Many months ago, almost but not quite getting ahead of the curve, I had a post in which I argued that Catholics should not vote for Trump. After comments closed, I received an email from R.S. who wanted to comment on it, but found the comments closed. As I am still trying to find my voice, but really want to revisit this post, I thought I would kick things off by publishing his comment here. (I have made modest edits to the text.) To be very clear: I disagree with just about everything the author has said, but they represent a genuine point of view in America and in the Church. Please proceed respectfully in the comments section.
This is in belated response to “Catholics Should Oppose Donald Trump”: I must respectfully disagree. Indeed, a vote for Donald Trump may not only be permissible, but may be a moral imperative under the circumstances, for philosophical and theological reasons.
To be clear, under the circumstances and with regard to those theological and philosophical stakes involved, an attempt to eject the 11 million undocumented immigrants, and to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S. seems to be a morally inescapable course of action. Why would I say this? Let me present a quick argument, methodically.
It should go without saying that stealing is a moral wrong (Decalogue). And invasion represents nothing less than theft. Gifting and forgiving is of course morally right, but I will address this point, in these circumstances, in a moment.
To respond that uninvited mass immigration phenomenon does not represent such an invasion, i.e., that it is not theft, is effectively taking the position that the citizen population of the United States does not have a possessory right to that space called the United States. The citizen population does not “own” it, nor the socio-economic system appended to that space. [It is worth noting that the immigrants are not moving here, in search of mere land; they are moving in, in search of occupying a place in the American socio-economic system.] Yet, a community may certainly claim and own a geographical space, as much as an individual person can.
To claim that people have no natural right to property is close to heresy, and is at least wrong, and condemned by the Church (Rerum Novarum para 9-11). Of course, people may decide to sell their land… or even give it away… out of caritas. This is not the circumstance presented between Trump and his opponents.Those assailing Donald Trump’s positions in these matters are in reality denying not only possessory rights… they are denying all borders, i.e., denying the existence of organic community, of a separate identity of peoples. They are NOT expressing caritas toward immigrants; they are expressing a communal nothingness, a self-annihilation. This is unacceptable. (See Archbishop Socrates Villegas regarding immoral and anti-Catholic T-shirts “No Race, No Religion, Embrace Diversity”)
Man is a social animal. Man is himself, within a society, a community, a tribe, a family (Diuturnum Illud). He is not an island unto himself, and the political community does not represent a simple aggregation of individuals. (Notre Charge Apostolique)
Which is really the poorer land, Anglo-America or Latin America? The one with the two child household average, or the one with the four child household average? Is human value ultimately in stuff? Or in other human beings? The Donald has expressed concern over the native birthrate. Clinton is, at best, ambivalent.
If the Mexican state invaded and took over Texas, the U.S. government would resist this with force. It is unacceptable that it does not resist Mexicans invading…. States should be secondary. People should be primary. Trump is oriented toward people—a particular people in a particular land. Clinton is oriented toward the “nation”-state. As an institution. Yet, if there is not an identity between the state and the people (i.e., the populace, the Raza in possession), then the latter should get rid of the former. Hopefully Donald will do just this.
Clearly eradication of Islam is a Church goal (Mirari Vos). As such, eradicating it from colonies of the West (e.g., here), then from Europe, and hopefully, God willing, from the Holy Land (Urban II Speech at Clermont; Fifth Lateran Council) is an imperative.
With regard to Trump’s purported Fascism. It should go without saying that Fascism is a lesser evil than Communism, and is capable of advancing the Common Good (e.g., the Spanish Falange, the Kataeb Party). The Church can dialogue with Fascism (Lateran Treaty); it can do nothing with Communism as it is Rerum Novarum). The last point could equally apply to Hilary Clinton’s Liberalism.