Hitler promised Germany was essentially "good" at least in theory. In exchange for getting rid of some "unwanted" people, he promised to create an Aryan utopia, wherein science and logic would conquer every problem, while poverty and disease would be virtually eliminated. It wasn't a unique ideology. Hitler certainly didn't invent it. He was inspired by other eugenicists, such as Margaret Sanger, who was ten years his senior, and was preaching outright eugenics years before he ever wrote Mein Kampf. Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood, which was originally established on the principle of racial eugenics. Sanger and Hitler have a lot in common actually, except for this one thing. Sanger founded an organisation. Hitler became the head of a state. In the short run, Hitler was able to kill a whole lot of innocent people, but in the long run, Sanger's ideology and organisation killed a whole lot more. 

You see, like many Americans today, the majority of Germans in the 1930s were willing to sacrifice some "unwanted" people for the sake of something they perceived as "good." Like many Americans today, the majority of Germans in the 1930s believed the end justified the means. Killing Jews was dirty business, so is abortion on demand, BUT, if the end result is something "good," than it may be regrettable, but probably worth it. Or so, this is what many think. This was the driving philosophy of Nazism. We can analyse it any way we want, and we can cite many other problems (racism, anti-Semitism, Marxism, economics, colonisation, World War I, etc.). In the end however, this was the cause of the whole thing. The end justifies the means. That's what made Nazism "tick" so to speak. That's what made it possible. That one driving impetus: the end justifies the means. 

So it is today with abortion and the national Democratic Party. The end justifies the means. Like the Nazi Party, the U.S. Democratic Party would have us believe that so long as our intentions are good, and we mean well in the long run, it's perfectly "okay" to slaughter millions of innocent children in the womb through either surgical or chemical abortion. (Most Democrats would prefer chemical abortion, because it happens much sooner in pregnancy, and therefore makes the whole thing easier to hide.) You see, today's Democratic Party envisions an America where science and reason can solve most of our problems. Through artificial contraception, and abortion on demand, they hope to create an America in which poverty can be eliminated, and disease minimised. In addition, the Democrats promise us universal healthcare, greater option for the poor, a higher minimum wage, and so on, if only we will consent to the killing of unborn innocence.

During the 2008 presidential election, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican's "supreme court," stated that the U.S. Democratic Party "risks transforming itself definitively into a 'party of death.'" With the election of Barack Obama that same year, and the subsequent nomination of Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, I would say that transformation is now complete. 

I long for a return to the old Democratic Party, the one of Roosevelt and Truman and John F. Kennedy. I long for a Democratic Party that is "Whole-Life," which includes being Pro-Life. Until I see it, I will continue to vote against my own economic interests to protect those weaker than me from the evils of abortion on demand. In this election, I will vote for Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for president. As much as I dislike him for so many reasons, he is not advocating the genocidal ideology of "the end justifies the means," which is typical of Democratic politicians on abortion these days. Likewise, I will vote for Republican congressman for the same reason, and Republican state representatives. All because the Democratic Party, both federal and state, refuse to run Pro-Life candidates. I have written to both the state and national Democratic parties, practically begging them to support Pro-Life candidates. All of my emails have been dismissed. So here I stand. I will vote against my economic self interests again, for the sake of the helpless. Why? Because I actually learned something from the Holocaust.

The teachings of the Catholic Church are clear on this one.  Catechism 1753 specifically tells us that the end never justifies the means. While the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion is unequivocal. Abortion is an intrinsic evil, which means it is always wrong, and can never be condoned. Applied to voting, I cannot vote for any candidate that supports abortion on demand, and so long as the Democrats insist on running candidates that advocate abortion, I just can't vote for Democrats anymore. It's truly sad, because I want to vote for them, but I just can't. For this reason, I have joined the American Solidarity Party. I believe this is the only option for me, even though it is a small third-party that currently has no hope of winning a major presidential election this year. Perhaps that will change in the years ahead, if other Pro-Lifers join me on this. 

As for Hillary Clinton, her candidacy represents more than just killing babies. Like all who believe the end justifies the means, she will persecute the Church, because historically speaking, that is just what they always end up doing. If she is elected president, she will be no different. You can mark my words on that one. I'm no prophet, but in 4 years time, you'll see what I mean if she's elected. It's just the natural course of history. 

