The Dominant Campaign Question

What issue(s) dominated the presidential campaign two months ago — foreign policy, taxes, health care? That seems like ancient history now. The one question that everyone wants Barack Obama and John McCain to answer now is: What will you do to fix the economy? This question is certainly understandable, but breathtakingly preposterous and pathetic.

Naturally, America’s attention is focused on the economic crisis. It is clear that something — actually, a lot of things — have gone terribly wrong. Our financial system is in tatters, the housing market continues to deteriorate, and even once-mighty GM appears terminal. We worry about our banks being safe, our jobs being secure, and our retirement plans surviving the ongoing economic earthquake. We are uncertain, scared and/or stunned. More than anything else, American voters want the candidates to reassure them that everything will be okay and that a President Obama or President McCain will restore normalcy.

As natural and understandable as everyone’s concern is, the glib question posed by journalists and pollsters — “What would you do to fix the economy?” — is preposterous. Do you really think that the presidential toolbox contains instruments to determine the “right” price for each of the millions of houses; the “right” interest rate for each of the millions of mortgages; the ability to unwind trillions of dollars of leverage in the financial system; the wisdom to manage banks, insurance companies, pension funds, etc. — and to attempt such undertakings without causing painful economic disruptions? Forget the Constitution here (the political class already has). Even if you give the president unlimited powers, he and his team — no matter how bright they are and how hard they try — cannot possibly “fix” our enormous and complex economic mess.

It is pathetic to see Americans holding out blind hope that a mere president has some sort of magic wand that can make these problems go away so that we can live happily every after. The very question — “What can you do to fix the economy?” — is shockingly ignorant. It presumes that the President of the United States either has supernatural powers (see “President, Savior, or Santa Claus”) or that he has or should have the political power to construct a “great society” with a vibrant economy through central planning. Such a question is more appropriate for a communist country than for a free (formerly free?) society.

Neither candidate is speaking economic truth. There is no clear explanation of how government policies caused this mess. Neither candidate understands that if markets are allowed to adjust prices to reflect actual values, then the economy will return to solid footing faster than if government continues to nationalize businesses, inflate credit, and engage in the hubris of central planning.

Instead, economic nonsense emanates from both camps. McCain, for example, wants government to prop up housing prices even though the housing crisis was caused by policies and practices that resulted in houses reaching prices far beyond the affordability level of many Americans. The market is trying to correct over-inflated housing prices to lower, more rational levels, yet those who would be president want prices to remain at lofty, unsustainable levels. Of course, the reason for this is to try to keep the myriad financial assets based on home mortgages from crashing. But until those malinvestments are liquidated, the scarce capital will be used to prop up essentially bankrupt firms instead of creating new wealth, thereby retarding economic growth.

Speaking of capital, the Federal Reserve is reported to be supplying trillions of dollars of capital to financial institutions. These reports aren’t quite accurate. True capital represents actual savings. When the Fed “injects liquidity” into the financial system, it is creating ersatz capital out of thin air. That “capital” has no economic substance, but it does have the potential to distort economic decisions, just as any other inflationary policy distorts activity by making capital appear to be more abundant than it really is.

Politics is entirely responsible for the present crisis being as extensive as it is. The reason is that no president wants to let market corrections happen on his watch. Thus, instead of letting Long Term Capital Management collapse in 1998, which would have punctured the stock market bubble and triggered demands for prudent limits on the creation of derivative instruments by financial firms, President Bill Clinton and the Fed managed to pull some strings, paper over the problem, and issue easy credit. The result was a bigger stock market bubble and the beginning of the real-estate bubble. Rather than let the market sort things out after 9/11, Bush leaned on the Fed to lower interest rates, and the housing bubble really took off.

Today, because of those earlier political interventions, there are more malinvestments than ever. The liquidation of these massive malinvestments would be so jarring that all of official Washington is striving to postpone the day of reckoning with government controls and more easy credit from the Fed. Sooner or later, though (and it looks like sooner) economic reality will prevail and the necessary adjustments will take place. To the extent that any president can delay that inevitable process, the ultimate adjustments will be that much more painful.

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  • noelfitz

    This is a brilliant article. Thank you CE for bringing the debate back to the most important issue. “It’s the economy”.

    Abortion is not the dominant question. Catholics do have a role, a right and an obligation to participate in public life.

    However amidst all the doom and gloom and bitter arguments, perhaps we should remember that the Gospel is the Good News.

    “He has risen from the dead and He is Lord.”

    “All will be well, and all will be well and all manner of things will be well” (Julian of Norwich).

  • Claire

    How can you say that economics is a more pressing issue than abortion? Where are your priorities?

