POLL: For whom will you vote in the 2016 Presidential Election?

I’m curious.  How are you denizens of these USA (who can vote legally) leaning right now regarding the upcoming presidential election.

Make your best choice.  If you wish to comment, the combox is open to registered and approved participants here.  However, THINK before commenting because I have short fuse right now.  Stick to ISSUES, not personal attacks if you respond to someone else.  This isn’t the National Schismatic Reporter, where libs and dissenters spew their dreck at will.

And if you don’t see some candidate who is running for, say, the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, spare me.  If I haven’t even heard of the candidate, forget it.

As of right now, I am inclined to vote on the US presidential ticket for...

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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280 Responses to POLL: For whom will you vote in the 2016 Presidential Election?

  1. Robbie says:

    I was first able to vote in 1996 and have been a straight party voter for the Republican Party ever since. I’ve always voted and will always vote. This year, though, I’m going to have to skip the presidential race. One of the major party candidates is unethical while the other is lacking in a whole host of ways. As a conservative, I understand the desire to vote against Clinton. That said, voting for Trump is a bridge too far from me.

  2. JCHanson says:

    As of right now, I am not voting for anyone. I live in MN, so barring a miracle my state is going Democrat in any case. I would vote for Trump if I believed he would work to end (or limit) abortion, but I do not.

  3. Bthompson says:

    I was leaning Johnson until he denounced Religious Freedom and Life

  4. jsing says:

    A few politicians have voted to put restrictions on abortion or maybe even limit it but I know of no one to end it. Why put such a restriction on Mr. Trump? He has said he is against it. I believe him.
    Please do not let Hillary win by not voting for Mr. Trump. Please think of appointments to the Supreme Court by Hillary.

  5. jmvm says:

    Unfortunately, yet again this cycle, neither of the major party candidates is pro-life. Hence, I will write-in a pro-life candidate (probably Rick Santorum). I believe in being being strategic and politically minded, but I have a hard and fast rule of only voting for pro-life candidates. After all, the ends do not justify the means.

  6. boredoftheworld says:

    As for me and my house we’re all voting Trump. A major factor in that decision is that he said the Johnson Amendment needed to go away, apparently without any prompting from anyone.

  7. jst5000 says:

    I believe Trump is capable of being every bit as bad as Hillary. BUT, I have never heard him defend partial birth abortion. The fact that Ms. Clinton defends the killing of a living, birthed baby, which will lead to euthanizing children (as they are now doing in Belgium & Netherlands) is just enough for me to justify a Trump vote vs. writing in Ted Cruz.

  8. un-ionized says:

    Not voting here. I don’t think any candidate can even be called the lesser of two or more evils. I am skeptical of the assertion that not voting represents a vote for X over Y. It is more of a vote for the winner, whoever that turns out to be and it could very well be Mr. Trump. There is a lot of time left for events and surprises. My personal circumstances give me personal feelings against all the candidates for the way they made their money by shady deals or milking the Section 8 program or through various associations, or the things they have said about religion or children or education or anything or even the way they treat their employees or servants. Watch and pray.

  9. Mike says:

    Nothing convinces me that either of the major-party candidates is committed to a long-term program that comports with the advancement of the Social Reign of Christ the King, which is what I signed up for at Confirmation. That’s why I quit the Republican Party and joined the Constitution Party, whose candidate I’m voting for. I could dive deeper here, but you asked to be spared.

  10. Jason Keener says:

    In my mind, there is a 100% chance Hillary Clinton will be a terrible President. If there is even the smallest chance that Donald Trump will be somewhat better, we have a duty, I think, to vote for him and limit the evil Hillary would inflict. Hillary’s election would not only continue to destroy the executive branch of government but would sink the Supreme Court for good. I think the election will be delivered to Hillary if people stay home, vote for third party candidates, etc. Hold your nose and vote for Trump. He’s our best option and has already chosen a solid person for his VP in Mike Pence.

  11. george says:

    I’m not happy about Trump, but I think he is less likely to lead the country into open persecution of Catholics. He’s said he’s pro-life and pro-gun and I have less reason to believe him a bald-faced liar than Hillary Clinton. Libertarian used to be appealing when I was younger, and they still are somewhat, but if they won’t make ANY movement against the Culture of Death (abortion and sodomite “marriage”) I can’t give them a conscientious vote.

    I could vote for no one in the presidential election since Michigan will likely go to Hillary, but I do *not* want to contribute to her claiming a “popular mandate” of any sort. I really don’t think there is any turning the tide now. We are either approaching the eschaton or another round of barbarous Dark Ages — either way, civilization is on the decline. The winner of the election will, at best, slow the descent.

    But I remember, whether I die in the coliseum or in my bed, it’s my striving for personal holiness that will determine my eternal destination. I do not put my trust in princes of this world, only in the King of the next. And I pray for my children’s faith, too. If an open persecution comes, that may well begin to strengthen the faith of the orthodox Catholics!

  12. JamesA says:

    I voted “write in”, Father, but my real choice will likely be the Constitution Party. I urge any conservatives who can’t bring themselves to vote for Trump to take a serious look at them.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    I will vote for Trump, as he promises to repeal and replace ObamaCare and to appoint Supreme Court Justices in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia. That’s enough for me. Living in California, it doesn’t much matter, though.

  14. the little brother says:

    to JCHanson –
    “I believe in the sanctity of life, & I stand by that principle, … I’m pro-life. I don’t apologize for it, … & I’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned.” Mike Pence of TRUMP/PENCE 2016
    source: https://youtu.be/tJjJfnd1-RU

  15. Charivari Rob says:

    Wavering back and forth between “third party” and “Johnson”

    Short form:
    – I don’t see either of the major party candidates as fit or suited to leadership. Assorted serious flaws (in my opinion) in various matters of morals, judgment, character, qualifications, policy, record of accomplishment for both of them.
    – I like the idea of a Johnson – someone who seems like he might be the thinking adult in the room (frankly, that was the hope I had for Kasich)
    – I haven’t read up enough on Johnson’s particular positions yet to say I’d vote for him – it’s possible for that otherwise thinking, mature adult to be completely wrong on a non-negotiable issue.
    – So… At this point I’m more likely to go write-in somebody who definitely has the non-negotiables right

  16. AndrewPaul says:

    I’m a prolife Libertarian and Johnson is neither prolife nor libertarian.

    If Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party doesn’t get on our state ballot, I’ll most likely write him in…. or I’ll write in Ron Paul. I’m undecided in terms of who to write in.

  17. rodin says:

    The Republican Party has adopted pro-life platform. I hope, and pray, they will stick to it.

  18. slainewe says:

    Glad JamesA mentioned the Constitution Party. Theirs is the only platform that dares speak truth about abortion:

    “We affirm the God-given legal personhood of all human beings from fertilization to natural death, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. The first duty of the law is to protect innocent life, created in the image of God. No government may legalize the taking of life without justification. Legalizing the termination of innocent life of the born or unborn, whether by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia or suicide, is a direct violation of their unalienable right to life. As to matters of rape and incest, we find it unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the crimes of his father.”

  19. gracie says:

    I’m pro-life and that includes my own life so I’ll be voting for Donald Trump.

  20. MWindsor says:

    Darrell Castle from the Constitution Party, even if I have to write him in.

  21. PA mom says:

    Definitely Trump.

    I was impressed by his solid choice of Mike Pence as a running mate, a person who I don’t think is likely to be making a deal with Trump for $ or fame but for conservative results.

    The repeal of the Johnson Amendment is an unexpected positive motivation. We know that the IRS bullies some people unfairly and unreasonably, we know they are partisan and we can guess who bears the brunt of those two in combination.

    The best hope for the Country is to return to the goals of free market capitalism, made compassionate through the active free will efforts of Christians and others of goodwill. But little of that is possible when the best people making the strongest arguments are brought to silence.

  22. WesleyD says:

    I respect those who disagree, but in my judgment, Trump is not pro-life at all. He sometimes uses the rhetoric of social conservatives to gain votes, and his running-mate is pro-life. But I don’t trust someone who was praising Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton up to the day he decided to run for the Republican nomination.

    There are two pro-life minor parties: The Constitution Party (which goes by different names in different states) is pro-life, socially conservative, and conservative on economics. The fledgling American Solidarity Party is pro-life, socially conservative, and “distributist” (moderately liberal, following the views of Chesterton and Belloc) on economics.

  23. irishnana says:

    Dear Fr. Z,
    I will reluctantly (but will) vote for Donald Trump because, if Hillary Clinton, the presidential hopeful of all of Planned Parenthood, and “everything” and “everyone” against God & man, has ever witnessed, ever ascends to the presidency, all is lost for this great (once) nation! Not voting is saying it is already over and with the help of God, it will never be over as long as there is breathe in my body and still hope that we can rise from the depths to which we, as a people and nation, have fallen.

  24. un-ionized says:

    I am also waiting to see if the Constitution Party gets on the ballot here.

  25. boxerpaws63 says:

    I voted Trump. A vote for a 3rd party candidate or no vote throws the election to Hillary. Third party candidates don’t get enough support to win-and they generally throw it to the candidate you DON’T want. Good intentions-Bad Result.
    ” I would vote for Trump if I believed he would work to end (or limit) abortion, but I do not.” I firmly believe Trump will do what he CAN. Even pro life President George Bush could not end abortion. If we keep waiting for this,it will never happen. The truth is no President is going to be able to end abortion. They can only do so much so it’s a matter of doing less damage or MORE. Hillary Clinton will do MORE. What counts is the SUPREME COURT. Any real change with abortion is going to come from 2 places. One is the Supreme Court(not the executive branch)and the other is PEOPLE. US. I’m voting Trump because he will undo the Johnson amendment and give the Church the freedom it needs to speak up for life. Hillary is not acceptable. PERIOD. I don’t know how any devout Catholic could either vote for her or LET her win.

  26. boxerpaws63 says:

    BTW. I’m not reluctantly voting for Trump. I’m wholeheartedly voting for Trump. We’ve had 8 yr of Obama. No matter how bad you think,/i> Trump might be he cannot be worse than Obama and Hillary is Obama on steroids.

  27. boxerpaws63 says:

    POST SCRIPT : Rick Santorum endorsed Trump. if you can’t trust Trump,i’m sure you can trust Santorum.

  28. Gail F says:

    Have not decided. I go back and forth between holding my nose and voting for Trump (the only realistic choice IMHO) and writing in someone or maybe voting for that Evan guy who used to work for the CIA (don’t know enough about him yet). We haven’t even reached the traditional beginning of the election season yet. A LOT can happen. Nothing on earth could make me vote for Hillary but I am not a Trump fan.

  29. visigrad says:

    This will not be a vote ‘for’…rather a vote of hope that we will have pro life justices added to the Supreme Court. In my heart I believe if we can end the scourge of abortion, God will be more merciful to the USA.

  30. Dave N. says:

    Only down ticket. As a supporter of traditional marriage, I will not vote for someone who has bragged about his adulterous history and who openly lives in an adulterous relationship.

  31. Kensington says:

    I will vote for Donald Trump because I believe it to be the only practical way to stop Hillary Clinton and her awful husband.

    But that is the extent of my support for Trump. If they move to impeach him on day one, I’ll be entirely indifferent to that.

  32. Elizabeth D says:

    Every one of my catechism students I have ever had is the child of a Latino immigrant family. In conscience I cannot vote for someone heartless and hostile to them and their families, and as crude, imprudent and unchristian as Trump. I also don’t trust him on pro-life, marriage or religious liberty though I trust Clinton even less. I cannot vote for Clinton for obvious reasons. I am interested in knowing more about 3rd party candidates but for now I voted that I would skip voting for president. It is possible Trump is better than Clinton, but that is far from certain.

    I am avoiding reading much election news. It really horrifies me. Right now I am vastly preferring the escapist “Nazi Gold Train” story. Maybe there is no train, but at least it doesn’t matter very much either way.

  33. Elizabeth D says:

    By the way, I am in Madison, WI and got an interesting robo-poll call recently. I normally do not respond to such calls but there was something about this one that made me take the time to go through the questions. It turned out to be a poll about how I voted last time, whether I would vote for Trump and if not would I still vote for Republicans down ticket. It turned out to be from the Republican National Committee. I felt like they were cognizant that a great many people in Wisconsin who have formerly voted for Republicans won’t vote for Trump. The head of the Republican Party in WI as I understand it is a Catholic (I had a conversation with his wife at a pro life event earlier this year) and doesn’t support Trump.

  34. Justalurkingfool says:

    I will vote for Mr. Trump because a vote for anyone else is a vote for Hilary.

    My hope is that he surrounds himself with some competent people who will speak their mind if Mr. Trump needs to be brought to his senses.

  35. PostCatholic says:

    Proud to support a candidate who stands in opposition to most USCCB positions.

  36. I will not be voting, for neither party has put forth a candidate worthy of the presidency. Let’s also get some philosophical issues straight here:

    1. Choosing not to vote for Trump is not “allowing Hilary to win.” You know who allows Hilary to win? Those who actively vote for her. Choosing not to vote is still a political act (note I said “choosing” not to vote, not simply being too lazy to vote).
    2. Choosing the lesser evil is not a good, it’s still choosing evil, and even if you’re inclined to vote with that principle in mind, in this instance I’m not convinced that Trump is even the lesser evil…

    I’m not an idealist by any means, but America is finally reaping what it has sown. The principles upon which America was founded are decidedly anti-Catholic, and our current two-party system is not only broken beyond repair, but it is decidedly misleading. What we have here is not “Liberals” vs. “Conservatives,” what we have here is “Very-Liberal-Liberals” vs. “Less-Liberal-Liberals.”

    We have finally reached the end of the “reductio ad absurdum” that is the American experiment, foreseen more than a century ago by Leo XIII in “Testem benevolentiae nostrae.”

  37. pelerin says:

    As a non-American I was interested to read these comments. I do not envy you all having to make a choice between these two candidates. As someone has recently said – America has a population of 300 million and that is the best they can find as a candidate for the presidency.

  38. DU says:

    One is foolish if he or she votes for Trump thinking that he is not potentially worse than Clinton; while one is also foolish who votes for Hillary, thinking he or she hasn’t hastened our demise and cooperated with evil. Trump may be lying, he may be opportunistically serving no one but himself and his family, but he has at least laid claim to a higher moral ground. Personally, I believe that a Christian unwilling to vote for Trump at this stage of the process is at best naive. I don’t think I can state my view any more clearly.

    Nevertheless, Catholics will decide the course of history, as has been the case now for nearly 2000 years. To whom much is given………… The fault of nearly everything lies with Catholics, that’s why I became one. Now, having been one for 12 years I put even less faith in Catholics, but all the more in Christ. Now as for Catholic Saints, there’s a force to be reckoned with! Mother Angelica, pray for us! If you vote or don’t vote, please pray!

  39. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    I’m an Englishman, living in England, so I shall be voting in neither the US presidential election nor in Fr Z’s poll, but I am interested, as you can tell from my presence here, and obviously have a strong interest in the outcome of the presidential election, whose impact will be felt worldwide.

    As a foreigner my opinion is less well informed than it would be if I were American, and so I can’t be confident I know what is the Right Thing to do. But I am sure that voting for Mrs Clinton would be the Wrong Thing, and I implore Americans, even in states where it seems Mrs Clinton is bound to win, not to stay at home. Vote for Mr Trump, vote for another candidate if you can, write in if you must, but please don’t give Mrs Clinton victory by default. Stand up against her!

  40. marcpuckett says:

    I’m voting for Dr Castle, whose Constitution Party is on the ballot here in Oregon, unless there is evidence, come November, that that Trump fellow has a reasonable chance of defeating Mrs Clinton. Am otherwise voting the straight GOP ticket.

  41. juergensen says:

    Trump. I want a really high wall. Plus, Trump’s impressive list of proposed Supreme Court nominees is light years better than the abortionist, homosexualist justices Clinton is certain to put on the Court.

  42. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    A few comments here refer to the Constitution Party. At least one explicitly refrains from discoursing on that subject, so as not to go off topic. I’ve heard of the Constitution Party only very recently, and am interested to know more. If Fr Z. would permit, I’d be interested in an explanation, for foreigners, of the Constitution Party, its history, policies, and relevance to Catholics.

  43. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    Proud to support a candidate who stands in opposition to most USCCB positions.

    That narrows it down to Trump, Hillary, or Johnson.

  44. Mike says:

    Here is a link to the Constitution Party’s seven core principles. From the menu bar on this page you can navigate to specific positions on issues and to the Party’s platform.

  45. PostCatholic says:

    Among others, robtbrown. I do my best to make ethically informed choices and the Catholic bishops are helpful in that regard.

  46. crownvic says:

    I understand the sentiment of “they all stink”, however, one of them will be President. One of them will make decisions about the Supreme Court and one of them will engage foreign leaders. All of these actions have consequences. So what is the moral person to do? Shall we allow the enemy of “perfect” be the “better than the other?”. Does it even matter who is president?

    The problems facing this country will not be fixed by voting. The harsh reality is that this “election” shows us that the political system in this country is broken. The rule of law no longer applies. We have complete moral breakdown. Politics is only a symptom of a greater ill.

    It simply doesn’t matter who is president. The ship is going down. It may sink slower with Trump as captain. I for one would rather be part of the rebuilding, rather than keeping this system on life support.

  47. un-ionized says:

    Xmcclx, the constitution party has an excellent well written web site. Better than a few sentences here.

  48. Seamus says:

    Unless things change drastically between now and November, my state is firmly in the Clinton column, so I can vote Darrell Castle (Constitution party) with a clean conscience, knowing both that the candidate shares my views and that I’m not helping throw the election to Hillary. (That’s assuming, of course, that Castle makes it onto the ballot. Friday is the deadline for him to file, so we’ll have to wait and see if he’s successful.)

  49. TheDude05 says:

    I’m voting for Trump for a host of reasons. One he seems to agitate the people that are the problems with this country. He makes the establishment nervous, he makes the super left wing scared. I also look to the potential Supreme Court vacancies and know it is pivotal to the nation to have the right people installed.
    As for the other candidates, here is why I will not vote for them. Clinton is a hawkish, dishonest, corrupted, anti-Christian, anti-common sense, super progressive. Life will get harder for us with her in office, even if we retain control of Congress. I would love to vote for Gary Johnson, I used to be a card carrying member of the Libertarian party, but the party lost its way in trying to attract progressives. He will not stand against abortion, gender ideology, or defend marriage. While at the national level less government would be better, the party also wishes that at the state level and that is not how our Republic was intended to function. When Obgerfell came down the party was ecstatic over the results, and that soured me as it was an egregious moment of judicial activism and federal overreach. So while I think it would be healthy for the country to have Johnson in the debates to start waking people up to the fact that the old way isn’t the only way, I cannot support a party that believes in freedom and natural rights that denies it to the most vulnerable of our population.
    All of that being said, I believe our country has come to a major crossroads again as it did in the 1800s. I believe that radical change is going to happen soon, and it will be painful and possibly bloody. My only hope is that people will start to move beyond the competition aspect that has taken over our political process and will instead start looking for candidates that would rather use reason, logic, and intellect to appeal to the masses, rather than the bombastic demagogues we have now. People should remember the point of the electoral college was to allow the people to pick the best and brightest from their states to make an informed judgement on the candidates for president, and then to vote in the best choice, not to be a rubber stamp winner takes all from the state due to the popular vote. We must demand more of ourselves if we want to regain or Republic, otherwise we will only be a democracy, waiting for the wolves to outvote the sheep on what’s for dinner.

  50. Hornblower says:

    We are at the crossroads of prudential judgment and material cooperation with evil. There are a number of posts here that were thought provoking.

    However, since 3rd party candidates have no hope of winning, I judge it imprudent to cast my vote as a quixotic gesture. In the end, I wish to be as faithful and effective as I can be in the voting booth to bring about God’s kingdom.

    As a former Air Force officer, I had the high honor and grave duty to serve the United States. Alas, one of the candidates, having a similar duty, thinks less of the obligation yet seeks to be the chief executive officer. And with her pro-death position, I am not inclined to vote for that candidate.

    It seems to me that another dimension at play here is subsidiarity. One party is definitely for the continued concentration of power in the central government, while the other major party is, at least philosophically, against it. Like other issues, it is a glimmer of hope to revert to a better way, I admit, but it’s better than surrender.

    To foreign readers, I think presidential politics today requires a lot from candidates. Professional politicians have to cultivate donors over a career unless one is independently wealthy. Candidates need to have access to big money and be narcissistic – no normal person could afford to run for office nor wish to go through the intense scrutiny and criticism that comes with candidacy. Sadly, there are a lot of issues at play including the vision of government and its vision of the human person.

  51. slainewe says:

    RE: CONSTITUTION PARTY

    I think it is worth posting two more quotes from their platform:

    “The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family, and the family is fundamental in the maintenance of a stable, healthy and prosperous social order. No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted. We are opposed to any judicial ruling or amending the U.S. Constitution or any state constitution re-defining marriage with any definition other than the Biblical standard.”
     
    “We reject the notion that homosexuals, transgenders or those who are sexually deviant are deserving of legal favor or special protection, and affirm the rights of states and localities to proscribe offensive sexual behavior. We oppose all efforts to impose a new sexual legal order through any courts or legislatures. We stand against so-called “sexual orientation” and “hate crime” statutes that attempt to legitimize inappropriate sexual behavior or stifle public opposition to its expression. We oppose government funding of “partner” benefits for unmarried individuals. Finally, we oppose any legal recognition of homosexual or civil unions.”

    Since homosexualism and abortion are the two sins that cry out for the wrath of God, how can Catholics ignore the one party that rejects them out of hand? Only God can save America. If we compromise on the abominations that He hates, why should He help us?

  52. G1j says:

    I’m glad Jesus didn’t feel the same way about St. Paul. Although Mr. Trump has in the past cozied up to those of the liberal flair, I truly believe he has the best intentions for our country at heart. Is there room for improvement? Yes indeed, but when I think of the alternative…I cringe.

  53. Back pew sitter says:

    One of the problems with the inadequate systems of what we mistakenly identify as democracy is that sometimes there is candidate who can rightly be voted for.

  54. Back pew sitter says:

    …. sometimes there is NO candidate who can rightly be voted for.

  55. Boniface says:

    What Jason Keener said.

  56. torch621 says:

    I’m voting third party. Both candidates are an embarrasment and I’m tired of simply holding my nose and voting for the “lesser” of two evils.

  57. Jackie L says:

    I’ve had problems with every Republican candidate since I began voting, I’ve listened to the arguments against Trump, yet I do not understand why he poses a bigger problem for Republicans than any of the past nominees. I, without any hesitation will vote for Trump.

  58. SaintJude6 says:

    Elizabeth,
    You stated: “Every one of my catechism students I have ever had is the child of a Latino immigrant family. In conscience I cannot vote for someone heartless and hostile to them and their families, and as crude, imprudent and unchristian as Trump.”
    I live in Texas where we (along with California) get to bear the brunt of the financial and societal costs of illegal immigration. For many Americans living along the border the construction of a border wall will improve their safety and the quality of their lives immensely. Have you seen the stories and pictures of what routinely happens to citizens in places like Brownsville? Do you know what rape trees are? And it isn’t just Latinos coming across the border. We are now seeing thousands of illegal immigrants from places such as the Congo, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, crossing over at our southern border. Why is it heartless to ask Mexico to secure their border and improve the quality of life for their own citizens? We now have more Mexicans in the U.S. than currently reside in Mexico. Have you taken a look at how Mexico handles illegal immigration along their border? Nothing about Trump’s plans is heartless or hostile. He is imperfect, absolutely. Unfortunately, Mother Teresa and St. Pius X are not available for the presidency. Actually, I don’t think either one would be able to win against Hillary in this election, because the media would use their Catholicism to repeatedly bring up the Church sex abuse scandal at every opportunity. St. Pius X would be accused of being a fascist and Mother Teresa of denying women access to “reproductive health care.”
    I’m voting for TRUMP, in hopes that he will build a wall, deal with the broken immigration system, and nominate pro-life Supreme Court justices.
    The third party or write-in candidates do not have a chance of winning the presidency, not even Santorum, who has endorsed Trump. But they will be just enough to give us a future President Hillary Clinton.

  59. Rob83 says:

    A motto for this election might be “don’t let the bad blind you to the rotten.” I didn’t vote for Trump in the primaries, and still am not fond of him as a candidate. I do have some doubt about his pro-life stance, I know he’s not on our side when it comes to gay matters, and even on the Supreme Court and religious freedom there are question marks.

