Wednesday, November 07, 2012

post mortem perils



During the post-mortem on the Romney campaign, there is a great danger that some in the GOP may misinterpret last night's victory as a signal to move a little to the left, especially in social issues. The temptation may be to dilute the platform on its Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion position and its support of traditional marriage. That would be a trap and a downfall. When the opposition imputed an image of fanatical, far-right extremists, the general public overreacted as if there were a Republican branch of the Taliban. This is a tactic used by lawyers during a trial. Convince the jury that a witness is 'out there' and you have as much discredited them as if you proved outright perjury. 

Romney did not lose because he was Pro-Life but Obama did win because he was seen as popular and as someone who espoused populist ideas. Romneny's opponents painted him as extreme. Rather than back down, dilute or ditch, the 2016 candidate needs to make the issues PLAIN and SIMPLE.

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. 
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue

Mediocrity is not the answer nor is cooperation in evil. The abolitionists did not back down despite setbacks and political losses here and there. Slavery was eventually defeated as was racial segregation. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., knew too well that victory would take time and sacrifice but he was in it to the very end. Likewise, those who voted with a well formed conscience and voted FOR the unborn, for the terminally ill, for the sanctity of traditional marriage, for religious liberty ... they have a clear conscience. There are some Catholics who deceived themselves and were duped by the secular humanists. Some voted to protect evils like abortion and that made them formal as well as material cooperators in evil. They need to confess this mortal sin. Others, misinterpreted or misunderstood the Church's teaching that the RIGHT TO LIFE is the first and foremost, the foundational issue and most important human and civil right before all others. It is not the only right, but it is the first and most essential as all others come FROM that right to life.

Electability will be the mantra for the next campaign. Get someone who is 'inclusive', they will say. Let's have a big tent where everyone is welcome. It was not moderation which won the presidency, it was the cult of personality. People like the President. His party platform, policies, and administrative decisions conflicted with the Natural Moral Law on more than one occasion and more than one issue. 

What the country needs is not a middle of the road candidate, but a candidate who espouse moral principles and values with a genuine human face and who can convey those in a reasonable manner. Caricatures of Romney and Ryan as Salem Witch-Hunters poisoned the well of public opinion. Instead, the Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Marriage and Pro-Religious Liberty crowd should associate with images of MLK and Ghandi who both were men of peace but also of justice for those being denied it. The war against women should have been rephrased into the war against life. Defending marriage is not 'anti-gay', it is pro-family. The GOP however allowed the other side to define terms. 

Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Union not by appeasement or apologies. He knew that strength of conviction needs a credible deterrent to persuade those who have doubts about our resolve. Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln also knew that one had to get tough when necessary and to always be courageous in doing what is right even if unpopular.

I hope and pray that someone from either party will emerge in the next election who will be BOLD enough to OPENLY defend what is true and morally right; who will not be a chameleon to win votes nor will he or she sell their soul to get into office. We need and deserve politicians who put the COMMON GOOD before their job security. One can be right without being a bully or a fanatic. Being wishy-washy is as bad as being wrong and on the side of what is immoral. The bottom line is CONSISTENCY and COURAGE to do what has to be done and do it with FAIRNESS and JUSTICE.  We need a leader, not a icon; a person of principle, not an opportunist.  If the Republicans and the Democrats go to the lowest common denominator, no one wins and the country loses. Better for ideologies to be well defined and clearly stated so voters can make an intelligent choice. Then we also have to re-educate the populace how to vote CONSCIENTIOUSLY and PRUDENTLY, not based on emotions and feelings, but on facts and truths.

2 comments:

Will Roach said...

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." I'm sure the man who shot Dr. King felt the same way. What a slap in the face to Dr. King's legacy to include his name and a stement like this in the same vein.Its interesting that extremism violates the right to life of innocent people...

As far as your "sin of omission," those of us who did not vote because the republicans would violate the right to life ethic by killing Iraqui or other middle eastern children as they have done previously in an action that two popes condemned, upheld Catholic right to life teaching- NOT the teaching of the republican party. ...Talk about a false teacher. All the Latin in the world won't cover the fact that you oppose not only popes but the church's right to life teaching in general.

Padre Giovanni Trigilio said...

When taken OUT OF CONTEXT any TEXT can and often does become a PRETEXT. Obviously, one cannot take the term 'extremism' too literally. What I meant was that the secular world often uses the label EXTREMISM to identify anyone with strong faith and conviction. There is no middle ground and no moderation when choosing between GOOD and EVIL; between VICE and VIRTUE. The first moral principle is DO GOOD & AVOID EVIL but modern dissident theologians have perverted that into DO AS MUCH GOOD AS POSSIBLE & AS LITTLE EVIL AS NECESSARY. The ends NEVER justifies the means. Hence, ABORTION and EUTHANASIA are intrinsic evils. You cannot equate prudential disagreements on WAR and CAPITAL PUNISHMENT with them.

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