Christian Ohnimus throws a spanner in the works…

…of the GOP’s attempt to gin up the de rigeur “YOU HAVE TO VOTE FOR OUR GUY BECAUSE WE ARE THE LAST BEST HOPE FOR A CULTURE OF LIFE!!!!!” election year bunkum. He is is a fine young Catholic man, simply trying to evaluate Romney in light of the Church’s actual teaching:

I’m working on a project analyzing how Romney’s political career lives up to promoting the culture of life. I just finished part 1 which covers war, assassination, torture and the death penalty.
Part two covers euthanasia, abortion, contraception and gay marriage. I really want to get the word out about this because I think that, while many pro-lifers want to promote the culture of life in regards to all of these issues, most don’t or can’t independently research and gauge a candidate on each and every issue. This provides people with a single place they can go to where they can gauge Romney on all of these issues.

I think Romney is going to win. And I think he is going to be absolutely awful. But he will be awful in ways that “conservatives” think are really cool, imitating Obama’s assassinations, launching wars (next up: Iran), and restoring torture, as well as all the normal zeal for the death penalty. As to euthanasia, abortion, contraception and gay marriage–expect nothing and you will not be disappointed. Then, in four years, we will be told we have to support Mitt Romney because soon and very soon he’s going to appoint somebody to the Supreme Courty like John “Roe is settled law” Roberts who will, eventually get around to doing something about Roe–or not.

Anybody who believes Romney has any core values or principles or cares about anything but the alliance between corporate wealth and himself is absolutely, totally, and completely delusional. At least the suckers who fell for Obama’s Messiah schtick had the advantage of knowing nothing about him and so were able to adorn the blank slate of his record with their own delusional projections because he was an unknown quantity.

But what conceivable excuse can Romney supporters give when their guy is a completely known quantity whose sheer duplicity, flip-flopping, pandering and empty rhetoric–coupled with a political record that makes clear he is an empty suit–leaves us with no doubt whatsoever that he is void of everything but sheer political expedience and a complete creature of wealth and ease dedicated solely to the maintainance of wealth and ease for himself and his cronies?

At least Obama’s delusional supporters were idealists who walked into the voting booth blinded by the stars in their eyes. Romney’s delusional supporters can *see* what kind of man he is, and yet still are voting for him. Mysterious.

I’ll vote third party. I’ll lose, but I won’t feel like I need a shower when I exit the voting booth.

  • John Schafer

    I think the author of this article needs to step down from his morally superior pedestal and get a grip. A vote for for Romney does not mean you agree with everything he believes, or that you think he is the perfect candidate. After watching Obama destroy our country and put us on the brink of losing the battles against abortion, religious freedom, Obamacare, etc., I do know how can possibly justify a vote that may help put Obama back in office. Obama has shown his true colors. Now it is time to give Romney a chance, even if he does not match up perfectly with your morals. If you think putting Romney in office is bad, just give Obama a second term. Then you will see evil in action. Catholics are not stupid. Most Catholics realize that putting Obama back in office, either by voting for him, OR, voting for a third party candidate so you can claim you are morally superior to everyone else, is utter non-sense. The future of America is at stake here and this is likely the most important election in World History, and you want to risk putting Obama back in office. Frankly, 99.9% of Catholics would tell you that you are nuts. Voting for a third party candidate is a vote for Obama that we cannot afford. Contact Father Frank Pavone and ask him what he thinks of your position. I guarantee you he would tell you that you are crazy. If Romney turns out to be bad, then you can vote him out too. At least give him a chance and get Obama out, rather than sitting on the 3rd party voting sidelines with a smug look on your face.

    • Thomas R

      I think the host does, by implication, indicate it is never justified to vote for a major party Presidential candidate. He may not explicitly say that, but if you even just say you can only go for a candidate who combines a Consistent-Life-Ethic with Just-War-Theory (and he says more than that) you’re saying you can never vote for most any major candidate. Because most every President from the 1890s to the 1970s has supported a war/intervention in Latin America that does not fit just-war theory, while everyone since 1970s has either been strongly pro-death-penalty or strongly Pro-Choice or both. Even if a major candidate from 1890 to now could fit those things they still might not prosecute a Just-War in a way deemed Just. Truman nuked Japan and I wouldn’t be surprised if FDR supported some bombing of innocent civilians in WWII. Possibly Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge comes out okay, maybe.

