Four years ago, I wrote a series of articles for the Distributist Review, called “Navigating the Electoral Milieu”, where I criticized more or less every candidate, with some praise for Ron Paul among my severe criticism of him.
Having briefly reviewed the Republican debates, I can only come to the conclusion (which I have maintained for a very long time) that our national political life is all a sham. There may indeed be sincere individuals who think they can accomplish some good, but the reality is they don’t.
The Republican milieu is not much different from the last time around. First off, we have Jeb Bush, if we want a replay of 8 years of W. He makes gaffes just as bad as his older brother (though not as puerile) and waffles frequently, knowing that the base is increasingly anti-war while all his backers are the military industrial complex. A lot of people think he is great because he is Catholic, as if that lessons the positive evil he will unleash as president. Then there is Huckabee, for what the third time now? He nicely invents himself as a true, prayerful conservative, nearly every time. Then there is Carson—what exactly is he running for again? Oh, the economy, right. Then we have Carly Fiona, we need a republican alternative to Hillary! Rubio talks a good game, but them he is open borders. Moreover he has no experience. He is a first term senator. Then again there is Obama—exactly. Do we want another one of those? Then there are a bunch of people I recognize, don’t know much about, except that when they talk they sound like everyone else.
Then there are two others. Firstly Donald Trump. You have to be kidding me if you take him seriously. Let us review Donald Trump’s political history:
-During the 1990’s, Trump joined the bashers of anti-gloablist Pat Buchanan while publicly saying he’d like to have Oprah Winfrey as his running mate.
Trump donated to then-NY Senator Killary Clinton
Trump supported the big banker bailout of 2008: “Maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t. But certainly it is worth a shot.”
The Clintons were honored guests at Trump’s third wedding.
Trump donated $20,000 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — in the year in which the Dems recaptured the majority in the House.
Trump donated to Democrat Marxist Chuck Schumer
Trump endorsed Mitt Moderate Romney for the Republican Primary
The “courageous” Trump joins the lynch mob calling for the removal of the Confederate flag (as did Rand Paul).
Now, before I move on, a word about the Confederate flag. This is actually the Confederate battle flag. It is a version of the St. Andrew’s cross of Scotland. Now, I’m not particularly wedded to it. There is truth in the representation of Southern Culture with no reference to slavery. Yet, none of that can avoid the fact that pro-segregation governors used it as a symbol to fight desegregation and support the state-sanctioned racism. So there is truth on both sides. Was it actually bothering anyone? Probably not. Like so many things in the news cycle, it was a non-issue drummed up to take our attention away from what is really going on in the rest of the world. Quasi dicere, I could care less about it in itself. The fact, however, that Trump (and Rand Paul) joined the lynch mob shows them to be political opportunists riding the popular momentum of the news cycle. Were I running (I don’t know why I would do such a pointless thing) I would simply say that is for those communities to decide. I find the whitehouse lighting itself in rainbow colours far more disturbing than the Confederate flag in the now desegregated South. That the whole event was insanity is shown by the subsequent desire to dig up confederate generals buried here and there, and the banning of the Confederate flag from historical parks, Civil War games, textbooks, as if seeing a historical thing causes racism. Nonsense.
Either way, Trump is an opportunist, I know of no evidence that he is being asked to upset the field for some benefit, but I would not be surprised to find out that was the case. He is simply not a statesman, and could not do anything other than what the “experts” said were some national crisis to happen.
Now Rand Paul. On foreign policy he sounds really good, but I wonder what he can really do to change the system. In fact, he seems like someone that would quickly waffle in the face of some foreign political crisis. On top of that, he is entirely pro-gay marriage. Some people would say, “Well, he is pro-life, and he is anti-war [apparently] he just thinks the government should get out of marriage.” I’m all for getting the government out of marriage, since theologically civil marriages simply don’t exist, it is just a contract by the state, it has nothing to do with the institution of marriage established by God. Still, Rand—just like Ron—Paul’s solution would in fact create more government, just as we shall see shortly. Now gay “marriages” will be filling up the divorce courts (at a higher rate than real marriages) as well as child custody fights and many other things. There will be more government, not less, and the need for even more laws to determine everything.
