Monday, March 21, 2016

Speechless at the sight of Catholics uniting over Trump

I didn't actually intend to give up blogging for Lent; it just sort of turned out that way.

Some of it was just real life stuff--bronchitis, tomorrow's root canal (gulp), spring in Texas...although we have, luckily, missed the local storm damage so far and I've also learned NOT to put the winter clothes away and pack up the heavy comforters just because we have a misleading, teasing week or four of temperatures in the 80s. That doesn't mean it's really spring yet, as our 37 degree low outdoor temperature a night or two ago pointed out quite emphatically.

But some of it was being in just a bit of a dry spell. I've been focusing on my fiction writing, but I've never really had trouble before switching from a day of writing or editing fiction to composing a blog post about real things. I think the problem is that right now the real things are, well, kind of depressing.

Take religion, for instance. On the one hand you have Catholics whose idea of good liturgy involves liturgical dance and whose main complaint with Pope Francis is that he's too conservative (e.g., he hasn't ordained women or anything). On the other hand you have Catholics who are melting down over the change in the rubrics for Holy Thursday (some of them claiming, apparently seriously, that from "time immemorial" the Church has only allowed male feet to be washed at Holy Thursday Mass--not realizing that the foot-washing was only incorporated into the Mass in the 1950s--and others insisting that the Holy Spirit created the custom of male-only foot washing because this act of Our Lord's can only refer to the ordained priesthood, and that what the Holy Spirit inspired not even the pope can change...). Even a simple thing like Pope Francis deciding to make use of Instagram becomes a cultural flash point, with Catholics on one side applauding his apparent coolness, and at least one Catholic on the other responding to His Holiness' first photo (with the pope's message: "Pray for me,") by declaring that "pray for me" wasn't a request (?) and that he personally would be praying for Pope Emeritus Benedict instead.

Or take politics, if you'd rather (I'm increasingly of the opinion that in America today taking politics seriously, or at all, can only be safely done by those already insane, but you may have a different opinion). On the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton's cakewalk to the nomination might have turned into a pie-throwing contest, except that her super-delegates have the superpower to protect her from any actual challenges emanating from Bernie Sanders' campaign; and on the Republican side--well, what is there to say, except that Donald Trump has the ability to make past candidates look almost good by comparison, because while several recent Republicans could have tied for the title of the "More Hair than Wit" candidate, Trump is all hair and...well, I won't say it, but you know I'm thinking it.

And then you add in the odd spectacle of dittohead CAPE Catholics who wouldn't know a Latin motet if it assaulted them in a church parking lot, weekly O.F. Catholics who think a biretta is something that requires ammunition and a gun license, and serious E.F. Catholics who sweetly and modestly display their liturgical superiority in comment boxes all over the Internet, all joining hands in a grand "Kumbaya" of support for a thrice-married millionaire who wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico, ban Muslims from entering the US, who supports capital punishment and torture, and who has a rather unpleasant tendency to speak slightingly of women and vulgarly of everything. On the one hand, I suppose it's slightly comforting to realize that there are, apparently, points of unity among such dissimilar groups of Catholics; on the other, one could wish that Catholics in America could agree to lay aside their liturgical differences and work together without needing to unite behind the kind of person who says that he'd be his own foreign policy adviser, and that sort of thing.

So I suspect that though I may think of my recent inactivity as a dry spell or "blogger's block," I really think I've just been rather speechless at the sight of Catholics uniting over Trump. It's one of those moments when you can't even imagine what to say.

But at least we haven't reached the point in the election when not only Catholics of all sorts, but serious Christians and other people of faith, will start to argue that we have a moral duty to vote for Trump because failing to do so is the exact same thing as voting for Hillary. Hopefully I'll be over my "blogger's block" by then, because that's the sort of thing one can't let go without challenging it.


Elizabeth said...

If the choice is Clinton vs. Trump, where does a "seamless garment" pro-life person go? Be aware that for me, the seamless garment includes nurturing all of creation. We destroy forests at our own peril.

You know from bitter experience that no GOP federal government will do much about abortion, so their words are ashes. They will, however, be reckless about starting wars and they seem enthusiastic about torture and killing.

The Dems talk out of both sides of their mouths. I find HIllary too hawkish for my tastes, but fear that the buffoon Trump can't wait to get his fingers on the nuclear codes. That man has no apparent sense of cause and effect.