      All that said I don’t think we are honor-bound to vote for a major Party candidate either. I do not like feeling like I’m being extorted. Neither Mark nor I live in swing-states. We can vote for whoever we want without giving anything to Obama. That’s not cynical, it’s the reality. I’m hesitant to do the Third-Party thing, but I’m more hesitant to be owned by either Party.

      • Mark Shea

        Of course I think it legit to vote for a major party candidate–if that candidate does not advocate grave intrinsic evil or if one can find a proportionate reason to do so. I can’t find one and both major candidates advocate grave intrinsic evil. So I will vote third party.

        http://www.ncregister.com/blog/mark-shea/a-reader-asks-about-the-act-of-voting

        • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

          It would be helpful to hear who the candidate of your choice is.

      • Ted Seeber

        “I wouldn’t be surprised if FDR supported some bombing of innocent civilians in WWII.”

        Alex, I’ll take “What was the bombing of Dresden?” for 200.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “Voting for a third party candidate is a vote for Obama that we cannot afford. ” No, voting for a third party candidate is just that – a vote for a third party candidate. There’s no feeling of moral superiority involved, simply the knowledge of selecting a candidate who most closely aligns with your convictions – which is, after all, the whole point of voting. But I do get a sense of moral superiority from your post, that only folks voting for Romney are those morally opposed to the wrongs of the Obama administration. and everyone else is somehow complicit in supporting him.

      “Frankly, 99.9% of Catholics would tell you that you are nuts. ” Because you didn’t pull that made-up statistic out of you-know-where. Thanks for the pro-Romney rant.

    • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

      You know, there’s a significant number of liberal Catholics out there who recognize that Obama is a terrible president and are appalled by the human-rights violations of his drone war and the violations of religious freedom by the HHS mandate. However, they’re still going to vote for Obama because the Democrat establishment keeps telling them, “Romney would be worse” so vote for Obama the lesser of two evils. Meanwhile, Republicans fall into line because we must, “beat Obama at all costs.” If Catholics (and others) on both sides voted for candidates that they actually liked then maybe in the future we could have a good candidate and not just a slightly “less evil” one.

      • Beadgirl

        Exactly. I won’t vote for Obama again, but I have to admit that I am sometimes afraid Romney will be even worse on human rights and foreign policy and the economy.

        Sad to say, I can’t imagine ever being genuinely excited by a political candidate ever again.

      • Matthew

        Cthulu in 2012, why settle for the ‘lesser’ evil!

        • Richard Johnson

          Indeed! And make sure you nominate Hastur for VP at the convention!

    • Mark Shea
    • Ted Seeber

      I can’t justify a vote that will put Obama back in office, but I can’t justify a vote that will put Romney in office either. At all.

      The only chink I’ve seen in his armor so far was that study that Santorum gave him linking wealth to traditional values. And even that, from his explanation of what he took from it, is disordered.

    • http://gloriaromanorum.blogspot.com/ Florentius

      “If Romney turns out to be bad, then you can vote him out too.”

      Even the most cursory look at Romney’s record will tell you that he *will* be bad if you are pro-life Catholic. And worse than in the case of Obama, everything he does will be done in your name if you vote for him. If you’re a conservative Republican, you will get the blame by association when he appoints pro-abortion judges to the bench, when he knee-caps DOMA and allows homosexual “marriage” to become the law of the land, when he tweaks ObamaCare and then sets it in stone forever, and when he doesn’t cut the untenable growth of the federal government. Imagine all that happens within Romney’s first four years. What do you think will happen in the election of 2016 when pro-life conservatives are even more dispirited and angry than they are now? That’s right, it will be a Democrat tsunami that will make 2008 look like a squeaker….

  • Thomas R

    1: I don’t think Romney will win.

    2: I really hope that, like the elder Bozell, you will realize that (from your perspective) America is in its way an evil Empire and find a way to leave it. Either literally or, more likely, symbolically by abdicating concern for its politics.

    Yes I get Chestertonian patriotism, but Chesterton was living in a real nation-state/land with a deep heritage. Being “American” is mostly an idea created largely by wealthy Deists and Freemasons. The US is not your mother and it’s not your father. And even if it were there can come a point where a parent may have to be rebuked or even distanced from.

