Sunday, September 30, 2012

A brief response on Mark Shea's blog

There were new posts yesterday, which is unusual.  Catholic and Enjoying It is typically dormant over weekends.  Because of that, I missed a little blog post about the state of things politically in our nation, and where and how voting might be better used.  Now it's no secret to those who frequent CAEI that the blog has become far more political in recent years, and that the sympathies tend to go toward third party candidates, particularly Ron Paul, and against the two major political parties.  This post was no different.  Since I doubt anyone will read my response there, and since my readership spiked to record levels this month (still light on comments, please feel free and joining as followers, too!), I thought I would copy and paste my response.  It's long for a combox, but probably too brief for other forms, but I didn't feel like retyping it, since it gets the gist of my thoughts on the political scene, at least in abridged form. 

Didn’t realize new posts came on the weekends. Here are my quick thoughts. First, voting your conscience can come in a variety of ways. There is no obvious way that real Catholics who really love Jesus will vote. 
Second, we should ask if our system is so corrupt as to be beyond hope or not. If so, then trying an alternative would certainly be justified, if not recommended. But is it really beyond hope as it is? The two parties I mean. Are they beyond hope? Is the corruption that much of a forgone conclusion, or is there something folks could do within the system – realizing that no real alternative is without the same problems as the dreaded two party system. 
Third, the deplorable candidacy of Romney. Why does the GOP get such crappy nominations? I don’t know. It’s easy to say because the big money folks want it that way. But really, could it be more? Maybe the good folks don’t want to try, or wouldn’t make it anyway. Let’s be honest, if you are a GOP candidate, you’re going to get reamed up the tailpipe by the media. The country is in trouble we say? You’d never know it watching or reading most national media sources. A few bumps in the road, but we owe our salvation to Obama. Meanwhile if Romney (or any GOP candidate) so much as burps, they’re running three weeks of exploratory investigations and specials. 
Think of Ron Paul – since I know there are many Paul fans here. Think of what the media did to him. Typically they either ignore him, or they love the guy since he’s a Republican who spends much of his time trashing Republicans. Like McCain before him, many seem quite fond of him for this. But going into Iowa, for a brief moment, it looked as though Paul might, just might, get the Caucuses. And what happened then? Suddenly some obscure newsletter from decades before became the focus as Paul had to dodge question after question, suggesting his ties to the Nazis, his Antisemitism, does he have idols of Hitler, and so on. It pissed him off, and rightly so. But it also snagged and snarled his campaign when they could have moved forward. When he fell behind, where did those stories go? 
So that’s what any GOP candidate must endure – the gauntlet. Add to that the ‘thing that used to be conservatism’s” tendency for the circular firing squad. I’ve never cared for that label personally. Since I was old enough to pay attention, this was the thing always known as conservatism. By the time I was old enough, conservatism was defined in our culture as Frank Burns, Archie Bunker, Alex Keaton, the Duke Brothers – those were conservatives: ready to nuke babies for the American way and screw the poor for Wall Street. 
I also noticed that there were some conservatives who lived up to those stereotypes. There were others who didn’t. But there was an uneasy alliance. Maybe it was just me, but most I knew who voted GOP in the 90s didn’t think ‘wow, these guys care so much for Christian/religious/pro-life issues.’ They knew there were plenty who didn’t. Many who opposed such things. But there was an uneasy alliance because they saw this global revolution alternately named liberal, or progressive, or the Left as a greater threat. Whatever happened during the 00s to break the alliance, I don’t know. But the idea that suddenly the conservative movement changed? I don’t think so. Not because of this or that or Protestant mega-churches. I have a feeling it was growing hostility by those who paint the national narrative, with a few changes for the worst (the most notable being some conservatives officially willing to utilize torture) causing many to bail. 
So those are my thoughts as I get ready for some coffee. By now I doubt anyone will come back until tomorrow, but it got things off my chest.

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