The Tax Foundation showed that the results of Trump's proposed tax plan barely benefits the poorest and greatly benefits those earning the most, but Cruz's is even more beneficial to the rich. Both blow a major hole in the federal deficit such that in a few years GOPers will again insist on cutting even more services to the poor. With all the finger-pointing at the poor for being the authors of their own distress, has everyone forgotten that we've spent over forty years dismantling our industrial base as well as what passed for our welfare state?

Now Brussels. I've felt smacked in the face with a 2"x4" so many times that it starts to feel normal. Bet you feel that way, too.

At least we have had some nice 50=60 degree days in Minnesota this February and March. Oh wait, that's not clearly a good thing either.

Kirt Higdon said...

I've yet to encounter a single Catholic who is a Trump supporter and I'm not one myself. On the other hand, I'm happy to say I've yet to encounter one who is a hysterical Trump hater. Most of those I know are active in the pro-life movement and support Cruz - or Rubio when he was still in the race. Others, including myself, find no candidate satisfactory. A few of the younger ones support Bernie. I'm not all that much of a Catholic website follower, but Crisis, one which I do follow, seems to be somewhere between pro-Cruz and maybe giving Trump a hearing. Other Catholic sites I follow are simply ignoring the election.

My own position is that I have no basis for voting for Trump this cycle since he has no political record and I don't believe anything a candidate says in a campaign without a record to back it up. If he's elected and does enough good and little evil (highly unlikely) I will vote for him for a second term. In the Texas primary, I voted for an uncommitted slate and in the general election, I suspect I'll be voting write-in, third party or not at all on the presidential line.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

There is nothing particularly pro-life about either Trump or Clinton. I have affirmed many times that I would NOT vote for Hillary Clinton, but if the alternative is Trump I might have to hold my nose and vote for her. I'm pretty sure we'd still have a functioning republic after a term, or even two, of Hillary. I'm not so confident with Trump. But, we have a primary coming up in Wisconsin, and I'll gladly vote for Bernie, even if I find him a bit right-wing.

My picture of the quintessential Trump voter is the unknown driver of a pick-up truck I saw in a parking lot several years ago. The back was covered with bumper stickers, some political, some merely obscene, but the two that stick in my mind were "Vote Republican," and "Your little PRINCESS is my little WHORE." Doesn't that sound just like Donald? Not that Democrats have been above taking money from Trump when he offered it.

scotch meg said...

Please be careful about your history. WRT foot washing: it may be true that foot washing became a "thing" in the 1950's, but it was definitely around before that. To wit, among books about Catholic families that helped me decide to become a Catholic was one "Story of the Trapp Family Singers," published in 1949 and describing events in the 1920s and 1930s. In which there is a description of the parish priest washing the feet of twelve elderly men on Holy Thursday. So, obviously, there was at the very least a folk tradition predating the 1950's.
That said, I think we have more serious issues than foot washing at the moment, and I read your description of the various Catholic groups gathering together to celebrate The Donald to my daughter, who thought it was funny... so thank you for writing, and happy Eastertide.

Red Cardigan said...

Scotch Meg, I know! :) That's why I talked about the rubrics for foot washing at Mass. Prior to that change, the foot washing was usually done outside of Mass ("at an appropriate time" as some books put it). But to hear some people talk, the foot washing was always done at Mass when in fact that wasn't the case before the revised Holy Week rubrics in the 1950s made that change, and it always involved 12 male clergymen or at least 12 men to point to the sacrament of ordination.

However, the longstanding tradition included priests or bishops washing the feet of elderly poor men, of Abbesses in convents washing the feet of elderly poor women, and of both Fathers and Mothers Superior of religious orders washing the feet of postulants and novices. So, lots of practices, not all of them connected to the institution of the priesthood.

Svar said...

I was unaware it was a Christian moral duty to allow Muslims, Mexicans, or other invaders into your country. You should tell that to the Crusaders who tried to kick out Muslims from the Christians lands of the Middle East and North Africa. Or to the Catholic Iberians who kicked out Muslims and Jews during the Reconquista.

I don't think it's a moral duty to vote Trump but many pearl-clutching outrage addicts like to that it's a moral duty to vote against Trump.

There is a thing called "practical matters". It's time to vote on those instead of Culture War issues. Do you guys think that there will be a President who will come in and make his main goal to overthrow Roe v Wade? America, the West, and the remnants of Christendom in the Middle East are in crisis, Europe is being flooded by a stream of hostile aliens, ancient Christian communities in the ME are being exterminated, our own American working men are struggling, and our culture is straining from the infusion of various incompatible foreign elements but you're focused on one single issue?

Have any of you guys read about the stances of the first Presidents of the Republic? What makes you think they would want Muslims here? How about many of the Medieval Popes? What makes you think that they want Muslims in Christian countries?