    I don’t claim to be patriotic, but at the same time I also don’t claim to expect things that I know can’t happen. The US can’t go by Catholic Social Teaching, because it’s not a Catholic nation. I’m not even hoping it will. Best you can hope for might be a nation that does not forbid or oppress those who live by Catholic Social Teaching.

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      As Catholics, we have a solemn duty and an obligation to love our country – whatever country that is – and to be willing to fight to defend her. “My country, right or wrong / when right, to be kept right / when wrong, to be put right / but right or wrong, my country.” This doesn’t mean we agree with everything or believe in everything our nation’s leaders are doing – we can and should loudly and vigorously disagree with them when they depart from what all Catholics know to be the right road. Saints Thomas More and John Fisher were fulfilling their Catholic obligation of remaining loyal to the Church as well as being loyal Englishmen by resisting the unCatholic and unEnglish tyranny of King Henry VIII. We should remain loyal Catholics and loyal Americans by holding fast to what is good and true and right about what America stands for, and by resisting and fighting down to our last breath, if necessary, those who impose an overlay of greed, corruption, and violence upon our country.

      Don’t give up. Fight.

      Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States of America, pray for us!

      • B

        “As Catholics, we have a solemn duty and an obligation to love our country – whatever country that is – and to be willing to fight to defend her.”

        Does it say that in the Catechism anywhere? Would like a reference.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          2199 The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it….

          2234 God’s fourth commandment also enjoins us to honor all who for our good have received authority in society from God. It clarifies the duties of those who exercise authority as well as those who benefit from it….

          The duties of citizens

          2238 Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts: “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution. . . . Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.” Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.

          2239 It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

          2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country:

          Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

          [Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. . . . They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws. . . . So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.

          The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.”

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      You have left it then?

    • Andy, Bad Person

      The US can’t go by Catholic Social Teaching, because it’s not a Catholic nation. I’m not even hoping it will. Best you can hope for might be a nation that does not forbid or oppress those who live by Catholic Social Teaching.

      That sounds like a convenient excuse not to politically push for, well, anything the Church teaches. I can’t vote against abortion because this isn’t a Catholic nation, I can’t vote against gay “marriage” because this isn’t a Catholic nation. Why does CST get the short straw on this one?

      • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

        There’s a difference between being able to count votes and predict the outcome and giving up.

  • JB
  • Kirt Higdon

    Pro-lifers have been selling themselves out politically at ever greater discounts almost since the beginning of the nationwide abortion regime of Roe v. Wade. The constant lowering of the bar caused by the “vote for the lesser evil” mentality means that the greater evil always sets the pace and the lesser evil voters vote for greater evil in each succeeding election. The betting odds of the election still favor Obama, but for at least the last century any elected incombent trying for a second term has either improved his popular vote percentage or he has lost. No one, not even Obama’s campaign staff, think he will do better this time. All the “battleground states” are ones he carried in 2008. So let’s say Romney wins in a close election in which pro-life votes make the difference. Abortion remains in force, Obamacare remains in force with a little tweaking (or is replaced by Romneycare) and the Persians get exterminated with nuclear weapons. How will the pro-lifers manage to discount themselves at the following election? No doubt they’ll find a way.

    • Dan C

      I think the challenge of pro-life these days is that there are those claiming to be pro-lifers who make the vaguest emotive sounds needed to be deemed “pro-life” and there are those pro-lifers with convictions. The former really wants Roe-lite, in reality, and the latter wants, for example, a constitutional amendment asserting human life begins at conception. The numbers of the latter are not the majority of conservatives. This has become more evident over the past decde.

    • Ted Seeber

      Iran/Persia has too much oil to die in any nuclear scenario where they don’t shoot first.

