John Barnes…

…gets it. A few million more like him and we’ll start to actually see some real hope and change nationally. But the main event, as ever, is not “making a big impact nationally”. It’s personal change, repentance, and thinking of your vote as a pinch of incense offered either to God or to an idol. Vote in order to win or attain power or some other earthly goal and you lose. Seek first his kingdom and forget trying to win, and you’ll be surprised at how other things you need will be added as well. This is, after all, how the Church conquered the ancient world: by not trying to win, but by trying to obey God even when it was stupid and got you killed.

  • Marthe Lépine

    I love his description of one of the candidates: “I can’t vote for the moral equivalent of play-doh. I can’t vote for a candidate who’s rearing to plunge us into full-scale war with Iran, who doesn’t seem to have any problem with a government indefinitely detaining its citizens without trial or due process, who has no inclination to roll back the surveillance-industrial complex or our overseas empire, whose agenda will further bankrupt our Republic, and who insists there are circumstances legitimizing infanticide.”
    (Maybe you won’t want to publish the above…)
    And I feel sorry for many peoples’ disappointment. However, as I can see from my northern observation point, it may not be enough, in order to win, to try to get rid of an unacceptable president. Maybe a little consideration for the needs of the “common man” might have helped to swing votes in the losing party’s direction. I saw another comment somewhere, where someone said that it was not the Republicans who needed to change, it was the voters who needed to wake up – and I think that sums up pretty well the reasons for their loss!

  • Marthe Lépine

    Here I am again (please note change of e-mail)
    Here is a quote that I think is significant, with some interesting figures that add to what I said earlier, from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/11/07/us-election-day-republican-reaction.html
    “If I hear anybody say [we lost it] because Romney wasn’t conservative enough, I’m going to go nuts,” Senator Lindsay Graham told Politico. “We’re not losing 95 per cent of African-Americans, and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we’re not being hard-ass enough.”

    • Mercury

      This is why I think the Republicans are going to jettison actual conservatism more and more. The party leaders do consider social conservatism to be dead weight, and in political terms, it is. Conservative Christians like most of us around here espouse views that are becoming more and more in the minority, and our “home party” already contemptuously treats us like a battered spouse, as Mark likes to say.

      Then again, 95% of African-Americans did not vote for Obama because of his policies and is record. It really upsets me that, while I have never actually met someone who says “I won’t vote for Obama because he is black” (though I am sure they exist, and are idiots), I have many friends and acquaintances who voted or supported Obama either partially or entirely because he is black, and were quite vocal in doing so. Is that not racism?

      As for voters under 30, Romney (Romney!) is too conservative – we’re a godless generation that has been indoctrinated by the public schools and popular culture for a looong time now. To get those votes you have to be a liberal.

      • Mercury

        I guess I just despise, despise the fact that we even think about the “black vote”, the “Hispanic vote”, the “white vote” etc.

        • Dan C

          This is America, and race still matters. My boss, and African-American woman who is an accomplished physician, was helping me on the side of the road with my car, in a suburban white neighborhood. A police woman stopped while I was occupied and began to harass (it is the only word for it) my colleague. The police woman asked what my colleague was doing, why she had stopped, and, by the time I was paying attention, ‘Are you harassing this man?”

          I live in the blue state Northeast. This was is NJ.

          Race still matters and professional African Americans will tell anyone who asks the routine indignities that they suffer in front of their children, colleagues, and spouses.

          • Mercury

            It does still matter. However, targeting certain racial groups an pigeonholing the electorate into such groups does not help. And letting race influence one’s vote either way only perpetuates the kinds of things you mentioned above.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Of course the high unemployment rate among African-Americans could not possibly have anything to do with their (maybe) not liking Paul Ryan’s program for your country if the Republicans had won? Or the despicable attitude of Romney when he was talking of the 47% of voters to which most African-American probably belong? What about the attitude of some Catholics towards “All the so-called Americans who are receiving government assistance, the minorities and the ideologues (…) these greedy and stupid people (…) All they care about is a room and 3 hots…along with their abortions and birth control pills.” Contempt is not going to swing votes, and neither is it going to bring the poor to “repentance”…

        • Mercury

          Oh, don’t get me wrong – I am not saying there was much on the other side either. I’m just saying that I do not think the man would have gotten 95% if he were white. And I know it because I know people who voted for Obama based on race and a sense that “he is one of us”, as well as some African American friends who are in the doghouse among friends and family because they “betrayed” them by not voting for Obama.