  • http://arkanabar.blogspot.com Arkanabar Ilarsadin

    Claire, I agree that abortion (along with euthanasia, ESCR, human cloning, and homosexualism) is a more important issue than economic policy. I am to the point where I could almost vote for a candidate with communist policies, if he was pro-life.

    But that doesn’t change the truth and the importance of what Dr. Hendrickson has to say. Remember it, when economic policies are discussed. We cannot afford to ignore economic debates if we are to influence the political process.

  • sillyfuzz

    Just b/c Dr. Hendrickson writes on the economy and CE prints it doesn’t mean that either is suggesting the economy is more important than abortion. The economy is of top importance, but not THE top. Human life will always be THE most important issue. If a candidate had a sure fire way to fix today’s economy, he still in not worthy of a your vote if he is anti-life. Nothing is worth sacrificing human life for your economic prosperity.

  • stutmann9

    Human life IS the issue, the failing economy is a symptom of a society which refuses to put priorities in the right order. Life comes before money-America still does not know that after two hundred plus years? When the unborn are recognized in our laws as persons worthy of protection of their right to be born, I dare to say our financial systems and the crisis will abate. GOD ALONE is in charge, and the wisdom of the world is absurdity to Him. As Saint Faustina says in her diary, “Mankind will not know peace until it turns to my mercy.” Mercy is accepting that He is God and we are not and we submit our own wills to be in line with His. You cannot serve God and money, to quote scripture!

  • kirbys

    My question: why is Noelfitz so bent on proving (to him/herself?) that abortion is not the primary, root issue of this election?

  • tarasz

    One could even suggest that Dr. Hendrickson is only stressing more why it’s less important to vote on the economy issue. Neither candidate has the answer or the ability to ‘fix’ the economy. As long as our nation deifies money over human life, we will always have economic turmoil.

    It is imperative for Catholics to vote Pro-Life. The Lord will most certainly ask each of us someday, “What did you do for my unborn?” I doubt he will accept the argument, “But, Lord, the economy at the time…”

    God bless,
    Tara Sz.

  • bambushka

    Thank you stutmann9.

    If God were to turn his wrath on this country for all that we have taken as our gods,(money, sex and power) what would that look like? It amazes me that we are in the midst of chaos, and many can not see the forest for the trees. No nation can survive the killing of their future citizens. Abortion is destroying our spirituality. Abortion is destroying our humanity, dignity and purpose.

  • Mary Kochan

    The point of this article is NOT that the economy is the most important issue. Rather it is the issue that is dominiating the news and has been dominating the debates. I don’t see how anyone could deny that. That’s not to say that it SHOULD be the dominant issue. Life issues SHOULD be dominant. They just aren’t and that is a great tragedy. I too would vote for a pro-life socialist over a a pro-abortion free marketeer, and I detest socialism. But I know what is more important. But regardless, that is not the choice we have. In our case the socialist is the pro-abort.

  • Claire

    My issue was not with this article. It was with Noel Fitz’ assertion that the economy is a more pressing issue than abortion.

    As an aside, socialists and democrats are not synonymous.

  • Andrew James

    “As an aside, socialists and democrats are not synonymous”

    For all practical purposes, these days they are.

    “My question: why is Noelfitz so bent on proving (to him/herself?) that abortion is not the primary, root issue of this election?”

    Because he/she is a socialist-democrat.

  • Andrew James

    A society that kills it’s own unborn children (and born ones in the case of partial-birth abortion) can do no good. We are morally bankrupt in a way that makes this economic downturn seem like losing a quarter in a bubble gum machine in comparison. What I don’t understand is why us faithful catholics waste time arguing and actually thinking we are going to change worldly matters. We should imitate the Amish and form our own communities, homeschool our children, become more self sufficient, separate oureslves from this evil world and prepare for the persecutions that are sure to come. When the Culture of Death has total control of our society, it will no longer tolerate even our existence, let alone our voices or opinions.

  • goral

    Thank you Andrew James!

    The time is coming in this great country of ours that the greedy little foxes will have to go to bed without supper. Both parties have been doing a great job of feeding them. Look to the Gospel and Mother Church for a balanced approach.

    Voting your pocket continues to feed the greed.

  • wgsullivan

    There is more of a link between abortion and economic turmoil than we might surmise. Take a look at this address and see the impact 45-50 million less customers and taxpayers has on our economy. http://www.movementforabetteramerica.org/economicimpact.html
    The homeschooling might be nice but in California there is a push to declare all homeschooled kids truant. Thus forcing all children to attend public schools with books like King and King being used now to instruct the kids on normalizing homosexuality. Satan and his cronies aren’t out to take a few and leave the rest alone. He wants us all. We can’t go into a stick our heads into the sand mode.
    Aren’t we sent out to spread the Good News anyway?