      At which point, Romney or Obama, it won’t matter who is the America President- it will be ISRAEL that pulls the trigger on Iran in a war of Mutually Assured Destruction.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      I’ve come to the conclusion that pro-lifers should not expect a political solution to the abortion problem. Maybe thinking that our votes will one day magically put all the right people in office who will then make abortion illegal is a pipe dream. Politicians, by and large, don’t really want that so why bother making that a requirement for voting for them? I’m not saying we should therefore vote for rabid pro-choicers – no way! Rather, we should try as much as possible to vote for politicians who are not avidly pro-abortion, not because we expect them to solve the abortion problem but because they will at least take a laissez-faire attitude toward the issue rather than aggressively protecting and extending abortion “rights.” Then pro-lifers will be free to try to change hearts and minds over time and seek other solutions to this problem. Because that’s where the change must occur ultimately. It would be lovely if the politicians really cared, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      In political situations like this (not just pro-life) the cure is generally to “boil the frog”, ie turn up the heat and make people realize the end point where we’re headed to. Right now the bioethicists are preparing the ground work to legalize infanticide, yet it isn’t a campaign issue yet. Make it one.

  • Elaine S.

    “I’m hesitant to do the Third-Party thing, but I’m more hesitant to be owned by either Party.”
    That is the most important principle at work here — Catholics, and the Church itself, should not be “owned by” or beholden to ANY political party. This, I think, is one of the reasons why I think it’s a good thing for the Church NOT to explicitly endorse candidates or parties by name, completely aside from the IRS tax exemption rules.
    However, that does not exclude the possibility of situations when a particular candidate or party has become so evil that voting them out, even if that means accepting the lesser of two (or more) evils, is of prime concern. This year is one of those times.

  • Elaine S.

    “Chesterton was living in a real nation-state/land with a deep heritage. Being “American” is mostly an idea created largely by wealthy Deists and Freemasons.”
    So if we’re not Americans then what are we? Chopped liver? :-)
    I suppose most Americans identify with the state they are from, but aren’t states just as much “created ideas”? If you watch the History Channel show “How The States Got Their Shapes” or read the associated book, you will know what I mean. Some state boundaries are obvious and natural (e.g., the Mississippi River), but others are pretty arbitrary and result from surveying mistakes, long ago property disputes or last minute wheeling and dealing by politicians.
    Ultimately everyone has to be “from” somewhere and while we cannot idolize that place, neither should we regard it with total detachment. Christ Himself was a citizen of a particular place and time and He cared about its welfare, as evidenced by his weeping over Jerusalem.

    • Ted Seeber

      I don’t know about you, but I have far more loyalty to Oregon and Cascadia than I do to the foreign government, whose seat of power is 3000 miles away, that invaded us in 1806.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    I am not going to tell you if I am going to vote for Romney or not, because I probably won’t know until I enter the voting booth. It’s a gut-wrenching decision. What I can say is the fact that Romney and Obama are our two choices should be a wake-up call to every American that our country is in a very critical condition. I am convinced that we get what we deserve. Either another four years of Obama or having to wait till 2021 to possibly get a decent President in office? I don’t believe America has until 2021.

    Ron Paul, while not perfect, was a trustworthy candidate who would have truly fought abortion, balanced the budget, appointed strict Constitutionalist judges, and not inflicted any unnecessary wars on our country. 90%+ of the American public either did not agree with those values, or couldn’t be bothered to get off the couch to find out. America is on life support.

  • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com JoAnna

    Romney will be bad… but a second-term Obama will be much, much worse.

    • Rachel K

      I agree. I don’t like Romney at all, and I might be tempted to go third-party if the Democrat were anyone but Obama. But Obama’s naked contempt for my religion seals the deal. Romney will be lukewarm at best when it comes to life issues, but he won’t be actively trying to destroy my religious liberty.

      Mark, I completely respect that you want to go third-party, especially as someone else whose state (Maryland) is going to go blue no matter how I vote. But I remember you had a post back when the HHS mandate first came through about how you weren’t sure, given Obama’s hatred of the Church, whether you’d go third party this year or not. I had the same struggle and came to the opposite conclusion.

    • Ted Seeber

      I disagree. *EVERY PRESIDENT IN MY LIFETIME HAS BEEN A DISAPPOINTMENT*. I go into each inauguration with high hopes for change for the better, and withing months (with Obama it was days *before* the inauguration, as he began picking his cabinet, the writing was on the wall as half of them came from the Banking Industry) I’ve been disappointed. Romney will be no different, because the problem isn’t with the man, it’s with the office and what that office became under FDR & LBJ, in the decades before I was born.

      Tyrants like Obama and Romney are just the result of a system that has gone from Republican Representative Democracy to utterly corrupt Plutocracy. Even when they claim to be for you, it’s just bread and circuses to prevent the violent rebellion against the rich that almost came true in 1932.