So that's why this Catholic Democrat is voting for Trump in 2016. He's not my ideal choice for president, and he doesn't stand for many of the things I do, but I've learned a lot from history, the hard lessons of the old country, and the unchangeable teachings of the Catholic Church. Trump is the only viable option for Catholics in this election.


Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books and a columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'CatholicInTheOzarks.com.' Your support is what makes essays like this possible. This essay and all of Shane's Internet resources come to you (ad-free) thanks to the generosity of benefactors. Please consider becoming a benefactor.

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I'm confused. Are you supporting the American Solidarity Party or the Republican party b/c you said the ASP is the only party for you, yet you're voting for Trump?

Stand up. Be a Christian. Vote for the values you believe in. You don't have to settle for less.

On another note, as one who has visited Berlin and the holocaust memorials and museums, your recollection of German history is a bit off. Many Germans ignored the crimes against the Jewish community b/c of Christian, anti-semantic hatred, economic jealousy, and propaganda which depicted the Jewish community as the one's to blame for the hardships. The masses also ignored injustices until such acts began being committed against the majority and opposing political parties.

The Nazis did not provide food and shelter to the masses. I don't know where you heard that? But I've never seen nor read such an account.

Clinton is for abortion. That is a fact. However, on numerous other issues she is pro-life on many accounts including the most recent issue involving the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees...women, children, and men...whom she would like to help out by allowing them to immigrate to this country.

Finally, in many ways the things you hope for through the Democratic policies, concerning education and welfare, will help subside the number of women who get abortions by providing improved sex education, relieving economic hardships that play a part in the decision to get an abortion, etc. etc. you're a smart person you get what I'm saying.

Anyways, I get why you are a Republican, and it is honorable. I do wish that you had a Republican nominee who wasn't against every race and religion that is not a White American male.
Pair O' Dimes said…
REALLY don't mean to be a thorn in your side, but when I'm confused I feel I need to speak up, especially on important matters....

I was with you for quite awhile, close to the end actually, but your blog entry seemed to end abruptly without certain explanations.

While you went into more detail on another entry, you didn't make it clear here why you're voting for Donald Trump other than that he's not Hillary Clinton. I've already said how I feel and so I don't plan to reiterate that, but one thing in particular that you said worries me:

You say, rightly, that the end does not justify the means. But...then why do you consider voting for Donald Trump an appropriate means to your desired end (keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House)? Please explain where I'm wrong, if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you consider the end of Hillary Clinton losing the Presidency to justify the means of voting for Donald Trump in an attempt to have him be our next President.

If, as you rightly say, the end does NOT justify the means, then shouldn't we be looking at what voting for Donald Trump actually is, irrespective of what it is NOT (irrespective of who his opponent happens to be)? Is it not true that a false friend is worse than an honest enemy? Do we want him to be the one representing conservatives and Republicans?

I hope I'm not bothering you too much, since I notice you haven't responded to my last several comments--but thank you for at least letting me comment. God bless you and be with you in whatever you decide.
Shane Schaetzel said…
Lately, I've been trying to respond less to comments on my blog, so as to give my readers more freedom to respond. So it's nothing personal Pair O' Dimes. I'm just trying to refrain from responding too much and let my readers say their piece.

I think what both of you are having an issue with is understanding where I come from ideologically, and what it important to me as an American. First of all, I am not a Republican Mr. Spielberg (sic), and I have grown to dislike much of what the Republican Party stands for, particularly as it relates to free trade and libertarian economics. I am a Christian Democrat, and a financially contributing member of the American Solidarity Party (ASP). I also participated in their recent convention which formulated the platform. Have a look.

My support for Donald Trump is transient and only applies to this election. The same goes for other Republican candidates. As I clearly pointed out above, I only vote Republican because most Democrats are now militantly Pro-Abortion. Therefore, Trump and the Republicans are clearly the "lesser of two evils" in this election, and that is who I am stuck with.

My ideology is both Roman Catholic and American. I understand that political parties are merely tools in elections. There is an inherent danger in voting strictly with any party, without considering other candidates from time to time. My allegiance to the ASP is solid, so long as it sticks to its founding principles, which it has so far. However, the ASP cannot produce a viable presidential, Senate, or even Congressional candidate at this time. It's too new and needs more time to organise. 2016 is not the election it will make its mark in. Perhaps 2020 or 2024 might be the year the ASP makes a splash in a presidential election. We'll see.