          That, along with national celebrities who make it clear that race is THE issue.

          • CM

            Mercury: From a purely “racial” perspective, why is the 98% any more repugnant than any other group/racial alliance? (i.e. 98% of Mormons voting for Romney, 98% or white southerns voting for Romney) Given the veiled (and sometimes blatant) racist attacks against the President, many African Americans felt compelled to support the president (despite their economic interests in many cases). Also, enthusiasm for the president was waning, but the obvious attempts at black voter suppression galvanized the “black” vote like nothing else. All human behavior makes sense in context. It’s offensive, however, to keep hearing that African Americans are either motivated by stupidity (brainwashed) or evil (racist) when they act in their perceived best interest, but when other voting blocks follow lock step in certain patterns that they are somehow noble. Christians have been lulled into a catatonic loyalty to the Republican Party, that completely takes them for granted and never follows through on a prolife agenda. How is that loyalty more noble?

            • Mercury

              Well, for starters, I think any consensus based on race is ridiculous. DID 98% of white southerners vote for Romney? If so, if they had racial motives, then shame on them. And Mormons are not a race.

              I will repeat it again: ANY voting based on racial solidarity and not on principle is crap. I personally know several people who voted based primarily on that. I find it repugnant, just as I would find it repugnant to find someone who voted for Romney because Obama is black.

              Voting blocs based on race disgust me. I know there are historical reasons for them, but I think people should vote based on what they think the best choice for the country is – not what they think the best choice for their ethnic group is.

              If you think race is comparable to religion, that is your problem, not mine. If many Christians are lulled to the Republicans because they happen to be less pro-abortion and less pro-sodomy than the Dems (i.e. their interests on issues converge), that is a LOT different than voting for someone because he happens to be darker or lighter than the other guy, or he tends to look more like my race.

              And please tell me about the obvious attempts at black voter suppression. Requiring a photo ID to vote, which would not even be possible constitutionally anywhere unless the state paid for everyone to get an ID, and would not be applicable in this election anyway?

              • Marthe Lépine

                Here is one link about this:
                From: http://www.gregpalast.com/
                Democracy Now:
                Ohio – Wrong Ballots for Black Voters
                Investigation Uncovers Thousands at Risk
                of Ballot Loss
                A special report by Greg Palast for Democracy Now!

                • Mercury

                  I guess it has happened, but then again there are also articles all over about voter fraud.

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    Maybe, but most of those I have seen do not seem to make much sense; can you give me statistics on the number of prosecutions that led to guilty verdicts? … Exactly, they are very rare, and their number does not seem to justify all those radical ID rules that seem to have the effect of interfering with the votes of minorities and/or poor people.

                    • Mercury

                      A lot of them would depend on the Justice Department actually doing something about it. And what are some cases of voter intimidation that led to convictions? The point is that most stories about voter fraud and voter intimidation are circulated on the Internet by partisans of both sides – some of it is true, some exaggerated, some made-up. But any district that has large amounts of black voters, especially urban districts, is going to be more than likely supervised by other African Americans.

                      I guess I can see where people have misgivings about ID laws – but the states cannot make such laws unless they agree to providing IDs for free. If this is done, and the state openly and fairly provides IDs, who does it hurt?

                      Don’t other countries ask for a photo ID?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I heard a “rumor” about some justice department prosecutors losing their jobs because they did not want to prosecute bogus charges…

                • CM

                  Marthe, est-ce que vous ete française?

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    French-Canadian; why are you asking?

                    • CM

                      I’m a French (and History) teacher, and I spend a lot of time in France. I got excited when I saw your name, because finding faithful Catholics in France is sometimes like playing “Where’s Waldo?”