Where do you guys get the idea that bringing millions of hostile aliens into this country is the American or Christian thing to do?

I'm a Catholic and I support nationalism and populism. I support Trump, I choose to win instead of lose over and over again. I feel that many of my fellow Christians just like to have the feeling of being a martyr by losing the Culture War battles over and over again.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Have any of you guys read about the stances of the first Presidents of the Republic? What makes you think they would want Muslims here?

You haven't read James Madison, have you? You may also have missed the story of the enslaved people in South Carolina who managed to buy their freedom, then petitioned to be exempt from the state's codes governing free blacks on the grounds that they were subjects of the King of Morocco, who had a treaty relationship with the United States.

Millions of hostile aliens... you mean all those Irish Catholics who were allowed into the pristine Protestant republic in the early 19th century? As for the Crusades, they seem to have done more damage to Constantinople than to any Caliphate, and when the entered Jerusalem they killed Muslims, Christians, Jews, indiscriminately, just for being there.

I'm all for putting the so-called "culture war" issues on the back burner, but its hard to see how anyone Christian could back a foul character like Trump. I mean, there is a certain brand of Protestant Christianity that believes once you've accepted Jesus as the Lord of your life, you can sin all you want, because, you'll always be forgiven... but that's not Catholic teaching is it?

Trump rallies remind me of a pick up truck I saw once, featuring a whole range of bumper stickers, from the obscene to the political, but two stick out in my mind: "VOTE REPUBLICAN" and "Your little PRINCESS is my little WHORE."

Svar said...

Siarly, are you even a Christian or a Catholic or are you just another Leftist concern troll from Dreher's combox?

As for the Irish, lol. So one (Christian and Northern European) group just happened to work out, let's apply that to every group from Scandinavians to Papua New Guineans. You could hardly call the Irish a group of hostiles unless they were moving into Ulster. The same can't be said for Muslims, especially the Sunnis. Regardless, I'm someone who respects the past but isn't beholden to it. So just because we had immigration then doesn't mean we must have it now. Lots of Europeans and other immigrants came over in the late 1800's and not surprising the 1924 Immigration bill was passed because of all the crime and radical anarchist violence that was occurring.

Regarding the Crusades, the 4th Crusades was a mistake but the rest were on point. North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia as well as the Balkans and Anatolia were all Christian lands. Now they want Europe? No way.

Regarding James Madison and free blacks, what does that have anything do with what we're talking about? What about the views of Ben Franklin, John Calhoun, Thomas Jefferson? The general consensus amongst the men who founded the United States was not anything either modern day movement conservatives or New Leftists would applaud.

I'm all for putting the so-called "culture war" issues on the back burner, but its hard to see how anyone Christian could back a foul character like Trump. I mean, there is a certain brand of Protestant Christianity that believes once you've accepted Jesus as the Lord of your life, you can sin all you want, because, you'll always be forgiven... but that's not Catholic teaching is it?"

I'm not voting for who's the Pope, I'm voting for who's going to be the head of the nation. The whole guilt-trip you're trying to pull might work on a lesser man but it won't work on me.

"Trump rallies remind me of a pick up truck I saw once, featuring a whole range of bumper stickers, from the obscene to the political, but two stick out in my mind: "VOTE REPUBLICAN" and "Your little PRINCESS is my little WHORE.""

Please, clutch your pearls even tighter.

The reality is, the more people complain about him, you can tell how afraid they really are. For years people have scoffed at those who expressed concern about the border and Islamic terrorism or even homosexuality by saying that they were afraid as a way to emasculate them and dismiss their concerns. But now, it seems like the anti-Trump folks are actually afraid due to the hysterics.

Why should anyone listen to what either the New Left or the Conservative Movement have to say on anything? Both ideological camps have basically wrecked this country. We need nationalism and populism because the old paradigm isn't working.

Red Cardigan said...

Svar, I've published your latest, but please moderate your tone. I don't permit personal attacks, and won't publish any further comments that contain them.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

For a moment, I thought you had said two things I could unreservedly agree with. That should have created an atmosphere of good will, consistent with our distinguished moderator's admonition. Then I realized, you were quoting at length from something I said, and perhaps you were doing so to disagree.

As for my seldom humble self, I am a heterodox Christian, politically libertarian, economically socialist, culturally conservative. I do wave the red flag at Dreher's blog, the OLD red flag, and I have deeply offended every faux "leftist" social liberal who shows up there. I admit, I ENJOY offending those characters. IF there is a purgatory, I may spend a long time there purging that from my soul.