Until then, I have to vote with what is available to me, and the only viable candidates available to me are Trump and Hillary. I explained my rationale for voting for Trump over Hillary above.

As for the history of Nazi Germany, I don't know how many family members, and friends of the family, you had over there Mr. Spielberg (sic), but I had plenty, and from them I learned a lot. Trust me, there was a lot more going on there than what is commonly reported in the watered-down history books. As for the reason why so many Germans ignored the Holocaust, I touched on that above. It was hidden from them, and they willfully ignored it, for various reasons (noted in my main essay). I assure you, my account of how things were inside Nazi Germany is legit, based on the testimonies of people who were there.
Pair O' Dimes said…
@steven spielberg:

Really want to be charitable to you, but you said some things that are disturbing.

"Many Germans ignored the crimes against the Jewish community b/c of Christian, anti-semantic hatred, economic jealousy, and propaganda which depicted the Jewish community as the one's to blame for the hardships."

There is no such thing as "Christian anti-Semitic hatred." Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were Jewish; all the Biblical scribes (except Luke) were Jewish. I don't accuse you of anything but ignorantly perpetuating a false and wicked libel against Christianity, but that is what it is. Only formal Christians who are hypocrites--the type that Jesus condemned--would genuinely be anti-Semitic, and while we mustn't ignore such people and their words and deeds (they're a disgrace to the Church and are worse than non-Christians doing the same thing), hypocrisy says nothing about the group to which they belong. Certainly Nazism was very much anti-Christian.

"Clinton is for abortion. That is a fact. However, on numerous other issues she is pro-life on many accounts including the most recent issue involving the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees...women, children, and men...whom she would like to help out by allowing them to immigrate to this country."

What difference does it make if someone is "pro-life" on "many" accounts if she isn't pro-life on ALL accounts? You might as well say "Clinton is for exterminating Jews. That is a fact. However, on numerous other issues she is pro-life on many accounts...." But I think most people would accuse the one who said that of anti-Semitism based on speaking so cavalierly about supporting killing Jews for existing without being wanted. And to suggest that one might NOT just as well say that is to reject equality of all human beings (we all started as unborn babies, and no one who supports or tolerates abortion was aborted). Dehumanizing the human is the first step toward committing evil against our fellow human beings. We are not in competition with one another.

"Finally, in many ways the things you hope for through the Democratic policies, concerning education and welfare, will help subside the number of women who get abortions by providing improved sex education, relieving economic hardships that play a part in the decision to get an abortion, etc. etc. you're a smart person you get what I'm saying."

You seem to be trying to persuade the blogger to vote Democratic. It is nonsensical to vote for a pro-abortion political party out of a desire to reduce the number of abortions. That's like voting Libertarian out of a desire for more government regulation of everything--it accomplishes the opposite of what you want. Under what circumstances does it ever make sense to vote for a party to oppose the things that party staunchly supports?

Besides, as I said, the Democratic Party isn't just pro-abortion: it actively supports many evils which actually go together as part of a systematic undermining of morality and our nation's society.

A smart person recognizes these things as facts. And again, I want to be charitable to you, but given the nature of what you're saying, that last sentence "you're a smart person you get what I'm saying" sounds suspiciously like flattery--like what the fox said to the crow to get her cheese away from her.
Pair O' Dimes said…

Oh, good. I'm not sure why responding less gives readers more freedom to respond, but it's your decision.

Perhaps you've decided to respond to me in a separate comment, in which case I want to be patient (and I may just delete this comment), but you didn't address my other concerns here.

"The same goes for other Republican candidates. As I clearly pointed out above, I only vote Republican because most Democrats are now militantly Pro-Abortion. Therefore, Trump and the Republicans are clearly the "lesser of two evils" in this election, and that is who I am stuck with."

"Until then, I have to vote with what is available to me, and the only viable candidates available to me are Trump and Hillary. I explained my rationale for voting for Trump over Hillary above."