I could go on more ranting about individual things, but all the candidates are lock-step in the same mold. That is more government (or policies that will increase it), talk but no action on abortion, and of course. They all voted for the TPP, which threatens our very sovereignty, and shamelessly gave in to the World Trade Organization when they overturned one of our sovereign laws. [See my interview with Bill Jasper on the TPP]. Then there is the fact that they all carry 100% support for Israel.
Israel is of course the biggest issue in American politics today, which is astounding, and should astound any objective observer. It is a tiny country, a combination of Jews who lived for some time under the Ottomans, then under the British, combined with Jewish emigres from Europe. It is really a failed socialist state, dependent upon billions of dollars in aid and weaponry from the United States. I’m not particularly anti-Israel, or pro-Israel. I have my own views on various Iraeli issues (treatment of Palestinians being a big one), but, why is it that there are so many dual Israeli-American citizens in government? Why does AIPAC have so much influence over our “law”-makers? Would we allow, for example, a European country like Italy or France, let alone Russia or an Islamic country, to have the same influence in government? Actually we do, namely Turkey. There are a number of people in government who take money from the Turkish-American Council (Former Republican speaker Dennis Hastert comes to mind). Sure enough, there are supply convoys that leave Turkey destined to ISIS quite frequently, and Turkey has long assisted the US in its foreign policy, much of which is directed by AIPAC. Rand Paul supports Israel, just like every other candidate. Surely, if we were concerned for American security, we would cut our ties with Israel, at least it seems.
Then there is the military industrial complex. Who is going to cut the military? It won’t be Rand Paul, nor will it be any other candidate. This is because the system, the bureaucracy is too large and too entrenched. We will not see the end of government from there.
Then some will say, this is important because we need to get rid of support for Planned Parenthood. Neither Bush nor any other Republican attempted to do so from 2000-2008. The Planned Parenthood videos, however, came out just in time to galvanize the Republican base to vote no matter what. Here is what really happens with such things. The Party gets together, excludes all those who are serious on abortion, and they work out, okay, who is in a liberal or moderate district that can survive a “no” vote on this? Boehner gets his ducks in a row, and they can make it look like a strong reaction has been made when in fact it is business as usual. The Republicans will never end abortion because there own polling sufficiently shows that the day abortion ends most Republicans will stop voting.
Then of course there is fractional reserve lending, which even Ron Paul would not have touched, let alone Rand, and it is nothing more than another version of theft. The Federal Reserve, anyone? No. Currency reform? China has been increasing gold holdings for years and all reports show the dollar will no longer be the world reserve currency. Are we ready? No. Does anyone know what that means? That means that when we want to buy oil, for example, we cannot print more dollars. We will have to buy whatever currency is in place (Yuan, gold, etc.) to do so, and the fall of the dollar when every country in the world is dumping dollars will mean we will be in a state of Weimar 2.0. No one is talking about this issue. Jobs? These guys are still running trickle down economics. Abortion? See above, or, my article The Failure of the Pro-life movement.
The whole spectacle of our national politics shows that in reality there is only one party, with two branches. Or, as I’d rather put it, two wings of the same bird of prey. This is why I don’t vote, except once in a while in a local election where it seems it might do some good.
Here is a debate I had via e-mail with someone whom I shall leave anonymous, from the first round of debates a month or so ago:
Q. Did you watch the Republican debates?
me. There were debates?
Q. Don’t you follow politics?
me. As little as humanly possible.
Q. Isn’t it disrespectful of your country to pay no attention to your future leaders?
me. They are only my “leader” in as much as they have more guns than I do. These “debates” are stage-managed grandstanding platforms to convince the powers that shouldn’t be that candidate x will be a better manager of their decisions on the government side than candidate y.