    At the same time, Clinton doesn’t seem any better than Trump in any of these categories, and seems downright worse in some of them. As far as I can see, Trump does not openly worship at the altar of the culture of death and praise it, and the fact that so many of the “right people” seem to be freaking out and having a nutty over his candidacy makes me think he is an acceptable choice, though I am under no illusions he is even close to a half-loaf, more like a single slice.

    It may not be the best reason, but so long as both Trump and Clinton continue to poll significantly above 33%, my preference is to vote for the least-bad option of the two that can actually mathematically win, particularly since voting third party this time will only signal to the Republican party leadership that they do not need to change – losing won’t inspire them to nominate a God-fearing conservative, it will only confirm their strategy of nominating bland, reasonably polite compromising managers who do their best not to offend anyone.

  60. Kathleen10 says:

    I won’t be going off because I won’t read the comments. That way I won’t see the now predictable comment, seen everywhere, that someone is taking the “high road” by not voting for Donald Trump. They claim they “just can’t do it”. They appear to believe this is a moral thing to do, because they don’t feel that Donald Trump meets their excellent moral criteria, and therefore, they are going to write in their barber Fred or someone else, or they are going to just stay home.
    These people, if you add up the numbers, are going to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. The most dangerous, corrupt, pro-abort, pro-gun control, pro-sodomy person is going to be in the White House because these people “just can’t vote for Donald Trump”. That is insane reasoning.
    In advance of that, thanks a lot for President Hillary Clinton.

  61. Makemeaspark says:

    I hope that some folks will see this. As an election official in MI, I will tell you that a write-in vote is pretty much an empty gesture. Unless your state is radically different than ours, write-in candidates must let the city know by election day that they are running. Plus, you must spell the name correctly. Any other write-in will only be seen by one or two election officials at the election site when we pull the ballots out of the machine and look for “Valid” write-in votes. They are recorded in the poll book ONLY if they are “valid”.

  62. Maybe I’m wrong but this is how it looks to me. Trump doesn’t have a plan and he legally can’t do what he says. Clinton has a plan that will only see here benefit even to the detriment of everyone else. I won’t vote for Trump but I sure hope Clinton does not win. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Lord will call the potus and veep candidates to final judgement before the election. Then we give the electors the free choice they were always legally supposed to have.

  63. discipulus says:

    I’m no fan of Trump, not by a long shot. But, in my 23 years of life, absolutely nothing has been scarier than even the mere possibility that Hillary could be the next president. At least Trump will not attempt to take away our religious freedom, will appoint pro-life justices to SCOTUS, and will halt Muslim immigration into our country. That is why, with a very clear conscience, I will be voting for Trump in November.

  64. un-ionized says:

    In most states a write in candidate’s votes will not be counted unless they have filed papers in that state declaring themselves to be a candidate. This happened to Ron Paul in Ohio.

  65. TheDude05 says:

    If only Dr. Paul was the Libertarian nominee, at least I could vote for him without hesitation.

  66. REKEMP10 says:

    As a life long Republican who has came to despised the GOP I’m voting for trump…

  67. stephen c says:

    There has never been a good and likely-to-win Christian candidate for president of this country in my lifetime. President Nixon, whom I admire as a courageous veteran and a diligent scholar, had no real understanding of the issues of his day that were important to God, and his Supreme Court picks helped give us the dystopian world we live in. President Johnson was an obvious boor and a man who stole an incomparably precious military medal (Silver Star) that belonged to others and not to him. Kennedy and Clinton were probably sexual predators, probably either directly (Clinton) or indirectly with a smirk (Kennedy – and the great historic shame of the Bishops of the diocese of Washington is the constant praise they have given him over the years): had either Clinton or Kennedy been a Catholic priest, they would be completely disgraced in the eyes of posterity. Ford, Carter, and Bush were either cold-heartedly pro-choice or simply too superficial to understand the issue: Bush, although ostensibly pro-life, was not pro-life in practice – and he was from an old Catholic family, although he was Protestant, and should have known better, but the sins of sloth and uxoriousness led him, more than once, to praise those who enthusiastically support abortion. The more recent ones need no explanation (although the second President Bush is a much better man than his father, in my opinion). Anyway, when we (who are fortunate enough to be Christians) look at the similar cold-hearted mistakes of some of our recent Popes, who have so many more people praying for them than mere presidents – we should feel compassion rather than the contempt so often shown for those sad political stars who are faced so blatantly with the question the Bible posed, and who, absent a deathbed conversion, may have failed to understand that question – what is the world worth if you lose your soul?

  68. VeritasVereVincet says:

    I personally believe my civic duty is to (A) vote (B) for the person whom I think will be best for America, and (C) who has a legitimate chance of being elected, because otherwise my vote is wasted.

    Which makes it Trump. For several reasons, not least because he’s candidly brash in the face of liberal “PC” whinging, because he refuses to venerate Islam, and because Hillary would be magnitudes worse.

    He’s not remotely perfect, and hardly ideal, and I don’t foresee him being anything more than simply competent at best, but he doesn’t have to be. He just has to keep Hillary out while Republicans fight to take back the country.

  69. gretta says:

    I can’t vote for a man who seems as amoral as Trump. The multiple marriages, the way he treats others, his abysmal knowledge of politics, his erratic behavior, and his pathological inability to tell the truth scare me. If his professional handlers haven’t been able to direct him, I don’t think that even having the most capable people surrounding him would help. He reminds me of a three year old with no impulse control – and having that kind of person with the nuclear codes gives me nightmares. And despite his publishing the SC list, he has given no indication that he is trustworthy and would follow through. I wonder did he actually vet anyone on this list or did some flunky hand him the list saying – you don’t have to follow through, but publishing this is the only way you’ll guarantee the social conservatives? Like Trump university and all the other scams he’s run, this just strikes me as one more way to pull a fast one. I also strongly doubt that he is pro-life – once again, he’s done nothing to make me able to trust anything he says. Why won’t he release his tax returns? What is he hiding?

    With Hillary only slightly better, but equally causing both heartburn and moral outrage, I think I’m writing in John Kasich. In my state my vote won’t matter, and I can’t in good conscience vote for either of the major candidates. This whole election cycle just makes me ill.

  70. Benedict Joseph says:

    Recently I received a phone call from one of the PAC’s supporting Donald Trump. After waiting patiently for the recording to end in order to speak with a person, I said that I would be voting for Mr. Trump in November, but it was beginning to look like I was the only person who would. With ample use of various vulgarities I would not employ here, I conveyed the idea that Mr. Trump needs to clean up his comportment.
    I meant every word I spoke.
    It is mortifying that we are reduced to a choice between these political candidates. It is mortifying to witness the spectrum of ignorance and malevolence we must endure in the entire spectrum of human enterprise. Ecclesia is no exception.
    But that is where we are in the continuum of human history. We have to swallow it.
    One of those institutions to which we might offer a less grievous future if we elect Mr. Trump is the Supreme Court. No matter how repugnant you might find Mr. Trump, just keep repeating “Supreme Court.”
    And who knows, maybe this guy can make a success of a term or two as president. Let’s see. We are electing a president in an age of decadence and decay – not a saint – not a philosopher king. We already know what we are in for with the alternate choice. Spare us, please.

  71. Jenson71 says:

    Clinton, with little hesitation. And I’d like to adopt the third paragraph of VeritasVereVincet, though with the inverse pronouns and nouns, as part of my rationale.

  72. frjim4321 says:

    HRC.

    I don’t see a viable alternative.

    I do not consider her ideal, but I don’t consider her to be existentially unfit for the office as is her opponent.

    As for write-ins and “third parties,” I wouldn’t waste my vote.

    I will also vote down ticket for Democrats because I think the Supreme Court needs to come back toward the center from the loony right wing and “Citizens United.”

  73. Spade says:

    Trump.

    I won’t like it, but I refuse to vote for and will heartily vote against somebody who got away with something my required training regularly threatens me with jail time if I do it. Also, she supports abortion all the way to birth.

  74. Spade says:

    Also, I know he’s not a perfect candidate, but there won’t be until there’s somebody running on the platform of turning the US into a theocratic Catholic monarchy with a heavily armed Catholic citizenry.

  75. St. Rafael says:

    I will probably vote write in or Constitution Party. The only reason I will vote at all, is because California, the land of direct democracy, has some important ballot measures. I intend to vote to keep the Death Penalty in this state.

    I don’t see how any serious Catholic who views himself as Catholic, can vote for Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson. Both Clinton and Johnson are pro abortion and pro LGBT.

  76. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    In this poll, 100%of the eligible voters vote; in recent Presidential elections there seem to be around 30% of eligible voters who don’t vote at all, for whatever reasons. I wonder how the result would compare with this poll, if all those mysteriously non-voting eligible voters were to vote? (I also wish one could get an accurate picture of the scope of voting fraud, say, in the past 56 years, and an estimate of the coming likelihoods with the fruits of ‘technical and moral progress’ available today.)

  77. Eric says:

    I will vote for Mike Pence, I am very happy he is on the ballot.
    He will make a great president if he can do for America what he has done for Indiana.

    I do not think Donald Trump is dangerous. Certainly not nearly as dangerous as the alternative.
    He is much more entertaining also.

    If you like what is going on in the middle east, our southern border, record low GDP, less jobs, higher taxes, higher health care cost, public money going to abortion, police officers being hunted, people being dragged from their cars and beaten because of the color of their skin, Solyndra, Holder, Sebelius, Axelrod by all means vote for Clinton. If you don’t like any of those things then vote for the person that can beat her.

    The main thing a president can do to end abortion is nominate good supreme court judges. Trump will, Clinton most certainly will not. All people like FRJIM4321 can offer is name calling. If the right wing is loony, what the hell is the left wing?

  78. gramma10 says:

    Yes! I think we MUST vote but not for the person….rather against socialism.
    Vote pro life justices…against abortion…against euthanasia…vote for real Eucharistic marriage and not same sex relationships/marriage, vote low taxes….and vote….God’s will….
    Donald Trump is the one for this.
    Hillary is pro death and dishonest and will bring socialism into our world totally.
    Our free America is becoming non free. Be aware!

  79. SKAY says:

    From Life News-

    Gary Bauer’s American Values Action released a video highlighting Clinton’s statements on the issue, which critics call extreme.

    The video shows clips of Clinton pushing abortion with statements such as:

    — “I would like to see Planned Parenthood even get more funding.”

    — “Deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

    — “The unborn person doesn’t have Constitutional rights.”

    — “The only people that I would ever appoint to the Supreme Court are people who believe that Roe V. Wade is settled law.”

    This is the entire comment that I think tells you exactly what she intends to do about” religious beliefs”.
    “Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton argued. “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

    She also wants to get rid of the Hyde Amendment that does not allow Medicaid to pay for abortions.
    She will continue using government to push all of the Obama agenda because that is also her
    agenda and that would be the Soros agenda.
    Hillary’s record as Secretary of State is atrocious and she has proven that she has no problem lying to the Congress, the American people nor the mother of a dead hero in front of his coffin who was killed trying to save three other Americans including the American ambassador. If you are following any of the information leaking out concerning her emails you know
    about the foreign money flowing through the Clinton foundation and who has donated to them with interesting favorable decisions to them coming out of the State Dept. during her time there.

    I will be voting for Trump. I will not vote third party or write in. That will help Hillary.
    I made that decision before he came to see the devastation here in Louisiana yesterday. It
    lifted the spirits of those he saw and visited with. They were absolutely thrilled–a
    bright spot for them in an otherwise depressing day as they were trying to clean out
    their homes–throwing away all their possessions that they had worked for. It was nice to
    see them smile. He talked to many and even more important he listened.
    I actually do think he cares about the American people and this country which will be
    a definite change. I also remember him saying that religions will not have to worry about his
    administration trying to force them to go against their beliefs.
    I may not agree with everything he does–but I know if we continue as we are
    my grandchildren will not live with the freedoms that I grew up with. I care about their safety and the safety of my neighbors and I think this administration has put us at great risk both within and without the borders of this nation. Cardinal Burke’s admonition about Islam comes to mind as well as the riots and assassinations of police officers.
    For Hillary to succeed and continue the agenda the First and Second Amendments will for all intents and purposes have to be eliminated and her court nominations will help her there. I guess Pelosi and Biden will be in charge of her religious belief change. They think alike.
    I absolutely agree with you about the Republican elite leadership and how they think Rob83.

  80. SPWang says:

    Watching with interest from Australia.

  81. msouth85 says:

    I will be happily voting for Trump. Part of it is I can’t I’m good conscience vote for someone who is a member of a party that openly wants abortion and to repeal the Hyde Amendment. I also really like his stance on the 2nd Amendment. If we lose the 2nd Amendment we are so screwed as a country. Once it is gone there is nothing to prevent the feds from turning our democratic republic into a dictatorship.

    I’m one of this people that if you tell me hot dogs are bad I’ll go eat one just to annoy you. I feel the same way about Trump. If the people that have been in elected office for decades don’t like him, that seems like a good thing to me. But, to be honest, what we really need in a president is an old man who has a ton of life experience and isn’t seeking the office for power.

  82. TheDude05 says:

    With her statements on wanting to expand and fund more abortions, using tax dollars to do so, how any Catholic could consider voting for Clinton shows how far down the toilet catechesis has gone.

  83. Absit invidia says:

    Write in candidates, there is only one of 2 people going to win this election: Hillary or Trump. Don’t enable Nurse Ratched to be our next president by writing in a candidate please.

  84. Rob83 says:

    The only write-in candidacy I ever knew of that was successful was Charlie Wilson’s in the OH-6 Democratic primary 10 years ago, but there was also a major ad campaign behind that effort along with endless reminders on how to spell the name correctly (the man could use some prayers, he passed away several years ago).

  85. exNOAAman says:

    Quote from above …
    “…I won’t vote for Trump but I sure hope Clinton does not win. “…

    How’s that sound on playback? (Hmmm, could become a campaign ad)

  86. Mariana2 says:

    I’m not American, but my husband and I lived in the US for several years for his doctoral studies. It never ceased to dumbfound us how Americans were dumbfounded by our driving into New York and voting in elections at our consulate there. And these were the most decent, upright people. They all said how great it was of us to bother, but that they themselves never voted.

    Please, everyone, do vote, even if you have to hold your noses while doing it. Not voting is like being neutral in conflicts – those who suffer are not helped by neutrality.

  87. boxerpaws63 says:

    “I won’t vote for Trump but I sure hope Clinton does not win. ” do you understand what you’re doing. For everyone that doesn’t vote Trump that’s assuring Mrs Clinton a win. I remember the election of 2012. I didn’t care for Romney at all and it was a plug your nose vote,but i made up my mind we could not have another Obama term. Well, the EVANGELICALS decided they would stay home. Obama won. One more term of Obama through Hillary Clinton-who is backed by George Soros-forget the next election and undoing the damage .We won’t have a country left. I’m enthusiastically voting Trump. Yes, he’s been married several times but Obama was a terrific husband.Jimmy Carter was a devout Baptist and i think a preacher of sorts. He was faithfully married to his wife too. Terrible President. Carter looks good by comparison now
    Trump has been a terrific father to his kids(they turned out very well) and i’m not looking for a Messiah here. Have one. What i am looking for here is someone to protect OUR religious freedom. That’s Trump. I read some ppl think he’s doing this for his own benefit. Actually Mr Trump could have had a very comfortable retirement if he had not run. I’m not sure what people think he stands to gain from becoming President. The fact that Hillary Clinton is backed by George Soros tells me all i need to know. All the people staying home or voting for another candidate are actually voting for the shadow government of Soros and any religious freedom we have left is out the window. Is he pro life enough to suit me? Hardly. Is Hillary pro life at all? Again,i don’t think looking to the executive branch to end abortion is the best hope. Reagan and George Bush were THE most pro life Presidents we’ve had to date & abortion is still legal. :(

  88. It is my belief that humanity as a whole, by its lack of – or insufficient – opposition to abortion, has committed the gravest offense possible against God (Creator of all life). Therefore, I believe that humanity as a whole and every individual human being must participate in an active, not passive action, to bring about the abolishment of abortion worldwide. We Americans must start in our own country. There is no doubt in my mind that a vote or a non-vote that would in any way enable Hilary Clinton (possibly the most pro-abortion person in America) to become President of the United States would be a grave act of negligence and the absolute opposite path for those who wish to abolish abortion. It would indeed make us liars and hypocrites in the eyes of God and our pro-abortion opponents. We have enough of those in our Church and political offices. Mean what you say and do what you mean.

  89. disco says:

    Donald Trump is the only choice this election year. The case against him is particularly weak.

    He’s the only candidate with the courage to name our country’s threats. Radical Islam and illegal immigration. Radical Islam is the greatest threat to western civilization in history. Illegal immigrants not only bring high numbers of crime and disease, even the relatively peaceful ones are a drain on public resources. They overwhelm our hospitals and public schools. They strain the resources of police and other public safety agencies. Just look at super sanctuary city San Francisco – the highest property crime rate in America outside Detroit.

    How about home schoolers- do you think for one second Crooked Hillary would allow you to educate your children as you see fit? Of course not! It takes a village remember? Religious beliefs have got to be changed she says. She wants the education system to stay bad so her cronies in Silicon Valley have even more reason to import guest workers through the H1B scam program.

    Own a gun? Good luck with that. If she can’t outright grab it from you she’ll try and put the manufacturers out of business by subjecting them to lawsuits every time a gang banger in Chicago kills someone with a stolen glock.

    Life issues? Hillary thinks murdering children is as American as apple pie. At least Trump pays lip service to the pro lifers.

    Trump has given us a list of his Supreme Court nominees. No candidate in history has done that! They are all good replacements for Scalia as I understand it. Even W was only 1/2.

    Trump supports the repeal of the Johnson amendment! That would seriously open religious freedom in America. Unfortunately our hierarchy is loaded with heretics and cowards who would never use the ability to denounce a demonic candidate like Hillary, but the thought that they could and not be targeted by the IRS is incredible!

    The case against trump? He’s mean. That’s basically all anyone has on him. Couch it all you want but at the end of the day all his criticism boils down to a bunch of leftist pansies thinking he’s mean.

  90. boxerpaws63 says:

    “I can’t vote for a man who seems as amoral as Trump. The multiple marriages, the way he treats others, his abysmal knowledge of politics, his erratic behavior, and his pathological inability to tell the truth scare me. If his professional handlers haven’t been able to direct him, I don’t think that even having the most capable people surrounding him would help. He reminds me of a three year old with no impulse control – and having that kind of person with the nuclear codes gives me nightmares. And despite his publishing the SC list, he has given no indication that he is trustworthy and would follow through. I wonder did he actually vet anyone on this list or did some flunky hand him the list saying – you don’t have to follow through, but publishing this is the only way you’ll guarantee the social conservatives? Like Trump university and all the other scams he’s run, this just strikes me as one more way to pull a fast one. I also strongly doubt that he is pro-life – once again, he’s done nothing to make me able to trust anything he says. Why won’t he release his tax returns? What is he hiding?” Sorry,Sounds like a Hillary Clinton ad. His inability to tell the truth? You have to be kidding me. His life is an open book for one thing.For another the power hungry Clintons have a total aversion to truth-to the point of committing perjury. Let me put it this way.If you can stand by the caskets of fallen Americans,look in the faces of their families and lie about their cause of death to make sure Obama got elected,you can do ANYTHING.Benghazi is reason enough NOT to vote for her. As for the nuclear codes-there isn’t some room with a red button that the President walks in and pushes. Not the way it works. There’s safeguards. Hillary,on the other hand, shared classified documents that were most likely hacked and will be used for black mail at some point. I’ll take my chances with Trump.He’s not perfect but i doubt he’s the devil incarnate as you’ve described. For that you have to turn to someone who truly is evil-George Soros and he backs Clinton. Sorry but staying home or voting 3rd party or worse Clinton are NOT an option. The executive branch is probably never going to stop abortion. We can at this point only elect people who are more pro life than another or someone who is totally pro abortion. That would be Clinton. I honestly believe that the surest way to stop abortion is to change the hearts and minds of the people WE encounter.

  91. Rosary Rose says:

    I will continue the 54 day rosary novena, hold my nose and vote for Trump. Then I will start another novena.

    Vote for Trump because anything else is a vote for Hillary.
    Get a backbone and vote. Don’t say, “Oh, I just can’t vote for Trump”. While the USA is still a nation, defend your right to vote by voting. There are nations on this earth where citizens are not allowed a voice; we do not want that. Trump is not ideal, but a vote any other way will be a vote for Hillary.

  92. boxerpaws63 says:

    Rosary Rose,well done. PRAY and vote to make sure Clinton does NOT win.
    BTW. For all those uneasy about the Trump vote one last thought: i don’t think Mike Pence and Rick Santorum would sell their souls for power to support a candidate they didn’t believe was a morally good choice.

  93. un-ionized says:

    What gretta has said doesn’t sound at all like a commercial. This open book goes back far enough for me to stay away. The appeal to xenophobia of some of the candidates is worrisome. It’s never I will do this or I will do that, it’s always an appeal to fear. We are not to fear, especially other people.

  94. boxerpaws63 says:

    noted on Twitter by someone who understands why Hillary must NOT be elected: “Can anyone imagine the laws she’ll break as POTUS & additional havoc she’ll wreak across the globe?”
    With all due respect to both you and Gretta is every anti Trump attack that Hillary and her shills have put out everywhere. Every single point. Many i can refute and some that are flat out lies the Hillary campaign is spreading. i don’t have the time (or energy)to do all that when most of it can be researched if you’re willing to do so. The one word they keep using is xenophobic. I don’t see that putting America first is xenophobic when Obama has been pushing anything BUT America. If you honestly believe Trump is xenophobic look to Germany-or for that matter what’s left of Europe. Why do you think Britain voted to get out? They saw the handwriting on the wall. Let’s look back to the Obama administration for a minute-a Clinton presidency would be a continuation but WORSE. Now she would get the Scotus picks and as lawless as Obama was,she would put him to shame. Our government has become so corrupt i don’t think anyone but a Trump could clean house. Anyway,let’s look at the Obama administration for one minute, to have a taste of what lies ahead with Clinton. He’s flat out attacked Christianity;the Catholic Church in particular. He’s tried to force HIS AMORAL ideology on good ppl through law,outside of the law and through the courts. Evidently you missed his most recent executive order,of which there are many,that bans the pledge of allegiance from schools. He’s decimated our military and infected it with his immoral point of view attacking Christianity even there. He invited Black Lives Matter to the White House giving them a credibility they didn’t deserve; at the same time demoralizing our law enforcement. You obviously don’t care for Trump’s position on immigration;all he’s saying is ENFORCE the laws we have,close down sanctuary cities and vet ppl from other countries because of the danger of Islamic terrorism,drugs pouring over the border and criminal elements. That’s not xenophobic or intolerant; that’s just prudent. Yes,he had failed marriages and one through adultery. Obama on the other hand has remained faithful to his wife but has done almost irreparable harm to our country(as well as what he’s unleashed in other countries). There is no reason to believe Hillary wouldn’t be as bad as,if not worse,than Obama;especially with the SCOTUS picks she will have. Sorry,but i’ve done my homework on Clinton and Trump both and she has no principles,PERIOD. Trump may not be perfect but he’s not what the Media and Clinton’s have put out there either. I’ve read all those talking points at liberal rags and from Clinton shills. Some are lies,some are truths, others are HALF truths(as good as a lie). I’ve done enough research to know he’s the better choice. Again,if Rick Santorum and Mike Pence can support him he can’t be all bad.

  95. comedyeye says:

    I attended a recent Trump rally and when he says “I will not lie to you”
    I actually believe him.

  96. robtbrown says:

    FrJim4321,

    I will also vote down ticket for Democrats because I think the Supreme Court needs to come back toward the center from the loony right wing and “Citizens United.”

    I assume you’re opposed to Corporations financially contributing to political campaigns. If so, are you also opposed to unions doing the same thing?

  97. robtbrown says:

    To me it’s very simple. Donald Trump is problematic. Hillary Cliinton is not. That means she will only appoint Justices who are not only pro abortion but also who would like the Free Exercise clause of the Freedom of Religion to go away.