I wasn't referencing James Madison on free blacks... I was thinking of one of his rationales for non-establishment of religion, which was, if this is a Christian Nation, then it will discourage people who are not Christian from coming here, where they would have the opportunity to learn the truth faith.

The reality is, the more people complain about him, you can tell how afraid they really are.

I agree that those who are actively protesting Donald Trump and calling him a five alarm fire for democracy are giving him undeserved flattery and feeding his already bloated ego. It would be much better if we all yawned and ignored him. Don't confuse me with New Left. I grew up just a little late for that episode, and accordingly, by grace and not by any merit of my own, had the option to learn from watching the mistakes of others before I myself grew to an age where I was legally and morally responsible for my own choices. I'm Old Left, but old left with a human face, as Alexander Dubcek used to say. Did you know that Dubcek was conceived in Chicago?

I have cast no aspersions on your manhood, and have no empirical basis to do so. If a certain lady ever decides to marry me, her opinion will be the only opinion I care about with regard to my own.

Svar said...

I'm not sure what it was I said that was so offensive that requires me to moderate my tone, but I'll do so.

Jenkins, Old Left, huh? Like Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw, Huey Long, Will Rogers and the like?

You'll be surprised to know that I'm a big fan of the non-Marxist Old Left and, as you might have guessed, the pre- neo-con, pre-Buckleyite and pre-Religious Right Old Right like that of Charles Lindbergh, Fr. Coughlin (the only Religous Righter and Social Justice Warrior who hasn't tried to nag this country to death), Henry Ford, Spengler, Schmitt, Chesterton, Belloc and the like. I'm certain you are well aware of the friendly rivalry between many of the Old Rightists and Old Leftists I just mentioned.

I'm part of the Pat Buchanan/Ross Perot/Chronicles wing (except I'm a bit more father to the Left economically) in American politics which has finally gotten back into the mainstream thanks to Donald Trump, albeit in a more vulgar form that makes some people uncomfortable but it's not the time to worry about his tone or word choice when we're in the middle of a convergence of catastrophes. This is the Middle American Revolution that Sam Francis predicted a long time ago and Chronicles has advocated ever since. It didn't happen with Buchanan or Perot but it will happen with Trump. Too bad it all had to get this bad before it did.

Regardless, as an Old Leftist, I'm certain you can agree with Trump's plan to punish and prevent unscrupulous capitalists from diluting the American worker's wages with hordes upon hordes of cheap laborers imported from outside of the country. Nationalism and Economic Liberalism is the way to go.

Religiously, I'm Catholic. I occasionally visit the blogs in the Catholic part of web from time to time.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Ernest Hemingway... only wrote one book of any political significance, For Whom The Bell Tolls, and it rings true because he had, of course, been in Spain, and, although not a communist, like the protagonist, had decided to place himself under communist discipline while there, since they seemed more competent than anyone else available. George Orwell, rather incoherent on the whole, and who could identify with a man who identified with POUM? George Bernard Shaw, a harmless old man who occasionally had a good thought in his head. Huey Long, love his speeches, but after reading three biographies, the man was a self-serving congenital liar who happened to find doing several things right was good for his career and put money in the DE-duct box; would have been a disaster as president. Will Rogers... often right about things. Never took much responsibility for setting things right. Charles Lindbergh... if anyone really should have been interned during WW II, as a danger to national security, it was Lindbergh. Fr. Coughlin, mercifully was muzzled by his bishop. Henry Ford, an eccentric and viciously anti-union, who had one good mechanical insight in his life, building mostly on the work of others. I won't even get into the rest.

Trump's plan to punish and prevent unscrupulous capitalists from diluting the American worker's wages..." Talk about setting the fox to guard the chicken coop. Trump has one thing in common with Hillary Clinton: both will say whatever is in vogue this year if it only gets them a pile of votes.

I was recently reperusing A Tale of Two Cities, and it struck me that Madame Du Farge had a perfectly valid grievance, only, her fury demonstrates that guilt by association and corruption of blood are not valid criteria. I think Eugene Debs is about my speed, but they don't make socialists like Debs any more. I still think well of Lenin, but after seeing the world's largest remaining communist party presiding over the world's most ruthless capitalist economy, I'd have to say his organizational formulation is a failure on its own terms. I have a cartoon on my bulletin board showing some Chinese suits standing in the street as economic indicators point sharply down, and vague forms in the background prepare to jump out of high rise windows, saying "Now I remember why we hate capitalism."

David Sharples said...

I am not a "huge" supporter of Trump, but I will vote for him. And I would vote for Trump over Cruz.