Q. So you are not going to vote?
me. I would rather open my wrist to be truthful, or clean out a few septic tanks. I could even bring myself to watch a reality show (which I have still never seen) before I went out to vote.
Q. Well, don’t complain.
Q. If you don’t vote you don’t get to complain.
me. Where is that written?
Q. It’s your civic duty.
me. Baloney. If it was a duty it would be legally mandated. A right is not necessarily a duty.
Q. You still can’t complain if you don’t vote.
me. Sure I can. If someone is put forward by my countrymen, or the selection of bankers and voting machines is accepted as constituting a right to rule (I prefer watery tarts throwing swords around, but anyway), then that someone is obliged to rule justly regardless of whether I voted for him, his opponent or nobody.
Q. But if you don’t participate you don’t get to complain.
me. Where is that written?
Q. It’s just common sense.
me. That’s ridiculous. I lose my free speech rights to point out the injustice of the system simply because I refuse to choose my dictator for four years?
me. So I need to vote for the dictator in order to complain about him when he becomes dictator, even though I am responsible for him being dictator by my vote.
Q. uhh…. I guess so.
me. Aren’t we morally complicit in the things that a candidate does when we vote for him?
Q. Well, if you know he is going to do x.
me. So if I know a candidate will continue the lie of 9-11, will continue sanctioning foreign wars that murder innocent people (turning the military into the Middle Eastern branch of Planned Parenthood), continue taking away our rights at home, continue devaluing our currency and tanking my economy, do I have to become morally complicit with all of that in order to complain about it?
Q. Well, i don’t—you still have to vote.
me. This is sounding more like a religion.
Q. No, we have separation of Church and state.
me. Which means the state becomes both.
So, no, I’m not voting this time. I didn’t vote last time or the time before that, or even before that. And things are the same each time. I won’t be lured by the promise of judges or the promise to fight ISIS (which is a creation of our foreign policy) other things that will not materialize to once again avail myself of America’s sacrament. What we see before us is not politics in a classical sense, but a stage managed reality show from hell, where no serious issue is on the table and we are treated to more politician speak. And most people are happy with that, and will take the sacrament of liberty, lest they be excommunicated to the realm of independent thought.
Again, no thanks. Our only alternatives are anarchy and monarchy, neither of which could be much worse.
What ISIS does is what all Islamic caliphates before this recent attempt have done; they test the weakness and resolve of civilization with unnerving brutality and acts of horrendously gratuitous violence. Mohammed, himself, tortured a man by tying him down and setting a wood fire on his chest (in the hadith). The only way Western foreign policy can affect their actions is its display of utter weakness and belief in Islam’s moral equivalence to Catholicism’s worldly expression – Christianity. We Catholics have fought these devils since 610 A.D. You quote Belloc. Have you read his book on Catholic heresies? Islam was in a down time when he wrote, but he warned that given an opening are bent on the destruction of civilization. In a recent book by Dr. Tawfik Hammid this point concerning Salafists/Islamists/Wahabbists and their violent jihadi roots is crystalised. Salafists are 90% of practicing Muslims in the world, he says. He was a member of a terrorist group in Egypt and was recruited by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current head of al-Qaeda. Avoiding these so-called people is not possible. Believing their purposefully deceptive propaganda about “religion of peace” will be the final foolishness of modernism. If Islam is not destroyed utterly, we will be destroyed, utterly – and sooner than you think. They worship death. They are of Satan. Make no mistake, the Catholic Religion is Islam’s mortal enemy. Cardinal Ottaviani, in your side-bar quote, has cause and effects confused. He seems to be a short-sighted pacifist, uneducated in history, and is unaware that he would not have been alive to make his statement were is not for courageous men who died so his ancestors could live and his religion could survive. Indeed, our species could not have survived its own evil, if not for good, kind men temporarily becoming men of extreme violence with prejudice to ensure that survival. Believing that war is never necessary does not make it fact. The world, at this moment, is in a leadership catastrophe. The quest for zero-suffering and the quasi-happiness of paganism has produced an irreversibly soft majority of adult toddlers whose dependence on lies leads them away from God’s desire for us to persevere in the face of adversity. It is only in facing up to the evil adversary that we know dignity. It is in battle where the love of God is never more real. Denial of that fact is to deny good vs. evil, that the battle for the immortal soul in each of us does not exist.
