William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Can A Catholic In Good Conscience Vote For Trump?

The answer to all questions.

The answer to all questions.

The titular question has been posed oft of late, most recently by the Catholic News Agency in their coverage of “An Appeal to Our Fellow Catholics” made by the big cheeses in American Catholic life. These were the real gorgonzola guys, not like us processed-cheese-food bloggers.

Anyway, regular readers know that I possess no great love of (popular) presidential elections, but the skew in the coverage of The Donald by (dare I say) establishment Catholics is of some interest. These folks aren’t happy, and they’re spending a lot of time telling the world of their distress. Now if all their pleas were solely meant to (say) tout Cruz over Trump, then that’s a terrific idea, dandy fine politics-as-usual, actions really not worth commenting on.

But there seems more to it than that.

Did you notice none of these prominent individuals or organizations have written similar cri de coeur warning an unsuspecting populace against Hillary? There are even hints some leaders would prefer or advocate Hillary over Trump, which is very odd indeed.

Here are the main complaints against Trump. (See the others here.)

[T]here is nothing in his campaign or his previous record that gives us grounds for confidence that he genuinely shares our commitments to the right to life, to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, to rebuilding the marriage culture, or to subsidiarity and the principle of limited constitutional government.

On the assumption Trump is the Republican nominee, it is of interest to compare Trump and Hillary on these and other charges.

  • Trump says he’s anti-abortion, yet he may be lying and his support for anti-abortion legislation might be weak. Hillary is for government-subsidized abortion on demand for any who asks for any reason. Winner: at the worst there is no difference between the pair; but there is at least some chance Trump will act on his words.
  • Trump is vulgar, abusive, and overreacts to criticism with petulance. Hillary dismisses criticism or habitually and outrageously lies in response; she also barks like a dog and accuses her enemies of engaging in vast conspiracies. The comparison is slightly in Trump’s favor.
  • Trump promises to use torture (waterboarding or worse) on the nation’s enemies; there is some small chance, as with many of Trump’s campaign rantings, that this is bluster. Hillary hasn’t been asked, but there is very little doubt she would do the same as Trump, only she wouldn’t boast about it. Winner: dismal records for both; the comparison is a wash.
  • Trump has consistently and for many years said he is against gmarriage (four years ago, when it was important, he gave an interview with Bill O’Reilly stating his opposition), though lately he softened his stance; one of his casinos had a strip club. Hillary is solidly for gmarriage, and for everything else in the great sexual rebellion. Winner: Trump.
  • Trump at least claims to be for religious liberty, but all we have is his word for it. Hillary is manifestly against traditional Christianity (as above); indeed, she has chosen government over religious liberty every time. Which of the two will be for “doctor”-assisted “suicide”? Winner: Trump by a length.
  • It’s unclear how much Trump would cause government to increase, but he has at least pledged to shrink part of it. Hillary promised the opposite: with her, look for accelerated growth of government with increasing intrusions into every aspect of our lives. Trump’s slightly ahead on this one.
  • Trump has given several indications he is less empire-driven than recent presidents. Hillary advocated the botched war with Libya while Secretary of State and she supported Iraq war while Senator; she would be highly interventionist; with her, there will be war. Winner: Trump at a canter.
  • Countries like China publicize their concerns that Trump is serious about, for instance, Chinese currency manipulation. Hillary announced several world leaders wanted to endorse her, but she asked them to keep it hush-hush. Winner: Trump easily.
  • Trump would eject illegal immigrants, build a border wall, and restrict immigration of Muslims; and there is good reason to think he means it; he has been called a “racist”. Hillary would, for discreditable reasons, grant amnesty to the millions who broke the law to make their way here; in future, she might even disfavor Christians over non-Christians; she panders to all grievance groups. Winner: It’s distressing to have to point out Muslims aren’t a race, neither Latinos; also, the term “racist” is asinine; also many Catholic organizations rake in piles of cash for “servicing” illegal aliens and are anxious the money not stop flowing: Trump rises to the top here.
  • Trump says he would eliminate the inheritance tax, and reduce the tax and regulatory burden on all native companies; yet his enemy here is the bureaucracy and those who oppose new tariffs. Hillary would advocate greater taxes and regulation; cronyism would surely soar to unprecedented levels under her. Winner: It’s not even close, though Trump would not be allowed to keep many promises; government would grow under him.
  • Trump has used crass language to describe some women; but it’s forgotten he’s also crass describing men. Hillary facilitated her rapist-husband by calling his victims “bimbos”, etc. etc., etc. Winner: Any answer besides Trump is “sexist” (another asinine word).
  • Trump would not nominate for SCOTUS a grievance or activist judge. Hillary would. Winner: Do you have to ask?
  • Trump’s grasp of Christianity is weak. Hillary’s also. Winner: A tie.
  • Trump lies. Hillary lies on steroids (if that’s the metaphor I want). Winner: Trump by any ε > 0.
  • Given that Trump is in the New York real estate business, he’s probably broken many laws; his business practices are not infrequently questionable. Hillary: Whitewater, travelgate, cattle futures, FBI Filegate, Chinese funding scam, Clinton Pardons March Rich et al., Benghazi, secret emails, and on and on and on and on some more. Winner: Trump, but he can’t be proud of the victory.