  98. Prayerful says:

    Not American, but Mr Trump has offered a good set of people he’ll consider for Supreme Court vacancies. Mrs Clinton as President (has stated she) would not appoint anyone to a judicial role in her gift (this will halt state efforts to restrict abortion), and she has become rather hostile to basic religious liberty and marriage (a change as she once supported the Defense of Marriage Act). Mr Trump is also wary of foreign adventures, while Mrs Clinton has indicated she would like to revisit Obama’s refusal to bomb the Syrian government, and maintain a belligerant stance on the Ukraine. An unwise economic or trade policy is not as bad as an unwise war. There are negatives: whether Mr Trump is sincere, and his fervent support of ‘gay rights,’ but Mr Trump seems the only possible way to end the slaughter of abortion in the US. The US could be a light to the nations.

  99. un-ionized says:

    People seem to be forgetting that the republican candidate has been a democrat until his narcissism persuaded him to run for president.

  100. thomas tucker says:

    Very interesting. I think there are more people willing to vote for Trump than there are willing to publicize it. Like me, for example.

  101. Simon_GNR says:

    “Kensington wrote:

    I will vote for Donald Trump because I believe it to be the only practical way to stop Hillary Clinton and her awful husband.”

    I’m not a resident of the U.S.A. and so have no vote, but if I did I would vote tactically for Mrs Clinton, just to keep Donald Trump out. This is despite the fact that if I were American I’m pretty sure I would be a Republican supporter. I might say: “I will vote for Hillary Clinton Trump because I believe it to be the only practical way to stop Donald Trump.” Trump has no political experience: how can such a person possibly carry out the duties of the head of state of the most powerful country in the world? His crazy ideas such as banning all Muslims from entering the U.S.A. and building a huge wall along the entire border with Mexico show that he is utterly unsuitable for the job. By the way, the new Mayor of London, elected a few weeks ago, is a Muslim. Would he, an elected politician running one of the western world’s great cities (and the capital city of one of America’s most loyal allies), be barred from entering the U.S.A.? Trump must be stopped at any price, so that’s why I’d be prepared to hold my nose and vote for Mrs Clinton as the lesser of two evils.

  102. ALL: I cleaned out some of the more hysterical stuff from my moderation queue (some commentators are in the queue all the time to save them from themselves and save me extra work).

    I asked everyone to think before posting. Now I am asking you also to breathe before posting.

    My blood pressure thanks you in advance

  103. AnnTherese says:

    As I said, stay tuned for more great drama!

    Breathing is always good advice!

  104. pac76 says:

    I haven’t checked out the Constitution party candidate yet, but will likely vote that way. For those Catholics (and people of good will who value human rights) who are considering Gary Johnson, I urge you to read the following article in which he discounts the importance of religious freedom. I would never vote for that guy:
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gary-johnson-religious-freedom-as-a-category-is-a-black-hole/article/2598088

    Also, I think Trump is a “holding my nose candidate” too far for me, though the USSC appointment power of a president may yet sway me.

    I have to say there have been some very astute comments. Politics is a symptom of our society and as a society we’re probably getting the candidates we deserve. In any case recent political misadventures should make it clearer than ever that no party or politician is going to save us. The U.S. and the world needs a Christian conversion.

  105. billy15 says:

    I will also be voting for Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party. He should be on my state’s ballot (or at least a certified write-in candidate) very soon. Hence, I selected the “write-in” option.

  106. Southern Catholic says:

    frjim,

    It is interesting that you are voting for HRC because of Citizens United. Do you realize that she is the candidate that has benefited the most from that ruling? She won her primary, and most likely the general election because of her powerful super PACs.

  107. Southern Catholic says:

    I will write in Rand Paul or Ted Cruz as of right now.

    I cannot vote for a man that bragged openly about committing adultery in he best selling book. I also can’t vote for him because implied that his primary opponent’s father had a part in killing JFK. I also can’t vote for a woman that is power hungry, that destroyed women who were allegedly raped by her husband.

  108. exNOAAman says:

    I’ve been inspired in prayer to ask for the conversion of Pres. Trump, by the intercession of St. Emperor Constantine, who was more of a power hungary pagan, greedy, womanizer, than DJT; yet led his country to Christ. (Telling the truth about Islam is a start).

    Join me please. Think about it. 54 days. In Hoc signo vinces.

  109. frjim4321 says:

    Hope your BP comes down … I just checked in with a 134/84 @ 54 which is a little high for me. I do think too much concentration on political realities can have a health effect. [That’s for sure!] A friend of mine ended up in the ER after the last POTUS election with chest pains. Heart pathology was ruled out; it was anxiety/panic over the results.

    So I think we all need to take a few deep, cleansing breaths (including me). After all, our most important speech is our vote. Everything else, the blogging, commenting, etc., it’s all fluff. Just go to the polls and vote, the forget about it and have a couple Blanton’s. But then, there goes the BP~!

  110. PA mom says:

    30% of you are going to skip voting or place a vote of zero influence???

    I can see voting some Constitution Party if it held a single elected Federal seat in your entire state…. Is there a single Constitution Party elected official in the entire Federal branch of government?

    From the battle of Lepanto to participating in our republic with one hand tied behind our backs at all times…..

    THIS is why our full freedom of religion is so endangered. Nothing to fear from us these days.

    A most tepid response only.

  111. un-ionized says:

    Exnoaaman, it all starts with prayer.

  112. Thomas Sweeney says:

    Reading all those comments was quite a chore. As for my vote, to paraphrase Churchill, when he decided to help atheistic communism ( aka The Soviet Union) defeat Hitler, if the devil were running against Hillary, I would have to give the devil a favorable look.
    At least I think that’s what he said.

  113. Mike says:

    Here is the guidance of the Maryland State Board of Elections regarding write-in votes.

    Writing in the name of the candidate for President/Governor or the name of the Vice President /Lieutenant Governor is sufficient to the cast of a vote for the joint office.

    Candidates may give out or publish information containing a diagram and instructions, including how to spell the candidate’s name, for casting a write-in vote. Any abbreviation, misspelling, or minor variation in the form of the name of a candidate shall be disregarded in determining the validity of the write-in vote as long as the intended candidate can be determined. Writing the last name will constitute a valid vote, unless there is more than one candidate with the same last name.

    Your state should provide similar instructions. If they don’t, they may be violating your civil rights under Article 4, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution. In any event, do not be dissuaded by laws, by polemics, or by hysterics from voting your own well-formed conscience; your vote is not of “zero influence.”

    Neither is discouraging others’ exercise of their well-formed consciences of no influence. As in all things, we can choose to vote, and to act, toward our salvation and that of our neighbor, or toward our damnation—and Our Lord has promised that we will be held to account.

  114. tskrobola says:

    If Bill Clinton suddenly ran as a Republican and gavery lip service to pro life and such, it would be basically impossible for me to distinguish him in that hypothetical scenario from Trump at this point.

    I might vote for Trump, but I’d hate doing it…I don’t trust him at all on any issue, least of all nominating good judoes to the SCOTUS.

    Those who trust him are extremely naive.

    Anyone who supported him in the primaries, when there were numerous good alternatives, are principally to blame for this current mess of a decision.

  115. MouseTemplar says:

    Wanted Cruz, but will vote for Trump.

    As for those who will cast a third party vote or who will not vote–if you like your socialist, baby killing, jihad enabling administration, you can keep your socialist, baby killing, jihad enabling administration. That’s on you.

  116. slainewe says:

    “WHEN THE SON OF MAN RETURNS, WILL HE FIND ANY FAITH ON THE EARTH?”

    I understand those voters who do not understand the FAITH vote; that is, voting for a righteous party that has no earthly chance of winning, but please do not discourage those who vote their Catholic-formed conscience.

    It is estimated that 60% of citizens vote how they “feel” about a candidate. So they are easily swayed by “October surprises.” Since it is an easy thing for the Lord to provide surprises, the question for us should be what will move Him to do so: the one who plans to vote pragmatically, or the one who plans to vote the Faith?

    We better hope there is enough Faith here in America to move the Lord to intercede to stop HRC. Five men could have saved Sodom. The one you discourage from voting third party may be one of the “five.” LEAVE THEM ALONE!

  117. Kathleen10 says:

    Sorry slainewe, you’ve written a zillion things I’ve appreciated, but I can’t agree here. I can’t comprehend a throwaway vote for some third party candidate as an act of “faith”, when we are in a battle for our lives here. There is a whiff of self-righteous something that is, frankly, kind of off-putting. We ALL want to vote our faith. Some seem to imply those of us voting for Trump are somehow compromising ourselves, but hear this, we get, everything is on the line, this election matters more than any previous election in these United States. We simply cannot afford people thinking they are taking the high road and voting for someone who is not in any way statistically possible to win the White House, so they can “vote their faith”. We need every single person available to hold their nose if they must, go to the polling place and put that vote in for Donald Trump. There is simply too much on the line here. I can’t understand anyone who identifies as Catholic wanting eight more years of the Obama administration, and that is what we will have, and most likely far worse. No saint is going to run for president and your lack of vote for some silly reason is going to cost us. Deal with what we have, hold your nose, and vote for Donald Trump. Forget about “what he wrote in a book”, or voting for “kindness for Latinos”. I’m shocked but not surprised at the naivete here. My God, let’s get a proper sense of reality. We’re all going to get a right good dose of harsh reality when she gets in and fills our country with Syrians and takes away our Second Amendment rights and other rights. Before you throw that vote away, please at least read up on Europe and how it’s working for them in Switzerland, Brussells, Germany, and other places.

  118. Kathleen10 says:

    Sorry, I’m both shocked and surprised. lol. My BP!

  119. slainewe says:

    Kathleen10

    Most Catholics do not understand what is real FAITH; the Faith that moves mountains.

    Abraham was told by the Lord that through Isaac he would be made father of descendants as numerous as the stars. Then the Lord asked Abraham to kill Isaac. Had Abraham voted pragmatically, where would we be today?

    The Jewish community expected every young man and woman of the House of David to surrender virginity and bear children in expectation of the Messiah. Had Joseph and Mary voted pragmatically, where would we be today?

    I understand where you are coming from and respect your vote. All I ask is that you respect those who disagree with you, on the possibility that the Lord may see things differently and not look kindly on your discouraging something He may see as good.

  120. philosophicallyfrank says:

    I am hoping that he will be able to break the stranglehold of the Republican Party by the Neo-Conservatives and the political industry that has also affected who can be a successful candidate.

  121. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “Five men could have saved Sodom. The one you discourage from voting third party may be one of the ‘five.’ LEAVE THEM ALONE!” Another six, in Sodom, by my reading, in addition to St. Lot, his wife and two daughters. But my impression is that much, even most, of what is being discouraged is concluding too uncritically that it is (a) morally impossible to vote for Mr. Trump, and/or (b) too imprudent to do so.

    One can appreciate the caution of the disciples in Jerusalem, and even that of St. Ananias in the face of an otherwise convincing visionary experience of His Lord, at the apparent conversion of St. Paul (Acts 9), but people do really change for the better, even if less drastically and thoroughly, and one must in simple honesty (and charity) entertain that possibility where Mr. Trump is concerned (which is not to say, throw caution to the winds).

    At the worst, it does not seem likely that Mr. Trump is every bit as bloody-minded a murderous ideologue as Mrs. Clinton, but simply exceedingly good at having dissembled that fact for decades. Rather, he seems willing to engage in, and learn from, rational discussion with the likes of Dr. Gorka, for example:

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/08/19/dr-sebastian-gorka-obama-clinton-not-understand-reality-war-real-war-victims/

  122. cowboyengineer says:

    An evil darkness permeates the Democratic Party and corrupts everything they do. I could never vote for a pro abortion, anti Liberty, liar like Hillary. I am not convinced that Trump is any different given his past statements, but I will hold my nose, pray that he is truthful about his views now and vote for him. I don’t see any other viable choice.

  123. PA mom says:

    “I understand people who do not understand the FAITH vote…”

    I reject the notion that FAITH requires us to place “placebo” votes. Votes which have the physical appearance of motion towards addressing a problem or issue, but guaranteed to have ZERO effect.

  124. un-ionized says:

    Mouse, it is not my administration and that was just plain rude.

  125. Sword40 says:

    After watching Michael Matt and Chris Ferarra’s video on Clinton vrs. Trump, I can say that I’ll vote for Trump without any qualms.

  126. Blaine says:

    I put write-in on the poll, but will be voting for Darrell Castle of the constitution party. He is going to be on the Florida ballot.

    My reasoning is simple and two-fold.

    1. The Constution Party platform is pro-America, pro-Christian and pro-Life.
    2. Mr. Castle is the only candidate who has actually served in the military, and as a veteran of active service and current reservist, I want my Commander-in-Chief to have had military experience. I don’t care if they are a retired flag/general officer, officer or NCO, or did one enlistment as a private or unrated seaman, I won’t vote for a man or woman who didn’t serve and earn an honorable discharge. This is the most important function of the Office of President, and those with no experience of what it’s like to serve shouldn’t even be eligible in my opinion (not that it matters my opinion as its not a requirement) but I’m sticking to it.

    I’m voting my conscious, and if others have a problem with that so be it. Given a choice, I wouldn’t want Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump as my Commanding Officer, so I won’t support either.

  127. Ave Crux says:

    @JCHanson:

    My goodness! How is it you are missing the critical appointment of Supreme Court Justices who will determine our laws for the next several decades…..?!

    If you don’t vote for Trump, you HAVE voted for Hillary, whether you like it or not. And we know what kind of Justices SHE will appoint right out of the box.

    Trump already provided a list of those Supreme Court candidates he would select from, or similarly. ALL of them were Pro-life and conservative.

    Before God, we are obliged to vote for Trump if for no other reason than the Supreme Court appointments hanging in the balance.

  128. Ave Crux says:

    @jmvm:

    See my reply to JHanson above.

    The Supreme Court appointments are absolutely critical. We MUST vote for Trump. He intends to select conservative, pro-life, pro-family appointments.

    Liberal Supreme Court Justices is how we got homosexual marriage and Obamacare.

    Please don’t throw your vote away by voting for anyone who can’t possibly beat Clinton. She will don’t Supreme Court Justices who will attack our religious freedom.

  129. Ave Crux says:

    @jmvm:

    See my reply to JHanson above.

    The Supreme Court appointments are absolutely critical. We MUST vote for Trump. He intends to select conservative, pro-life, pro-family appointments.

    Liberal Supreme Court Justices is how we got homosexual marriage and Obamacare.

    Please don’t throw your vote away by voting for anyone who can’t possibly beat Clinton. She will appoint Supreme Court Justices who will attack our religious freedom.

  130. KateD says:

    The president is not elected by popular vote, but by an electoral college. The electoral college was specifically designed to prevent a cult of personality candidate like Trump from becoming president. I believe electors loathe Hillary but cannot vote for Trump….so that even if Trump wins the popular vote he will not become president.

    The most important thing we can do in this impossible situation is to pray the 54 Day Novena….we accomplish more in the physical world through prayer, than what we can do ourselves.

    Look, Death follows in the wake of the Clintons. It precedes them, it’s all around them. Hilary’s uncanny ability to avoid being found culpable for all the evil she’s done is preternatural. These are the Powers and Principalities spoken of by Paul. We have to pray.

  131. WYMiriam says:

    Darrell Castle and Scott Bradly of the Constitution Party get MY vote. (I will also be voting for the two other Constitutionalists who will be on the ballot in my voting district.)

    And MY vote in no way, shape, or form is a vote for Clinton or Trump or anyone other than those for whom I vote. Nor will I be “throwing away my vote.” Nor will it be a “wasted” vote. It’s the only way I can, in good conscience, vote.

    May I reiterate what has been said above: the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    And may I quote the saying:

    “If you do what you’ve always done,
    and think what you’ve always thought,
    you’ll be what you’ve always been,
    and get what you’ve always got.”

    You want change in politics, in the make-up of the elected branches of government? Quit voting for the same ol’ bunch of rascals and vote for someone with integrity!

  132. JamesA says:

    Thanks,slainewe. I wish the CP was better known. This would have been the perfect election for them to get their message out.

  133. JamesA says:

    (X), see Wikipedia and the CP website for more info. Any conservative Catholic could vote that ticket with a clear conscience. As I mentioned to someone else, this would have been THE election for them to make a strong showing, but they don’t seem to be well organized enough to take advantage of the distaste over Trump.

  134. boxerpaws63 says:

    “People seem to be forgetting that the republican candidate has been a democrat until his narcissism persuaded him to run for president.”
    Actually if you do your research you will find out that while Trump financially supported both parties(through one candidate or another)he is and has been a REGISTERED Republican for years. Look up his interview at the Rep convention with Larry King where he was supporting Bush and Quayle-his party affiliation is also a matter of public record. As for his narcissism-i don’t know. I’m not an arm chair psychiatrist. Ambition in the business world seem to be the larger driving force. As for his running for President because of narcissism and his own aggrandizement; doubt it. If anything his whole character has been impugned, his businesses have taken a hit, his family has been attacked and he’s received death threats on a regular basis-including one assassination attempt at a rally they JUST caught. Whatever else you could say about Trump-good or ill- the one thing i have found consistent through his whole career is his love of country.What i worry about is the no of people willing to throw a vote to someone who can’t win thus giving a vote to Clinton-or just as terrible, people who are going to stay home. It’s how Obama won the last time.I can only hope that the people who stay home this time are the Democrats and that costs Clinton.She’s backed by George Soros. That ought to scare the living daylights out of everyone.She’s definitely motivated by one thing;power.Love of country? Not a chance. From the day her and her husband started out in Arkansas she’s had her eye on the office of President and won’t let anything stand in her way.I expect by the time the election is over, between her and the media, Trump will be painted as Satan incarnate. He’s definitely a flawed human being but i doubt Clinton has a well developed conscience herself. Father Z is right-better off voting for the corpse of Filmore than Clinton and Trump is a live human being that at least cares deeply about our country. I’ll give him 4 yrs. Plug your nose if you must,but i beg you don’t destroy what little we have left of our country and let Clinton win. Once she makes appointments to the Supreme Court there goes religious freedom, the chance to protect life and the 2nd amendment. That’s just to name a few.I still don’t think Pence or Santorum would have supported Trump 100% if they weren’t sure where he stood on the issue of life and religious freedom.i also read Father Z’s entry on having to accept Islam as a religion of peace. My gosh-she’ll have those ppl flowing in her until we become Germany. Islam means submission not peace. Islam would not be a world religion today at all except it was spread by the sword. They’re not good people.

  135. Hoover says:

    It annoys me to no end that Gary Johnson is always wearing a t-shirt with that satanic peace symbol on it (an upside-down cross). https://www.google.com/search?q=gary+johnson+peace

    It is an affront of every Christian as it promotes an impossible concept of peace without Christ, a symbol that shouts “non serviam!” in the face of the Christ’s sacrifice which brought the peace of a new covenant between God and man.

  136. jmvm says:

    @ Ave Crux. I hate to engage directly, but I hope that others understand the predicament. Trump preaches a message of hate and intolerance. Regardless of what he claims to believe regarding abortion (frankly, I think he is a complete charlatan on that issue as his early comments on wanting to put women who had abortions in jail suggest), the message of hate is dangerous for the very being of our country. I agree that the Supreme Court is critical, but, again, the ends do not justify the means.

    On a more personal note, as some one is who is not white and married to a legal immigrant, the issue is more personal. My oldest of my five young kids (he is nine) recently asked is my wife if they would be allowed to live with her in India when Trump deports her. Frankly, I no longer allow my kids to watch the news since the Republican candidate seems to more interested in comparing hands and attacking women and non-whites. As someone with both an MD and a PhD, I can make multiple scientific arguments against abortion and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, it is incredibly hard to explain to a child why I would support someone who spouts hate at every opportunity (regardless of his attempt to “pivot” in order to gain support now). He has shown us his real attitude when he was willing to speak frankly.

  137. PA mom says:

    Jmvm-

    The single thing that the media does each presidential election, is to assassinate the character of the Republican candidate.

    In this way, they strangle the Value Voters with paralysis over the predictably imperfect men and women (which we are also) who make the sacrifices necessary to run for office.

    I live on the border of NJ and there are multiple people here locally who discuss these things online. Some of them have worked for Trump on projects, even met Trump himself personally. They attest that Trump has ALL colors of the rainbow of people working for him and that he will go throug his worksites personally, meeting the workers from the lowest to the highest and thanking them for good work.

    Trump does not hate minorities. He firmly rejects lawlessness, exhibited through uncontrolled illegal immigration, but orchestrated by the Democratic Party FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT, whether or not the American people benefit. Immigration is NOT the only example of lawlessness running through the Democratic Party either, by any means.

    The main stream media focuses on salting the earth under Republican candidates, putting off Value voters, and Trump, not being a politician, has given them material to work with.

    They really need to be held accountable for it. I have cancelled my local Liberal skewed newspaper and cable. No more money for their game from me.

  138. comedyeye says:

    Wow. Just. Wow.

  139. comedyeye says:

    I’ll take a narcissist who loves the country and shares my opinions.

  140. un-ionized says:

    jmvm, I know dozens of people like you. People in your situation are in the majority in the sciences in fact. I am in a similar boat and that is why I won’t vote this time (hey, that almost rhymes). We have lost sight of what Christianity is about. It is not about winning or defending or anything of the sort, especially when it stoops to the tactics of Satan.

  141. un-ionized says:

    jmvm, and I also know very well what it means to be discounted and marginalized and told outright that I don’t belong, and this in my own country, my own town, my own parish.

  142. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Un-ionized,

    You wrote:

    “jmvm, I know dozens of people like you. People in your situation are in the majority in the sciences in fact.”

    Actually, that’s not true. According to Pew Research, 56% of scientists are Democrats and only 6% are Republicans. This may be one reason why Global Warming and reproductive technologies are being researched so much and feted by the media.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2010/12/lab_politics.html

    I can’t tell you the number of fights that would break out in our department if we didn’t have a tacit rule against discussing politics. Many scientists confuse the Democratic Party with being on the cutting edge, which is the goal of many scientists. One would have thought that after Hiroshima science would have sobered up, but there seem to be many who haven’t learned caution.

    The Chicken

  143. un-ionized says:

    I’m speaking from personal experience, I said I know dozens like them. I am not speaking from cold impersonal statistics, upon which we are never to make personal decisions.

  144. robtbrown says:

    jmvm says,

    @ Ave Crux. I hate to engage directly, but I hope that others understand the predicament. Trump preaches a message of hate and intolerance. Regardless of what he claims to believe regarding abortion (frankly, I think he is a complete charlatan on that issue as his early comments on wanting to put women who had abortions in jail suggest), the message of hate is dangerous for the very being of our country. I agree that the Supreme Court is critical, but, again, the ends do not justify the means.

    In my lifetime campaigns have become dumbed down to little else than demagoguery, which increases as the size of the electorate also increases. There is more demagoguery in Presidential campaigns than in those for the Senate, and more in Senatoral campaigns than in those for the Housae. The concentration is on caricaturing the opponent. The Dems, however, haven’t needed to do that much because Trump has conveniently provided a caricature of himself. He reminds me of a description I read in a novel about the visit of highly successful businessman, a possible patron of an archeological project. “It will surprise you how smart he is, and it will surprise you how dumb he is.”

    And so the distinction between legal and illegal immigration is never mentioned. Ditto a few years ago with stem cell research, when the word “embryonic” never seemed to be added.

    A few years ago C-SPAN showed Eisenhower’s acceptance speech at the 1956 convention. I was surprised by how educational the speech was: Ike talked about what he did and listed reasons why he did it. It was nothing like the garbage we all now see and hear.

    The simple truth is that the author of the modern campaign was Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda. There is little effort to inform the public. Instead, the emphasis is on manipulation–we are presented with images accompanied by a few catch phrases. The Sunday morning news shows, which once were very informative about the previous week’s events, are now active agents in the process. Interviews with questions and follow ups have all but stopped, replaced by taking turns spouting catch phrases. Then, later, a group that includes political operatives, chimes in on the confusion. These shows have become a waste of time.

  145. CradleRevert says:

    I didn’t vote in the poll because I haven’t completely made up my mind, but I’ll either plug my nose and vote for Donald Trump or I’ll just leave the presidential ticket blank and focus on the down-ballot choices. Personally, I don’t see an ounce of true conservatism or Christian virtue in Trump, so my vote for him would be solely for the purpose of voting against Clinton.