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Well, you might be interested to know that once a year there is small group of Americans, mostly from Massachusetts, who travel to attend a one-week retreat in a small village about 100 kms south of Lyon, called Châteauneuf-de-Galaure. You would meet several wonderful Catholics in that retreat place. If you are fluent in French you could attend any of the other retreats it offers. Otherwise you could arrange to join with this group. If you are interested check this: http://www.foyerofcharity.com/ (Sorry for changing the subject…)

              • CM

                As long people feel that their lots are cast together (like when you lumped black voters into a group), they will continue to act as a group. These ideas reinforce one another. It doesn’t matter if you find it repugnant or not. If people’s perception that they are seen as one entity is false, then stop treating them as such. It’s like walking into a school cafeteria and noticing that there is a group of black students sitting together. You remark, “why are they all sitting together?” But you see all of the other tables of white students sitting together as normal. They’re just “people” sitting together. Their whiteness is normative. In this worldview, the majority of white Americans voting for the same candidate is responsible issue driven voting. Black folks voting together is mindless racial solidarity. I would submit that they’re both racial solidarity. One has simply been obfuscated. Also, I realize that Mormons don’t constitute a race :-) I’m merely pointing to another group identity. If you found out that 95% or Mormons voted for Romney would you be surprised? Would assume that they all voted purely out of principle.? Is there room to understand that one of those principles would be the solidarity of a group that has been maligned and seen as strange? Is wouldn’t be shocking to find out that Mormons were excited about the possibility of the first Mormon president, would it? However, we don’t know because no one asks that questions! Where as black voting patterns have been discussed at length throughout the campaign. You yourself referenced it! So don’t reference something and then be surprised to find that it exists. Rather than bemoaning this fact, perhaps we should examine it and figure out what contributes to African Americans still seeing their lot tied to one another in 2012. How does our framing of the situation perpetuate the reality? Lastly, re voter suppression: the images of people of color standing in line for 8 hours speak for themselves. The billboards meant to convince Latinos that they couldn’t vote without ids (even though it isn’t required) speak for themselves. Truthfully, a lot of African Americans were disillusioned with Obama, but those tactics compelled people to go out in force in greater numbers than they otherwise would have.

                • Mercury

                  I never lumped anyone. I was responding to Senator Graham’s assertion of 95%.

                  If white voters vote with the thought “what is good for white people?”, then yeah, that’s a problem. I am merely saying that I wish people voted based on “what is good for everyone?” as a guiding principle, not “what is good for my group?”

                  Religious groups are not racial groups. Identity base don common belief is nowhere near the same thing as identity base don skin color. This is why I hate it when people say it’s racist to criticize Islam. Tell that to Arab Christians.

                  I would imagine lots of people living in highly populated areas with high voter turnout had to wait in long lines. And in those precincts with overwhelming numbers of inner-city African-American voters, who was in charge of things, the KKK? I do not deny there were cases of voter suppression, just like there are articles all over the Internet about voter fraud. How widespread it is remains to be seen.

                  And all I have actually referenced are: a.) personal acquaintances who said that race is their motivating factor in voting and b.) national celebrities who have made race an issue in voting. I think both things are as out of line as someone urging white voters to vote for the good of their race – that would be racist, wouldn’t it?

                  • CM

                    You never lump anyone: You stated: ” Then again, 95% of African-Americans did not vote for Obama because of his policies and is record.”

                    I can only say this one more time, just because white voters don’t consciously say that they’re voting in their own group interest, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing so–since it’s been fairly recently that “whiteness” has been treated as anything other than normative. I have read countless articles and references to Romney trying to court the white vote and folks bemoaning the changing demographics and what it will mean to white privilege in the future. You can’t tell me that the former Confederate States voted so heavily in Romney’s favor without any consideration of race!!! I was also really uncomfortable with celebrities (Madonna is actually the only one I know of) who referenced Obama’s race as a reason to vote for him. However, she also said it was cool he was a Muslim–so let’s just say she’s poorly informed. ******But here’s the important thing. If the Republican Party (or better yet true conservatives with whom African Americans have an enormous and untapped affinity) want to court the votes of black people and other people of color—they better resolve these perceptions and start talking about these issues honestly and with a light on resolving it rather than pointing fingers in shame. One thing that’s clear from this election is the solvency of the Republican Party will depend on doing so. How can you say I’m offended by the notion of “the black vote,” and also court the votes of black folks. Does the Republican party want the votes of Black people? Then acknowledge that there is a group of people called black voters and figure out how to court them. You’re comfortable with group identification as long as it isn’t based on color? Historical realities don’t depend on your racial sensibilities! You can’t honestly believe that black people voted for Obama because his skin is dark (If that was the case they would be falling out over Boehner!) It’s group identity based on a shared history and a perceived shared destiny. Finally, there are countless people of all races and backgrounds who don’t love all of Obama’s positions, some find his policies truly repugnant. Some don’t even trust him to solve the countries problems. But in light of the alternative they saw him as a transformative figure for exactly the reasons I’m trying to highlight. So many (again of all backgrounds) have been so offended and repulsed by the thinly veiled racist attacks on the personhood of this man that they voted against those notions. When Romney didn’t stand up against those attacks and even proffered his own attacks via proxy, a lot of folks saw a vote for Romney as a vote to go backwards! So weighing this assault on human dignity vs. repealing Roe v. Wade (which would essentially do nothing more than send it back to the states where babies will still be murdered, but now only in liberal states) seemed like a false choice. I’m not saying it’s the right choice. I’m just saying that this is what’s happening. You can judge the perception or change it! Lastly, the efforts of the governors of Florida and Ohio to put a “damper” on black voters speak for themselves. When liberals speak out against these efforts it engenders trust!