Again, how is that not the end justifying the means--to vote Republican because of what Democrats are, rather than because of what Republicans are? To vote for evil because it's the "lesser of two evils"? To vote for a wolf in sheep's clothing because that wolf isn't admitting to being a wolf where the other one is?
Pair O' Dimes said…
@steven spielberg:

"I do wish that you had a Republican nominee who wasn't against every race and religion that is not a White American male."

Is that the truth or is it an uncharitable exaggeration? Bad though Donald Trump is--and he is--no one deserves to be accused of things that aren't true about himself, especially not bad things that aren't true. (Besides, "White American male" is not a religion, and "male" is not either a race or a religion. Not trying to be a smart aleck, just saying what is true.)
Capt. Gideon said…
I say a pox on both their houses (Republicans and Democrats). Both like to selectively choose the Catholic doctrine they like and chuck the rest. Either choice is bad for a whole host of reasons.

I recently joined my local chapter of the ASP and hope to do my part in promoting the platform as well as educating my fellow Catholics about them. For too long, people have been thinking within the false choice/paradigm of left vs right. As the bumper sticker reads "God is not a Democrat or a Republican".

Within Catholic circles, I think it may take a generation or two of good education to undo the bad/lack of knowledge about Church teaching.
Shane Schaetzel said…
Pair O' Dimes, you know the Church teaches a hierarchy of evils, and that some evils are obviously greater than others. One must gauge the evil of a candidate, in light of what is best for the country.

Trump's evils are more of a personal nature that mostly endanger his own soul, not the souls of others. For example, he is a narcissist. That's really his problem. It's embarrassing to us as a nation, but we've had a narcissist as president for 8 years already. There won't be much difference here, and Obama's narcissism did nothing to endanger my soul, or yours, or anybody else's, except his own. So moving on.

Trump's economic polices will be tempered by Congress, as will his immigration policies, so I'm not the least bit worried about that.

Trump's inflammatory rhetoric will be tempered by the nature of his office. If he wants to be a successful president, and I'm sure he does, he's going to have to switch into diplomatic mode, which I know he is capable of as a successful business man.

These are the evils of Trump that everyone is so worried about. They are minimal compared to what is in store for us if Hillary is elected.

Now that being said, while I have called Trump the "lesser of two evils" I am not voting for the evil (his narcissism, economics, immigration, and inflammatory rhetoric). That would be hypocritical of me, and frankly, stupid too. I am rather voting for the "good" he has to offer, and yes, that does exist.

Regardless of Trump's past views on abortion, he claims he was wrong and to have repented. We have to take him at his word for that, otherwise we are Pharisees and Puritans. He has backed up this claim with a list of Pro-Life nominees for federal judges, and a promise to only select nominees from that list. In doing this, he has effectively backed himself into a political corner, from which there is no way out except to make good on that promise. Failure to do this will result in his failure to be reelected in 2020, and since Trump is a narcissist, failure of that magnitude is not an option he can tolerate. When it comes to the Pro-Life cause, this is an inherent "good" which I can vote for. His narcissism can be channelled to protect the unborn, just as Obama's narcissism was channelled to slaughter them.

The other "good" I can vote for in Trump is his promise to preserve religious liberty, avoiding (or at least postponing) legal persecution of the Catholic Church in the days ahead. That is another "good" I can vote for...

Shane Schaetzel said…
...You've spoken of Trump as a wolf in sheep's clothing. I understand your hesitation to believe him. He is obviously one not familiar with the Christian faith, though he claims to be a "proud Christian" (an oxymoron), but whatever. We have to look at the alternative. Under Hillary Clinton we have a person is is 100% anti-Christian. While as Trump may not be a real Christian, but we have no indication he is anti-Christian. The "good" in that is we have a better chance of preserving religious liberty in a man who is not anti-Christian, than a woman who IS anti-Christian (beyond the shadow of a doubt). As for the abortion issue, there is always the 50% chance that Trump could flip back to Pro-Abortion, but then we had the same chances under Ronald Reagan too. He turned out to be strong in some areas and weak in others. At least with Trump we have a 50% chance of the same (which is "good") in comparison to Hillary, which is a 100% guarantee of a Pro-Abortion agenda, and a total reversal of 40 years of work in the Pro-Life movement. I promise you, the Pro-Life movement WILL NOT EVER RECOVER from her administration -- EVER.