    I’m entertaining voting third party (the Constitution Party candidate is quite good, but unfortunately doesn’t stand a chance), but there’s a thought that keeps nagging me: My choices are not a binary one, but the outcome is. No matter who I vote for, either Hillary or Donald are going to be president. So I may as well try to influence that outcome towards the lesser of two dumpster fires as much as I can.

  146. James in Perth says:

    Just thinking about it makes me sick.

  147. un-ionized says:

    robtbrown, i think this kind of discourse goes way back farther than world war 2. there is nothing modern about it.

  148. Mike says:

    “My choices are not a binary one, but the outcome is” is a self-fulfilling prophecy, an operational expression of despair—one might go so far as to say, a cop-out.

  149. un-ionized says:

    cradlerevert, dumpster fires. i like that. i think they are more like two converging forest fires and one of them just jumped the firebreak.

  150. CradleRevert says:

    Mike,

    It’s true that’s it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but unless the masses come to that realization, it’s also our reality. The polls are making very clear that one of two New York Democrats will be our next president. Unless something cataclysmic happens, that’s our reality, self-fulfilling prophecy or not.

  151. WYMiriam says:

    msouth85 said, on 20 August 2016 at 11:38 PM:

    “But, to be honest, what we really need in a president is an old man who has a ton of life experience and isn’t seeking the office for power.”

    That is just one more reason to vote for Darrell Castle! He fits both of your criteria to a “T”.

    And just as a matter of trivia, or curiosity, I was unable to vote in this poll because there was no choice for “third party where the third party has ballot access” — the Constitution Party is a major party (at least for the next couple of months!) in my state.

    I am heartened — greatly!! — to see so many Castle/Constitution Party supporters here. Good for you!!

  152. Mary Jane says:

    I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump.

    Does he have (many) issues? Yes. Is he better than Hillary? Probably he is.

    Abortion and Supreme Court nominees…two huge issues. Hillary will be a disaster in each of these areas. Trump will probably be less of a disaster in these areas.

    I used to feel I could not give my vote to any candidate that I didn’t totally agree with on each issue…I have come to realize that since it is extremely unlikely that any third-party or write-in candidate will win the election, I should vote for the major party candidate that is the lesser of two evils.

    Okay a vote for a third-party or a vote for a write-in is not literally a vote *for* Clinton…but its also not a vote that will do much to help defeat her and keep her out of office.

  153. gretta says:

    I think you have to evaluate whether you can be true to your conscience and your Lord when you cast your vote. In good conscience, I cannot cast a positive vote for either of the candidates of the major parties. Funny thing boxerpaws63 in saying that I sound like a Hillary commercial. The most effective ones the Dems are running these days are ones where the only one speaking is Donald Trump himself. She doesn’t need to say a word – he is amply able to speak for himself. I really dislike Hillary Clinton, I dislike her politics and I can’t vote for her for any number of reasons. I will not watch her speeches and turn the channel to something else if she is talking. So no, I’m nowhere close to being a supporter of hers.

    The problem is that I see voting for Donald Trump as being no different. And the only reasons why I might consider voting for him, like the abortion issue, I don’t trust him to follow thorough. I think he’s a charlatan and he’s playing religious voters – saying what we want to hear because it may be the only way he can get votes. He is clearly not religious himself and I truly don’t think he understands religious people, or faith. I think a man unmoored by any moral system is dangerous. The man fundamentally cannot tell the truth, he can’t apologize even when it is actually expedient for him to do so, and he cannot restrain or control his actions – a lethal combination when it comes to politics. And you can’t make these concerns go away by making a comparison to Clinton – they are equally immoral, unfit for office, though temperamentally I trust Clinton slightly more that she won’t cause a nuclear war simply because some two-bit dictator insulted her. I can’t say the same for Trump given that the man has no impulse control. If he were my kid, I’d take his Twitter privileges away, and ground him for being a potty mouth and a bully. I can’t vote for a man who behaves in a way that I’d punish my kids for doing if they followed his example.

    The only way I can register the fact that this election and the people put forward to run in it are morally repugnant is not to vote for either of them. My vote isn’t for HRC. But I will not vote for Trump under any circumstances.

  154. boxerpaws63 says:

    “But, to be honest, what we really need in a president is an old man who has a ton of life experience and isn’t seeking the office for power.”

    That is just one more reason to vote for Darrell Castle! He fits both of your criteria to a “T”.

    I am heartened — greatly!! — to see so many Castle/Constitution Party supporters here. Good for you!!”
    unfortunately I’m not encouraged seeing a number of ppl voting for a 3rd party or staying home. I have to commend your good intentions but good intentions with a terrible result are not good at all. I also noted that someone referred to Trump as a Democrat candidate again. He has been a REGISTERED Republican for years. Look up the 1988 Republican convention where Larry King interviews Donald Trump. He attended the Convention and had high praise for Dan Quayle. It’s on YOU TUBE.As a businessman he contributed to both parties(he openly admits it) but for the most part has offered the greatest support to Republican candidates,including Mitt Romney and John McCain when they ran against Obama. I also look back to the campaign between George Bush Sr and Bill Clinton. Ross Perot jumped into that race as a 3rd party candidate-it threw the election to Clinton. As i understand it Perot had a personal grudge against Bush Sr. Not sure if it’s true but if he sought revenge he certainly got it. He vanished after that election so there may have been some truth to it. The point is you can have good intentions and come out with a bad result.A third party vote or staying home will result in Hillary presidency. We could only hope it pulls votes from Clinton but it’s not worth chancing.I also got info that Clinton and Gary Johnson are actually colluding to take votes from Trump. Johnson is probably very aware he doesn’t have enough votes to win but he does know if Clinton can get the votes,she does. It wouldn’t surprise me. I was a Cruz supporter for a short time-but some things convinced me he wasn’t up to snuff either.He lied about Trump’s positions. He lied about Ben Carson dropping out in Iowa;DELIBERATELY. The real nail in that coffin is when Trump’s rally was shut down due to violent thugs and Cruz took THEIR their side. So much for defending the Constitution.I later found out he used data mining to find supporters and psych ops to keep him in his camp. I did look up to Cruz for his visit to the Little Sisters of The Poor but beyond that i was hugely disappointed.Trump is not the most religious person to run for President(probably an understatement)but he’s willing to support OUR religious freedom and clean house in government. I don’t think he’s as evil as the media,the Clinton campaign and his rivals have made him out to be. You have to know the media is behind Clinton 100%. i hear there are going to be more Wikileaks to follow but if the Clinton supporters aren’t going to ditch her after all they know already, short of murder, doubt they will ditch her.The Clintons will play dirty. Voter turn out will be critical. This way if they do cheat the numbers will be high enough they won’t get away with it. Put NOTHING past them.As it is 2 states,California and Virginia, are going to permit ILLEGALS to vote. Let that sink in.

  155. Thom says:

    This year, I will support the American Solidarity Party.

    I’ve complained for years that the USA didn’t have a Christian Democratic party. Now that we do – no matter how small – I will vote their ticket.

    http://www.solidarity-party.org/

  156. Ave Crux says:

    @jmvm: Actually it’s not incredibly hard to explain to a child that his safety, that of his family and country, as well as our national debt management depend upon an intelligent, reasonable management of our borders; which includes not allowing individuals who are either terrorists or who want to bring drugs into the country, or who want to come in without shouldering equal responsibility by entering legally from coming in.

    Would you allow an open door policy on your home? And then allow those who enter to vote on how the household is run and to take a free share of the income?

    That’s not hate, and that shouldn’t be difficult to explain to a child; it’s something they should learn. But then again even adults these days seem to have lost their reason.

    Here is an article published online today at Fox News covering a US Intelligence Report substantiating that terrorists are flowing in over our southern border using a South American network to get in: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/22/sunni-extremists-infiltrating-us-with-help-from-south-american-smugglers-officials-warn.html

    You don’t believe we need to stop this at all costs?

    No human is not perfect, but at least Trump loves this country and wants to restore its stability.

    Clinton is a globalist ready and willing to cannibalize America for her own radical agenda.

    Wake up, America!!

  157. jmvm says:

    @ Ave Crux
    “@jmvm: Actually it’s not incredibly hard to explain to a child that his safety, that of his family and country, as well as our national debt management depend upon an intelligent, reasonable management of our borders; which includes not allowing individuals who are either terrorists or who want to bring drugs into the country, or who want to come in without shouldering equal responsibility by entering legally from coming in.

    That’s not hate, and that shouldn’t be difficult to explain to a child; it’s something they should learn. But then again even adults these days seem to have lost their reason.”

    I completely agree with you, what you are saying is rationale and is not hate. Sound immigration policy is wise and needs to be enacted in a just and compassionate manner.

    The problem is that what Trump is says and capitalizes on is hate. Even in a place where orthodox Catholics gather, barely above 60% can stomach supporting what should be a very easy decision, the Republican candidate for President. Trump has tapped into the lowest common denominator of American politics (fear of the other.) Certainly, I am not claiming that everyone who supports him is guilty of that, but certainly that is the tactic that he has used in his campaign.

    I also am weary of the liberal media’s spin. For Trump, I do not need to worry about that since his own words and behavior or the campaign trail are convincing enough.

    Please understand that those who will not support Trump are neither naive or overly idealistic. I see this election just like the election that I observed growing up in the 1990’s in Louisiana (David Duke versus Edwin Edwards). Do we support the bigot or the crook?

  158. crjs1 says:

    Archbishop Chaput has weighed in on the election http://catholicphilly.com/2016/08/think-tank/archbishop-chaput-column/some-personal-thoughts-on-the-months-ahead/

    “Both major candidates are – what’s the right word? so problematic – that neither is clearly better than the other.”

    Pretty much sums it up!

  159. Ave Crux says:

    @jmvm: There’s no doubt Trump is addressing our fears.

    However I don’t believe it can be said he’s attempting in any way to stir up hatred.

    The passions are given to us by God for a purpose. If one studies moral theology one will see that the passions in and of themselves or morally indifferent and must be used for a good end.

    Fear, aversion, anger, even hatred…the scriptures tell us that God hates evil with a perfect hatred… are all given to us by God to motivate us in self-preservation.

    This is all that Trump is trying to do. He’s trying to stir up a somnolent America by addressing their well-founded fears (not imaginary ones) about what is happening in the country. It is not enough to fear, we must address anything which threatens the good of our country.

    Trump has some very obvious character flaws. However those who have known him personally for decades all attest to his being a very kind-hearted generous individual. This says a lot.

    His children as well are remarkable and are a credit to him as a father.

    His character defects aside. I believe he has a vision for America that is shared by the vast majority of those who still care for their country.

    Not to vote for him is to vote for Hillary Clinton who is clearly a cold-hearted monster who has only served her own interests in politics from the very beginning.

  160. bartlep says:

    An excerpt from an article by Wayne Grudem “Why voting for Donald Trump is a morally good choice” clearly shows the difference between a vote for Hillary and a vote for Donald. I think those who decide not to vote or write in a candidate will get their comeuppance on election day — and beyond — when Clinton is elected. Unfortunately, they will not be the only one suffering this fate — we all will. To those people I say: get over your arrogant Christian self and face reality!!

    “A President Clinton could possibly nominate three or four justices to the Supreme Court, locking in a far-left activist judiciary for perhaps 30 or more years. She could also add dozens of activist judges to federal district courts and courts of appeals, the courts where 99% of federal lawsuits are decided. Judicial tyranny of the type we have seen when abortion rights and same-sex marriage were forced on the nation would gain a permanent triumph.
    The nation would no longer be ruled by the people and their elected representatives, but by unelected, unaccountable, activist judges who would dictate from the bench about whatever they were pleased to decree. And there would be nothing in our system of government that anyone could do to stop them.
    That is why this election is not just about Hillary Clinton. It is about defeating the far left liberal agenda that any Democratic nominee would champion. Liberal Democrats are now within one Supreme Court justice of their highest goal: gaining permanent control of the nation with a five vote majority on the Supreme Court, and then relentlessly imposing every liberal policy on the nation not through winning elections but through a relentless parade of one Supreme Court decision after another”.

  161. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    crjs1,

    After having said, “neither is clearly better than the other”, and despite going on to say, “a lot of good people will skip voting for president but vote for the ‘down ticket’ names on their party’s ballot; or vote for a third party presidential candidate; or not vote at all; or find some mysterious calculus that will allow them to vote for one or the other of the major candidates. I don’t yet know which course I’ll personally choose”, almost every specific detail of Archbishop Chaput’s column seem consistent with finding Mr. Trump discernibly ” better than the other” (!). (In any case, he does not rule out that his personal course will “find some mysterious calculus that will allow them to vote for one or the other of the major candidates”, while, again, by all else he says leaving Mr. Trump the discernibly “better” choice.)

  162. Ave Crux says:

    @crjs: Actually, it’s hardly sums it up at all….

    Archbishop Chaput is clearly mistaken, shortsighted and spoke without due consideration and with considerable consequences regarding the scandal he has given in misleading voters as their Shepherd.

    If one considers ONLY the appointment of Supreme Court Justices who will decide emerging laws of the land with regard to marriage and religious freedom (as they have already done with catastrophic consequences regarding gay marriage and ObamaCare), it is clear that Clinton will select justices who will put the final nails in the coffin of our religious liberty.

    Whereas Trump has already promised to rescind the Johnson Amendment and to appoint conservative, right-wing Supreme Court Justices.

    This alone is a monumental consideration.

    The Archbishop errs gravely in not weighing this in the balance between the two candidates.

    Furthermore, the following article addresses just how different these two candidates are from a Catholic’s perspective:

    https://www.catholicvote.org/dear-archbishop-chaput-trump-is-clearly-better-than-hillary/

    Why is it we appear to have Catholics who cannot think strategically in this matter…?

  163. Ave Crux says:

    @bartlep: 150% on the mark. Thank you.

  164. boxerpaws63 says:

    “This year, I will support the American Solidarity Party.

    I’ve complained for years that the USA didn’t have a Christian Democratic party. Now that we do – no matter how small – I will vote their ticket.”
    I’m very discouraged by the no of people i have found who are either going to stay home or vote for a candidate that has no chance of winning at all. If you want to vote for such a candidate in a 3rd party can we at least hold off for this election? Or find a candidate of that party who is running for a seat in the Senate or even locally. i beg-please NOT for the presidential election. At least not this time.
    “The problem is that what Trump is says and capitalizes on is hate. Even in a place where orthodox Catholics gather, barely above 60% can stomach supporting what should be a very easy decision, the Republican candidate for President. Trump has tapped into the lowest common denominator of American politics (fear of the other.) Certainly, I am not claiming that everyone who supports him is guilty of that, but certainly that is the tactic that he has used in his campaign.”
    I’ve listened to ALL his speeches,pressers and events and tried to catch all of Pence’s events.NO filter. No media analysis. I haven’t taken away a shred of hatred in this man. The people who know him personally attest to his big heart,love of country and compassion.He has done many altruistic deeds in his business career but they will never make headlines-and most of them he intended to be done incognito anyway. His businesses have hired more minorities and women than most companies of the same size. So i don’t know what ‘other’ you’re referring to.
    Gretta replied-thank you Gretta. We disagree but i understand your concerns. You wrote,”The problem is that I see voting for Donald Trump as being no different. And the only reasons why I might consider voting for him, like the abortion issue, I don’t trust him to follow thorough. I think he’s a charlatan and he’s playing religious voters – saying what we want to hear because it may be the only way he can get votes. He is clearly not religious himself and I truly don’t think he understands religious people, or faith. I think a man unmoored by any moral system is dangerous. The man fundamentally cannot tell the truth, he can’t apologize even when it is actually expedient for him to do so, and he cannot restrain or control his actions – a lethal combination when it comes to politics. And you can’t make these concerns go away by making a comparison to Clinton – they are equally immoral, unfit for office, though temperamentally I trust Clinton slightly more that she won’t cause a nuclear war simply because some two-bit dictator insulted her.”
    You say he is pandering because it’s the only way to get votes. If he were ‘pandering’ he could certainly have gone to donors,lobbyists and special interests that would gladly have poured millions(if not billions)into his campaign.You say he doesn’t understand religious people. That’s like saying Mike Pence,Phyllis Schafly,Jerry Falwell Jr & Rick Santorum are not very religious people either. They have all endorsed him wholeheartedly. He’s a flawed man who committed adultery. He’s a flawed man who divorced 2 of his wives. I believe that makes him a sinner and i pray for his soul-as i would anyone,including myself(also a sinner) On the other hand Hillary Clinton is so totally corrupt that there’s no way on earth i am going to let her win. She has ALREADY endangered our national security by breaking the law and permitting hostile countries possible access to classified information. If anyone has put us in danger of nuclear war it is Clinton. We will soon be learning how dangerous she is because the FBI has just found 13k of the emails she claimed she didn’t have. She was not talking about weddings and yoga in her emails. I also guarantee that DOJ looked the other way at her CRIMINAL activity once her husband spoke with the Attorney General. Richard Nixon should have been so fortunate to have so many parts of the Federal government and media covering up for him. I’ve seen the thugs she has sent out to Trump events to assault and disrupt his supporters. I wouldn’t even be shocked to find out she in conjunction w/ the Obama administration has sent out an assassin to kill Julian Assange to prevent further leaks damaging to her campaign. That said,i understand Trump’s position on immigration. We want to be a compassionate country but it’s not compassion for anyone when we permit people to break our laws. DRUGS are flowing into the US from Mexico and along with that crime because of our open borders and weak enforcement of immigration laws that already exist. These drugs have done so much damage that it’s not worth the so called compassion to illegals. It’s not just the drugs either. You only have to listen to families who have lost loved ones to people who have come here illegally. If they’re not going to respect one law there’s no reason to believe they are going to respect any. Add to all this,all you have to consider is the no of Syrian refugees she’s going to allow in our country on top of the ones Obama has already let in. ISIS has made their intentions clear-they are going to be among these refugees. You only have to look to Germany,France and Belgium to see the result of their refugee crisis. You want to protect Christians here? You don’t let them in. I’m also totally supportive of Trump’s intention to do away with the Johnson amendment giving the Church more freedom-whatever else you think of him PERSONALLY as a religious person that’s good news for the Church. Hillary,on the other hand,would go down Obama’s road of religious PERSECUTION of Christians in general and the Catholic Church in particular.The appointments she would make on the Supreme Court and other judges would be absolutely pro abortion. That alone should give everyone pause for thought. We can’t let her get elected. I’m with Father Z. I would rather vote for the corpse of Filmore than let Hillary Clinton get elected. She’s been CAUGHT lying under oath.I have no reason to believe Trump is lying. He didn’t need this-he had a darned good life and could have retired in comfort.I vote with a clear conscience and in spite of his past[ sins] i am voting for Trump.

  165. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Ave Crux,

    Thanks for the link to the Stephen Herreid post!

    I’ve just seen that Archbishop Chaput has written a follow-up column (posted 4 days earlier than Mr. Herreid’s article, but not noted in it):

    http://catholicphilly.com/2016/08/think-tank/archbishop-chaput-column/some-additional-thoughts-and-the-elephant-in-the-room/

    His saying, “We need to recover our Catholic faith as a unifying identity across party lines. And we can only do that by genuinely placing the Church and her teachings — all her teachings, rightly ordered — first in our priorities”, does nothing to suggest that an appreciation of “all her teachings, rightly ordered” leave Mr. Trump anything other than discernibly ” better than the other” major candidate on the basis of any details to which he attends!

  166. boxerpaws63 says:

    as a side note-still related to topic. Just because we elect people to Congress with an R in front of their name may not be all it’s cracked up to be. The Democrats(progressive liberals)are worse. Don’t get me wrong and think I’m saying vote Democrat; just be wary of Republicans too. We elected a MAJORITY to Congress hoping to put the brakes on Obama.How well did that go? They,INCLUDING Sen Ted Cruz,acquiesced to Obama almost every single time. They rolled over and i don’t think they were playing dead.They’re too comfortable.Some are good people,no doubt,but many have gotten comfortable & only worry about the next election.

  167. robtbrown says:


    un-ionized says:

    robtbrown, i think this kind of discourse goes way back farther than world war 2. there is nothing modern about it.

    I wasn’t talking about when it started but rather when it began to dominate. In the 19th century there was a disagreement between Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson over whether the Presidential electors should continue to be selected by state legislatures or be elected by popular vote. Adams favored the former, saying that popular vote would produce war heroes and demagogues as President. Adams has proven right.

    I recommend that you watch Ike’s 2d nomination speech and ask yourself whether we see anything like it now.

    There were times in the 90’s when I would return from Rome for Christmas. I always looked forward to the Sunday News shows (esp. Brinkley). Now I wouldn’t travel 2 miles to watch them.

    Questioning on news shows used to be one guest questioned by more than one journalist (Meet the Press, Brinkley, Evans Novak). Now it’s one journalist usually with two politici, each getting time to lie about his own position and misrepresent that of the opponent. There are almost no follow up questions (with the exception of idiots like Dana Bash). Such an MO does little except encourage demagoguery.

    I remember in the early 70’s a Senator on a Sunday show saying “we need stronger leaders and better programs”. Obviously, a vacuous comment–but at least there were journalists there to try to get to the bottom of his positions on policy.

    There was an interview on C-SPAN with David Brinkley when he still had his show. He was asked about politicians who might not want to come on his show because the questions were too tough. His reply: He didn’t care–there were others who were glad to appear.

    I also recommend a book: This Town by Mark Liebowitz. Not a novel, it concerns the in crowd in DC. And it is very funny.

  168. un-ionized says:

    robt, Thank you. Yes, we always need stronger leaders and better of them. Fortunately, as individuals we have the ultimate strong leader in Jesus. Whew, what a relief!

  169. The Masked Chicken says:

    robtbrown wrote:

    “A few years ago C-SPAN showed Eisenhower’s acceptance speech at the 1956 convention. I was surprised by how educational the speech was: Ike talked about what he did and listed reasons why he did it. It was nothing like the garbage we all now see and hear.”

    Use of language and clarity of expression has gone radically downhill since the early 1960’s. President Kennedy used to have some rousing press conferences, wherein he fielded any and all comers. Eisenhower was used to the clarity of command. He, also, was astute about the workings of government.

    Actually, I think that both Adams and Jackson were wrong. The problem lies not in the electorate, but the process of qualifying candidates. Consider the following data:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Presidents_by_net_worth

    It is a sad fact that 79% of all presidents have been (adjusted to modern value) millionaires and only 38% of those have been republicans. The only president since the Depression who was not a millionaire was Harry Truman. The Founding Fathers were all rich men; only during the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras did the income of the presidents drop below the ultra-rich (most were ex-military or college professors during this period) only, paradoxically, to rise leading up to the Depression and continue to rise after that.

    It has been a blight on capitalism since the beginning that the rich rise to the top, rather than the most qualified. Riches do not guarantee insight and, certainly, not morals. There are, almost, certainly, 10,000 people who, if given a chance, would be better presidents than anyone on the ticket, today, but they have no money and won’t play the game to get any. In a just society, money would not be an impediment to elected office. In a just society, the process of a qualified candidate applying for the job of president would admit all of the people, not just the well-heeled. One might argue that it takes money to get elected, but with the rise of social media, this argument diminishes, but in any case, since these candidates are running to serve us, it is we, the public, alone, who should pay the bill. Each candidate should be given the identical amount to spend from a public fund with no external donations. There should be a uniform system of availability of communication with the public, so that spending money on tv ads should not determine who gets elected. In other words, all candidates should be equally knowable by the public. There should be no such thing as a Republican or Democratic committee that chooses a single candidate that matches an overly broad-based party criteria.

    What we want is the Condorcet winner:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_criterion

    There is no election method that will always produce the Condorcet winner, according to Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, but there are methods much better than the Plurality Method (which is used in the U. S.) to produce a winner. My point is that if only rich people are up for the vote, they, necessarily, do not come anywhere near producing a rational representation of the true ideologies of the population (unless the entire population is composed of rich people who think the same). Opening the door to poor people, while counter-intuitive, might produce a much richer result in terms of responsiveness to the actual will of the people. Abortion (or such mundane things as copyright laws, for that matter) would never have gotten the play it did if rich people, almost exclusively, hadn’t been in the decision-making roles in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

    So, now, there are two sub-par candidates for the office of President in the U. S. While I agree with much of what Trump is putting forth, since, independently, and at least ten years ago, I came to similar conclusions on many (not all) of the issues, nevertheless, how could I or anyone of my station who had the same ideas even think to become president, if they lived in the U. S. or any modern country, for that matter, that uses a plurality system gamed towards the rich? It is the Fallacy of the Pharisees that equates goodness with wealth. While Trump and I agree on several things, he gets to be up for president, but someone like me (if I didn’t live in Chickenland), cannot be. The difference is that I value poverty. Blessed are the poor (in spirit) for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. I can only conclude that America is far from the Kingdom of Heaven.