                    • Mercury

                      Again: the 95% is BASED ON WHAT LINDSAY GRAHAM SAID, which is what I was responding to.

                      Well, those are good explanations.

                      I see what you mean, but at the same time, if someone were trying to inspire white solidarity isn’t that racist? If someone says “I as a white person feel more comfortable voting for Mr. X” don’t we denounce him?

                      If there is some sort of affinity felt, that is one thing, but to say that “we must vote for this guy because he is one of us” is bogus, as is my friend being treated like a race traitor by his family because he wouldn’t vote for Obama.

                      Also, what shared history to American blacks have with Barack Obama? I mean that in earnest, so please do not get a dig in at me again.

              • Marthe Lépine

                I have one more question: The cbc has mentioned that in one area of Florida, there was only one voting machine for 24,000 voters, who happened to be black… Does anyone know of other areas mostly inhabited by white voters that had similar problems? Just asking…

                • CM

                  I haven’t heard of any. Mais alors, vous ete quebecoise :-)

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    No – Franco-Ontarian. I had to leave Quebec when I found that in the early 60′s there was no job available for a woman with a Bachelor in Commerce and post-graduate studies in Economics…

                • Mercury

                  Who was in charge of the precinct? Who was in charge of running the polling place and getting the machines there?

                  I am not being a smartass – I want to know, because I do not know how that stuff works. Does the state allocate that stuff? The city? the county? the precinct itself? And what proof is there of malicious intent?

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    Of course it could have been stupidity combined with incompetence… I don’t know how these things work either, it’s not my country.

            • Mercury

              And yes there ARE idiots who refused to vote for Obama because he is black. I have never met one, however, that openly says so, nor do I know of any national celebrities of note who have urged voters to do so.

              • CM

                Luckily (or unluckily) we live in a time when such discourse if unacceptable. So these folks use coded images and words. Please see examples from my response below.

                • Mercury

                  Yet you seem okay when non-white people encourage racial solidarity and voting based on race.

                  I think it’s all crap.

            • Mercury

              Sorry to have three replies, but I do not understand how there are issues that concern blacks, issues that concern whites (which cannot be uttered), etc. Why can’t we just say we have issues that concern the Republic we live in? What, besides blatantly racist laws, can be good for blacks and not good for whites, and vice-versa? Unemployment is an American issue, not a black issue, abortion is a national issue, not a white issue; access to health care is an issue that one would expect to be based on social class, not skin color.

              I hate the idea that a candidate’s skin color means anything, except perhaps to stop for a moment in 2008 and say “well, isn’t that lovely, we’ve moved so far that a black man CAN be elected president” and move on. After that moment, why does skin color even matter?

              • CM

                Sorry, I didn’t see that you had several replies. I think you’re largely correct. Most of the time, these issues are simply American issues. However, when people malign the president for things other than his policies–the merits of which can be weighed in a civilized manner–African Americans respond out of self preservation. When they say he’s un-American, a communist, depict him as an African witchdoctor with a bone in his nose, demand to see his school transcripts, suggest he might the anti-Christ, a “secret” Muslim, he hates America and white people or any other drivel repeated from Fox pundits who are foaming at the mouth–that doesn’t seem like a challenge meant purely for him, but for African Americans in general. I can already imagine you saying that this is illogical. Well……..all behavior is logical in context. You just have to study the context or be forever relegated to the belief that 12% of the electorate is illogical. Well then….good luck wooing them to your position with that belief!