  • joanspage

    Economics affects more people–they think–than abortion. Show people–non-Catholics–how abortion is hurting them and you can win.;

  • momof11

    According to Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary copyright 1976:
    socialism:n. Public collective ownership or control of the basic means of production, distribution, and exchange with the avowed aim of operating for use rather than for profit, and of assuring to each member of society an equitable share of goods, services, and welfare benefits: as a system of social and economic organization planned, attempted, or achieved through various methods–in Utopian or Christian Socialism through cooperative communal groupsholding all things in common (approximating the anarchism of Thoreau, Tolstoy, and Kropotkin, and the commensalism of the early and undivided church); in Guild Socialism through organization of producer groups and the professions in syndicalist guilds to be represented in a federal legislative body; in Fabian or British Labour Party Socialism, through parliamentary democracy using gradualist evolutionary processes; in Marxist-Leninist State Socialism, through revolution, expropriation, and dictatorship of the so-called proletariat, in short Communism.___creeping socialism: Anything considered as gradual or piecemeal encroachment upon the system of private property and free enterprise through state action: used as an epithet.
    socialist: n.an advocate of socialism

    Looking at the economic policies advocated by most Democrats, especially those proposed by Barack H. Obama, they seem to have socialistic outcomes as do many Republican proposals as well, when looked at keeping these definitions in mind. Socialism as defined is not in and of itself an evil. The early church was a socialist community. Religious orders are socialist communities. However these communities were entered into as a free will choice of the members and the socialist system governing the community was not imposed on them.

    I found that this article rings true. And yes, it is saying that really the Economy is not the issue, because no one will fix it. My reaction to the economic crisis was that the bubble has to burst sometime, better now than after it has grown even larger. I absolutely believe that the woes of this country will not be fixed by government. There needs to be a fundamental change in the heart of our culture. Unless we respect the sacredness of each and every human life from the beginning of its existence at the joining of sperm and egg (scientifically indisputable fact, not a matter of faith/belief, nor above anyone’s pay grade to understand!) to the human being’s natural death, we will not “fix” any economic or social woes. It really is not the place of government to provide medical care and charity. It is the place of the Church and individual Christians. Since so many people equate “legal” with “good” it is important to have laws that protect human life from conception to natural death, and the understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, ordered for the procreation and education of children, and the good of the spouses. In the Church we have this understanding. It needs to be preached long and loud. Those who claim to be Catholic should be living their lives, private and public in accordance with these beliefs. Sanctity of human life and sacredness of marriage are the foundational non-negotiable issues of this and any election.

    And I too have already considered that I would vote for a pro-life socialist over any pro-abortion candidate. If the only thing different about Mc Cain and Obama was that Obama was the pro-life candidate and McCain was pro-abortion, I would vote Obama.

  • momof11

    “Go out to all the world and proclaim the good news” does not seem to call for separating ourselves in to isolated communities. Salt nly flavors food when it is mixed into the food. Yeast is only a leaven when added to the dough.

  • Claire

    Well said, Mom of 11.

  • Warren Jewell

    Actually, is the author not really pointing out just how ignorant – on ALL issues – the too large of a majority of electoral Americans are?

    For instance, how can black voters ignore how ‘one of their own’ is most ambitiously selling them up the Planned Parenthood river? Blacks are so terminated in the largest numbers, a great bulk of PPA abortuaries are sited in their neighborhoods. And, now, it is the Hispanics who are, more or less eugenically, being targeted, neighborhood-wise. These humble folks ‘ignore’ this for being left ignorant.

    Not only of customers and taxpayers, abortion has left us short 6 million voters for this coming election. How many more, out of the contraceptive mentality? It will leave us short of Soc.Sec. funds for the short and long runs of not only the general economy, but threatened lives of elderly become ‘useless eaters’.
    [Would they seem such 'useless burdens' to five or six or more children, rather than the one or two they have? Were not the rest of the five-or-six viewed by the now old parent as 'useless burdens'? How ignorant we are, and have been, for decades on decades!]
    Immigration has us adding persons who are more non-tax-paying (and ignorant!) souls and families than assets to whatever we view as this economy – whether in human lives (their babies’ and elderly parents’ lives are being made increasingly vulnerable) and/or funds and/or productive careers.

    Permit me an example of our incredible ignorance from a seemingly unrelated and nearly innocuous article by George Will (http://townhall.com/columnists/GeorgeWill/2008/10/16/saving_gettysburg)
    To quote: “. . . like the visitor here who said it is amazing that so many great battles, such as Antietam and Chickamauga and Shiloh, occurred on Park Service land [me: ??!!]; and another visitor who doubted that the fighting here [Gettysburg battleground] really was fierce because there are no bullet marks on the monuments” [me, again: ?!?!?!]

    AaaaaaaHhhhhh!

