Sunday, February 5, 2012

GOP Presidential Candidates - My 2 Cents

For some reason, the last formatting of the last post was a little funky - the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got, so it is how it is. Regardless, Bishop Ketteler's words don't ring any the less true.

Anyway, for those who still read this once in a while, I thought, as every good conservative blogger has, I would weigh in on my take on the GOP President Candidates:

Mitt Romney - If his record was consistent with his words, I wouldn't have a problem with him, and I think his business experience is an asset. However, having been an elected executive, we have the benefit of reviewing his record, and it's not a good one. Pro-abortion. Anti-gun. And let's not forget "Romneycare" - you all probably know it as "Obamacare." Romney's supporters try to portray him as a frustrated conservative, who didn't have the votes to pursue a conservative agenda in a liberal State. However, a simple Youtube search will show that Romney was every bit an entusiastic Northeastern, "Rockefeller" Moderate when he was running for office in Massachussetts. He is either insincere now, or he was insincere then. Unfortunately, he is currently the frontrunner. The only ray of hope is that if Romney gets elected, in his first term, he will be beholden to the conservatives for his re-election chances. But if he gets elected to a second term, all bets are off.

Newt Gingrich - A very intelligent man, but his personal baggage and his own inconsistencies on Global Warming and the Individual Healthcare Mandate would make it difficult for him to win a general election, and , frankly, I only trust him slightly more than I trust Romney. Gingrich would do GREAT as a close advisor, perhaps Chief of Staff, but I don't think he's Presidential material.

Rick Santorum - His social views are excellent. However, in the Senate he was a "party man" all the way - he supported No Child Left Behind (and anything else GWB put forth, good or bad), backed Arlen Specter, voted for budgets that included funding for groups like Planned Parenthood, etc. Not to mention his interventionist foreign policy. This gives some cause for concern - will he be the barnstorming agent of change (good change, not "Obama Change") we need right now, or just another George W. Bush?

Ron Paul - Really the only candidate who will attempt true, bold, "change," and who has proposed a reform agenda. And I actually like his foreign policy, to an extent. However, I disagree that sanctions constitute an act of war, and think he goes a little far opposing sanctions on Iran, which I see as a legitimate tactic SHORT of war, which could PREVENT war. Also, some of his positions, like drug legalization, are a little to "libertarian" for my tastes.

Bottom line: None of them are perfect, but, for me, it's a toss-up between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul is the only one, really, who will try something different than Nixon/Ford/BushI/BushII (neo-cons) or Carter/Clinton (establishment liberal)/Obama (radical liberal), and is worth serious consideration; while Santorum has solid social values, and fairly sound economic proposals.

We will see who's still in by the time the Idaho caucuses come around.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Food for thought

Well, I still haven't been as active on here as I'd like to be. I've been posting quite a bit over at and, though, so if you want to see my takes on the latest Idaho news, you can generally find my two cents there.

Anyway, I have been reading a rather interesting book, called The Church and Labor, by John A. Ryan and Joseph Husslein, published in 1920, which discusses Catholic Social Teaching and the labor movement. They discuss Frederic Ozanam, founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Bishop Wilhelm Immanuel von Ketteler quite extensively. Here is a quote by Bp. Ketteler that struck me as particularly relevant - keep in mind, this was written in the mid-19th Century:

The States of Europe are staggering under the huge burdens of public debt in spite of their compulsory system of taxation, and their financial embarrassments have given birth to that mystery of iniquity, gambling on the stock-exchange, with all its attendant moral corruption. Christianity, on the contrary, with its system of taxes, has always found abundant means for all its glorious enterprises. Look at our churches and monestaries, our charitable institutions for the relief of every human ailment and distress, our parishes and bishoprics spread over the surface of the globe; think of all the money that has been gathered for the poor, for our schools, our colleges and ancient universities; and remember that all this, with scarcely an exception, is the result of personal sacrifice, and you will have some idea of the life-giving power of Christianity.

Food for thought in the times in which we live.