Overall? One of the best Catholics, a man with a claim to as clear a conscience as can be had by us sinners, Saint Thomas Aquinas, advocated monarchy over democracy. I’ll vote for that.

51 Comments

  1. What about an elective monarchy like Venice had for 1000 years? Isn’t there something to be gained there instead of just having the kid of the current king elected?

  2. Trump is for tariffs, which we know are bad for the poor. There is plenty of research showing this.

    His desire to not intervene overseas is great.

    He has flipped so much though that I think he’ll just do whatever he wants if he is in office. I don’t trust a single thing he says. So I guess it’s the GOP as usual. Except this time all his past statements are democrat sounding, so I anticipate him shifting back that way.

    I’m of the mind we’re tanked either way, so I’d rather an open liberal ruin it than a faux conservative.

    This election is like choosing which cancer you want. Everyone sucks and all the arguments are mostly pointless (like mine).

  3. Yes. A Catholic can in good conscience vote for Trump.

    Catholic SJW’s are always looking for a leader that will politically engineer a Catholic society to bring heaven on earth, on the other hand they’re horrified when other SJW’s try to do the same thing.

    Running the country is an act of skill not an act of holiness.

  4. Trump is clearly the lesser of two evils.

  5. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Way too many Catholics thought Mussolini and Franco were the lesser of two evils, also. At least those guys had military experience, and didn’t just pay other people to punch folks in the face.

    In 2008, when Trump was still a registered Democrat, he said that Hillary would make a great president or vice-president. During the current campaign he has consistently attacked conservative politicians, reporters, and media. The Establishment media has featured him almost exclusively — he has been on the Today show almost every day — while ignoring competent conservatives. He has torn the Republican party apart.

    Mission accomplished?
    http://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2015/08/05/National-Politics/Images/GettyImages-843167781438806851.jpg?uuid=Xge46juxEeWI0-YhMKzJdQ

  6. anyone voting for Trump (and his so-called wife) would have been pure putty in the hands of Goebbels.
    as to Aquinas, even he recognized by the end of his life the uncertainty and shallowness of his (now obsolete) meanderings.

  7. James: So if you had to choose cancer, you’d go pancreatic and not prostate because it’s better to be dead right away than maybe survive for 20 years?

    Yawrate: I completely agree. Politics has become the choice between the lesser of two evils. Mike Reagan (I think) said Republicans take away your rights slower than Democrats. That pretty much sums it up.

    All: In spite of it being a conspiracy ideation and denied for years, it does seem that the ONE factor in the Trump race that is different is he has few donors and no “donor class”. No one could have imagined that the Republican party would scream it’s the end of the world and try to destroy their own candidate, nor would anyone have imagined National Review would run “Hate Trump” ads and vow to vote for Hillary. My apologies to all the conspiracy theorists who accidentally hit it right on this one. The country is run by the very, very rich and there are not two parties, only one. Trump has shown a spotlight on that reality. Now, the question is how to tear the mess apart or just give up and go with that monarchy. (JMJ: Yes, you were right on some class behaviours. The rich have been very, very bad when it comes to politics.)

  8. “Way too many Catholics thought Mussolini and Franco were the lesser of two evils”

    That’s because they were.