    In Chickenland, we have a massive quantum computer that can examine different probabilities for scenarios simultaneously. I’m telling you that the best play, right now, would be to replace Congress with 500 randomly selected housewives (at least, they would know how to balance a budget!) and to run a presidential election where the initial selection process is done by having each candidate lead a virtual-reality country for four years (with programmed, “incidences”) with the public available to watch from the outside. That way, they get to be tried for their leadership without actually destroying the real country. The best candidates, then, go up for a general, publicly-funded election.

    Why are we still using Eighteenth-century methods for selecting president in the Twenty-first century? I admit the Constitution might need a little tweaking to catch up to the times (call it Constitutional Convention II, sort of a Vatican II for politics), but we can’t do much worse that we already are.

    Let me put things another way: you are slaughter upwards of a million tiny, defenseless human beings, legally, in the U. S. each year. Do you, really, expect sanity to reign? Make no mistake, this election has been coming since 1971.

    The Chicken

  170. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    An interesting commenter on the Presidential Election campaigns (who says, “For those of you questioning my objectivity, keep doing that. It’s healthy”), Scott Adams, author of ‘Dilbert’, makes a point of attending to persuasion. Whether one ends up agreeing with him on one point or another, he is thoughtful and usually seems worth reading (though I do not always get round to doing so). His overview of last week includes:

    “What we saw this week was Trump directly, and skillfully, addressing the public’s concern that he’s scary and temperamentally unfit for the job of president. This week he was less bombastic, more on script (using the prompter), and he said in clear language that he was on the side of all Americans, rejecting bigotry and hatred in all forms.”

    And:

    “I have hypothesized that one month of Trump acting presidential would be enough to convince people that ‘Campaigning Trump’ is an act, and his real personality is more controlled. If this is the start of that month, it’s a strong start.”

    Perhaps particularly interesting in terms of some of the discussion above between commenters, are his remarks on “fear persuasion”:

    “As things stand today, Clinton has the stronger fear message and the stronger position.

    “To counter Clinton’s fear-based persuasion, Trump either needs to become less scary or he needs to make Clinton more scary. Trump’s calmer demeanor (this week), his softened immigration policies (”extreme vetting”), and his direct statements in favor of the African-American and LGBTQ communities is a good step in the right direction. He says good things about protecting women too. People have a right to be skeptical, but ask yourself which dictators of the past ever talked in such inclusive and loving terms.”

    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/149130036921/trump-won-the-week-persuasion-wise

  171. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The Masked Chicken says (quite perceptively, I think), “this election has been coming since 1971.” Thomas Fleming wrote a very interesting book around that time, The Man From Monticello: An Intimate Biography of Thomas Jefferson. (1969), showing, among other things, how the Founding Fathers were against party-forming, but parties formed, how they refused to campaign – and others, especially sympathetic journalists, campaigned, championing them, often with the most ferocious, nasty ad hominem attacks on the other candidate.

    How hard it is, evidently, even to try to go about things in a good way! Yet, to say “we can’t do much worse that we already are” strikes me as much too rosy a conclusion.

    “The difference is that I value poverty.” A major problem is, how much spiritual, voluntary poverty and mere (comparative) material poverty can diverge, with a materially poor person turning out as greedily materialistic as the most materially successful like-minded rich person.

  172. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    An interesting attempt at a wider, deeper political-philosophical analysis, by Brett Graham Fawcett, includes some points I had not seen (or not seen accented quite the same way) before, such as:

    “Timothy Cardinal Dolan is certainly correct when he recognizes aspects of the old anti-Catholic American nativism flaring up amongst the fervor of Trump’s supporters.

    “But they must be distinguished from Trump himself, who, it should be noted, has appointed two Catholics, Steven K. Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, to run his campaign. Moreover, not only is Trump in favor of legal immigration, but beneath his smouldering rhetoric against all the criminality illegal immigration ushers in (understandable when one considers MS-13), he has advocated a plan whereby undocumented immigrants, upon being deported, would have a fast-tracked reapplication process. Trump thus defends a ‘path to citizenship’ not dissimilar to the policy of ‘earned legalization’ advocated by the U.S. Catholic bishops, who, in their words, ‘accept the legitimate role of the U.S. government in intercepting unauthorized migrants who attempt to travel to the United States.’ ”

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/08/is_donald_trump_more_conservative_than_conservatives.html

  173. boxerpaws63 says:

    “Timothy Cardinal Dolan is certainly correct when he recognizes aspects of the old anti-Catholic American nativism flaring up amongst the fervor of Trump’s supporters.”
    Trump supporter here.Catholic. i’ve run into anti Catholicism but not necessarily BECAUSE they’re Trump supporters. It may be because so many people are Trump supporters that you’re bound to find anti Catholics. I’ve also found anti Semites and racists among the Trump supporters. Trump is NONE of those things;anti Catholic,anti Semite(his daughter,son in law and grandchild are all Jewish and he strongly supports Israel)or racist. Anti Catholicism is out there,with or without Trump. It’s the only bigotry not to die in the United States. Maybe a few of his supporters are seeing something in him that appeals to their anti Catholicism. I don’t know what that would be -I don’t see it-but this is the crazy season.

  174. boxerpaws63 says:

    Side Note: The Trump foundation has been contributing and supporting St Jude’s hospital for years. I highly doubt an anti Catholic would be attracted to a hospital named in honor of a Catholic saint.

  175. Pat_H says:

    I’m going with the candidates from the American Solidarity Party. Having said that, I don’t live in a swing state and its very clear that my state is going for Trump, so I have the luxury of being able to vote for a third party candidate and not be, effectively, voting for the lesser of two evils.

    Would that more in such states opt for that. Maybe the artificial ossified two party system would break down or open.

  176. Beth says:

    Padre, I am worried (also because I am of Hispanic decent): the majority of your readers are Trump supporters?

  177. I’m late to this party, but I will vote for the Constitution candidate. Many here have already given good explanations of what they stand for. I have a clear conscience voting for that party.

    Given how terrible Secretary Clinton is, I can’t really fault someone who holds his or her nose and votes for Mr. Trump. But, I must say sadly, given how terrible Mr. Trump is, I cannot fault someone who votes for Mrs. Clinton out of a similar reaction. They are both terrible. They both endorse grave evil. It’s probably (not certainly) true that one has endorsed more than the other; I say, not certain, because I am not sure exactly how one quantifies that.

    To be very frank, I have deep concerns about anyone who wholeheartedly endorses Mr. Trump and all he endorses. To say it again, so there’s no unclarity: I have no issue with someone who reluctantly votes for him, precisely because of how terrible the alternative is. But Mr. Trump’s many endorsements of grave evil cannot be embraced by any Catholic.

    And, no, I do not “have to” vote for Mr. Trump (or Mrs. Clinton or anyone else). I am not responsible for the outcome of this election, only my own contribution. I will answer to God for my decision, and I will tell him, I refused to vote for those who endorsed gross assaults on his 5th Commandment. If God wants someone to be president, he has ways to make it happen that are unavailable to me. I will use the two tools I have — suasion and my vote — as best I can, according to Catholic teaching and my own judgment.

  178. robtbrown says:

    If I vote for Trump, it will be for one reason: SCOTUS.

  179. Uxixu says:

    I know that Clinton is the epitome of corruption and incompetence (always amusing to see people list her qualifications as experience – she was an utter failure as Secretary of State and had no accomplishment as Senator other than voting to authorize use of force against Iraq. She’s completely opposed to Federalism and reeks of cronyism.

    Trump may be an amoral blowhard, but there’s a chance he means some small amount of what he says and I expect a Republican Congress to restrain him in every way they failed to do so with Dubya, so Trump it will be.

  180. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    boxerpaws63,

    Thanks for the additional detail!

    (That “Trump is NONE of those things;anti Catholic,anti Semite […] or racist” is certainly my impression on the basis of what I’ve seen or read.)

    Fr Martin Fox,

    With apologies if I am being obtuse, are you saying that it would not be morally impossible to vote for Mr. Trump – or, for that matter, for Mrs. Clinton? But, that it would be (prudentially?) preferable to vote for Mr. Trump because “It’s probably (not certainly) true that one [Mrs. Clinton] has endorsed more [grave evil] than the other [ Mr. Trump]”?

    Your only specification is (apparently) of both as “those who endorsed gross assaults on his 5th Commandment”, i.e., “Non occides” (presumably with reference to abortus provocatus in both cases).

    Yet you speak consistently in terms of “many endorsements” or “having endorsed more”: does this comprehend only verbal “endorsements” or actions beyond speech as well?

    Secretary Clinton seems, as officeholder, and gubernatorial and presidential first lady, and as practicing lawyer, to have had more opportunities to have endorsed grave evils of certain sorts by her deeds than Mr. Trump, and indeed to have done so. Does that contribute to your speaking in terms of “probably (not certainly)”?

  181. boxerpaws63 says:

    “Padre, I am worried (also because I am of Hispanic decent): the majority of your readers are Trump supporters?”
    Am a Trump supporter. I’m not sure why you’re concerned about Trump supporters because of your being of Hispanic descent. Not getting the connection.
    What concerns me about SOME of the comments i’ve read is the view of Mr Trump seems to line up well with the media attacks(and by extension the Clinton campaign)and not by the agenda Mr Trump actually proposes. Again,the President doesn’t have the authority to do much about abortion. He/She canmake matters better or worse. We know for a fact what Mrs Clinton will do. We also know for a fact the kind of Justices she’ll appoint as compared to the kind Trump has actually presented. Long after Trump or Clinton are gone those justices will still be sitting on the Supreme Court.
    “Having said that, I don’t live in a swing state and its very clear that my state is going for Trump, so I have the luxury of being able to vote for a third party candidate and not be, effectively, voting for the lesser of two evils.” Voting for a third party candidate does pull votes away from one of the two candidates. While we can think our 1 vote isn’t going to have any effect that’s not really true. In reality it becomes this one vote here combined with every other person who votes for a third party candidate. We have a 2 party system. Maybe it has its pitfalls but it’s what we have to work with.

    ” I am not responsible for the outcome of this election, only my own contribution. ” the problem is we are.Our contribution IS going to effect the outcome of the election. I’m not sure what endorsements of grave moral evil Mr Trump is advocating. I DO know Mike Pence,Phyllis Schafly,Rick Santorum and Jerry Falwell Jr would NEVER endorse anyone they believed was advocating a grave moral evil.
    I will tell you this and i know it with certainty. The corruption in our government is at levels i have never seen in my life time. There is no journalistic integrity left-they’re covering up for Hillary Clinton’s illegal activities and attacking Mr Trump daily. It’s hard to imagine that she put our national security at risk and got away with it. It’s just as hard to imagine the pay for play going on at the State Dept(Guilliani called it right-racketeering). All it took was a visit between Bill Clinton &the Attorney General to get Hillary off the hook. Some of the people in Congress that we think are such good people(Ted Cruz for example)are not all that they’re cracked up to be. I can’t get over how often SOME of the Republicans we sent up there because we were convinced they were going to stand up to Obama, actually went along with him. Trump’s no saint. I’m not defending everything the man has done in his life but i am also certain he’s not the evil incarnate he’s been painted to be either.I believe he will become even more conservative than some people think and that Hillary will become even more progressive. If she’s elected i guarantee the mask will come off and she’ll make Obama look mild in comparison. As a side note; amoral means not being morally wrong or right. IMMORAL would be more accurate in most instances. I’m voting Trump. I struggled with the decision at first-it’s not something we can take lightly. It took some time until i knew i could vote for him with a clear conscience.You have to get past the media narrative. It helps. It also helps when you find out the forces out there aligning against him;even Republicans working with Democrats to get Hillary elected. Yes,that bad.

  182. Filipino Catholic says:

    Outside America here, already dealing with a president who for want of a better word is more rough-edged than our previous ones.

    I’m reminded of the parable of the persistent friend, knocking at the door of his half-asleep comrade who insists on not getting out of bed to accede to his requests. With the state of things in America, it might perhaps not be too bold to suggest that instead of knocking at the door of Our Lord, those who are worthy may dare to even deploy the battering ram of intensified prayer.

    54-day novena aside (it’s magnificent how 54 = 9 x 6, a simple novena repeated six times, the number of sinful man), would it be a bad idea to offer other prayers in like manner? The 30 Gregorian Masses, Rogation Processions, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, etc.. God knows America is in deep mire, and from my limited human perspective I fear the country is going to crack in two like the twelve tribes once did.

  183. robtbrown says:

    MC,

    Money is a factor in the decision to be a candidate, but I don’t think it’s the prime factor.

    From what I’ve been told, the major factor in not running is that it exposes the private life to the public–and much of what is said by opponents is not true.

    I had a very good friend–Catholic, Common Sense, law degree, well liked, active in the community, head of the County Repubs, etc. I once asked him whether he had thought of running for Congress. His answer was simple: His wife, who is rich, said her wealth is no one’s business.

    Another friend, not Catholic but great Common Sense, also a lawyer, likeable personality, former City Attorney, very prosperous, with a uncle-banker once on the Kansas Board of Regents (oversees all the state colleges). I once asked him why he had never even run for the State legislature. His answer: My mother didn’t raise any idiots.

  184. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear robtbtown,

    Both of the cases you cited are of relatively wealthy people. Yes, no one in their right mind would want they job of being president (so, do we get psychopaths?), but no poor person could even consider it, despite the fact that they might, actually, be good at it. It has been know for a while (and from a study done at Princeton, ironically), that we no longer live in a republic, but a quasi-oligarchy, where money and power talk:

    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

    The Chicken

  185. SKAY says:

    Hillary SAID..

    “Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton argued. “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

    “DEEP SEATED CULTURAL CODES, RELIGIOUS BELIEFS and structural biases have to be changed”
    Those were HER words while speaking to Planned Parenthood. If you like the way Obama has used government against Christians and particularly Catholic beliefs. you will love Hillary. Also remember Planned Parenthood gave her their “coveted” Margaret Sanger award
    and she was”honored” to receive it. If you thought that the Houston Mayor had every right to
    try to force pastors and priests to submit their sermons to her before giving them because she
    did not want certain verses in the bible mentioned then you will see more of this tried in various
    ways. She would much rather see an American Pelosi/Biden Catholic Church. They have had
    no problem voting for intrinsic evil.

    She also said “The only people that I would ever appoint to the Supreme Court are people who believe that Roe V. Wade is settled law.”
    This will guarantee that the legacy of the Clinton’ s together will be the most anti Christian
    Supreme Court for years to come. I won’t say religious because Islam seems to get a pass
    with the Democrats. Will we even have a first amendment anymore? The second amendment?
    Obama said he did not like the Constitution as written. Will she put him on the Court?
    The Catholics who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the first
    Catholic Bishop in the US are turning over in their graves.
    My conscience tells me that I cannot ignore what I clearly see. She has not held a press conference
    in a very long time. Interesting because she clearly has very friendly reporters asking her very
    soft questions since they are quite obviously protecting her and attacking Trump.
    Look at the Democrat Platform.

    jmvm
    “I see this election just like the election that I observed growing up in the 1990’s in Louisiana (David Duke versus Edwin Edwards). Do we support the bigot or the crook?”

    I am from Louisiana and I too remember that election. Behind the scenes there was a lot of very dirty politics on the Democrat/Edwards side in order to get Duke as his opponent because he was
    the only one Edwards knew he could beat at that time. James Carville learned his politics at the knee of the corrupt Edwin Edwards and took it prime time with the corrupt Clintons. Edwards ended up in jail but the Clintons are being protected by the usual suspects including an atheist billionaire with
    his own agenda. The released Clinton Emails are showing how she sold access and American policy through their Foundation while Sec. of State. The American Communist Party backed Obama and are backing her.

    Trump is not a bigot and not in any way comparable to David Duke–but that IS the Democrat
    MSM propaganda talking point. Sounds like a Carville idea.

    You mentioned Josef Goebbels and manipulation? You
    do have a point there. I have begun to call our MSM the old Soviet Union Pravda.

  186. Back pew sitter says:

    I agree with Fr Martin Fox: ” I am not responsible for the outcome of this election, only my own contribution. I will answer to God for my decision, and I will tell him, I refused to vote for those who endorsed gross assaults on his 5th Commandment.”

    Voters are responsible for casting good votes. We can never vote for evil. If one candidate supports ‘a little evil’ (though I’m not sure it can really be quantified) and another supports ‘a lot of evil’ we cannot vote for the ‘lesser evil’ candidate. If we can do good and vote for a worthy candidate, then we do it even if they stand no chance of winning; if there is no worthy candidate then we conscientiously abstain.

  187. boxerpaws63 says:

    i am going to let a person who actually knew Mr Trump to put in his 2 cents worth. Before i do the big questions before us are on the non negotiable issues of abortion,same sex marriage,cloning,euthanasia,embryonic stem cell research. Take abortion and same sex marriage off the table. At this point all we can do is protect people of conscience and change hearts and minds. The next thing we can do is get Supreme Court Justices like Scalia. That’s Trump. We know where Hillary Clinton will go with it. I’m not voting for the lesser evil. I’m voting for someone who can beat Hillary rather than someone who stands no chance of winning or abstaining and permitting Clinton to win is also a horrible option.On that point i respectfully disagree with Fr Martin. The corruption we’re looking at here is unbelievable. The Dept of Justice,the State Dept,the EPA, Homeland Security and yes,even the FBI. We’re in bigger trouble than you think folks. Unfortunately there is no legit journalism anymore. The media is actively campaigning for Hillary and covering up every scandal. Were it not for wiki leaks we might not know anything. People outside of social media are NOT getting that information. They only know what they see on tv or read in print.Clinton will not lack for help in her campaign either. She has the backing of George Soros. Black Lives Matter has the backing of George Soros. A lot of progressive groups have the backing of George Soros. He is pure evil.Enough said. I’ll let someone that knew Mr Trump personally speak for him.
    “VOTE AS YOU WISH, AND LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT TRUMP – – A personal note from Peter Ticktin who knows the guy from high school:

    As a law firm, we at The Ticktin Law Group do not like to get involved in politics. As soon as we endorse one side, we risk alienating everyone on the other side. Also, our lawyers and staff are, themselves, on both sides. Politics is not our game. However, Justice is!

    If you saw a guy get publicly smeared, and you knew him well from the days you were friends and seniors together in high school, if you knew him to be a decent and honest man, would you want to say something? This is why I need to share what I know.

    I was aghast at watching last night’s debate. It was a set-up. The moderators, Cruz, and Rubio were all like little alligators trying to take a bite out of Trump. Yes, Donald Trump has had some failures, but he has been exceedingly successful. None of this came out. Instead, there was a general attack. Rubio simply makes up lies. He pretends that Trump has small hands and makes fun of him for something which isn’t even real. He pretends that Donald wets his pants, and makes fun of him, as though it was true, and then he calls Donald Trump a “Bully.”

    I am not suggesting that you should vote or not vote for anyone. I just need to defend a former friend who is being smeared.

    Like Donald Trump, I attended New York Military Academy (“NYMA”) for high school. In fact, in our senior year, together, Donald was my captain, and I was his 1st Platoon Sergeant. I sometimes joke that I ran his first company for him, Company “A.”

    People don’t really change much from the ages of 17 and 18, and I know this guy. I know him to be a good decent guy. We lived and breathed an Honor Code in those years. It wasn’t just a rule. It was our way of life. Neither Donald, nor any other cadet who graduated with us would ever lie, cheat, or steal from a fellow cadet. These values became irreversibly intertwined in the fabric of our personalities, of who we are.

    Of the 99 guys (no girls in those days) in our class, there is not one who I know who has a bad word to say about Donald Trump. Think of it. With all the jealousies which arise in high school and thereafter, with all the potential envy, not one of us has anything other than positive memories of this man. How could we? He was an “A” student, a top athlete, and as a leader, he was highly respected. We never feared him, yet we never wanted to disappoint him. He had our respect. He was never a bigot in any way, shape or form. He only hates those who hate. Of course he denounces the KKK.

    As to the discussion with the New York Times, it is his choice to release the ‘off the record’ remarks. However, if he does, it opens the door for all political opposition to make that demand for everyone, and that means that our press will never get those ‘off the record’ remarks which help them to understand the realities of the campaign. Moreover, the idea that Donald Trump confessed some alternate theory of his position is preposterous. Can anyone believe that all those NY Times reporters are walking around knowing some deep dark nasty secret about a guy who is seeking an endorsement?

    The Republican establishment is afraid of Donald Trump. Why? They are afraid that he will lose to Hillary. They don’t hate Donald. They hate her. They are so fearful that they fail to see that by expanding the base of voters for Trump, he is more likely to win.

    Watching the chorus of whiners, decriers, denigrators, and self-righteous put-down experts from so many directions, from Mit Romney, to Megyn Kelly, Little Mario, it has to make you wonder. Why? Why are so many people so angry with Donald Trump, that they are lying, name calling, ridiculing, and demeaning him as they do. Either they are afraid, or they know him to be evil.

    This is why I feel the need to speak out at this time. I know this man. He is a lot of things, but he is not evil. He is a decent honest guy who loves this country, and who is willing to sacrifice so much of what is left of his life, because he knows that this country needs to be fixed, and that it is going to require someone who can do the job. He just doesn’t see anything around him other than political hacks, so he is willing to take this huge responsibility.

    I’m not saying that he is the only one who can do the job. My point is simply as to his motivation and his goodness.

    This next decade is going to be one of major changes. We all see the climate changing, and the world food supply is getting lower. Our fish stock around the world is running low. Oil prices will cause countries to fail. The Middle East is beyond repair, and we have become weak and ineffective around the world. Donald Trump sees the issues and knows that he can assemble leaders who would have the best chance of fixing things. This is why he is running. He does not need it for his own aggrandizement. He doesn’t need another big jet or to take up residence in the White House. He just wants things to be fixed, and he knows that the politicians won’t fix anything.

    I knew Donald Trump and was close to him in our senior year in high school. I just want you to know that there is nothing to fear from him. His character is as good as it gets. He is a patriot, taking on a heroic task, and being thanked by massive abuse.

    If you want to see a true reflection of a man, look at his children. Need I say more? ”
    Do as you wish and PRAY.

  188. Venerator asked:

    With apologies if I am being obtuse, are you saying that it would not be morally impossible to vote for Mr. Trump – or, for that matter, for Mrs. Clinton? But, that it would be (prudentially?) preferable to vote for Mr. Trump because “It’s probably (not certainly) true that one [Mrs. Clinton] has endorsed more [grave evil] than the other [ Mr. Trump]”?

    I am indeed saying it is not “morally impossible” to vote for either, depending on your intentions and whether your reasons are proportionate. I’m basing that on what the U.S. bishops’ document, “Faithful Citizenship” says, and a much cited quote from Cardinal Ratzinger (i.e., before he became pope), neither of which I can quote off the top of my head.

    Not “morally impossible”; doesn’t mean I recommend either. For me, I cannot and will not vote for either. Others will reach different judgments.

    Your only specification is (apparently) of both as “those who endorsed gross assaults on his 5th Commandment”, i.e., “Non occides” (presumably with reference to abortus provocatus in both cases).

    Well, actually, there’s more. Mr. Trump has repeatedly advocated deliberately and intentionally killing the family members of terrorists. I heard him say it with my own ears, during the debates. There was no ambiguity. That is murder, straight up. And, yes, Mr. Trump does support abortion in some cases (rape and incest). Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton endorses abortion pretty much down the line, and favors tax funding for the same.

    And, yes, I was speaking of their statements in favor of evil, apart from any other acts that might be cited.

    Boxerpaws said, in reply to my statement, “I am not responsible for the outcome of this election, only my own contribution”:

    The problem is we are. Our contribution IS going to effect the outcome of the election. I’m not sure what endorsements of grave moral evil Mr Trump is advocating. I DO know Mike Pence,Phyllis Schafly, Rick Santorum and Jerry Falwell Jr would NEVER endorse anyone they believed was advocating a grave moral evil.