Why Trump? I've worked for a person of a similar personality as Trump who is a massive "D" in DISC personality types. Most persons are a mix of CI or DI or CID, Trump is a massive "D".

Having worked for one, I understand what makes a person like this tick. They are the person of which people "think" they can't be trusted, but they can.
They are motivated by decision. That's why Trump never says he made a bad move. He always strives to make the best call in the moment of time. And Trump as a "D" demands loyalty from persons who work for him, and he is loyal to them also. Look at the example of his manager being charged with assault, Cruz and Kasich would have thrown the guy under the bus. Not Trump. "D"s have (believe it or not) high moral expectations. That is also why when Cruz dissects arguments like a slick politician, Trump gets annoyed and calls him "lying Ted", which also says a lot about a "D"s lack of sensitivity to others, especially when they are under stress.

I do believe for sure, that Trump will shut down the Abortion component of Planned Parenthood. He will. And quite frankly I am sick of Republican establishment politicians who try (kind of) to shut down all of PP and never get there at all (which I think is part of a perverse interest in getting votes, and that's all.)

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Ernest Hemingway, wrote one book of sound political content, For Whom the Bell Tolls. He had himself been to Spain and knew the situation first hand. Otherwise, he wrote some interesting literature. George Orwell... I can't really work up much respect for a man who associated with POUM. George Bernard Shaw said something decent now and then. Huey Long... I love his speeches, but I've also read three biographies, and its clear that he was a lying opportunist who happened to find doing some things right brought money into the DEE-duct box. Will Rogers said something pithy now and then. Henry Ford was a viciously anti-union eccentric who was successful at synthesizing the work of a number of people on a large scale. If anyone should have been interned as subversive of the war effort, it would have been Lindbergh. Father Coughlin... mercifully his bishop exercised appropriate discipline. "Trump's plan to punish and prevent unscrupulous capitalists..." Don't make me laugh. Talk about putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop.

I'm afraid I don't trust Sharples's amateur psychology. No doubt Sharples knows his own former boss, but I wouldn't rely on extending the same observations to Trump. Also, being an effective manager of a commercial enterprise does NOT translate ipso facto to sound judgment about how to run a country. Trump won't shut down any component of Planned Parenthood, partly because he could care less, but also because, unless he abrogates the constitution and establishes a personal dictatorship, he won't have the authority. I'd like to get abortion out of Planned Parenthood and back where it belongs, in the individual offices of individual ob/gyn practitioners, those who are willing. I imagine there would be a good pro-life clientele for doctors who quietly advertise that they are pro-life and will NOT perform abortions.

I would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. I would vote for the best third party I can find over Ted Cruz v. Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders is a right-wing social democrat who probably won't find a way to accomplish half of what he is talking about, but he will do less damage than any other candidate, and might do some good. (I'd still like to see his platform tempered by Erin as his running mate, but she is no more willing to run than General Sherman was.)

David Sharples said...

SJ, I'm afraid I don't follow the logic of your argument including the straw man "amateur" when it's not even my psychology, or the numerous non sequitur.
Your language is flowery, but your logic is lacking.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

David, you didn't cite the authority for the DISC system, which I instinctively distrust, as I distrust most efforts to fit human beings into neat little pigeon holes. Since you offered it as authoritative, although it was clear you were not the original author, I referenced it, purely for purposes of this conversation, as "your" psychology.

I didn't particularly rely on logic in formulating my comment, but if you will highlight the logical flaws in what I said, I will endeavor to respond. Logic is not synonymous with truth, nor with plausibility, but is a method that, given certain premises, may lead to a reliable conclusion. I fear our premises differ significantly.

David Sharples said...

"Logic is not synonymous with truth.. I fear our premises differ significantly".

SJ, first, please allow me to indulge in a recounting of a conversation with someone once that reminds me of this one.
Where I had a rather deep emotive conversation with someone who believed quite emphatically that "if we had developed a different number system not based on ten, our science would have been entirely different".

What are your thoughts on this?
I need to be sure of what ground I'm standing on, before I can attempt to build anything.

Svar said...

Siarly, Lindbergh disbanded the AFC after Pearl Harbor. He was not a subversive by any means, he was a great aviator and political activist. Isolationism is a strong component of the Old American Right until Buckley and the Neocons ruined that by advocating our entrance into destructive wars like Vietnam and Iraq. The life of an American boy, my compatriots, is not something to be thrown around and taken for granted.