  9. YOS: If Trump tore the party apart in less than one election cycle, it was on life support anyway.

  10. Something wicked this way comes. In the meanwhile, I’ll stick with Cruz.

  11. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 19, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Trump race that is different is he has few donors and no “donor class”.

    1. Trump is the donor class. He’s the guy who applauded the Kelo decision after he had tried and failed to evict a widow in Atlantic City using eminent domain for his private parking lot. (The five liberals voted in favor; the four conservatives against. Only since Scalia’s death has Kennedy been shifted to the conservative side.)

    2. The lesser of two evils is still an evil.

    3. It is comforting to turn to the Dear Leader, who embodies in his sacred person the hopes and aspirations of the Folk, and that in the rosy mist of hope and change he will kiss away our hurts, sweep all the venality and corruption aside, and make all things new again. That has been pretty much the history of the hundred years since Western Civilization collapsed. There have been authoritarian Leaders and democratic Leaders, but the Folk have been looking for inspirational and rousing Leaders, not competent Executives. They take their legitimacy not from the constitutions of their States, but from the Will of the People; from cheering crowds (and if need be, scuffles and brawls), not defined powers and duties.

    4. But hope and change are illusory. James Chastek once wrote that

    if the people have become so habitually rapacious or complacent to rapine that collapse is inevitable, they will carry these same habits with them into the world that must sprout up after the collapse. Whatever you build after you smash “the system” must be built by those who have only ever known “the system”. We think that there must be some purgative effect in starting from a clean slate, when in fact we can only give the clean slate to the very people who have just written what we wanted to erase.

    5. The Occupy movement and the Tea Party are the same movement. They both believe that the government has become subservient to the rich. But Occupy’s answer is to make the government more powerful and the Tea Party seems to think that the answer is to hand the reins of government over to one of the richest men in the country.

    6. To the extent that conservatives are libertarian, the coalition has always been fragile. It is hard to gain power on a platform reading “We promise not to do stuff for you.” Not when the fondest hope of the electorate is to vote themselves largesse from the public purse.

  12. Good Catholics are prepared to believe the weirdest things.

    This would trump Hillary by a mile.

  13. Briggs

    March 19, 2016 at 10:58 am

    YOS,

    All excellent points, all evidence that points to the ancient wisdom of how democracies end.

    Anyway, my thinking is—assuming, as I said, it is Trump v. Hillary in the general election—that a Trump now would be less destructive than the Trump we’d get after Hillary.

    All,

    I notice nobody is defending, or saying anything about, Hillary.

    vuurklip,

    Thank God, for all our sakes, the hard sayings we believe are true.

  14. YOS: Trump may BE the donor class, but you would think if he was they would not hate him so. Odd that he’s one of them and yet they hate him. It’s like blacks who call other blacks “Uncle Toms” because they made something of themselves. Why does the donor class hate one of its own?

    Yes, the lesser is still an evil. But you don’t always get good choices. Reality says you often just get two evil ones and you pick the lesser. If you want to fight reality, that’s fine.

    If the people want Trump and he turns out to be an illusion as did Obama, then that’s the way it is. You can’t fix this by hating Trump and calling him bad. It just makes people want him more. It shouldn’t, but it does, and we only get to deal with what is, not what should be. If you want what is to change, you’re going to have to change the nature of human beings—as you note, people want stuff. If you can’t make people stop wanting stuff, then you need a work around, or you need to accept people have always been like this and probably always will be. We happen to have lived in a time when there was one of the few examples of humans living in a free country with more than the ruling and the ruled as classes. That is the usual state of human beings. We can work for more, but we can never “win” the battle. That was decided in the Garden of Eden. Humans would not be free anymore on this earth.

    Briggs: Hillary is irrelevant to the “hate Trump” movement. Her followers have no problem with most of what you wrote. Why would they feel the need to defend her?

  15. YOS, for the first time I think I am going to disagree with you! I don’t believe Trump has torn the Republican party apart, they have done that themselves with all of their lying, deceiving ways. Trump, right or wrong, is simply a manifestation of peoples righteous anger at the party that is supposed to represent them.