    As a matter of logic and morality, your assertion that a voter is both responsible for his own decisions, and also for the collective decisions of scores of millions of voters, does not follow. Consider a soldier in a battle. He has a role to carry out. He carries it out faithfully, heroically even. And yet, despite his best efforts, the war is lost. Are you going to say that’s his fault?

    If you believe I, Martin Fox, will determine the outcome of this election by my single vote, I will make you a bet: Ohio will not be decided by a coin-toss (meaning, my refusal to vote for either of these candidates results in a tie). I’ll bet any amount of money, and entertain your suggestion of odds.

    My point being: it is almost certainly not so that my vote will decide this election, and we all know that.

    But let’s suppose it would, and the whole country turns to me and says, “you decide.” If and when that happens, I’ll recommend a worthy candidate. But, if I’m forced to choose between two advocates of grave, moral evil, I refuse.

    Do you recall when the Nazis were elected into power in Germany, one of the reasons many people voted for them? To stop the Communists. A worthy goal, that. But then they ended up empowering the Nazis. No, Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are not Nazi v. Communist. But they both endorse evil. I refuse to cooperate. And there is absolutely no positive duty, in any sense whatsoever, that I must cooperate with either of them.

    To put it yet another way: if either of them truly wants my vote, they can call me, and I’ll explain what they can do to gain it.

  189. robtbrown says:

    MC,

    One was wealthy, the other merely prosperous. My point is that lack of funds isn’t the only reason someone doesn’t run for public office.

    Many years ago my father asked me whether I wanted to go along with him and my mother to a reception for Bob Dole, whom he knew. It was an hour or so after the reception started that he arrived. Then he individually greeted everyone. Consider that he probably go to the office at 6:00am or so, worked an entire day, got on a plane to fly to Kansas (before executive jets were so common), then driven to the reception, after which he had to spend a couple of hours in good humor meeting and greeting people.

    Another time my father picked him up at a small, local airport. Dole was flown in a single engine plane. That doesn’t seem unusual, but by then he was the Senate Majority Leader.

    How many people want that kind of life?

  190. Ann Malley says:

    @Elizabeth D

    “…In conscience I cannot vote for someone heartless and hostile to them and their families, and as crude, imprudent and unchristian as Trump.”

    Heartless and hostile is to pretend that hard working immigrants that do their best to work with the country they want to live in should have to take a back seat to those who do not abide by the laws of the land. My parents are of immigrant stock. And there is nothing unChristian about speaking truthfully, although some may be put off by a personal idea that charity equates to nice words. Not always.

    What is imprudent is to keep going on as we have as a nation doing nothing to secure a border that is looked upon and profited off of like the weak spot it is. Don’t let compassion blind you, Elizabeth.

    We may believe ourselves above the use of the “crude” tool, but to ignore the tools at our disposal and hope for some miracle is to ask for far more hardship – even for the families with which you work.

  191. boxerpaws63 says:

    Just so EVERYONE is aware. Terry McCauliff,Va Gov,is going to permit felons to vote. The court ruled against him and he basically told the court to go fly a kite. He’s going to ignore law. That’s Virginia. In California Gov Jerry Brown is making it possible for ILLEGALS to vote. Again illegal. If anyone thinks the OBAMA Dept of Justice is going to step in is dreaming. I’m hoping there is some action that can be taken with the FEC. The only way to even offset these ILLEGAL votes for Hillary is to make sure the vote against her is so huge that the fraud does no harm.

  192. un-ionized says:

    It is impossible to be blinded by compassion.

  193. Y2Y says:

    “All of that being said, I believe our country has come to a major crossroads again as it did in the 1800s. I believe that radical change is going to happen soon, and it will be painful and possibly bloody.”

    Radical change is going to happen soon. Your country (I speak as an outside observer) is on an irreversible course towards its second civil war. It will be neither benign nor brief.

    As things stand now, approximately half of America absolutely despises the other half. It would not surprise me if the winner of your presidential election, whoever it turns out to be, is assassinated.

    Personally, I consider the very concept of democracy to be absurd. It is akin to allowing cattle to choose their rancher.

  194. Ann Malley says:

    @slainewe

    What you propose, is more like putting God to the test. We are not to do that. We are to act prudently…. not risk all that is good on a miracle.

    But absolutely, engage in Faith. Look at the good that Trump is presenting, not perfection, but good and pray that it is brought to fruit and spreads. But the digging in of one’s heels on the pretext of a “Faith Vote” is deluding oneself. Not deluding oneself as to the power of God. But grace builds upon nature.

    And for all of the “I can’t vote for *that* man,” I have yet to hear a rational argument against Trump from a Christian that doesn’t include hurt feelings and the presupposition of what God’s tools are “supposed” to look like.

    Sorry, but often the grubby tool that one feels too clean to pick up is the one that God uses to humble and help us. Stripping us of the illusion of how “holy” we “think” we are and giving Him the opportunity to increase our Faith by using that which is too easily rejected to bring about His glory.

    Look back critically through the lives of the saints and you’ll see many YUGE sinner turned by grace to God’s purpose. Have FAITH.

  195. Ann Malley says:

    @Fr. Martin Fox

    “…Well, actually, there’s more. Mr. Trump has repeatedly advocated deliberately and intentionally killing the family members of terrorists.”

    Well, actually, with all due respect, Fr. Fox, you are repeatedly ignoring the reality of the situation about “families” of terrorists. The idea is not to openly persecute and kill the innocent. But, and you can take this from one who understands that the misguided idealism that would paint “families” as merely innocent victims of the unanticipated horror of the radicalization of one of the otherwise peaceful members of their loving family, that HIDING BEHIND ONE’S FAMILY is precisely what terrorists do to foment terrorism wherein they KILL INNOCENTS.

    Please, vote how you will, but do not, for the love of truth, promote that which does nothing but aid the enemy. And, in the long run, hurt those families of terrorists.

    Perhaps you should get out more and gain a broader perspective at how “innocence” is prostituted. And I’m not speaking about sex trafficking.

    So, yes, indeed, let us, “Consider a soldier in a battle. He has a role to carry out. He carries it out faithfully, heroically even. And yet, despite his best efforts, the war is lost. Are you going to say that’s his fault?”

    No, I will not blame the soldier in battle. Absolutely not. I will, however, and justifiably so blame the naive assertions of shock and “horror” at intimating that terrorist’s families will no longer be an automatic off limits. Why? To support that soldier in battle, risking his life to defend YOURS. One wherein you can cozily defame the logical, albeit unpolished assertion that political policies (the same that feign extensive care over terrorists families, the same who aid and abet terror) is some reason to vote for a woman who has very clearly stated that Churches must be MADE to change their “opinion” on abortion and homosexuality.

    Prostituting innocence. Works every time. And not just for harboring Islamic terrorists. But fifth columnist, too!

  196. boxerpaws63 says:

    Trump is a flawed man. No doubt but i believe we are up against forces behind the curtain that are hell bent on the absolute destruction of our country. We think in terms of the world we see around us. It’s an election. It’s time for us to go vote and decide who we can vote for. Some people are Republicans.Some Democrats. Others Independent. Do we have any idea of the millions if not billions of dollars being thrown into this race by people who may not have the best of intentions at heart. Ask; why such big money? Who is it that has that much at stake and has that kind of money?
    Ask;why the media is so hell bent on covering up the scandals of Clinton but go into a speckled nutty every time Trump makes some off the cuff comment that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. I happen to believe Trump is more pro life than he is saying and will surprise a lot of people in the end .I just wish that he didn’t support exceptions.Praying for him.That’s troublesome;but not half as troublesome as Clinton who supports abortion right up to the moment of birth. I’m convinced the end of abortion will not come from the executive branch. .I’s with the Supreme Court.It’s with us. We must change hearts and minds.
    Given everything that is going on i worry that Hillary could squeak a win no matter how corrupt she is.She wins-be prepared.There’s no do over or wish we had.

  197. un-ionized says:

    This is not about ignoring petty flaws. It is about two candidates who are indistinguishable in their worship of money, power, and self-adulation.

  198. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Martin Fox,

    Thank you for the clarifications and additional details (and devoting your time to writing them)!

    I was thinking of that “much cited quote from Cardinal Ratzinger”, and thinking you were probably thinking of it, too, but I can’t quote it off the top of my head, either – and haven’t tried to find it, yet.

    I’ll have to try to look up exactly what Mr. Trump said about “deliberately and intentionally killing the family members of terrorists” – I’m not sure I heard the thing itself, and reports (and even sound bytes, depending who bites them off and when and how) often distort. (Tangentially, I can imagine Secretary Clinton following Mr. Obama’s less than scrupulous drone use, e.g., in the killing of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki while she was Secretary of State; I can’t recall any criticism or penitence on her part of any of it.)

    Also, tangentially, to your question, “Do you recall when the Nazis were elected into power in Germany”, I’ve just been trying to start reading up on von Papen, the Catholic Central Party, and other German parties, in what proved the lead-up to Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor with von Papen as Vice-Chancellor, wondering what voters might have done well, or better than they did.

  199. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    un-ionized says, “It is about two candidates who are indistinguishable in their worship of money, power, and self-adulation.”

    I remember thinking of Chesterton’s 1917 remark in A Short History of England that “The Party System does not consist, as some suppose, of two parties, but of one. If there were two real parties, there could be no system” back in 1988 when Mr. G.H.W. Bush was running against Mr. Dukakis, and concluding that Mr. Bush’s pro-life position made a decisive real distinction in his favor.

    In a similar way, weighing up everything I have been able to learn about each, I think Mr. Trump can be much more positively distinguished from Mrs. Clinton than Mr. Romney could from Mr. Obama in terms of what they have done, their stated intentions, and what they seem likely to do.

  200. un-ionized says:

    Vsl, that’s certainly the case if you choose to go back only a very few years. Look into his Section 8 dealings.

  201. un-ionized says:

    This is like an election between Warren Buffett and George Soros!

  202. Beth says:

    Why as a Hispanic am I concerned about Trump? Well, I rely on Card. Dolan’s insights and not on the distortions of the media: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/timothy-dolan-nativism-rears-big-haired-head-article-1.2307111

  203. un-ionized says:

    Beth, I understand completely, based on what I heard from people at my former parish. They are really revved up now and in a frenzy about being afraid of strangers. This was reflected locally too in how they were treating people. It wasn’t just about any particular group, either, it was spilling over into all areas.

  204. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    un-ionized,

    “Look into his Section 8 dealings.” I’ll have to do that (though my expectation is that the Clintons’ ‘business’ dealings – of various sorts – will prove less savory than Mr. Trump’s, if Mrs. Clinton’s behavior as a lawyer where Kathy Shelton and Thomas Alfred Taylor are concerned and all the multifarious recent Clinton Foundation news are anything to go by).

    “This is like an election between Warren Buffett and George Soros!” – except they’re both emphatically backing Mrs. Clinton.

  205. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Beth,

    Thanks for linking what seems to be the background for what I quote from Brett Graham Fawcett’s post above (23 Aug., 11:11 a.m.)!

    I’m afraid, reading his whole editorial, I do not seem as much difference between his insights and “the distortions of the media” as I would hope to find from a Cardinal Archbishop who “taught American religious history to university students”. In it, he fails to make elementary distinctions between Mr. Trump’s attention to illegal and legal immigration, and to the prudent but difficult matter of screening legal immigration applicants for ‘revolutionary’ intent to overthrow Constitutional government by whatever means (including terrorism, sabotage, etc.). And, in noting “organized, white, Protestant antagonism toward the Catholic immigrant”, and “Among other American minorities, it must be said, Catholics like me often drew the ire of nativists” he astonishingly fails to note how (for example) Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood and its maniacally enthusiastic supporters such as Mrs. Clinton are the direct continuation of precisely this aspect of ‘nativism’.

  206. SKAY says:

    “This is like an election between Warren Buffett and George Soros!”

    un-ionized –
    Buffett is a globalist like Soros/Clinton/Obama.

  207. un-ionized says:

    that’s what i meant. i know WB very well.

  208. un-ionized says:

    GS and WB got their money in similar ways too.

  209. SKAY says:

    “Well, actually, there’s more. Mr. Trump has repeatedly advocated deliberately and intentionally killing the family members of terrorists. ”

    Father Fox I am wondering if you are aware that through social media ISIS was able to get names and addresses of many of the families of our military servicemen and women both at home and those serving abroad. ISIS published them on their website and encouraged those Muslims within our country who are sympathizers or actual ISIS members who have come into this country illegally (and we know through border agents there are many coming across the “open” border from the Middle East) to kill them. I know this for a fact through the family of a US Air Force member. Their
    family was warned to get off of Facebook etc. or at least be very careful about the information that they put on their page. This was well before the presidential campaign even started. I do understand your thoughts about that statement and once he has access to all information if elected
    he may modify that idea. We do know that terrorists have no true moral compass and as Father Z has pointed out, we may not be interested in war but war is interested in us. I have no doubt that
    when the opportunity presents itself a terrorists already in the US due to the open border or
    a radicalized immigrant within the thousands being brought in will try to carry out the wishes of
    ISIS. We have been told they cannot be properly vetted.
    We were a military family for 20 years so, yes, I do take this personally for these families.
    Fortunately I never had to worry about my children or myself being murdered within my own country by an enemy of our country.

  210. I said:

    “…Well, actually, there’s more. Mr. Trump has repeatedly advocated deliberately and intentionally killing the family members of terrorists.”

    Ann Malley replied:

    Well, actually, with all due respect, Fr. Fox, you are repeatedly ignoring the reality of the situation about “families” of terrorists. The idea is not to openly persecute and kill the innocent.

    Actually, that was precisely the idea. I saw the exchange between Mr. Trump and a questioner. The questioner asked if Mr. Trump really intended to kill — repeat, KILL — family members of terrorists. Mr. Trump did not deny it, but rather confirmed it. So, yes, Mr. Trump’s idea is to KILL them.

    But, and you can take this from one who understands that the misguided idealism that would paint “families” as merely innocent victims of the unanticipated horror of the radicalization of one of the otherwise peaceful members of their loving family, that HIDING BEHIND ONE’S FAMILY is precisely what terrorists do to foment terrorism wherein they KILL INNOCENTS.

    So, are you saying that because terrorists kill innocents, that makes it okay to kill their wives? Their children? How young can the children be? Can they be under 10 years old? Under 5?

    SKAY:

    I’m not sure, but when you cite, at length, the horrible things terrorists do, are you, likewise, suggesting that because terrorists target innocents, that makes it OK for us to do the same in response?

  211. SKAY says:

    “GS and WB got their money in similar ways too”

    The important thing to me is that neither one cares about this country or it’s people.
    Perhaps we at least agree on that.

  212. Ann Malley says:

    @Fr. Fox,

    I’m sorry to inform you, but family members are not necessarily innocent. That is they are often part of a hunted terrorists support network. But the cover of “family” is exactly that which precludes precision strikes that could take out a serious threat that, not only kills US and Allied forces, but also preys upon the community that harbors them. Torture rooms don’t discriminate. Not even against little children, Fr. Fox. And many of those terrorists who do such things are supported by wives. And how.

    If, however, it were known that the label “family” didn’t automatically give one a free pass, then there may be less inclination to aid and abet terrorists. There may be an increased inclination for the safety of all to reject the terrorist’s activities. To not support them. To benefit from the execution of them.

    That is the message to you, Fr. Fox, and a message many who aren’t affiliated with the military don’t understand. Family doesn’t mean just innocently hoping and praying all goes well while one’s husband, son, nephew, etc are away. It means actively being part of a terror cell.

    So, what I’m saying, Father, is not all scenarios include little tiny children. Some do. The idea is to vet these scenarios and not just have a blanket – hands off family policy. Hands off innocent parties, yes. But the truly innocent.

    If you don’t understand that or disagree, well, there’s not much to say. But it is legitimate to vet the hands off family policy. Sorry.

  213. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized says:

    GS and WB got their money in similar ways too.

    Not really. Buffett is a value investor He wants to buy and hold, Berkshire is a holding company and actually owns some companies.

    Soros has a hedge fund. He’s a trader who made $1 billion in currency speculation, betting against the British pound.

  214. un-ionized says:

    Skay, loving money more than anything else is related to not caring about a country or people, whether they be here, Africa or Moon Colony Six.

  215. un-ionized says:

    Robtbrown, that is not how WB makes the big money. Ditto GS. Ask anyone whose pension was stolen or whose country’s economy was destroyed.

  216. un-ionized says:

    Er, I didn’t mean stolen, repurposed.

  217. Ann Malley – you are evading the issue. The issue is whether people are combatants, not whether they are family. If a terrorist’s brother or sister or parent or child is also a terrorist, there is no issue, and you know it. Mr. Trump’s comments would not be controversial if all he meant was, he will go after other terrorists who are related by blood or marriage.

    No, the issue is, going after non combatants. So let’s be crystal clear. Do you claim our military should target non combatants, yes or no? Mr. Trump said yes. And if you agree, I ask again: how you Get? Do you consider a five year old a legitimate target to get at the terrorist? Because that was Mr. Trump’s objective. He did NOT say, go after other terrorists, who are also family. Rather, he said, go after their families, their children, to presume the terrorists.

  218. Sorry, auto correct hates me. I meant to say, to go after their families, their children, to PRESSURE the terrorists. That’s what Mr. Trump called for. He doesn’t care if they are innocent. I do.

  219. Ann Malley says:

    Fr. Fox, let’s do be crystal.

    Saying, “Mr. Trump’s statements would not be controversial,” especially in this election cycle is absurd. Everything a candidate says is perceived as controversial. Even if it is correct, called for, or, in this instance, a legitimate assertion to reevaluate the Rules of Engagement. Everything is exploited. Much like exploiting the fear Americans have of being perceived of as cruel. (I’ll clarify by stating that that is a legitimate concern, to a point. But a hyperinflation of what one appears to be and what one actually says and does are very different.)

    You paint a highly sympathetic picture of the poor soldier, brave and trying his best in your previous post. That’s a wonderfully evocative scenario. But what you are painting now is the means the Left is using to feign a lack of charity and/or horror surrounding practical matters to win an election wherein the subversion of this nation – to include our protecting the innocents of other nations – is on the block.

    Practically speaking, Hillary Clinton is far more hawkish than Donald Trump. So if you’re concerned about innocents being slaughtered, you may want to vault over to that reality camp. This is not the year to indulge one’s personal sensibilities for the looming alternative is an avowed facilitator of wholesale murder. Again, Hillary Clinton, not some third party throw in, is the alternative to Trump. That individual has made it crystal what she intends, all while feigning horror over the (grossly inflated) crassness of her opponent. The same who dares to say that the Rules of Engagement should be revisited.

    So, in my review of your position, it is you who are evading not only the issue, but the very real stakes that this upcoming election represents. Change the goal posts if you’d like to push the absurd.

    I could similarly demand that you are evading reality and put you to the question. Do you think it proper to waste the vote that has been purchased for you by the shedding of other men’s blood to throw our freedoms, to include protecting INNOCENTS and innocence, and the ability to practice the fullness of our Catholic Faith, to the wind for a contrived inflation?

    Apparently, you do. But that, Father, is why I wrote what I did.

  220. robtbrown says:

    Un-ionized says,

    Robtbrown, that is not how WB makes the big money. Ditto GS. Ask anyone whose pension was stolen or whose country’s economy was repurposed.

    Could you be more specific? As I said before, most of the damage to pensions was done by hedge funds.

  221. un-ionized says:

    It’s true, I know of a pension fund that is in worse shape with wall street running it than when it was run by the mob.

    To value invest when you have lots of money, find a company with a fully funded pension fund, buy it and raid the pension fund. Easy peasy. All completely legal, nothing wrong with it at all. The downturn in holding companies who have taken this strategy is in large part because the fully funded large pension fund doesn’t exist any more. My own pension was frozen many years ago and at that time only 17% of American companies still had a traditional pension, companies preferring to pass the risk to the employee in the form of the 401k/403b.

    It’s all a shell game, amusing to watch, until you see the results of your livelihood disappear overnight through an acquisition. I know of pension that went from $4.5k/month (for 40 years of service) to $800. 40 years ago there was very little retirement investing such as what we have now so those people are just stuck.

    Also, look up George Soros and Zimbabwe. Also look up BRICS in the same context.

  222. un-ionized says:

    “vault over to that reality camp” What does that mean?

  223. Ann Malley says:

    Saying, “Mr. Trump’s statements would not be controversial,” especially in this election cycle is absurd.

    No, I’m sorry, now you are being absurd. You make the claim that Mr. Trump’s comments, about targeting families of terrorists, means nothing more than targeting other terrorists who are family members. On that interpretation, Mr. Trump, then, is proposing to make absolutely no change in current policy, whatsoever. He’s proposing (you claim) to do what Obama does, what W. Bush did, what Clinton did, etc. Or else, are you claiming that current policy is that a terrorist who is related to another terrorist, by blood or marriage, who would otherwise be a legitimate target, cannot be targeted solely because of family relationship? That too — if that is your claim, is absurd. Your defense of Mr. Trump amounts to saying he proposed a radical new change that really is no change at all, but he wants people to think it is.

    Now, I heard Mr. Trump say it. But as I don’t have my own transcript, I’ll quote from National Review’s account of what I, myself, heard:

    “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” Trump said on Fox News earlier this month. “They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families”

    Trump had a chance to walk back his position during Tuesday’s CNN debate in Las Vegas. John Jacob, a college student, asked a pre-recorded question about whether Trump’s policy would violate “the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in international law” (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428719/kill-terrorists-families-gangsta-trump).

    If Mr. Trump meant what you claim, this was the moment to say so. But he did not. He stood by his call to “take out the families,” acknowledging that he was, indeed, setting aside the distinction between combatants and non-combatants.

    You present this situation — of family members who are, in some way, collaborating in the warmaking of their relatives — as if it’s a new problem. Really? In the Vietnam War, this wasn’t a problem our military had to deal with — family members who share the combatant’s aims, and help him or her in various ways? This never happened in World Wars 1 or 2? It never happened in the Revolutionary War? No, that is absurd. This is not a new problem, and the military has lots of years of experience dealing with it. And the military has generally respected the distinction — which I insist on, but which you evade — between combatants and non-combatants. However tricky it may be (I have no doubt) in determining whether someone is one or the other, this is not a new problem.

    Now, if you wish to offer your own position about what the rules of engagement ought to be, that’s fine, but I wasn’t addressing Ann Malley’s proposal for rules of engagement, I was addressing Mr. Trump’s. I accuse him of calling for killing non-combatants. You have chosen to ride to Mr. Trump’s defense, but you haven’t produced anything to exculpate him.

    So if you’re concerned about innocents being slaughtered…

    Aren’t you? I asked you twice if you think it’s ok to target non-combatants who are family to terrorists. Mr. Trump has called for it. The Catholic Church condemns it. Can you square Mr. Trump’s call for killing non-combatants with the Church’s teaching? I cannot. I choose Christ over Trump.

    I could similarly demand that you are evading reality and put you to the question. Do you think it proper to waste the vote that has been purchased for you by the shedding of other men’s blood to throw our freedoms, to include protecting INNOCENTS and innocence, and the ability to practice the fullness of our Catholic Faith, to the wind for a contrived inflation?

    There are a lot of erroneous statements in that paragraph. I did not “contrive” Mr. Trump’s endorsement of killing non-combatants. He said it, you minimize it and excuse it. Second, you can call my decision to vote for a moral alternative to an endorser of evil “wasting” my vote, but I disagree. My vote is not going to decide this election. I’ll bet you $10,000 if you disagree. But my vote does, indeed count: it is an expression of my values. Voting for someone I do not believe in — who endorses many evils, and thus, to vote for him or her, contrary to my conscience — that is “wasting” my vote.

    Apparently, you do. But that, Father, is why I wrote what I did.

  224. Ann Malley says:

    What you contrive, Fr. Fox, is a superiority of position that intimates that Trump’s argument is to heedlessly go forth and pick off and kill true innocents. This is not his position. You may well argue that, in fact, it is.

    No need to wager money.

    Yours gets back to the reality of conflating statements and the desired shock and awe of painting Trump as an indiscriminate would-be killer. This is not the case. Whether you accept that or not is beside he point. The seed has been planted and there will be no rooting it out for some. Not even the opportunity for rational analysis of what one means. Interesting, though, as you have engaged with me for quite some time to further explain your POV. Would that all could be given such opportunity.