  • http://soundcloud.com/evan-cogswell Evan

    Romney might be a shrewd enough businessman to turn the economy around, but he won’t do a single thing to reverse the culture of death. He probably won’t pursue abortion as aggressively as Obama, but I don’t think that’s enough to vote for him. I would like to directly help defeat Obama, but I don’t think being slightly less pro-death than the most pro-death president is a good voting qualification. At least I live in liberal stronghold state, where it makes no difference for whom I vote. If Obama were in danger of losing my state, that would mean he is going to be trounced in almost every other state. If I lived in a swing state, I would be torn between Romney and a third party candidate.

    • Timbot2000

      The government is not a business, and a businessman is not what is needed to turn the economy around. What is needed is a shrewd economist, namely an Austrian-school economist. Romney’s economic advisers are a rogues gallery of right-wing Keynesians and monetarists. Their job will be to provide intellectual cover for the systematic looting of the US middle class. Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss.

      • Ted Seeber

        The Austrian school is just more atheism applied to economics.

        • Timbot2000

          Wow! I guess Wilhelm Roepke never got your bull of excommunication Pontifex Maximus Theodorus; Or Jeff Tucker, or John Zmirak, or Christopher Manion, or Tom Woods

          • ivan_the_mad

            It seems that neither Roepke, Tucker, Zmirak, Manion, nor Woods got any of the papal encyclicals on economics/social justice, so I guess everyone’s even :P

          • Ted Seeber

            I’ve sent it to Tom Woods- but he openly disagrees with the Pope, so it’s not like it was any surprise.
            http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods182.html
            As far as the rest of them are concerned, well, they’ve yet to explain to me how a government with no money, no regulators, no jails, no army, and no police force is supposed to be able to prevent fraud.

            • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

              Are we still talking about Austrian economics or have we moved on to anarchy? If you read Austrian economists like Ludwig von Mises, for example, they believe that the government has the authority to tax and that it is the role of government to enforce the law through police, prisons etc. as well as to provide a strong national defense. Although, they would be against regulatory boards, opting instead for police to enforce the law and the courts to settle disputes and leaving it at that.

              • Ted Seeber

                I have read Austrian Economists like Ludwig Von Mises, and he seems to me to be *directly* against funding the courts and the police through taxation, which he outright regards as theft through the use of force.

                Von Mises’ atheism is *exactly* what I was talking about. His “limited government intervention into the marketplace” leaves a government so weak that international corporations and other fraud markets just walk all over it. There ain’t nothing left resembling justice in such a situation- because the freedom to sin takes over.

          • Ted Seeber

            And of course, more recently there’s also this:
            http://lewrockwell.com/woods/woods181.html

            Which is an excellent example of “he protests too much”, and thus, turns into a PROTESTant.

      • ivan_the_mad

        “What is needed is … an Austrian-school economist”, I assume to replace “right-wing Keynesians and monetarists”.

        “Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss.” Indeed!

    • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

      Romney’s economic agenda is nearly identical to Obama’s own. Which should come as no surprise since they share the exact same financial backers: massive failed banks like Goldman Sachs, who received billions of dollars in bailouts, and their lobbyist groups. Follow the money trail.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      Romney’s willingness to flip flop is actually encouraging for me because if we get legislation through the Congress, he’s unlikely to veto. That removes one barrier to pro-life success and I’m happy to take that. Now we just need pro-life bills to come up under regular order (not the special rules, 2/3rds to pass BS that is regularly inflicted on pro-life legislation) and pass them. But that’s only if we get Mr. bob and weave instead of Mr. actively pro-death.

  • Randy Johnson

    Mark,

    Of course Romney has core values. They may be based entirely on self-interest but he has them. President Obama has them, too. Everyone does. A mass murderer may kill people because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. He may also help little old ladies cross the street for the same reason.

    For me the question isn’t “Is there a moral component to voting?” but, rather, “Are we morally obligated to vote?”.

  • Christopher

    You know, Mark, it’s posts like this that leave me shaking my head. I grant you Romney is not the best choice – although, IMHO, he’s light years ahead of Obama and a great deal more pragmatic than Paul – and, of course, it’s our right to vote / not vote for whomever we wish. Romney was never my candidate, and since I live in Massachusetts, I could vote for him a hundred times and still make no difference. You don’t care for him. You think he’s a hollow man in thrall to torturemongers and war hawks. That’s fine.