    Also, Trump may be the donor class, but in this case he is putting up his own money and reputation. Yeah, yeah, I can hear a bunch of people laughing “what reputation?’ Well if you are thinking that then you have no clue how things get done in the northeast in business or in anything else for that matter. ‘Networking’ is everything. In fact that is why the GOP leadership is so ticked off, Trump and outsider and has come in and is taking over THEIR party! Trump has burned an immense number of bridges among his fellow donor class members.

    No, I am not a Trumpster, however if he builds the wall (that was already supposed to have been built!) and enforces the current immigration laws, that will be good enough. On other issues he is likely no worse than some milquetoast republican and most likely will not be as destructive as President Obama. There is no stopping this out of control train that is the US, eventually we’re going to derail.

    YOS, I went back and read your comments again, yeah the media has featured Trump because he brings in ratings. Trump derangement syndrome has reached stratospheric heights on the left and right (I don’t mean you YOS). I am talking about in the media. I’m not sure where you get your news from, every place I look, except Breitbart, is rabidly anti-Trump. CNS, NRO, Renew America, good portions of Fox etc. Not even counting places like Slate, Politico, the Daily Beast, which are also all rabidly anti-Trump. So called ‘conservatives’ are more against Trump then they ever were against Obama! ‘Binders full of women’ coward Mitt Romney will swing violently against Trump, but when it came to President Obama, who was/is actually wrecking the country we get little kitten Mittens, the nice guy. Anyway, I could go on and on.

  16. Lol! Sheri you beat me to the punch! While I was typing my comment you posted yours! i.e. Trump may be the donor class.

  17. Two things.

    Briggs, one of your comparisons sticks out like the sorest or thumbs. Trump’s immigration “position” is why everyone is putting the hate on him. It appears to be impossible to be against illegal immigration without being a racist, fascist, etc and so forth. Trump may be those things. But just being against illegal immigration is equal to those things in the media. And that is why the Catholic hierarchy and media class hate him. If we wasn’t talking about building a wall and deporting folk, I think we’d see much less rancor over his coronation.

    Second, I’m curious (and this is an honest question) to hear what people think about what happens after President Trump? The low level of substance on actual policies demonstrated by Trump in this campaign bode very ill for the next election. We have seen Obama elected as a symbol and now Trump will be elected as a symbol for another side. But there appears to be no there there. Maybe that’s the key to why democracies are so awful – we descend to nothing but symbol and pretty soon we get a symbol who turns on us.

  18. Wait, I have a question:

    What do candidates use the money from donors for?

  19. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    One way to smash the conservative movement is to encourage its worst excesses. I did not say the Establishment media was praising Trump. I said they were highlighting Trump — at the expense of those who have been shoved into the shadows or to the wayside: Walker, Jindal, and others. Now Christie has been taken hostage and is paraded around like a trophy, hoping to have some voice in a Trump administration. Watch re-runs of The Apprentice and ask where competent, assertive managers wound up in Trump’s enterprises. Come to that: watch it for clues about his destructive, bullying management style. My dislike for Trump long antedates his dabbling in politics. It even antedates his efforts to evict that widow in Atlantic City (using the power of the government) to make a parking lot for the limos used by the high rollers.

    Do we really think someone who tells his rowdies to punch obstreperous protesters in the face (and he’ll pay any legal fees) won’t blunder us into a war when the obstreperous protesters are China or Russia?

    Does he really think building a wall is a solution to illegal immigration? Has he never heard of boats?

  20. “The lesser of two evils is still an evil.”

    But isn’t this way of thinking simplistic when applied to people and their views? Further, I propose that one of the major destructive tendencies of modern American politics is the tendency to this sort of pure black and white thinking.
    Would, in an alternative world, something other than the rule of Franco or Mussolini have been better? What is better, anyway? For Christians, the best political reign is ultimately one that saves the most souls. In a sense, the “best” government has to be the Roman Empire, because it was the Empire that was given the ability to execute Christ, opening the door to salvation in the first place.

    Since we dont know who is saved or who is not, aren’t we acting wiser here than we actually are?

    Are we supposed to be looking for a political messiah? Isn’t the search for the enforcement of Catholic social teaching a desire for humans to create Utopia? A Pelagianism? Is this tendency just a different species of the same error made and passed on in the early modern period?

    Christi pax.

  21. @I notice nobody is defending, or saying anything about, Hillary.

    i think she’d look fabulous in an orange jumpsuit.

