Voting with the Mind of Christ #6: What Are We Trying to Achieve?
Last week we looked at the core lie of the whole MAGA “prolife” argument: the claim that Trump is not only prolife, but The Most Prolife President in History.
Both claims, as we saw, are rank falsehoods. The claim that the GOP–which is 100% responsible for the establishment (with Roe) and entrenchment (with Casey) of our abortion regime–is “prolife” is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the American people and the outrageous lie that Trump is some kind of prolife hero is just that fraud on steroids.
To repeat: there is no prolife party. Stop living in the delusion that there is and start facing reality. To have a clear-eyed understanding of what is so, rather than constantly lying to oneself that your wishes are magically real is what the Tradition calls the virtue of Prudence. It is the foundation of all other virtues. If you live in the real world and not in cloud cuckoo land, you can address the real world and help change it for the better. if you live in cloud cuckoo land, you only go from bad to worse.
It is prudent to therefore ask what we hope to achieve with our vote. And to do that, we have to ask what our vote does.
A vote is like a bus ticket. Buses don’t take us door to door, they just get us reasonably close to our goal. When you vote, you are not choosing a representative who is going to line up with everything you want. As with the bus, you are going with somebody who will take you reasonably close to your destination. That’s life in the sausage factory of representative government. So the question is, between Trump and Biden, who gets us reasonably closer to the goal any Catholic should have: a society that reflects, more or less, the goals of Catholic Social Teaching?
The reflexive lie, for four decades, has been, “THE GOP! BECAUSE ABORTION!!!!” As we now know, that is a lie. The reason it is a lie is twofold.
One, the GOP does nothing about abortion but dangle a carrot.
Two, in virtually every other way, and emphatically with the rise of Trump, the GOP actively works–and mark this, has taught Catholics to work–to assault and undermine virtually the entirety of the rest of the Church’s social teaching while using the unborn as human shields to do it.
- In contrast, Biden’s goals and, as a general rule, the goals of the Dems comport with serving the common good. Not always (recall the bus analogy) but usually.
- To name just a few examples, it was Dem fiscal responsibility that created the boom in the 90s. Economic prosperity tends to drive abortion rates down, which is precisely what happened under Clinton, where America witnessed the steepest drop in abortion rates since Roe.
- Under Bush, in addition to launching an insane and stupid war that every bishop on planet Earth refused to bless and teaching conservative Catholics in America to root for unjust war, the GOP destroyed the economy while the party of torture’s Veep said, “Deficits don’t matter.”
- It was Dem fiscal responsibility under Obama that saved the American economy again after Bush 43 flew it into the ground in 2008.
- Dems sought the common good by attempting (over strenuous GOP obstructionism) to give us universal health care (something the bishops have literally demanded for a century).
- Gun violence? The GOP fights to maintain it, while the Dems call for gun reform. When kids are slaughtered at school, the GOP Gun Cult either says their parents had them killed at Sandy Hook in order to make the Gun Cult look bad, or it accuses the survivors of being crisis actors and put their faces on targets.
- Climate change? Dems are trying to address it. The GOP still calls it a Chinese hoax. The Church, in Laudato Si, makes clear that she takes it very seriously. The Cult sneers at Francis for doing so.
Dems call for helping to feed hungry kids. The GOP cuts food to them. Feeding the hungry is a fundamental Christian duty.
Dems, for all their sins against refugees, at least never devised the cruelty of family separations. Meanwhile, the GOP in the very act of condemning Obama’s cages and deportations again makes clear that they know these things are evil–but do nothing about them. So why should I vote for them when their sole contribution is to compound the evils Obama did?
Dems promote responsible public health. The Cult promotes Alien DNA, reptilian conspiracy theories, and anti-vax idiocy.
Dems respect a free press. The Cult hates the free press.
Dems elected the first black president and clearly have the votes of POC who know they can work with them. The Cult of Trump is a transparently racist pack of weirdos whose leader says there are “very fine people” marching under the banner of the swastika.
At the end of the day, what the MAGA Cult loves about Trump is not that he does anything real about abortion. He doesn’t. What he does is exploit “prolife” butthurt, show up at their January rally and talk about himself, stab them in the back by raising PP funding, and raise abortion rates in sub-Saharan Africa by 40% while killing 185,000 Americans and demanding our children go back to their petri dish schools as human sacrifices to his glory. He can release a 50 point plan for the future that includes zero mention of abortion and they still cheer. Why? Because Trump hurts the right people. That is what they really love. They love the spite against the press. They love the misogynist insults. They love shooting BLM protesters. They love the fascist calls for violence. They love the kidnapping and cruelty to brown children. They love the self-pity and the fantasy that as their Cult inflicts all this pain on others, they are the Real Victims.
Here’s reality: all Trump had was an economic recovery and a Pandemic Response Plan that was handed to him by Obama/Biden. He took credit for the former and burned the latter to ashes, killing 185,000 of us. Then, as he has done with multiple of his businesses, he took the recovery he was handed by Dems and drove it straight into the ground. That is all this moron has to show for his three years. That and treason, normalizing cruelty, normalizing QANON, and normalizing the annihilation of truth.
Biden has long experience of work in government and record of competent work. Biden is respected by our allies and the world community, as well as his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Trump is an illiterate who has no idea how government works beyond using it to enrich himself. Trump is a Putin puppet who has betrayed our troops to Russia-paid bounty hunters and made the US a pariah state in the global community which, with near total unanimity, has banned Americans from their soil.
Biden is, in a word, a smart, competent person with a lot of experience in government who will be able to start the titanic work of repairing the enormous damage the fool in the White House has done. And given that under Obama/Biden, abortion dropped to its lowest point, the notion that somehow he will supercharge abortion and make it extra superduper abortiony is simply rubbish. What he will do, what Dems always tend to do when in power, is reduce the economic pressures that increase demand for abortion. That is why abortion has always seen its most precipitous drops under Dems.
That conservative American Catholics have been so incredibly slow to look at the actual real world results of Dem rule and instead insist on deadly fantasies suggests that there is something deeply wrong with their catechesis and their understanding of the Faith and how it should engage the world.
Of which more next time.