You’ll find my extensive reply to this here: https://athanasiuscm.org/2015/09/21/on-islam-and-isis/
You’re discounting Trump’s actual utility: comedy. Have you looked at his Twitter feed? It’s gold. He’s also useful in showing the public discontent with the GOP among Republicans. If people are taking him seriously, it’s because everyone else is so bad.
But yeah… I stopped voting over a decade ago. I’m not going to start again. In the presidential race, it’s mathematically pointless to vote in most states. In local elections by me, most offices are unopposed, and the few that aren’t are typically the choice between two people from the same party that are nearly identical. Why bother? It’s a distasteful act anyway. The only way it would have any meaning is if there were some sort of real, substantial restrictions on it so not just any idiot could vote.
Re: “Q. It’s your civic duty.
me. Baloney. If it was a duty it would be legally mandated. A right is not necessarily a duty.
Q. You still can’t complain if you don’t vote.” Actually it falls under the 4th Commandment as part of obedience to rightful superiors, even when we don’t like them…sad you don’t know that as part of long time Catholic social doctrine
Again, based on what? The 4th commandment does not require us to vote, unless we are required by law to vote. That is nothing more than a novel interpretation in morality based on nothing certain.
A right is not the same as a duty. I am obliged to obey the elected officials, regardless of whether I vote for them in so far as their authority extends, as well as confer a certain degree of respect, when they make that even possible, but at the same time there is nowhere in scripture or tradition that requires me to vote. Period.
Secondly, there is no one I can vote for in conscience.
Thirdly, just because I don’t vote for president does not mean I do not vote at all, I tend to locally when I see the need.
It’s great to see this wonderful blog active again.
ABS doesn’t watch the debates but the clips he sees of Trump are funny as hell. He rhetorically gives the finger to the cultural marxists and that is cool but, of course, the establishment will not let stand for election any man who could divest them of their power and so the latest iteration of “the-most-important-election-ever” is as meaningless as those preceding it.
Staying home on election day, drinking some quality cabernet, and listening to Vivaldi is about as revolutionary as ABS gets these days but he is in agreement with you, good sir.
O, ABS does hold out the hope that these united states will split apart to be replaced by regional confederations; just imagine a somewhat sensible southern confederation of states while the northeast, upper midwest, and far west, could have their sodomite aborting zionist confederation..who knows
Thank you for expressing your views. There is much confusion on these issues, but there needs to be honesty and sincere questioning to arrive at the inevitable truth. We need a hand from God to fix things, and it is not going to be a “magic wand” but His heavy hand of Justice, which will be devastating. Alas, as frightening as that sounds, it will be the instrument to us regaining our well-being both spiritual and physical.
I’m voting for Stephen Harper.
There’s another argument to establish against the posting above you…
The American Constitution states that the ‘people’ formed the government, which means each individual has sovereignty. The President in that regard is only an elected equal, not a superior, and there are no superiors in the American Republic.
It even throws the obligations of elections by law into question since it violates the sovereignty of each individual. That’s what happens when you built the foundations of the Govermnent from the ground up, rather than being built from the top down. The top down is constant, the ground up is always shifting and changing.
I thought it was the declaration of Independence that the Sovereign citizen people claim makes the citizen a sovereign. Either way, even if it is so the supremacy clause in the constitution makes sovereignty of the citizen subject to the dictates of the state. Ratifying the Constitution was the worst in a series of blunders beginning in 1774. We made a far more powerful government than George III ever had right here on our own soil.
I like Trump (in the race at least). We know it’s a sham and he’s out to prove it to everyone.
Do we really think any of those pols are pro-life? It doesn’t matter, if the border isn’t controlled, we’ll have Dems forever.
At present, they could run the devil and still get 200 electoral votes.