    That said, while “your” vote, precious as that is to your person, may not decide the election, the effect of attempting to transmit a superiority to your position, especially due to your status as a priest, will indeed effect the outcome of this election. For you are setting example. Not, I. Not,I. Not, I. That sets a precedence, Father, of erroneously assuring oneself that as long as “your” personal conscience is clear, that is all that is at stake moving forward.

    Quite a comforting position until one is faced with the reality of liberal court justices and outright persecution of Catholics, the unborn, the elderly and myriad other issues predicated on “My vote is not going to decide this election.”

    There are, indeed, personal sins, Father. But there are also sins of negligence committed by society as a whole. And this United States requires our support, as do those poor soldiers shedding their blood in the dust, so that we can have the liberty to focus on our individual consciences. But many will walk past, leaving that soldier to rot in gutter while they rush off, pitying him, but not trying to do what needs must because “they” are too busy rushing off to do “God’s” work. And “they” require clean hands for that! Muddying them up by way of tending a nasty problem, with practicality, is just too exacting for they choose “God” over Trump – oh, that dirty awful tool. Nobody dare pick “that” up and work it.

    Keep your money,Father. Although, I find it more than sad that the cavalier offer of a wager – and such an expensive one at that – comes from he who lives off the charity of others. It is just such a mentality that lends me to desire to give our fighting forces – and the people of those countries we are attempting to aid – the requisite support they “need” to do the job quickly and with as little casualties as possible.

    The “I choose Christ over Trump” sounds all well and good. But again, it is just such specious pontificating, that will lead those to misconstrue statements and overreact to elect the Devil. Even though “I” didn’t vote for him ;^)

    Like I said, the prostitution of innocence.

  225. Ann Malley says:

    @un-ionized.

    “….vault over to that reality camp” What does that mean?”

    …leap over other issues if you’d like, but maybe you should land at the reality of Clinton’s other attributes.

  226. un-ionized says:

    Vilify me if you will but I am with Christ on this as well. No shrill tone needed.

  227. Ann Malley says:

    What you contrive, Fr. Fox, is a superiority of position that intimates that Trump’s argument is to heedlessly go forth and pick off and kill true innocents. This is not his position. You may well argue that, in fact, it is.

    Do you really believe I invented this notion that Mr. Trump called for the killing of non-combatants? Not so. All anyone needs to do is google “Trump kill terrorist families” and you will get a treasure trove, both of ample documentation of exactly what Mr. Trump said, and how many times he said it, and also of all the people who were horrified by it. Here’s one, for example: An advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who calls Mr. Trump’s proposal a “war crime”: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/03/politics/donald-trump-kill-terrorist-families-war-crime/index.html.

    Yours gets back to the reality of conflating statements and the desired shock and awe of painting Trump as an indiscriminate would-be killer. This is not the case.

    Simply denying that Mr. Trump said what he said is not refutation, no matter how many times you repeat it. He called for killing non-combatants. I have given you a link to video of him saying it.

    And, yes, I am most certainly setting an example, and glad to do it. That’s precisely why I won’t vote for Mr. Trump — or Mrs. Clinton. While my vote is secret, I would not like having to be evasive, if someone asked me who I voted for. As I evaluate the matter, guided by my conscience (not yours or anyone elses), I cannot in good conscience vote for either of these individuals. Were I to vote for Mr. Trump, as it seems you desire me to do so, then what example would I set? I think a very bad one. Your conscience leads you to a different matter. I respect that. I am sorry you do not respect my conscience on the matter.

    Are you under the impression that I have some “duty” or obligation to vote for Mr. Trump? Do you think God wants me to do so? Does the Catholic Church direct me to do so? Or is it you that wishes it? I am perfectly willing to listen to you express those wishes, but I fail to see why I must obey your wish. Can you cite any other authority for this duty you seem to believe I have?

    Finally, I find some of the other comments you have made rather insulting. Perhaps you did not mean them to be so. Intimating that I am guilty of “sin,” that I am “leaving that soldier to rot in the gutter,” and unwilling to soil my hands, is pretty offensive.

  228. PA mom says:

    Beth- unfortunately Cardinal Dolan has no trouble spending time with pro abortion Democrat politicians. He just has little appearance of impartiality, something which Archbishop Chaput seems far better at.

    How many of us AREN’T from immigrant stock? I am, as are most people I know. But LEGAL immigrant stock, who learned the language, worked like crazy, and gradually melded into the general population. Not Donald Trump, nor anyone else I know objects to this original and technically our only LEGAL method of immigration.

    Trump, AND WE CONSERVATIVES, are having our character assassinated by a corrupt media who WILL NOT REPORT the truth about Clinton. Just how do you think a guy from New York City can get anything done without the sizable Puerto Rican population there? He employs people of all colors.

  229. PA mom says:

    This comments are this post are somewhat disheartening.

    This last election was won by the UNFAITHFUL Catholics putting their support behind Obama, even as he took away religious liberties from nuns!

    I just cannot believe that God placed us all here in this country right now with our voting rights so that 30% of us could place empty votes, while most of the liberal Catholics again support the Democrat without scruples.

    Just how are we “salt of the earth” by that approach?

  230. un-ionized says:

    It’s certainly not right to do evil just on the basis of political affiliation. People need to realize that those affiliations are now moot. Neither candidate will do anything that they say they will do, they are both chronic liars and they have both shown what kind of people they are.

  231. PA mom says:

    Un-ionized-I just don’t get how you can “know” that neither candidate will do anything they say they will, much less tell anyone else that they won’t.

  232. un-ionized says:

    Past performance always predicts the future. Chronic lying is a personality trait.

  233. PA mom says:

    “to do evil just on basis of political affiliation”

    By VOTING? For a pro-life, pro-Christian politician against a pro-abortion, anti-Christian politician?

    It is just over the top to declare that to be evil.

  234. PA mom says:

    “past performance always predicts the future.”

    So then there exists no repentance. There exists no change of heart.

    Trump has never been a politician so you are making assumptions.

  235. un-ionized says:

    Trump is not pro-life, Trump has always been a dishonest real estate guy. Evil is as evil does. Neither candidate has ever shown any sign of repentance about anything they have done.

  236. cl00bie says:

    I don’t really like any of my choices this election. I feel this is a choice between getting my wallet stolen, or getting shot in the head. I would prefer neither happen to me, but one or the other will. If I don’t vote for Trump, Hillary is one vote closer to shooting me in the head. I refuse to select smug piety over doing what is best for my country, and most importantly the unborn. Trump is ambiguous on life issues, Hillary thinks children right before birth have no civil rights. The choice (pardon the pun) to me is clear.

  237. PA mom says:

    Un-ionized – the Republican Party platform is pro-life. Republicans have been passing pro-life legislation through the various states. Pro-abortion activist judges are knocking them out.

    Trump has put forth solid choices for judges. The President has little more to do with abortion other than the efforts of HHS to force the funding of it onto everyone. Trump has already said Obamacare needs to be undone, but whether or not it is, a President could call off the HHS dogs and let Catholic and other Americans decide if they want to be funding abortions or not in their healthcare plans.

    That’s TWO places where a President has serious, immediate influence. Unlike whether or not abortion remains legal, which would require nearly unimaginable shift in the Supreme Court and national morality. If Hillary gets into office, guess which of these SHE will do?

  238. un-ionized says:

    This is hardly “smug piety.” Your arguments are not persuasive at all, you admit the ambivalence yourself.

  239. PA Mom —

    Allowing for everything you have just said that goes to the credit side of the ledger for Mr. Trump, is there anything, anything at all, that if it were on the debit side, would outweigh that for you?

    I’ve already outlined one: Mr. Trump endorses intentionally killing families of terrorists, regardless of whether they are combatants. Another: he endorses torture. Third: he supports abortion in some cases. There are other problems, but these are glaring.

    Because, I’m wondering: if a candidate would be less bad on abortion, does that mean nothing else can outweigh it? If David Duke — former KKK leader — were the GOP candidate, and he said he was against abortion, would he be acceptable to vote for?

    This need not be entirely hypothetical. Some years ago, a congressman I respected, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, of California, was caught stealing millions from the taxpayer. He was 100% prolife, solid down the line. Yet he was a crook. His Democratic opponent was, I’m sure, pro-abortion. Do you vote for him? I would not (and I wouldn’t vote for the pro-abortion Democrat).

  240. Ann Malley says:

    @ Fr. Fox,

    It would seem the 10K you bet on your vote not swaying the election isn’t precisely what you meant.

    Ah, the beauty of word smithing. There are residual after effects to which you are glad to take part but never directly. Oh, no! Heaven forfend. Well, good on, you, Fr. Fox. The same can be said for your tossing out how “you” respect my conscience, but you daresay that I do not respect yours. (The after effects of encouraging a third party throw away vote will be felt. And, I pray, your conscience will be clear in the potential aftermath. But you don’t wish that. Of course not!)

    Sorry, but you may and will, no doubt, vote as you see fit. What I take issue with is what you posted publicly with the intent to sway others by your “less than private” vote. You chose to make your views public. Not I.

    In future, you may wish to refrain from publicly stating your intended vote for that, most definitively, is an invitation for comment. Comment that cannot, despite what you may wish to project, be interpreted as a lack of respect for your “conscience.” And your assertion that you “respect” my conscience, considering the criteria you just used, is really nothing but saying you do. Not doing it.

    As to the “treasure trove”, I’ve no doubt a great many can be quoted as saying Trump’s words constitute a “war crime.” Even an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. And I am not merely refuting what words were said. I am refuting the actual intention and practical application of what Trump is proposing be revisited.

    What I think you have invented, Fr. Fox, is a supposed safe haven of conscience for yourself and others who will, albeit out of pure intention, of course, throw this election quite willfully to the Satanic forces that are doing their best to play upon religious zeal and the fear of appearing uncharitable or unChristian.

    It is not my place to say whether you have a “duty” regarding your private vote. But again, the repetition that “your vote” won’t effect the coming election one way or another, as evidenced by your admitting your desire to sway others by way of example, is, to me, rather disingenuous. So is the attempt to try and lead the conversation into some no man’s land of me apparently believing that you must vote as I will. Again, a ridiculous side track. But it does sound very high road. I’ll give you that, absolutely.

    That said, I find your insinuations that others are voting for Trump over God very definitely insulting. Perhaps you were unaware of the “impression” you make. But again, since you stated plainly that you hope to set an example by your statements, one would have to conclude that you meant what you said as an insult. And it was taken.

    As to the soldier left to rot in the gutter, you may want to ponder what I’ve said. Of course, you have no obligation to do so. To imply that I think you do is absurd. To dismiss your own insults and key in on what you find abrasive in the tone of others, just because it doesn’t meet your standard of parlance, is similarly off base, Father.

    Good day.

  241. SKAY says:

    un-ionized said:
    “Skay, loving money more than anything else is related to not caring about a country or people, whether they be here, Africa or Moon Colony Six.”

    Yes but we are talking about the US election and their ability now to use their wealth ( no matter how they got it) in order to manipulate the results of this election. Soros, in particular, desires to retain the power to influence the decisions and future of this country from behind the scenes by any means necessary. Obama has provided that for him and Hillary will continue it. He loves money but he desires unmitigated power and not just in the US presidency. This article explains quite a bit about his influence on the Church and the Pope thanks to the hacked emails. His thirty pieces of silver goes a long way.

    http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2718-the-pope-s-boss

    I see why Hillary thinks she and Soros will be able to change the teachings of the Catholic Church.
    Obama and Soros have manipulated things rather well from an atheist and Black Liberation Theology(Rev. Wright) point of view.

    Catholics helped “them” win twice.

  242. Ann Malley says:

    @ PA Mom

    Some forget, even those who do know better, that grace builds upon nature. And the desire that we ay elect Our Lord Jesus Christ to be POTUS, as good as that would be, is not possible as our nation has fallen to such a degree that having the BLESSING of a perfect candidate is not something we deserve.

    Indeed, we deserve punishment.

    Even the punishment of appearing filthy and being marginalized by those of our Christian brethren who would, albeit on the premise of high principle, dash what good can be done against the rocks of “I just can’t bring myself to do it!”

    Thank you for your comments here.

  243. un-ionized says:

    “premise of high principle”

  244. Ann Malley says:

    “….Vilify me if you will but I am with Christ on this as well.”

    It’s feigning a Christ-centered victim-hood that sends the wrong message here. The same that implies, quite clearly, that those voting their conscience, if that vote is for Trump, are somehow anti-Christ.

    That coupled with the appellation that others are using “shrill” tones is over the top and ripe with sanctimony.

    And yet somehow only those “choosing” Christ are being vilified.

    Oh, the pain…. the pain!

  245. Ann Malley says:

    @ un-ionized.

    “…premise of high principle.”

    Yes….that is unchecked zeal. The fear of getting dirty, even when needs must, (Like venturing into an area out of necessity that may otherwise represent an occasion of sin because charity or duty requires it.) wherein the perfect becomes the enemy of the good.

    Christians may think, “Now is the TIME to foment a third party.” But that’s like waiting until someone needs to be rushed to the hospital to begin a new program of preventative measures at home. Not the TIME. Absolutely not the time. For while the idea is fantastic, if one doesn’t do what needs must at the moment the patient will die and all of the desired preventative measures will do no future good – even though the premise upon which they were created was good.

    Clinton poses a very real, present, and undeniably grave evil. An evil with the advertised intent – and track record – of stripping us of the very liberties that are the same that give rise to being able to create a viable third party.

    So, of course, we are all called to vote our conscience. But weighting all issues, including the advertised wasteland of religious freedom, baby killing, etc that WILL come as a result of the premise of high principle is also required in making an informed and prudent decision.

  246. slainewe says:

    @ Ann Malley

    “What you propose, is more like putting God to the test. “

    How is my voting for the candidate for whom I believe Saint Joseph would vote “putting God to the test?”

    If you can see Saint Joseph voting for Mr. Trump, hey, check the box. I can’t see it, and your arguments make me see it even less.

    America is looking for earthly messiahs when we need Christ the King. I see my job as to spread HIS Kingdom, period. Whether my efforts are fruitful in the here and now is up to Him.

  247. Ms. Malley:

    Well, I see your earlier assaults on me, and my integrity, were just warm-ups. I have not insulted you, I never said one word denigrating you or anyone for voting for Mr. Trump. I simply explained my own reasoning. And, given your personal attacks on me, for which you show no regret, I see no point in continuing. You show a remarkable generosity to Mr. Trump, in interpreting his words, but none to me. As you wish.

  248. un-ionized says:

    Fr. Martin, there isn’t much reasoned discourse around here is there? Or charity for that matter. I’m not continuing either. There are more important things to do.

  249. Ann Malley says:

    …again, Fr. Fox, you reject taking any accountability for the ripple effect of your own statements. As you wish, indeed.

    That said, my generosity is not for Mr. Trump, but for this country and the freedoms wherein we are able to live our Catholic Faith. Something, I pray, will still be possible moving forward, especially in the aftermath of this pivotal election.

  250. PA mom says:

    Fr Fox – I would not assume to instruct a priest on his vote. You are to be the very image of Jesus, responsible towards all of His children, Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative.

    In our area in Pa, Trump is not merely a tv figure. People locally have worked on his job sites and even shaken his hand. There is a consensus that he was fair to them, paying fair wages and expecting fair work.

    I consider some of his words this election to be a learning curve. He has not been responsible for such decisions before and has likely given them the same entryt level thought that most of have. They are merely our opinions, without the benefit of seasoned counsel. The “how to discuss them” is also new for him.

    There are certainly things that would make me decline to vote for him. His willingness to accept limitation on abortion is where we are as a country. That isn’t Trump’s fault, it is our own families and religious leaders who got us here. I won’t fault him for being way, way ,WAY more pro-life than Hillary.

    As to torture, my own uncle, retired Navy told me that throwing people under a boat and dragging them across was sometimes done, and while I can’t understand why anyone would do that, it opened my eyes to the understanding that I am quite lacking in knowledge for this one. I cannot understand why Gitmo prisoners are being released to rejoin the battle against us, and I can’t understand how that isn’t treason.

    I love my country, I have the real sense that Trump does too, in the same way my dear grandfather did. A bit gruff, language lacking the care of my college training, but deeply, loyal.

    I have children, who will continue in this country with grandchildren (hopefully!) after I am gone and I CANNOT NOT make the vote which I think is in the right direction.

    The time for starting new Parties or gathering strength in 3rd Parties is further down the ballot, and I will need to see an actual elected official in my area from a 3rd Party before I would ever consider a vote higher on the ballot.

    Thank you for listening, and have a good evening, Father. :)

  251. Ann Malley says:

    Slainewe,

    We are not St. Joseph, nor are we living in the times of St. Joseph.

    We have a duty to do the best we can by our country in the exercise of our Catholic Faith. Allowing the country to slip into the hands of those who are, for all intents and purposes, the sworn enemies of religious liberty, a child’s right to life (at any stage), and have the avowed intent to put liberal justices on the Supreme Court who will scourge this land for decades to come is not something I can do. Not in good conscience. Not in any remote exercise of conscience.

    If you feel differently, that is your decision. But turning a bus around, one that has gone the wrong way for a long, long time doesn’t happen on the turn of a dime. That aid, I would posit that, if pressed, St. Joseph may well vote for Trump.

  252. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized,

    1. Value investing involves heavy research and predicting a continuing market advantage, usually past 5 years. Buffett’s is a long term approach, which is why he stays away from technology stocks. Berkshire owns (or has a sizeable investment) in the likes of Dairy Queen, Disney, Coke, etc.

    2. I already mentioned that the problems with the pension funds happened with hedge funds running them (Buffett does not care for hedge funds). Among other things those hedge funds that were in charge of pensions were taking out over 20% every year.

    Hedge funds are by and large heavy traders, more short than long term, depending on a volatile market. On the other hand, Buffett’s is a long term approach.

    3. The other problem was the promises were made to pension funds when the stock market was hot. This is a common phenomen in a hot economy–people act as if it will never cool (I used to grimace every time I would see brokers on TV saying that there was nothing usual about a P/E of 70 times earnings).

    4. I’m not claiming anything about Buffett other than he has a history of being careful not to make money at the expense of others.

    Soros, however, is a snake–even without his work to undermine morality.

  253. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Martin Fox,

    Thank you for linking a concrete example, John Fund’s 18 December post in which he links something posted on YouTube.

    In that YouTube post, Representative Adam Schiff (a Democrat) shows admirable circumspection in saying, “I’m not sure what Mr. Trump has in mind” in using the expression “take out their families”.

    Earlier, on 6 December, Mr. Trump was asked by John Dickerson, “You mention families go after families, what does that mean?” He responded, “Well at least I would certainly go after the wives who absolutely knew what was happening and I guess your definition of what I do, I’m going to leave that to your imagination. But I will tell you I would be very tough on families because the families know what is happening. Even in this last instance”, referring (as far as I can see) to San Bernardino. Once again, he uses ambiguous expressions “go after”, “be very tough on”, saying (injudiciously, it seems to me) “I guess your definition of what I do, I’m going to leave that to your imagination.”

    In the 15 December debate, he was specific about some things – “There were numerous people, including the mother, that knew what was going on.

    “They saw a pipe bomb sitting all over the floor. They saw ammunition all over the place. They knew exactly what was going on. …” But, again, he continues with ambiguous language:”I would be very, very firm with families. Frankly, that will make people think because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives.” Again, even in this last sentence, one can well imitate Adam Schiff’s caution: does “care about […] lives”mean the same thing in both instances? If the first seems to mean willingness to be killed or to kill themselves in attempting to kill others, what does the second mean? The death penalty for accessories? Long-term imprisonment? Deportation? Various things could have a significant effect on the “lives” of family members which Mr. Trump (rightly or wrongly) might think could dissuade potential terrorists.

    In early March 2016, in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump said he would “use every legal power that I have to stop these terrorist enemies. I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters. I will not order a military officer to disobey the law. It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities.”

    On 9 March, when asked by Anderson Cooper, “You would still want to go after the families of terrorists?”, Mr. Trump said, “I clarified very simply we have laws. We have to obey the laws” and “I didn’t say kill. We have to go after them.” And, later, “We have to expand those laws”, to which Mr. Cooper responded, “Does that mean cutting off heads?”, and Mr. Trump answered, “No, it doesn’t mean that but we have to expand the laws”.

    I have only made (to my way of thinking) a limited, initial attempt to discover what-all Mr. Trump said, and have encountered one specific unambiguous “I didn’t say kill.” Did he ever as simply and clearly say “kill” on any (earlier) occasion(s)?

    Similarly, does he ever unambiguously say “torture”, or is that only an interpretation people less cautious than Adam Schiff put on what he did say?

    As with the Holy Father, I wish Mr. Trump would speak more clearly more of the time, and when questioned, would clarify more lucidly – as with “I didn’t say kill.”

    In the course of this 9 March interview, he says, “I tell the story of General Pershing and take a look at General Pershing in 1890 in the Philippines, how he stopped terrorism. OK. You’ll take a look at it. It’s too long a story to tell on the tape. It will take the whole thing but it’s one of the very interesting and very powerful stories.” I have not yet attempted to discover where and when he told “the story of General Pershing”. I have had a quick look in William Cameron Forbes 1945 revised (and abridged) edition of The Philippine Islands (Harvard UP), which is full of interesting matter about the Muslim Moros and combat with them and its difficulties where women and children were concerned, and, for example, a 1913 letter of General Pershing’s where he says, “I am not prepared to rush in and attack them while they are surrounded by their women and children as I think most of the women and children can be induced to return to their homes. […] Coolness and patience are the requisites” in attempting to achieve “disarmament with as little disturbance and as little loss of life as possible.” Perhaps this is an example of what Mr. Trump has in mind where “how he stopped terrorism” is concerned.

  254. un-ionized says:

    robtbrown, that’s what you would gather from Marketwatch. Being involved in it gives a different perspective.

  255. un-ionized says:

    And the presence of the adoring Marketwatch fan club makes it much more insidious.

  256. SKAY says:

    Father Fox said:
    “This is not a new problem, and the military has lots of years of experience dealing with it. And the military has generally respected the distinction — which I insist on, but which you evade — between combatants and non-combatants. However tricky it may be (I have no doubt) in determining whether someone is one or the other, this is not a new problem.”

    There is a difference. On 9/11 three thousand innocent non combatants were killed. They were killed not by an army in military uniforms. They came to this country under false pretenses. We were not at war with them. We all remember the horror of their evil sneak attack.
    The attack at Fort Hood was done in an area where the Muslim knew that those soldiers would
    be unarmed. The attack in Florida was on innocent non combatants. There are many more but the point is this enemy is different and THEY are NOT interested in any rules of engagement. They have a track record of attacking innocent non combatant Americans in this country and we never know when or where. As I pointed out before, military families have been made targets by ISIS. My personal feelings are that the families of these terrorists should be deported and never allowed back.
    Why are the Middle Eastern Christians not being rescued and brought here in much larger numbers since they are being slaughtered or their children kidnapped by the terrorists? That I do think we will have to answer for. Why are the Bishops not insisting on it since they are helping with
    resettlement?

    From the CP US linked from Canon 212.com:
    “But as the Syrian civil war and the rise of the Islamic State has caused hundreds of thousands of Christians to flee their homes in Syria over the last couple of years, McDonnell says that there is a real issue with the fact that the U.S. has resettled only 47 Syrian Christian refugees, compared to 9,077 Syrian Muslim refugees this fiscal year.”

    We are at war and we know ISIS has said they will have people embedded within those brought to
    our shores. No one can guarantee this is not true. Hillary has promised to bring in many more than
    Obama has.
    Thanks to Wikileaks we now have an idea who is behind
    the open border and bringing in thousands of un-vetted Muslims from countries training terrorists
    and why. Right and wrong are being turned upside down by people we are/were supposed to look up too. I appreciate Father Z linking to the story.

    I am from Louisiana and I do remember the David Duke, Edwin Edwards election. There is no comparison between David Duke and Donald Trump–non. E. Edwards was a crook and ended up
    going to jail but his dishonesty cannot hold a candle to what Hillary has done–while in elected office. Do people understand what national security means anymore.
    I have always appreciated your comments on the blog Father Fox. On this we
    see things in a very different way. I believe this election will decide where this country will go and
    possibly the future of Christianity within it. With Hillary in league with Soros the future is very dark indeed and for Christians and faithful Catholics in particular. Europe. is the canary in the mine for us but I am afraid no one is paying attention.