What so many Christians fail to understand is that Democracy and Christianity are completely incompatible, and Christians find themselves in a very awkward position when living within Democratic societies, and participating within that method of governance. This is because Democracy is the art of compromise. Whereas Christianity is the theology of absolutes. Obviously, as Christians, we cannot compromise on the absolute teachings of our faith. However, Democracy demands compromise, because that is nature of what it is. This is why so many Christians simply find it difficult to function, or make sensible choices, during election time. They must compromise to function properly in a Democratic system, but then they know they cannot compromise without denying the faith they hold dear.

Democracy forces us all to become politicians on some level. We end up with the horrible realisation that in order to vote, we must "be personally opposed to something BUT..." and therein lies the horror. We've just become politicians ourselves. In the end, we have to find the balance of voting without serious (mortal) sin, because just about every vote is at least a venial sin in some way, shape or form. About the only way to do that these days is to simply vote on ESSENTIAL issues, and leave the prudential issues to the side. That's just how bad our current political situation is. So that's what I do. I look at the essentials, vote according to that, and basically ignore the prudentials. It's the only way to participate in American democracy, and yet hold to some reasonable claim that I'm still a Christian.
Arminius said…

Fascinating discussion. I understand where you are coming from and you are eloquent without being blindly dogmatic. I have read through the ASP platform. There are things that I can agree and agree to disagree on.

I wanted to address your ten points, point by point if I may:

1) I too favor a higher minimum wage, however, $15/hour for a teenage burger flipper does not equate. I argue let the market drive the wage. I will discuss this more below.

2) I feel you countered yourself on this. Universal healthcare, by definition, has to be centralized. It is used as a control measure, not as a health measure. If the universal healthcare systems in Britain, Canada, et al, were so good, why are so many citizens of those countries traveling here for treatment? I agree about the concern of medical bills. There has to be nearly a complete reset of thought concerning healthcare in this country.

3) I get where you are coming from here and I have a hard time being against this.

4) Agreed.

5) Completely agree.

6) I have just left Active Duty service. I agree that we do not need to police the world. However, we as a nation need to retain preemptive military strikes. Real evil exists and we need to be able to strike it down.

7) I am neutral here.

8) I would argue that a better term for "free trade" would be "croney trade." Cronyism in all its forms have replaced balance and fair trade, business, politics, etc. They have all be incestually intertwined.

9) See #8. One note about unions: There needs to be protections, real protections for employees who choose not to be part of an union, or from the real intimidation and violence that is employed by some unions and members to push certain initiatives in the workplace.

10) Agreed.

I have stated to others before, I did not leave the GOP, it left me. I cannot identify as a Libertarian either. Most days I identify as an independent Catholic Conservative. Some days I almost feel almost Anarchist, with the belief that it ALL just needs to burn all the way down to the ground.

I am professionally trained as a historian. I am a fan of Gibbons and Glubb. I also believe that at this point, There Is No Way To Vote Ourselves Out Of The Mess We Are In. Timelines are only shortened or lengthened (by very small amounts) from the reckoning that beginning to happen. I feel that our country is like the can of beer that Bart Simpson ran through the paint can shaker. That can is sitting in the fridge, literally jumping and shaking from the built up pressure inside of it.

I pray that no one opens that can and that the pressure begins to subside. I , like many others with children, hope to watch them grow up and have families of their own. But I imagine that was the hope of many other parents who have seen their families perish in the conflicts that are going on in the world right now.

Thank you for allowing this long rant. I hope to meet you some day. I am actually planning to visit your part of Missouri soon (if plans allow).
Pair O' Dimes said…
@Shane: Thank you very much for going into so much detail!

I think I understand what you say about Donald Trump's evils being personal. But even if that's true, I can't help but feel there's a danger of looking to someone like him as a secular "Messiah" instead of to the true Christ, and so believing that merely choosing not to vote for Donald Trump is morally the same thing as voting for Hillary Clinton (when as far as I can see, the decision not to vote at all neither helps nor hurts either candidate--it sounds like a combination of scaremongering and flattery to me).

Good for you for trusting to Donald Trump's good points--these days I don't see enough of that without people being fawning devotees of the "Trump cult". Bravo to you for not falling into that trap. I should do the same for him and Hillary Clinton and everyone else--not just think of them from the perspective of whether I want them in power.