I obviously disagree with with anti-Union policies, I am pro-Union and pro-AMERICAN working class. I stand against the dilution of American labor via outsourcing and illegal immigration + indiscriminate mass immigration. I absolutely loathe Reagan and Thatcher. Enoch Powell told Thatcher, to her shock, that he wouldn't mind the Bolshevization of Britain as long as she stayed British. I concur. Reagan wrecked the American working class by letting amnesty pass through (whereas Eisenhower did the right thing) and by promoting disastrous free trade policies. Bill Clinton was the absolute worst, he passed NAFTA and bombed Serbia to the stone ages while sending off American lives to die in Somalia for no reason. I was raised a moderate Clinton liberal because my family loved the non-resentful aura that Clinton gave off even though he ended up being a complete scumbag. Hillary is even worse, I wouldn't vote for her even if the race was between her and commander of ISIS. Bernie Sanders wouldn't be that bad if he had the guts to stand by his Old Left convictions and had the guts to stand up to Hillary Clinton and the various agitators. Unfortunately, he is no Samuel Gompers.

The American Old Right and the American Old Left agreed on a lot more than not and that was all ruined when the Structuralist/Cultural Marxist New Left took control of the Left and pushed out Labor while Buckley and his accolades did the same to the Old Rightists.

As for Fr. Coughlin, he was extreme but as we can now see everything he said and everything that the Interwar American political scene, Left and Right said ended up being true. He said something very poignant about how the Communist movements never went after the banks and high finance with the same fervor they did to traditional society.

Give me your list of favorites, Siarly. I have this feeling that you're the kind of guy who likes to find faults instead of dealing with what is laid before you.

Svar said...

David, I'm glad to see that you've gone Trump albeit reluctantly. I'm obviously a strong Trump supporter but as for the abortion thing... In all honesty, that is not even a part of his platform. That's not his focus at all, and I wish Christians would realize that abortion is not a political issue but a cultural and spiritual one. The Early Christians didn't end abortion, infanticide, and contraception via legislation but by converting their pagan neighbors. Christians nowadays bend so quickly to the pressure of the world that they don't really have anything to offer that you can't get in a better form from the world. If I wanted liberalism, I wouldn't want the watered-down liberalism that the Church now pushes when I could get the good stuff from the universities and the general culture. And of course, you don't get the strong intellectual heritage and Church tradition that the RCC was famous for. Pope Benedict XVI had it right when he said: "Prune and it shall grow".

Regardless, I'm not willing to waste anymore political capital on the dead end that is Roe v Wade. Trump is pushing a political platform that does appeal to me in other ways: isolationism, protectionism, nationalism pro-gun rights, pro-labor, pro-Middle American/Silent Majority. Whether you like it or not, politics is now completely Who-Whom and I am going to support the guy who is on my side. Trump has already done more than enough by shifting the Overton Window farther to the Right than it has been for decades and he has started the catalyst for political realignment which will allow us to be free from the Big Business, pro-war-profiteering, Christian Zionist, neocon, and libertarian elements who have taken the Right and drove it into the ground. Clyde N Wilson of Chronicles once said that for America to survive, the GOP must die. Hopefully it changes into a genuine right-wing party or goes the way of the Whigs and gets replaced by one.

Once we get some sort of cultural, political, and national stability, it will be much easier to enact a deeper spiritual change that will allow anti-abortionists to prevail (notice how I don't say "pro-life". Consistent life ethic is a ridiculous frame to work from and alienates the Law and Order elements such as myself from the pro-life movement. The Church has not ever said that capital punishment is a sin and has throughout the centuries supported it and even carried it out itself).

I'm a young guy and I'm not resigned to losing like many of the older self-described conservatives are. I want to win. I don't see why anyone else would take a good hard look at victory and at defeat and adamantly choose the latter.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I have no deep emotive commitment to the notion that if our number system were not base ten, our science would have been very different. Off-hand, I can think of no reason to think so, and further, I have never had any reason to make it a priority to even consider the matter. Do you?

Charles Lindbergh was smarter than Oswald Mosely, but I wouldn't have trusted him. He was indeed a great aviator -- outside that field, he has no claim until proven great. He proved himself to be venal and small-minded, as did Henry Ford. Fritz Haber was a great chemist, but to put it mildly, he would not have qualified as "pro life."

I fear you overestimate the similarities of the Old Right and the Old Left. I do recall reading in Ramparts magazine an article by Karl Hess, who had written the Goldwater speech with the line about "moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue," advocating that the New Left and the Old Right had to unite against the Old Left and the New Right. In my old age, I have learned to distrust all such glib and facile comparisons. The Old Right and the Old Left were in fact mortal enemies. They may look equally appealing through the jaundiced eyes of one jaded by modernity, but they are not easy platforms to reconcile.