                • Mercury

                  I believe the school transcript demands have everything to do with his earlier ideological and political connections, which are shady, to say the least. Communist is a word with too much meaning to fling around carelessly, but I have no doubt he was involved in some pretty radical left-wing stuff before he got into the Illinois Senate. Again, what the hell does race have to do with that?

                  And I may be wrong, but haven’t other presidents released their transcripts?

                  Bone in the nose – uncalled for, but who did it? “Secret” Muslim is ridiculous, seeing as that a man who wants to enshrine abortion and sodomy as human rights could not possibly be a believing Muslim. And anyway a lot of that stuff is driven by the gigantic question mark that hangs over much of his background – which even if it IS trivial is not the background of the average black American any more than it the background of the average white American – if anything it’s driven by a misguided animus against foreigners, not so much blacks in particular. No one would demand any of that stuff from Jesse Jackson, or any other black politician, for that matter.

                  I would challenge you, however, to name a Fox pundit who actually pressed the Muslim or birth certificate issues, because I know a lot of the big names refuse to even mention it, and some even kick people off their shows for bringing it up. They may have perpetuated conspiracy theories about his *political* background, but not his ethnic one.

                  • CM

                    Please don’t be offended, but your naiveté is too large of a chasm for me to travel at this late hour. I’m sorry, I have no doubt that you mean well.

                    • Mercury

                      I wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t deliberately say offensive things – so just don’t do it if you don’t mean to be that way.

                      But you’re right, I’m certainly incapable of thinking for myself, and I definitely do not speak with other people about these issues or read up on things myself.

                    • CM

                      Please forgive me Mercury. I truly didn’t (don’t) mean to be offensive, nor have I insinuated that you’re incapable of thinking for yourself. I’m just tired–and the distance between our perspectives just feels too great to bridge at this late hour. I appreciate your willingness to engage in difficult issues.
                      Peace Be With You :-)

                    • Mercury

                      CM – and I am sorry, too.

                      Look, we might as well stop anyway, because we’re obviously not going to agree, since I see your arguments as requiring dubious presuppositions that I do not accept, and you see mine as refusing to accept what you perceive to be certain realities. No amount of slogging is going to change that, and it’s best we assume the other is in good faith.

                      If you are saying that any criticism of or inquiry into the President’s ideological background and formation is race-related, then I guess I am a racist. If you are not saying that, then we seem to just be arguing whether certain pundits and other people are racist, and who cares?

                      God bless you, and please disregard anything I have said that is inflammatory to you as well.

                    • CM

                      Hi Mercury,
                      You described our impasse very well, and I went back and read what I wrote and it really didn’t sound snotty. Thanks for your forgiveness. You did not say anything that was inflammatory so no worries there.

  • Ted Seeber

    98% of the country yesterday proved that classic morality, as defined by Catholicism, that includes such things as objective intrinsic evils that we can’t compromise on politically, is not something that is on their radar.

    50% of those voted for President Obama.

    The other 48% voted for Romney.

    • Mercury

      Thanks for that Ted, and for tarring many good people who voted in good conscience in the way that the Church allows when faced with such a disgusting choice.

      Do I have to go to confession now?

      • Ted Seeber

        I know I have to, because at this point I’m despairing of anything human being called good.

        • Mark Shea

          Then you need to stop. Get off line. Pray, and learn your faith, because you are talking sin, heresy, and damage to your soul.

    • Mercury

      And let me get this straight – you are saying Catholics can NEVER vote strategically to limit abortion and other evils unless the candidate is 100% pure, right?

      • Dan C

        Sure. This calculus is morally acceptable. But it is used by liberals as honestly as by conservatives to vote for their respective parties.

        • Mercury

          True, but there’s a big difference between “guy who doesn’t want to restrict abortion as much as we do” and “guy who wants to expand abortion in every way shape and form, and have it enshrined as a human right”.

          • Ted Seeber

            The trouble comes into when you consider the other 3 sins that cry out to Heaven for Vengeance.