  22. “the term “racist” is asinine”
    Not necessarily. The term racist is relatively new. The dictionary dates the word racism to the 1930s, and defines it as: “The theory that distinctive human characteristics and abilities are determined by race.” The first mention of racism was apparently made by a German doctor, Magnus Hirschfeld, who published a book with the title “Racism” in 1938.
    Of course, today the democrats call all their opponents racist. You have to wonder if they have ever heard of psychological projection.

  23. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    The usage of “racist” can be distinguished in the broader* sense between a plan to keep drug smugglers out of the country versus a plan to keep Mexicans out. Or a plan to keep terrorists out of the country versus a plan to keep muslims out.

    (*) the broader [and older] usage of “race” can be sussed in the title of Seamus MacManus’ book “The Story of the Irish Race.”
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IQQWW9M/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1
    http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=race&allowed_in_frame=0

  24. YOS, simply building a wall and enforcing current immigration laws (maybe reversing those President Obama put in place) would reverse many (maybe all?) of the illegal immigration problems. Currently, we pretty much have an open boarder and few (if any?) immigration laws are enforced.

  25. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 19, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    And this will clear the illegal Irish immigrants off MacLean Avenue in the Bronx? What of the illegal Chinese immigrants who come in on container ships? (Fortunately, no container ships put in in Mexico, so no Mexicans will come in that way.)

    The parents of my grandfather’s grandmother came into the US across Lake Champlain after crossing from Canada and their baby was born in Burlington, Vermont. Technically, they were not illegal because there were no immigration laws at the time; but they were distinctly unwelcome. At the time, Irish Catholics were less welcome here than Mexican Catholics are today. The American (“Know Nothing”) Party was formed to stop them (and stop the German Catholics as well). A cartoon of the era show a caricature of an Irishman and a German (drawn in the form of a whiskey bottle and a beer barrel) running off with a ballot box between them while Normal Americans rail and shout in the background.

    Immigration laws came in only around the 1880s-1920s or so, when the immigrants began to get darker. Italians, Mexicans, Chinese, etc.

    Everything old is new again.

  26. Dear YOS:

    I think Mr. Trump’s views on immigration are a reaction, not completely to immigration in itself, but also the reasons and motivations the Left has for allowing it.

    Christi pax.

  27. I also think that those who support conservative views on immigration tend to have to deal with more of the negative consequences of immigration, while those you support Liberal views tend to only encounter the positive consequences.

    Christi pax.

  28. Is there a competition for the wildest wishful-thinking or misinformation or speculation or whatever here? Assuming there is, let me add my two bullets.

    Trump would pick his daughter as his running mate. President Trump would name his two older sons Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Commerce, and nominate his sister to the Supreme Court. Oh, his wife would naturally be the White House Chief of Staff. The start of a Trump Dynasty. Winner: Trump and Briggs.
    President Trump would make the wall business his priority, even thou he knows it won’t work, and he could always blame Congress. In the meantime, this is one way for him to recover the money (about $quarter billion after election, my estimate) that he loans to his own campaign. Imagine all the lobbying and campaign contributions from all the relevant businesses and all the deals he could make behind the door. Winner -Trump. Loser – US citizens.

    Thanks for the laughter.

  29. YOS: A fence/wall works when it’s actually built:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/21/it-works-yuma-fence-manpower-make-border-nearly-impenetrable.html

    Ray: Sure the Democrats have heard of psychological projection—they accuse Republicans of it all the time.

    Socrates: Liberals tend to not care about negative consequences and are extremely good at rationalizing why something they believe in could possibly have turned out differently than planned. They do not allow themselves to think that immigration could be bad even if their child is murdered or raped by an immigrant. It’s quite possible they can’t—their heads would explode. This is why the perpetrators of crime are now the victims.

  30. Ye Olde Statistician:

    The usage of “racist” can be distinguished in the broader* sense between a plan to keep drug smugglers out of the country versus a plan to keep Mexicans out. Or a plan to keep terrorists out of the country versus a plan to keep muslims out.