    But honestly, when you say that a man who donated his entire salary as CEO of the Winter Olympics to charity, who refused to take a salary as governor of Massachusetts and who has indicated he will not take a salary as president is “a complete creature of wealth and ease dedicated solely to the maintainace of wealth and ease for himself and his cronies”. . .I think that rather unworthy of you.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      Whenever I see the complaint that Romney is more “practical” than Paul, it reminds me of this great G.K. Chesterton quote:

      ““There has arisen in our time a most singular fancy: the fancy that when things go very wrong we need a practical man. It would be far truer to say, that when things go very wrong we need an unpractical man. Certainly, at least, we need a theorist. A practical man means a man accustomed to mere daily practice, to the way things commonly work. When things will not work, you must have the thinker, the man who has some doctrine about why they work at all.”

      • Richard Johnson

        All of that is important only if we worship money. Had Fidel Castro made a similar promise to not take a salary as leader of Cuba, would that have elevated him any in your view? I would hope not.

        A rich fool who buys friends with donations and gifts remains a fool. He just becomes a popular one.

    • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com Christian Ohnimus

      and yet he is worth 200 million.
      Mark 12:41-44: “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.””
      Kudos to him for giving part of his wealth to charity but that in no way makes him a good politician.

    • Mark Shea

      So he made some calculated investments on his way to the White House. Big whoop. I’d be more impressed if he divested himself of all his wealth and *only* lived on his salary for public office. That would persuade me he was interested in public service and not in buying the Presidency.

      • Ted Seeber

        And went on to cut that by about 75%- the same as the majority of his citizens are left to live on.

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        Oooooo, are we sure that’s why he did it? I mean, do we have a quote? As for what he should give up, I would think that the best way to inspire others to give up most of what they had would be to give up all that we have, sort of sell everything we have and give it to the poor. It’s easy to set a standard against others, especially if we measure our wealth against their wealth. But when we realize that a good lower middle class income in our country would be a king’s living to many of the world’s poor, it might cause us to pause before looking at the money specs in the eyes of others.

        • Ted Seeber

          It certainly causes me to pause. It’s why I’ll likely never have more than $5000 in any given bank account- because that’s the level where my conscience gets the better of me and I start giving it away.

        • Mark Shea

          We have an action, or rather a series of actions, that make clear Romney has no principles whatsoever except “What will get me the Presidency”. It is not irrational to therefore conclude that his actions with respect to money fit into that overall pattern. If you want to pretend to discern something in the Etch-a-Sketch candidate’s behavior that indicates any sense of principle *beyond* “What will get me elected?” knock yourself out. It is not uncharitable to exercise common sense about the public record of a deeply unprincipled candidate. It’s is responsible citizenship. Or else one should vote for Obama under the “charitable” delusion that next term he will depart from his proven record and cease making war on the Church and the unborn since it’s “mean” to think that just because that is what he’s done up till now.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            And that’s fair enough, to say that you’ve looked things over and concluded that Romney would not be the one you could vote for because, among other things, you doubt his sincerity. But guilty in one thing doesn’t mean he is guilty in everything. For all we know, he believed in that particular cause. After all, if I conclude in the front end that someone is guilty in all things, then there is a 0% chance he will be able to do anything to prove me wrong.

    • Ted Seeber

      Pragmatism isn’t a virtue, especially when it is built upon the death of millions. Pro-choicers are exceedingly pragmatic. Obama is exceedingly pragmatic. So is Romney.

  • Christopher

    *throws up hands*

    Fine, Mark. It’s your blog. I simply thought you took an unnecessarily gratuitous swipe at Romney.

  • http://gloriaromanorum.blogspot.com/ Florentius

    100% agree, Mark. Good post.

  • enness

    You will recall that I said I wanted to vote for someone with a fighting chance. I took it for granted that there would be enough of a difference to constitute an actual choice. I’m not only looking at Romney, but looking down the road to whoever we get in reaction to him next time, because the pendulum always swings back eventually. It has the potential to be an eight-year disaster instead of only a four-year disaster.

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