            • Mercury

              Can you tell me a party that is actually advocating “defrauding workers of their wages” or just one whose policies you believe would do so? Likewise with “oppression of the poor – widows, orphans, and strangers” – can you actually name a party that says “we advocate oppression of the poor”, or just a party whose policies you *think* would do this (unless you consider any and all restrictions on immigration or the granting of citizenship to be intrinsically evil)?

              The thing is, yes, both parties have policies that CAN result in such things, but no one says “we believe oppressing the poor is the right thing to do” or “we believe in defrauding workers of their rightful wages”. There IS, however, a party that wants to make sodomy and willful murder (of children) into inviolable human rights, and actively *promotes* these very things.

              • Marthe Lépine

                Well, some of the things that Paul Ryan advocated could be interpreted that way… As well as a lot of the “union bashing” mouthed by conservatives… There are policies that not only CAN result in such things, but are actually pointing towards such things. You sound as if you are trying to be obtuse and to play on words instead of looking at the ideas behind the words.

                • Mercury

                  I’m not sure of what Paul Ryan said, and concerning unions, wouldn’t an objection be based on the presumption that either unions do in fact legitimately serve the needs of workers or are per se necessary to ensure fair wages for workers, despite the existence of state and federal labor laws?

                  I do agree that the stance on immigration is deplorable, and I would welcome reform and naturalization in conjunction with securing the border itself, but I still do not see it as in the same category as enshrining child murder as a human right – one *could* say that it is a bad plan, but can one really say “the idea is to oppress the foreigner”? And even then, is it “oppressing the foreigner” to ever enforce the immigration laws, or to even have requirements for citizenship? Again, are European nations obliged to take in thousands to millions of Muslim immigrants who are in many cases openly hostile?

                  One could also argue that the Dems’ strategy is a cynical ploy to use the poor immigrants to get votes, that they thrive on keeping the poor dependent, that their methods of “helping” are unsustainable etc. This is probably as unfair a characterization as the one which says Republicans want people to starve and be poor, but do you see what I mean or do I just sound like an idiot?

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    It’s not what Paul Ryan “said”, but some of the things in the budget measures he promoted. State and federal labour laws would never have been considered if the unions had not fought for those issues, and unions are still necessary because individual workers are still at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating wages, since the bosses have all the power, therefore it is still useful for people to “unite” when these things are being discussed. And much of the talk about immigration is not limited to enforcing existing laws…

                    • Mercury

                      State and federal workers laws are absolutely due to the work of unions in the past, you are right. I would actually prefer to have larger companies include collective bargaining – even by law – without unionization per se.

                      There is no doubt, however, that unions can be every bit as corrupt and dirty-agenda driven as any business. Look at the kind of ideological stuff being peddled in teacher’s unions.

                      Any idiot who wants to deport 12 million people can just go ahead and try – it’s impossible, and Republicans, like Dems, benefit too much from the immigrants being here to actually do anything against them.

      • Ted Seeber

        I’m saying that we have, from the Pope, 5 sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance- 5 intrinsic evils. At least two of them are in the platforms of BOTH major political parties. All 5 together represent what I call liberalism- the liberty to do harm to your fellow man.

        I have never been able to vote for either of the major political parties for this reason- and after yesterday, I now despair that I ever will.

        • Mercury

          Which two are in the platforms of both major parties?

          I also have no illusions that the Republican party as a whole is pro-life, but the point is that there IS a difference between someone who wants to restrict 97% of all abortion (assuming they are even serious about that, and there are many reasons to doubt) and someone who wants to expand it to the level of human right. At the very least, it would be status quo over radical and unprecedented expansion.

          And if you say that the Republicans have “oppress the foreigner” as a party platform, I’d like to ask how you come to this conclusion – the immigration policy certainly must be replaced, but certainly a country must not simply accommodate all comers regardless of their means of entry in order to be considered not committing this sin. Can a country not protect its borders or control its extension of citizenship in any way? And would you say the nations of Europe also have a duty to take on unrestricted Muslim immigration?

          • Mercury

            And to be clear: I am NOT saying that the Republican approach to immigration is right or just. I am saying that its goal is not on its face “to oppress the alien”, nor does it say “oppressing aliens is good” – in fact the party seems to be all for immigration via legal channels – unless you consider ANY enforcement of borders or immigration law to be such.