    Let us frankly admit that ‘racism’ is a nebulous term which all too often serves to obfuscate rather than clarify. As far as articulated ideology (rather than mere unreflective chauvinism) is concerned, I have seen the following all used as definitions of ‘racism’ at one time or another:

    1.) The belief that races exist (‘race realism’). The claim is that ethnic identities are manifestly real and are no less so for being in part ‘cultural constructs’. They are perceived to exist and so for all practical purposes do exist. Distinguishable physical attributes (skin colour etc) are not the whole of what constitutes ethic identities, or even the most important element, but they are a part nonetheless.

    2.) The belief that races are further differentiated by cognitive abilities which are determined by heritable genetic factors. This is what is usually meant by ‘scientific racism’ and ‘human biodiversity’. What people usually have in mind here is the specific claim that whites have, on average, higher IQs than blacks and that IQ is a question of genetic inheritance. (The human biodiversity crowd are also keen to stress that Han Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews have, on average, higher IQs than whites.)

    3.) The belief, sometimes expressed in quasi-mystical language, that race is decisive in determining an individual’s moral character and that it is therefore legitimate to speak of ’superior’ and ‘inferior’ races.

    4.) The belief that one civilisation is culturally superior to another, regardless of whether ‘race’ is adduced to explain that superiority. (In leftist discourse, this belief is typically only classed as ‘racist’ when white civilisations are judged to be superior to non-white civilisations. The sentiment behind the quip attributed to Gandhi that Western civilisation “would be a good idea” is perfectly acceptable.)

    5.) The belief that an ethnically homogenous society is on balance desirable and certainly not wicked; and the concomitant belief that indigenous ethnic groups have the right to resist attempts by indifferent or hostile elites to destroy their ethnically homogenous societies.

    It seems to me that racism No. 3 is the only one fundamentally incompatible with Christianity.

  31. Notice how Trump is setting a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against…?
    🙂

  32. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 19, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Mr. Trump’s views on immigration are a reaction…

    Surely. And national socialism was a reaction to capitalism and international socialism. (“Comrades, the Red Front and Reaction are attacking! March in spirit with us in our ranks!”) The Islamic Brotherhood and its offshoots are a reaction to Western colonialism and secularism.

    The problem is, most reactionaries copy all the worst excesses of those they react against. Recall G.K. Chesterton’s dictum, updated to US terms:

    The function of Democrats to to make mistakes. The function of Republicans is to ensure that the mistakes are never corrected.

  33. “Notice how Trump is setting a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against…?”

    That’s true for basically all politicians.

    What is the advice for discussion topics at the dinner table? No politics or religion.

  34. There’s a meme on Facebook which suggests:

    Vote for Lord Voldemort; why vote for the lesser of two evils?

    This is the USA! We want the best!!!

  35. You can be a good Catholic and vote for Trump, and you can a little more easily be a good Catholic and vote for Hillary, but if you vote for Cruz, you’re not a Catholic, and either a lousy judge of character, or a flat-out sociopath.

    JMJ

  36. Sander van der Wal

    March 20, 2016 at 5:09 am

    Sigh, all this complaining and people (or just mr. Briggs himself) are still thinking monarchy is better. Monarchy is having an arsehole like your current and/or future president, and no way except totalviolence to get rid of him.

    If you think Trump is bad for misusing the power of the State, try Leopold II of Belgium, and what he did in Congo.

  37. Briggs. So which family would provide the monarchs for the US?
    The Trumps, the Bushes, the Clintons, the Kennedys? The first Bernadotte of Sweden was a french general who was asked by a group of revolutionary swedes to become their king. Or do you prefer the north korean monarchy?

  38. Hans what about the elective monarchs of Venice or Genoa? Those states lasted for hundreds of years and were pretty prosperous! Really most of the northern Italian city states…

  39. Nate, what about the democratic republic of Switzerland; independent and stable since 1291? There are a lot of african states where presidents rule for a lifetime, not necesarily the best examples of just government. Consider also Haiti under the Docs.

  40. JMJ: “either a lousy judge of character, or a flat-out sociopath.” So you’re voting for Cruz then?

    Sander: I always thought Rome had the perfect way to change one’s leader—just wait till they fell asleep or turned their back, and pull out that handy knife one always carried. Quick, efficient, and easy to use on the replacement if they didn’t work out.

  41. YOS,
    The argument that a southern border wall won’t stop illegal immigration is incorrect. It will stop illegal immigration.
    It will not stop some. Once people realise that borders are respected and protected as a matter of national self defence, the prospect of illegal migration will not be prospect it is today.