Incidentally, I believe that moderation in pursuit of justice is indeed no virtue, but extremism in defense of liberty is an oxymoron. I also believe that the word "extremist" should be retired from political vocabulary, since it has no significant or consistent meaning, and is not informative about anyone or anything when applied as an adjective.

I don't believe that immigration happens primarily as a matter of policy. It happens for reasons that, like the weather, put individuals into motion in masses, flowing from high pressure to low pressure, or from untenable situations to potentially survivable ones. Laws and law enforcement are useful when an isolatable minority of the population is committing acts that an overwhelming majority of us agree are harmful. Whenever that consensus breaks down, law enforcement can't even keep a finger in the dike.

E.g., Carrie Nation was not wrong about the evils of demon rum, but, so many of the population, including so many corruptible humans in high places, judges, police officers, congress critters, wanted their alcohol, that Prohibition only fueled the rise of organized crime syndicates on an unprecedented scale.

I am dubious about blaming immigrants for immigrating, and I know of only two ways that organized labor can respond: one is to advocate rigorous protectionism, and the other is to recognize that if someone is here, and working, the union had better offer them membership, or they will be useful idiots to the employers as a scab. (This was also true of blacks emigrating from the deep South -- whether the migration is legal or illegal makes no difference to what a sensible union will do.) Of course if you take a person into the union, you can't also advocate their immediate deportation. Control the border? By all means. Many Hispanics are all for pulling up the ladder behind themselves... only, we've had laws and agencies that were entirely ineffective, and, we've had the lowest rates of immigration in decades for the past seven years.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Apparently in my zeal to offer a reasonable and respectful response to all who addressed questions to me, I have exceeded the legal limit of 4096 characters. The remainder is as follows:

It wasn't obvious that you are pro-union, but I'm glad to hear it. I infer you also support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, repeal of right-to-work laws, repeal of the Taft Hartley Slave Labor Act...

My favorites... that would begin with Eugene Debs. It would not include racists like Victor Berger. Among the communists, I lean toward Johnny Gates, Eugene V. Dennis, and of course the original rebel girl, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. I once received an unsolicited appeal to join the ACLU. Being familiar with the fact that Flynn was a founding member, and during the 1940s the ACLU board held an internal purge trial and expelled her, I responded (in the ACLU's postage pre-paid envelope) that when the ACLU publicly apologizes for that sordid episode, I will give membership some consideration. I have no heroes in the New Left, although you are wrong to trace all the social-liberal-Equality horse manure to the New Left. I guess in modern times, small names like Fannie Lou Hamer and Shirley Sherrod who did the hard local work of actually trying to improve lives and overcome institutional obstacles would be my favorites. There's not much to admire among elected political leaders right now... they're all tarnished. But Trump is just a labor-exploiting business owner who is sufficiently on the outs of his own class that he can afford to be rude in public and perpetuate the lie that crude profanity is the hallmark of the working class. What pro-labor legislation or policy has Trump ever even mentioned?

Svar said...

Trump wants to end the dilution of the American labor pool via the importation of cheap labor (illegal immigration). Jack London and Cesar Chavez (yes, really) would be happy regarding that. He wants to end NAFTA and he has been advocating protectionism/strong opposition to free-trade. These are things that he has been advocating since the beginning.

I support a high minimum wage (higher than your 15) for jobs like steel workers, miners, fisherman, oil riggers, and lumber workers. Not for jobs that belong to teenagers like McDonald's.

Btw, I just learned that Charles Lindbergh was in 50 bombing campaigns against the Axis on top of disbanding the AFC after Pearl Harbor. He was a true patriot who did what he believed was best for this country. It's slanderous to say that he was seditious when he showed far, far more loyalty than the Pollard-types that he warned us against.

" But Trump is just a labor-exploiting business owner who is sufficiently on the outs of his own class that he can afford to be rude in public and perpetuate the lie that crude profanity is the hallmark of the working class"

He is a traitor to the hostile treacherous elite that has sucked this country dry.

Btw, are you a champagne socialist? Because it seems that you don't know or hang out with working class men.