          • Marthe Lépine

            Again, you are playing on words. The way I understand it, 2 of those sins might be in one platform and 2 other of those sins might be in the other… For further details, just go through some of Mark’s previous blogs, he has mentioned those sins from time to time.

            • Mercury

              I have, and he makes good points. Still, there is a difference between “this might lead to this” or even “I, as an observer, think this will certainly lead to this” and “we openly advocate and support these things as human rights and will shut out anyone who opposes this.”

              I agree that the Republicans do not get it when it comes to immigration, but it troubles me that it sometimes seems that ANY attempt to limit immigration, secure borders, or apply conditions for naturalization re automatically construed as “oppressing the foreigner”. To have absolutely no rules and no standards would actually make the system worse for everyone including the immigrants.

    • J

      Thanks for defecating all over the many people who voted for Romney (including me) out of a sincere conviction that it was the best shot at limiting evil. Good to know that means intrinsic evil is not on my radar. This holier-than-thou attitude is more irritating than the crowing of all Obama’s supporters combined.

      • Ted Seeber

        Limiting evil just gives us more evil. I despair of anybody other than God being called “good”.

        Yes, it is acceptable to just limit evil. No, you do NOT get to call it good.

        • Mark Shea

          Ted: Stop it. We are not Calvinsts. All have sinned. They are not totally depraved. Stop emoting, get a grip on yourself, and trust in Christ.

    • Mark Shea

      Ted:

      You are out of line. Enough.

    • Mercury

      Mark, by the way, I KNOW this is not your position, which I have found to be honorable all through this mess.

      • J

        Ditto.

        (Anti-spam filler words.)

    • CM

      I find the Bishop’s tactics related to this matter very confusing and political untenable. So we’re never supposed to support any candidate unless they either recognize the intrinsic evil of abortion or at least give lip service to doing so? And we’re supposed to sacrifice our concern for every other intrinsic evil until Roe vs. Wade is overturned–at which time the issue will be turned over to the States, where babies will “only” be aborted in liberal states? Seriously? That’s our end goal? And until this really unsatisfying pro-life goal is achieved we should allow candidates to get away with any other repugnant policy or attitude? How long should we allow them to string us along before we change course? How much anti-Christian behavior should we tolerate in service of this Christian goal while we wait? Are we to believe that God is so paralyzed by Roe vs. Wade that He would support lying, deceit, manipulation and race baiting towards the “higher goal” of overturning this evil law? God is too mighty for such minimalist thinking.

      • rachel

        Thank you CM!! This is exactly what I have been saying. I am so tired of the “lesser of two evils” ie. vote Republican or else you can’t receive Holy Communion. I think the bishops have hurt the message, especially with this election. Their tactics turn people off.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    I heard an interview today with some Ron Paul supporters and the local organizations they are forming. I admit I certainly have some disagreements with Dr. Paul, and some EXTREME disagreements with Libertarianism in general, but the guy made a very good point. Essentially:

    Yes, national elections are important, but those candidates are all pretty much in the pocket of various special interest groups. If you really want to begin to change things, concentrate on getting your views represented by city councilors and the mayor. After that, concentrate on your state representatives. Begin locally. If we begin to change things at the local level, then county, then state, then we’ll stand a chance of the national officials paying attention. Otherwise, they’re going to give you nothing more than lip service.

    • Mercury

      I actually have been wondering why Catholics and even some Evangelicals couldn’t form a party like the original Christian Democrats in Europe – you know, when they were still Christian. They believed strongly in subsidiarity while ensuring a generous social safety-net, and spent a lot of time supporting the stability of families and a general Christian direction of society. I’m thinking in particular of the German CDU/CSU of the late 50s, 60s, and 70s.

      If only German Christianss hadn’t drunk the Küng Kool-Aid and at the same time stopped reproducing, it would still be a good model – but now the CDU is really Social-Democrat lite.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Some ARE trying. I have not followed this closely, but I remember someone by the name of Jack Quirk, who had a blog titled something like A Different Perspective, that Mark had a link to some time ago. Mr. Quirk has been mentioning people who are trying to start such a party, and he has changed his blog in order to cover this. However I do not have the correct link to give you, but someone else might.

        • Mercury

          I’ll have to check it out.