  42. Briggs (and others: in your point by point comparison Trump vs Hillary you neglected to mention one very important one:
    Trump does not appear to be a particularly stable and reflective person. Does the country need someone who acts on impulse and is prone to irritation and anger with his finger on the red button? Do we want our own Kim Jong-un?
    That trumps (and the pun is intentional) all other considerations that he should not be President.
    I repeat again: I suspect his candidacy was suggested by the Clintons and it has accomplished one purpose: to fracture the Republican party and to eliminate the nomination and election of a conservative who would be acceptable to the party and to the electorate.
    (Note: today is a Sunday and we are nominally dispensed from Lenten vows on a Sunday, particularly–as our parish priest told me–if you accomplish some good by violating them. Till Saturday afternoon.)

  43. Bob Kurland,
    It was the same argument the Democrats offered against Sarah Palin! It was silly whenMatt Damon said it Bob it’s silly now. If you think the button’s so accessible you are indulging dark fantasy, or rather hoping others will.

  44. Joy, I may be violating the spirit of the Sunday dispensation if not the letter by replying to your comment, but I ask you to give me any instance of Sarah Palin demonstrating anger, uncontrolled spite and venom, instability as, for example, Trump has done in his comments about McCain, Megyn Kelley (sp?), riots, beating up protesters, etc.

  45. And that will be it for this Sunday—silly, indeed!!!

  46. Bob Kurland,
    If you think the button’s so accessible you are indulging dark fantasy, or rather hoping others will.

  47. Bob: Unless you’re honestly saying you believe Donald Trump would feed his uncle to dogs while alive, in revenge for behavior he thought was improper, please stop comparing him to Kim (there are worse examples, but there may be people reading who don’t want to know). I’m starting to see JMJ’s point—people are completely irrational when it comes to politics this year. Wild, insane accusations that no one would ever have said four years ago and certainly not 50 years ago. As for a conservative that would be acceptable to party and the electorate, that’s as likely as a blizzard on the equator. Never happen. The party is now Democrats only, even if they use the name Republican. That’s the problem. Conspiracy theory runs wild in all of this, though the same thing was true with Obama’s election. Then there was that Florida thing and Bush. It’s just odd when the Republicans join the Democrats to beat up someone they don’t want in charge. One must wonder why Trump out of the race would help BOTH parties. It’s just wierd.

    I know you won’t answer and that’s fine. However, Trump’s comments on Kelly while rude, were not horrible. His comment on McCain was the most tactless, but lack of tact is not enough to disqualify one from the presidency. He has not advocated riots. He did encourage the moron who hit the protestor under arrest and that was very stupid. However, again, we’d have to disqualify many from the presidency if that were our criteria. Virtually every candidate out there has advocated or done a couple or more stupid things while running for office. Trump is flambouyant. Perhaps that’s his problem. We all have to be “nice” now. Nice got us a long way, didn’t it? To the mess we’re in now. Maybe rude is the only way out. Obviously, Trump has hit a nerve.

  48. YOS,

    I mean that Republicans have a problem with the liberal justifications for this sort of immigration. I also think conservatives tend to reject climate change not so much because they reject scientific inquiring, but that they reject the Liberal habit of using Climate Change to justify their policies, policies which Liberals justify on quasi- Marxist grounds ultimately.

    Christi pax.

  49. Bob: Since you’re considering the conspiracy theory of Trump being there so Hillary will win, consider the possiblity that it’s the other way around. In politics, Hillary is a lightweight and a loser. But she’s female and we “owe” her the presidency, so no one can deliberately cut her out. How to go around that? Biden didn’t run, Bernie’s a socialist. Find a very popular deal maker you can work with, run him as a populist and pretend you hate him. The more you hate him, the more the people love him. He’s brash and has no problem insulting Hillary and his insults don’t seem to harm him in any way—he’s a populist candidate, so who cares what he says? He takes out Hillary, you can make deals with him and nothing changes much. It’s at least as likely as a deal between Trump and Hillary for her to win.

  50. Trump wouldn’t appoint activist judges?! Excuse me. His sister is an activist, left-wing federal judge. And he has said she would be an excellent choice for the S Ct.

    Hello.

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