Crude profanity is an American tradition going back to Jefferson and Jackson, the former who was American aristocracy. I'm not going to get the vapors over Trump's language when we have actual concrete issues that need attending to.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Svar, how would you have ANY idea who I hang out with? I hang out here, and so far as I can tell, Erin is as working class Irish Catholic as they come, although she is not a man and never claimed to be one. As it happens, I don't drink alcohol, champagne or beer, because I don't like the taste. I once remarked that I'm too lazy to acquire a taste for any vice I don't like the first time I try it. I drove a paratransit bus for five years, and hold a withdrawal card in good standing from the Amalgamated Transit Union. I recall many families of passengers I used to pick up. My informal unscientific observation is there were an awful lot of conservative older Roman Catholic working class white men voting for Obama. One told me, as I was putting his cognitively disabled son in a wheelchair on the bus, "A guy like you? Driving this bus? How can you afford to vote Republican?" I have no reason to think Donald Trump would appeal to him. I bet Trump drinks champagne.

Whatever sort of working class men you hang out with, if any, you obviously don't know beans about fast food jobs, or paper routes for that matter. I remember when these jobs were mostly for kids. No longer. They are mostly held by young adults, and some older adults, who don't have anything better at the moment... or for several years.

We do have actual concrete issues that need attending to. I have the sense that Trump thinks actual concrete issues will dissolve in happy euphoria if you just subject them to some well timed crude profanity.

Kirt Higdon said...

Now that the Republican primaries are effectively over, it might be well to revisit the thesis of the initial post; namely, that Catholics are uniting around Trump. Is there any data on this? I've been unable to find any, one way or the other, though I've seen the Trump demographics sliced and diced every which way but religious. The only religious group isolated by the pollsters are the evangelicals. They rate as neither the most nor the least supportive of Trump, but somewhere in the middle as compared to various non-religious cohorts.

So we're back to intuition and anecdote. My intuition tells me that the majority of the Catholic vote in the general election will be for Hillary. The democrats usually get the majority of the Catholic vote and they should get some extra Hispanic ones this time due to Trump's vocal opposition to immigration. Also Trump's apparent disinterest in abortion and virtual endorsement of the LBTG agenda give Catholic pro-lifers little reason to support him. Anecdotally, I've actually run across ONE! Catholic Trump voter since my initial comment on this post. This is an Ohioan who voted for Trump as a protest vote against the Ohio and national Republican establishment. If he votes for Trump in the general, it will be for anti-establishmentarian reasons - not due to any love of Trump.

So my conclusion is that Catholics are as divided over Trump as over everything and everyone else. No surprise at all.

David Sharples said...

All pro life persons should vote for Trump. He will shut the abortion component of planned parenthood while praising other components, but that's ok and gradual.

Kirt Higdon said...

Catholic writer Rachel Lu has the following anti-Trump essay (not her first) up on the Crisis (Catholic) website.

Further evidence that Catholics are NOT uniting around Trump.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

David, you ARE naive. Trump will do whatever the Sam Hill he wants, and has perfect political amnesia. That was then, and this is now. He said what he said on a day when he thought it would do him some good to say it, or maybe he was just in a mood. You have NO IDEA what he will actually do if elected, and I doubt he does either.

Also, he can't shut down anything in Planned Parenthood. All he can do is pull part or all of its federal funding. In my seldom humble opinion, that would be a great idea. My mother, the conservative Republican in the family, who has been mourning the demise of the GOP ever since it became the party of deficit spending circa 1981, was a Planned Parenthood volunteer in the days when it was a volunteer organization. Cut the federal umbilical cord (no pun intended) and let it thrive as an independent voluntary organization again.

David Sharples said...

And what if Trump does sign a bill from congress to shut down huge abortion component? I say, of course he would.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

David, such a bill would be null and void, and enjoined as such by the federal courts. It wouldn't even invoke Roe v. Wade, it would be a bill of attainder.

Congress could of course end all federal funding of the abortion component of Planned Parenthood... but there is no such thing. Ever hear of the Hyde Amendment?

What congress cannot do is pass a law to "shut down" Planned Parenthood providing lawful services to willing buyers.

A law of GENERAL APPLICATION imposing criminal penalties upon ANYONE who performs an abortion would be more feasible... if a constitutional amendment supercedes Roe v. Wade.

I support a measure Erin believes is the best the pro-life movement can get in the immediately forseeable future, which is to move the "quickening" boundary back to 20 weeks.

Remember when the South Dakota legislature voted to ban all abortions in the state -- patently trying to create a case that would rapidly rise to the Supreme Court? Fifty five percent of the people who had just elected that legislature repealed the measure by referendum. You don't get to two thirds of both houses of congress and three fourths of the state legislatures without winning a lot more hearts and minds.

Trump, of course, doesn't understand such legal details, which have been of considerable protection to the free speech rights of pro-life people. Trump's philosophy of governance is that of Cornelius Vanderbilt: "Law? Who cares about law? H'ain't I got the power?"