          • Marthe Lépine

            Good news: Mr. Quirk himself has posted the following in the combox following Mark’s other post on the elections:
            There is a new group we are forming, currently called the Christian Democratic Party. You are welcome here, Beadgirl: http://www.facebook.com/christiandemocracy

            • Mercury

              I “liked” them. Can’t say I agree with *everything* (just as Joe Schriner strikes me as off on some issues), but such a party would certainly be a fresh change and would get my vote on the ballot. My main beef would be with massive federal spending programs – I’m all for spending for the common good (especially things like the European notion of providing extra money to reward family stability, or reimbursing insurance companies for the losses they incur), but I think most of it should be done at the state level – a country like ours is too large and unwieldy.

              But if they would be anything like the traditional European CD parties, they’d be free market enough for me.

      • Kate

        It is easier to start a party like that in a parliamentary system, I think.

      • http://stevenadunn.wordpress.com Steven Dunn

        It’s interesting you mention this because I’ve been toying with the same idea for about 6 months. I think it could fly at the local level if it’s handled correctly and doesn’t collapse into a black hole of nuttiness like, say, The Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street.

        • Mercury

          So where do we look for this?

          I’m serious about the old CDU/CSU and perhaps the old Italian Christian Democrats as models.

          • http://stevenadunn.wordpress.com Steven Dunn

            You don’t look for it; you create it.

  • http://www.2catholicmen.blogspot.com Ben @ Two Men

    A vote is not a prayer. We need to be good stewards of our vote just like our money. If I want to help the poor, should I pass out cash in the streets or work with and donate to a Catholic charity. Neither is objectively wrong, but which shows better stewardship? Was voting 3rd party yesterday being the best steward possible when a 3rd party candidate win was statically impossible? I think that is a fair question.

    • Mercury

      Some people, with very well-reasoned arguments, say yes it was. Others, with very well-reasoned arguments, say no it wasn’t. And mutatis mutandis for those with poorly reasoned arguments.

      Such is the world we live in, such is the Church we live in.

  • Molly

    I’m quoting you in my status on Facebook. Hope that’s okay. (I am crediting you with the quote!)

    • http://www.2catholicmen.blogspot.com Ben @ Two Men

      Are you talking about me or Mercury?

      • Molly

        No Mark. From the post :).

  • LV

    Mark, any “hope and change nationally” will now have to come by way of Constitutional amendments. With Obama’s re-election, the infrastructure for all the evils he has perpetuated is now a permanent part of the bureaucracy, and no future changes in the executive or legislative branches will be able to undo them. (Ditto for the judicial branch, and Roe v. Wade in particular–with Scalia and Thomas approaching retirement age, the Court is about to go from a tenuous 5-4 pro-Roe vote to an unbreakable 7-2 pro-Roe vote that locks in that tragedy for the remainder of our lifetimes.)

    But hey–look on the bright side! Politics is the art of the possible, and since there is no longer any possibility of undoing all of this, we don’t have to worry about whether the Republican or Democratic candidates are acceptable in 2016.

    There’s no possibility of them being able to do anything in office even if they’re willing to do so, so there’s no reason to waste any time looking at them. Since there are no more practical consequences, we can all just throw our hands in the air and insist on a 100% pure candidate who has a 0% chance of persuading anyone outside of our camp, just like you’ve always wanted. Rejoice!

    • Mark Shea

      Still not getting it.

  • John Barnes

    Mark,
    Thank you for the link and the kind words. Perhaps we can all find some common ground in thanksgiving that the election and multi-billion-dollar campaign season are behind us. Though I have to say, I was disheartened today to hear one of my colleagues start talking about 2016 and even 2020. Ugh.

  • Marthe Lépine

    By the way Mark, I came across a few things that might be of interest in our national (and my favorite) news media.
    One such article is from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/11/07/us-election-day-republican-reaction.html
    and is entitled “Republicans do some soul-searching after Romney loss”
    And the other is linked inside one of the many comments to this article:
    “A Republican economist, Bruce Bartlett , offers a well-informed rebuttal of the neo-liberal trickle-up anti-tax philosophy that drives the Tea Party and their ideological fellow-travellers in Canada:
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/republicans-censor-what-they-cant-refute/
    If you have time to glance through the comments to the cbc article, you might notice an interesting, but very sad, trend: There is a surprising number of commenters who are claiming that “it might be a long search for the GOP before it finds a soul”, or “one needs a soul in order to do some soul-searching”…


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