Still, you're making Donald Trump sound kind of like Benito Mussolini in ways.... Mussolini was practical and supported the Church and monarchy when he needed to--but he was personally against both and would have turned on them the moment it became practical to do so (and he did). I take it you don't fear that Donald Trump would, given such circumstances (or else that you don't fear such circumstances happening)? Or am I to take it (and this is NOT a loaded question--I'm honestly curious about how the faith interprets this) that voting for a fascist might be morally acceptable given some circumstances, even if obviously not under most?

Bravo to you again for saying that Christianity isn't democracy--although I wouldn't go quite as far as you did (unless you mean something other than the obvious, because if not, why vote for President at all?). San Marino's a republic, and I don't see direct democracy on a local level as a problem.

I'm sorry, but if you say that just about every vote is at least a venial sin, you don't make a good case at all for voting for Donald Trump--it sounds like you're saying you plan to knowingly and deliberately commit sin. Surely, if this bold claim is true, the best thing for Catholics is not to vote at all (especially since, legally, we can choose not to)? I can understand voting for good--but (and I admit I'm not 100% clear on the principle of double effect) I can't see welcoming evil into power that necessarily comes with that good.

I appreciate your going into detail, and you don't owe me any more explanation, but I'm still not clear on how you think this is a case of the means justifying the end--or, now, how you believe you're NOT knowingly and deliberately planning to commit sin by voting for Donald Trump (or anyone else). That being the case, I'm still planning to boycott this presidential election.

God bless you.
Shane Schaetzel said…
Pair O' Dimes, the long and short of it is this. God has made his decision about America. We will be chastised, and that is evident in the two nominees for president. What he has given us however, is a choice. Which kind of chastisement do we prefer? Either way American will suffer, but we get to pick what kind of suffering we get. My choice for Trump over Hillary is aimed at minimising the suffering for the innocent unborn, and for the Church. That's about all. Because you see, one of these two nominees will be president, and regardless of who wins, America will get the leader it deserves.
Pair O' Dimes said…
Okay, okay--not going to argue anymore. I do agree we're going to be chastised. But again, I don't think we're bound to participate in that choice, especially since the civil law doesn't compel us to vote, only pressures it. I wouldn't want to choose my own method of execution if I couldn't be allowed to live. I wouldn't want to choose which of my two children would be tortured and killed, if there were no way to save either. To me that's no choice.

I will try not to bring it up again here. Thank you for being patient with me.

Again, my main concern in the first place was that, irrespective of my disagreements with you on politics and what to do in this election, you seemed to me to be contradicting yourself logically and morally--to not be thinking about the implications of what you were saying, thereby potentially creating problems for some of your readers who might be easily led. That worried me because I know you're good at thinking things through, as I've seen on this blog before--and I very much appreciate people who can. It's because I know this that I said anything at all.

I guess (I hope) I'm done.
Shane Schaetzel said…
In my above essay and responses, I believe I never told anyone they had to (or should) vote for Trump. I said I would vote for Trump, but I never said you (or anyone else) has to.

A third-party vote is morally permissible as is refusing to vote in this particular circumstance.

Rather, what I said was a vote for Hillary is motivated by the ends justify the means mentality. In other words, Hillary, and the Democrats would have us believe that killing several million babies is permissible because by doing so, and enacting various other programs, we can create a better world. It's the same ideology that motivated the Nazis.
Pair O' Dimes said…
Only really responding to say that yes, you did say that--that no one was morally required to vote for Donald Trump. I remember, and I appreciate it.
Michael E. said…
This is "Pair O' Dimes" again. A lot happens in over a year, doesn't it?

I now think I have a better understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith than I ever have before--certainly than I did when I made the above comments. You have actually helped with that, Shane, as has Father Michael E. Gaitley when I read his book "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told" (which I highly recommend!). That, combined with some of what President Trump has done and the international response to it, has led me to conclude that I had made some major mistakes in my conclusions about the reality of things, even as recently as a few months ago. It was humbling but it was liberating admitting that I was wrong.

Thank you for being patient with me, Shane, and please forgive me where I have offended. While we don't agree on everything, I feel that you and I are similar people, and I appreciate that because it's rare that I feel that way about anyone these days. God bless you.