  257. boxerpaws63 says:

    “If you believe I, Martin Fox, will determine the outcome of this election by my single vote” yes,i do.
    You wrote that Trump and Clinton both support evil. I know Clinton well enough to know what evil she supports.I also happen to know how corrupt she is & how corrupt our government has become. What evil is Mr Trump advocating?

  258. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized says:

    robtbrown, that’s what you would gather from Marketwatch. Being involved in it gives a different perspective.

    And the presence of the adoring Marketwatch fan club makes it much more insidious.

    I seldom watch CNBC–maybe 15 minutes a month.

    I asked you for concrete examples, and all you produced were generalities that didn’t indicate much knowledge about why we are in the present situation..

    Some years ago I saw Peter Lynch on Louis Ruykeyser’s show. A viewer asked him to explain derivatives. He said he couldn’t–that he never bought an option in his life.(1) Value investing, unlike hedge funds, usually doesn’t not involve derivatives, which are all but pure risk. They didn’t cause the problems in 2007, but caused the problems to spread.

    BTW, during the Clinton administration Brooksley Born tried to alert Congress to the derivation problem. Rubin, Greenschmuck, and Summers smothered her.

    The US (which includes the rest of the world) was in a party mode from 1995 to 2007. It happened largely because Bill Clinton/Robert Rubin came up with a way to delay deficit payments. This fantasyland economy caused people to buy houses and cars they couldn’t afford, and caused business to get involved in projects (incl pension plans) that could only be sustained by a jazzed up economy. The result is new houses that still sit unsold, strip malls with no tenants, and one empty office building after another.

    Certain economists, including Alan Greenschmuck, thought they had it all figured out, and growth would continue. Someone forgot to tell them that the price of oil was not controlled by the West. A sharp increase would slow the economy–decreased revenue would make it harder and harder to service debt.

    After a party there is hangover and cleanup.

    Somehow you think that pension plans should be immune. But why would they? A few days ago I cashed in a 5 figure CD. Considering the ridiculously low interest rate (to keep the economy going) and the rate of inflation, for years I have in effect been paying the S&L to keep the money. With just 2% interest over the past 20 years I would have received more than about 1.5 times what I actually had when I left.

    I don’t blame Buffett or even the Snake Soros for the situation.

    (1) Peter Lynch, son of the math professor, was a math major, which means he knows what a derivative is. He point is that his approach to investing doesn’t use them.

  259. Venerator – I commend you for your research. All of which does not negate the significance of the item I linked, in which he was asked, pointedly, about whether he was obliterating the distinction between combatant and non combatant. As I’ve stated, he had every opportunity to clarify that he respects that difference, but did not.

    I think the most charitable explanation, still consistent with the facts, is that he chooses to say outrageous things, as “red meat,” but doesn’t really believe them.

    I would also point out his statement about not making members of the armed forces follow illegal orders was in the wake of him explicitly saying, during a debate, that he would definitely make them obey such orders. I know this because I watched the debate, and the other candidates directly challenged him.

    Look, Mr. Trump is hardly a naïf when it comes to media attention, who is being trapped into saying ambiguous things. He knows full well what he is doing. That he later backs away from outrageous statements doesn’t absolve him from being held accountable for what he said.

    And, as far as torture, he has said repeatedly he wants to bring back water boarding, and “worse than water boarding.” What do you think that means? “Worse” as in, less effective? I think we all know what he means by “worse.” Would you torture anyone? Do you want our soldiers and intelligence personnel torturing people in your name? Mr. Trump does.

  260. Ann Malley: “…again, Fr. Fox, you reject taking any accountability for the ripple effect of your own statements. As you wish, indeed.”

    Now you have escaped from attacks on my character to lies. That is a lie. I have no objection to anyone disagreeing with me, and I have repeatedly said I take no issue with others reaching different conclusions from me. And I am stopping no one from criticizing my views or conclusions.

    In the heat of politics, people sometimes say things they wouldn’t otherwise. Please consider this.

  261. Ann Malley says:

    Father Fox, it is not a matter of you saying you are at peace with others disagreeing with you. It is rather that you posit that you apparently choose Christ over Trump. Whether or not you want to own the implication of your words – whether or not you say you “condemn” no one – you do.

    So your painting others as escaping attacks on your character is rather a self-assessment of what your words are actually doing to those who hold an opposing view to what you’ve stated. To say that another is lying by pointing out what effect your words actually have is to shinny away from the reality of what you’ve said. And the resulting effect.

    And I absolutely will consider that in the heat of politics, people say things they wouldn’t otherwise. That’s why when you point to others who have apparently offended you, I ask you, in kind, to do the same and accept the culpability for what you wrote – not for the intention behind it.

    That said, demanding that those supporting Trump post how young a child can be before being targeted for death…. (5, 10, etc) is nothing but heat-of-the-moment bullying under the guise of holding a superior position. You may not view it that way, as you have stated you hope to set an example for others by your discussing why you’ve decided to go third party,

    But in all honesty, feigning that others are endorsing baby killing by Trump is little more than a character attack. On the voter, not Trump. That is why I asked you to revisit the scenario of the beleaguered soldier you used in your own post. But apparently the perspective I lent you to said soldier was offensive to you.

    If that is so, perhaps you should think on it. Just as those you by intimation are pro-baby killing in the Middle East were encouraged to do likewise with your posts.

    Let’s have mutual respect, okay. And mutual accountability for what is said and implied. That is true charity, no?

  262. Ann Malley says:

    @Venerator,

    Thank YOU for your exhaustive research.

    Unfortunately, for some, because they have already fixed on a certain POV and assigned it as superior, you will always hear, “….all of which does not negate the significance of the item I linked, in which he was asked, pointedly, about whether he was obliterating the distinction between combatant and non combatant. As I’ve stated, he had every opportunity to clarify that he respects that difference, but did not.”

    The reason? There is no interest in clarifying or understanding what the other actually means. There is no true desire to muddy up the desired pure position with the realities of war or what our soldiers and our country and our children face. There is similarly no charity offered to Trump by those who pretend that becoming a political figure isn’t rife with landmines and the requisite learning curve that must be tackled in order to navigate them.

    I also would imagine that those in Ohio are being inundated with a massive anti-Trump campaign, funded by Clinton’s $$$$ machine, because that state has always proved pivotal in elections.

    But I thank you very much for your posting details. Very much.

    Your efforts DO clarify matters.

  263. Ms. Malley, I have nothing more to say to you. You have lied about me, and misrepresented what I said in other ways, and attacked me, accusing me of being a sinner, and of leaving soldiers to “rot” in the gutter. As I said, you are remarkably generous in explaining away what Mr. Trump said, explicitly, about “taking out” (to dinner? I think not) the families of terrorists, and he said it in the context of being asked about the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. Meanwhile, you do not hesitate to accuse me, falsely, of saying those disagree with me are choosing Trump over Christ. I did not say that about anyone but me. And if you were unclear about my meaning when I said it initially, you have no excuse for being unclear now, because I have made the matter explicit at least twice. You are quite ready to give Mr. Trump every benefit of the doubt, but you persist in attacking me. Unless you wish to revise your remarks, I’d be grateful if you had nothing further to say to me. I see no value in continuing a dialogue of this sort. I wish you the very best.

  264. Ann Malley says:

    Again, it is Mrs. Malley, not Ms. And for all you have said, you have lied about me and misrepresented what I said. You have said, in so many words, that those who support Trump are looking to kill innocent children in the Middle East.

    You are remarkably generous to your own opinion, Father, but dismiss the context that others provide even though you commend their research. (Not a true commendation at all, but a dismissal based on your own fixed pov.)

    Father, what is false, is to pretend that when you state “I choose Christ over Trump” that you are not implying that those choosing Trump are not choosing Christ. Again, let us all own our words and what they imply. You took issue with my supposedly assigning sin to you, but take no notice of your imputing sin to others. Even though you excuse yourself by saying you don’t. You can say all you’d like that your words were limited to just you, but the meaning of what you said is clear.

    You also, I believe, asked me how I can reconcile Trump’s supposed plan to target innocents with my Catholic Faith. That, again, Father is imputing sin, whether you believe that to be so or not.

    But, much like a vote, you’re given the freedom to hold your own opinion. And moving forward, unless you revise your remarks, I absolutely see no point in continuing dialogue. The reason? You hold yourself to a different standard than what you set for others.

    I wish you the very best as well.

  265. robtbrown says:

    If I vote, I’ll be voting for someone who would not turn SCOTUS over to lefties. That means Trump.

    My impression is that he made the families comments out of ignorance. He thinks the US hasn’t been aggressive enough. With diplomacy that’s true, but the drone attacks have taken out family members. Unfortunately, Obama thought the combination of drone attacks and his charm would stabilize the Middle East. He seems to have thought that lack of US presence would endear ME govts. So much for that theory.

    My problem with Obama is that his approach has been too much drone killing and not enough capturing and interrogating.

    I will say, however, that the reason why we weren’t attacked during Bushco was the so-called Death Squads. The military and CIA were slitting the throats of Al Qaeda lieutenants in the dark. What we did to smoke them out to kill them is not something most people would want to know.

  266. wmeyer says:

    Were I to comment on any of the most disheartening com ents, I would not make it out of moderation, and that would be as useless as voting third party!

    As I see it, failing to vote as effectively as possible to defeat HRC would be at least spiritual weakness, an very likely a sin of omission. I see no saints in the race. Any third party is effectively a vote th HRC’s advantage, and a third-party not certified in all states? It is to weep.

    Some jobs are dirty, yet essential. I have doubts about Trump; about Hillary, none.

  267. Ann Malley says:

    “…My problem with Obama is that his approach has been too much drone killing and not enough capturing and interrogating.”

    Obama was into risking lives to capture, then for political purposes, releasing minus any credible attempt at interrogation.(Don’t want to look bad. Want to manufacture an opportunity to stage “tolerance” and “cultural respect.”) Then, well, out the troops would go to “recapture” so that some Colonel could look sharp in having the highest ratings of missions run. So what that soldier’s lives were risked on vacuous attempts to look busy while capturing the exact same guys again and again and again?

    “Some jobs are dirty, yet essential.”

    An absolutely true statement. And thank God we have men willing to do what they must for “us”.

  268. PA mom says:

    This is one of the best articles I have read on the Christina considerations of voting for Trump vs sitting out the election.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/waynegrudem/2016/07/28/why-voting-for-donald-trump-is-a-morally-good-choice-n2199564

  269. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Martin Fox and Ann Malley,

    I am glad that you and other commenters have gotten me to do a bit of my ‘homework’, but I feel like I’ve only taken a first step or two!

    So, I would like to look into the details of Mr. Trump and ‘combatant’/non-combatant’ distinctions. I don’t have enough of a sense of the history of the matter (was it an issue already in the American War of Independence, when there were clearly troops in uniform, and being out of uniform might bring you in danger of charges of espionage?). I do have a sense that it was clearly an issue in the late 19th century, in the Boer Wars, for example, and that Mr. Trump’s referring to General Pershing in the Philippines fits in, here – and probably shows he’s more informed on historical context than I am.

    I have the sense that it is an important matter in the course of the last several decades, with proliferations of attackers who are not representatives of any nation-state, and are actively pursuing weapons of mass destruction, and it is not always clear where something is a ‘civil’ or ‘military’ matter.

    Comparing what I quoted (for consideration) above (23 Aug., 10:32 a.m.) from Scott Adams – “I have hypothesized that one month of Trump acting presidential would be enough to convince people that ‘Campaigning Trump’ is an act, and his real personality is more controlled. If this is the start of that month, it’s a strong start” – I would say I suppose Mr. Trump knows a lot of what he is doing (though I’m not sure “full well” all the time), but also that he is indeed dealing with a “requisite learning curve that must be tackled in order to navigate” ‘political minefields’ – especially in attempting to escape something like ‘politically correct straight-jackets’ that involve ideological taboos on subject matter and terminology.

    Fr. Fox said, “That he later backs away from outrageous statements doesn’t absolve him from being held accountable for what he said.” I’m not sure it’s always a matter of ‘backing away’ – I think it includes clarification, and, a willingness to change his mind on further consideration (even of valid points delivered in ‘attacks’) – and I think one must (cautiously) take the latest thing someone says as that for which they should be held most accountable.

    If we take “I didn’t say kill” as definitive in this way, then it would seem logical to take his explicitly saying “taking out” the families of terrorists to mean, not simply ‘to dinner’ but probably ‘of circulation’ in some sense, whether to an indefinite number of dinners at taxpayers’ expense while investigating further, or after prosecuting as accessories, or ‘out of the country’ if non-citizens or citizens who have violated terms of immigration (like Nazi concentration guards, in years gone by).

    As to “waterboarding” and ‘torture’, I’ve followed with interest and profit earlier discussions among commenters here about waterboarding and whether it is or is not morally acceptable, and what ‘else’ might or might not be. I would (in the first instance) take “worse than water boarding” to mean something harsher in some sense, while not morally unacceptable, rendered legal (in keeping with that moral status) if not so already. What, for example? I’m not certain, but it does not seem improper to discuss whether there might be such things. One of my shocking cinematic life-experiences was seeing The Day of the Jackal – for various reasons, including the effective ‘manner of extracting information’ from one of the assassination-plot conspirators applied by the French. (I think I later looked it up, in the novel, which I had not read before seeing the film.) Was that ‘torture’, morally speaking, or something “worse than water boarding” while not being strictly ‘torture’? With apologies, I’m not sure – I would be very glad to hear the arguments in detail. “Would you torture anyone? Do you want our soldiers and intelligence personnel torturing people in your name?” – no, if ‘torture’ means a completely morally unacceptable ‘manner of attempting to extract information, dissuade someone from evident murderous intent, etc.’ Would I consider employing harsh means which are not ‘torture’ so defined, or endorse their official employment? Perhaps. Does Mr. Trump intend anything other than ‘morally acceptable harshness’? I have not yet seen any clear evidence he does.

    “To be deep in history” (to borrow some famous words) – or even a little bit deep – is, in these cases, to be confronted with a lot of (neo-)scholastic scholarship, casuistry (in a neutral or positive sense), legal history, and Church(-approved/promulgated) practice which invites addressing carefully and critically (so far as I can see).

  270. jhayes says:

    Polls show a major shift in Catholic voting:

    Back in 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney lost the Catholic vote by just 2 points, 50 percent to 48 percent. And the GOP has actually won the Catholic vote as recently as 2004 and in 5 of the last 10 presidential elections.

    But Trump trails among Catholics by a huge margin. A new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released this week shows him down 23 points, 55-32.

    A Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this month painted an even worse picture for Trump’s Catholic support. He was down by 27 points, 61-34.

    If you compare the difference between Romney’s margin among Catholics in 2012 and Trump’s margin among Catholics this year, the 25-point difference is tied for the biggest shift of any demographic group in the Post-ABC poll.

    HERE

  271. Ann Malley says:

    While some would posit, “That he (Trump) later backs away from outrageous statements doesn’t absolve him from being held accountable for what he said,” they disregard that such a statement applies to themselves.

    Helping to elect Clinton by way of pretending that now is the time to vote third party (or feigning that their one vote won’t count while hoping to encourage others to the same mentality) could legitimately be described as outrageous, especially in light of what we know Clinton plans to do. She advertises actual evil on her agenda, no confusion, perfectly clear. Crystal.

    And, moving forward, will such individuals who have chosen to throw their vote away take accountability for the results of their outrageous decision? Will they accept accountability for the collective guilt of, “My one vote won’t determine the election?”

    It is sad that those who make such statements and attempt to hold Trump (a novice politician) to these standards do not accept such standards being used with regard to their own statements, intimations, etc.

    The reality is that the line between non-combatants and combatants IS skewed, obfuscated, and blurred. That is not Trump’s doing. Much like the fact that a great many who rush over US borders are not, as we would like to believe, all seeking a better life for their families.

    Naming a problem is not creating the problem. It’s not like Harry Potter wherein speaking the name of Voldemort is purported to be what brings the threat to one’s doorstep. (That is actually a literary device that comments on the absurdity promoted in society that one must not name the obvious. Especially dangers.)

    The threat is already here and the pretense of dealing in an outdated ideology of black and white hats, just because we want to be the ones wearing the white hats, is what is getting the innocent – on both sides – killed.

  272. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I have been impressed by people of evident expertise, who are by no means simply uncritical admirers of Mr. Trump, such as Dr. Gorka (as I noted above) and also Andrew McCarthy, being variously willing to engage with him, offer him advice, favorably evaluate specific observations and suggested policies of his, and so on. I’d like to know more about this meeting, for example, but have not tried to do my ‘homework’ on it, yet:

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/08/17/trump-holds-national-security-law-enforcement-roundtable-at-trump-tower/

  273. slainewe says:

    What I was trying to explain simply in my posts, I found in a more complicated form in the book “Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Summary, Explanation, & Defense, 3rd Edition” by William May, Ronald Lawler, Joseph Boyle

    I do not recommend the book one way or the other (as it would give me a headache to read more of it), but I thought these quotes may be helpful to someone.

    IV. Good Deeds and Good Consequences

    “Christian faith has always been more concerned that the faithful do excellent actions and so live morally excellent lives than that they produce many good effects in the world, or have wonderful things occur in their lives. Our lives are constituted far more by what we do than by what happens to us.”

    “Concern [for the good of humanity] is not … realized by trying, as it were, to create a world in which the maximum possible amount of good is realized, but in making ourselves persons who humbly cherish and respect all that is good. This is not an attitude of contempt for the harms and tragedies which befall human beings, nor is it an attitude of self-righteousness that cares only for moral rectitude and not at all for human problems. It is, rather, realism about the multifarious character of the human good and our limited ability to make the world good. It is humility which recognizes that the solution to the problem of evil is not human action but God’s healing recreation. It is confidence that God will restore all that is really good and that we shall be part of the re-creation if only we cooperate by maintaining the steadfast loyalty revealed by Jesus and His saints, even in the face of failure and tragedy.”

    “a good moral act involves more than doing a good kind or deed, or avoiding a perverse kind. It involves more than having good intentions in what we do, and more than seeking to avoid a harmful consequence. Saint Thomas Aquinas articulated what might be called a “Principle of Completeness” for evaluating human actions which required that good actions (like good persons and good realities of every kind) must be complete in their goodness. According to this principal, clearly affirmed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church and by [Saint] John Paul II, every aspect of the act must be morally good: a single moral flaw, whether in the kind of action one does (i.e., it’s ‘object’) or in the intentions with which it is done, or in the circumstances in which it is done, is sufficient to render the act morally bad.”

  274. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Fr. Fox and Ann Malley,

    On the issue of, “My one vote won’t determine the election,”

    there is, actually, a mathematical paradox, called the Downs Paradox, that essentially argues both sides to a stand-still. Voting is a non-linear statistical process and there are situations where one vote will determine an election and situations where it will have almost no effect. I, once, started to work out the complex mathematics, but there are a lot of variables. Essentially, you are both correct, just arguing different sides of the paradox.

    Of course, when moral issues are added into the equations, it does tend to drastically limit choices, such as in the current election.

    Two good articles on the subject:

    http://web.stanford.edu/~mfiorina/Fiorina%20Web%20Files/Paradox.pdf

    http://perspicuity.net/sd/vp-brf.html

    The Chicken

  275. Ann Malley says:

    Curiouser and curiouser!

    Thanks, Chicken.

    I’d put forward that’s it’s not the single vote so much, but rather the pandemic attitude that leads increasing numbers to believe “my” vote won’t count. Now, unless you live in CA, that dismissal of doing one’s bit can be problematic, especially in a close election ;^)

  276. WYMiriam says:

    I would be grateful if those who claim that “a vote for a third party — or not voting at all – is a vote for Clinton” would prove it. Not necessarily mathematically, but at least logically.

    I believe the claim can be disproved, though.

    Take a hypothetical town, assign whatever number you want to Republican voters, Democratic voters, unaffiliated voters, and non-voters. Assign yourself to one of those categories. Then take the same town after an election — say, for Hillary/Trump: assign numbers of those who actually voted (allow for any turnout you want) for each person on the ballot. Who won and by what margin?

    Then answer the question: “How did *I* vote?”

    Now answer the next questions:

    1. “What difference did *my* vote make in the final tally?”
    2. “How many of my hypothetical Republicans voted for the Democrat? How many of my hypothetical Democrats voted for the Republican? What difference, if any, did it make in the final tally?”
    3. “Did I switch *my* party allegiance in order to throw the election one way or the other, and if so, did it work?”
    4. “If I did *not* vote, what difference, if any, did it make in the final tally?”

    Then answer this: No matter how you voted (or if you didn’t vote), who got your vote?

    And then answer this: did you vote your conscience? Or did your vote get thrown away on a candidate who was “going to lose anyway”?

    MY vote for Darrell Castle is a vote for Darrell Castle, only. There being no way in heaven or on earth that I would vote for Clinton or Trump, it is impossible for my vote for Castle to help either of them. If I do not vote at all, again, it is impossible that the absence of my vote would help either of them.

  277. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    For possible interest’s sake (and since I brought it up, earlier), I have now begun to attempt to discover where and when Mr. Trump told “the story of General Pershing” and what “story” it was. One thing I found was an excerpt from a talk in South Carolina on 19 February, and another was one from a rally in California in April partly in the context of those American Muslims who want what he describes as “radical Islamic terrorism” addressed and tackled properly, a description he applies to what was being confronted in the Philippines before the First World War. The context of the “story” seems to be the summary trial and execution of 50 terrorists, in the process of which the firing squad dip their bullets in pig’s blood, before executing 49 and the terrorists and showing clemency to the fiftieth – releasing him with the injunction to go back to his people and “tell them what happened”, with a sweeping reduction of terrorist attacks as a result. I also found a post from June saying that Mr. Lewandowski (former campaign manager) described it as “an analogy” rather than an accurate historical account. In an about.com post “updated June 12, 2016”, David Emery describes it as circulating since September 2001 and writes that “In June 2003 I consulted Dr. Frank E. Vandiver, professor of history at Texas A&M University and author of Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing” about the story, and he “replied via email that in his opinion the story is apocryphal.

    ” ‘I never found any indication that it was true in extensive research on his Moro experiences,’ Vandiver wrote. ‘This kind of thing would have run completely against his character.’ ”

    The I did a bit of quick checking on works concerning the Moros in the Internet Archive. Lt. E. L. Smith’s 1908 Report on the Sulu Moros notes (p. 53) that “Hogs are killed for sport but are given to the dogs for food.” So, presumably, pig’s blood was both largely eschewed yet held no radical horrors for them. Another pig reference, in the chapter on “Superstitions” (p. 42), is more interesting. One form of “Boligah” charm, the “Manik Solyman”, was believed to make the wearer invulnerable – and consists of the testicles of pigs worn in a net at the waist. Of another category of charm, the “Hadjemut”, containing a Koran verse, he writes, “The majority of the Moros believe that the Americans have been successful in their fights with the Moros because the hadjemuts worn by the Americans were superior to those worn by the Moros.” This suggests to me that the psychological warfare aspect of the apocryphal pig’s blood story might well correspond to actual historical practice, though with different concrete details.

    The first part of the story finds an interesting analogue in the chapter of Lt. Col. Sydney A. Cloman’s Myself and a Few Moros (1923) entitled “A Pig Hunt”. Various Moros, happily helping a group of American soldiers on a pig hunt suddenly attempt to behead them, take all their arms and escape. Cloman leads an expedition to the village near where this happened. The three chiefs tell him “they did not know who was guilty, and in fact had never had heard of the affair until I told them.” Acting on the confident assumption that “it would be impossible to keep the chiefs ignorant of so important an event”, he carefully explained to them “that their law as well as ours made them accessories after the fact, and this was punishable by death”, and “sentenced them to death” and said that the “only thing that could possibly save them would be the turning over of all ten murderers” – with the result that the ten were soon turned over. (He further writes that in a mêlée that followed an attempt by all to escape at once they were all killed.)

    Cloman reports clearly putting his summary judgement in terms of “their law as well as ours”. It is harsh, it is instrumentalized, yet it aspires to be recognizably just. This would seem to be the intent of the apocryphal history Mr. Trump repeats as well: something answerable to legal and moral requirements that is drastic and effective – as an analogy for an apt contemporary approach.