  • Mary Kochan

    Andrew James, I have such sympathy for your viewpoint. We do need more of our own institutions and we need them to be out from under government control — right now government funding is forcing things on Catholic hospitals and schools that go against Catholic teaching. This is where the taxes and economic issues meet the pro-life issues. If we could deduct from our taxable income 100% of our charity donations, Catholics could support completely their own institutions. The higher the tax rates go, the more funding — and running — of those institutions come under government control.

    However, the Chrurch really does not want us to form Catholic ghettos. Here long expereince in various cultures has taught her that lay Catholic engagment with the culture, including through political participation is the best way to be salt and light to our communities and countries.

    But again, boy, do I sympathize with the feeling.

  • kirbys

    Amen, Mary Kochan. We are not equipping our children to be evangelizers if we make them fearful or defensive.

    Where is the great article about immigration vs. having more children from yesterday? Immigration encouraged, having more children discouraged….

    I really liked elkabrikir’s response to that, and I do think it ties in very well to this discussion about economics.

  • dennisofraleigh

    Alexis de Tocqueville, that insightful 19th century Frenchman, observed that the two biggest preoccupations of Americans was the practice of religion and making money. I don’t think things have changed all that much in the American character in a century and a half. We’re still the most church-going population of any Western nation (maybe they go to Mass in greater numbers in Latin America, but let’s say among the non-Latin Western nations).

    As to the making of money, “Silent” Cal Coolidge (US president in the mid-1920′s) said “the chief business of the American people is business.” And much as we’d like it to be otherwise, because of the serious downturn of this country’s economic picture, the American people are, not surprisingly, preoccupied with the stock markets present wild gyrations, bank closures, energy uncertainties (it wasn’t but weeks ago we were paying $4.00 per gallon–remember?), and the number at the bottom of their register receipt after a trip to the supermarket.

    Now factor in a presidential election year. The dominant question on people’s minds is, what do the candidates of the two major parties plan as a response to what is scaring the you-know-what out of us? Many retirees have seen half the value of their retirement portfolios disappear virtually overnight. Hendrickson is partially correct in that a US president has only so much power to direct the nation’s economy. With the power the president does have he can do good or evil. Hendrickson cited an example from the Clinton administration as to what can go wrong. He could just as easily gone back even further to the Reagan presidency to see what deregulation of the Savings & Loan industry led to. Or how about Richard Nixon’s wage & price controls debacle back in the early 70′s. Or Jimmy Carter’s “stagflation” ordeal of the late ’70′s. Wanna go back further? Franklin Roosevelt’s “first one hundred days” demonstrated what a determined president, backed by majorities in both houses, can accomplish (for good or ill) from the Oval Office.

    Yes, I wish the average American was more sensitive to the paramount “Life” issues facing this country (abortion, human embryonic stem cell research, a growing “right-to-die” movement, etc., not to mention the prospect of the real possibility of the institutionalization of “gay marriage” across our land, with consequences that can only fill the Faithful with dread). But, sadly, when the going got tough, Americans have *never* put these critical matters above what are called “bread and butter” issues. And our beloved mainstream press is only happy to pander to those same sentiments. After all, they reason, why distract the American TV viewer with such “side issues” as abortion or stem cells when they really want to know whether its time to liquidate their stock portfolio and buy gold or buy select stock offerings and hope for the best.

    But what of us? Wgsullivan cut to the chase: Spread the Good News. Live the Truth. And when everybody else seems determined to join the stampede down the Obama-brick-road (mistaking belching Mount Doom for the Emerald City) at the end of the day we can go to bed with clear consciences, reassured by Our Lord’s words to St. John (please read Revelation ch.2, verses 8 thru 11) that He is faithful and will not forget our distress.

  • Richard Bell

    Noelfitz is not trying to say that abortion is not the most important issue, but that there are proprtionate reasons for voting for Obama that actually outweigh Obama’s record on abortion.

    When previosly called out to provide those proprtionate reasons, noelfitz has been silent. Therefore noelfitz considered this article a Godsend, as noelfitz believes that the economic woe is a proportionate reason, despite the fact that neither presidential candidate will be in a position to do anything, even if they win.

    My wife has proposed that being the democratic nominee is proprtionate enough for Noelfitz to ignore Obama’s abortion record, and nothing I have read of noelfitz’s posts can counter her wisdom. For myself, hope springs eternal that noelfitz will explain what we have all failed to see.

  • Mary Kochan

    The proportionate reason is being the Democrats nominee! I get it now! Your wife is a genius.

  • Andrew James

    You are all missing my point. My reference to forming Catholic communities similar to the Amish way of life is an offensive, not defensive move. We used to have them in this country (they were called parishes) but now we are so divided that we are no longer effective. We must not look to the church heirarchy to lead us, because they are primarily engaged in damage control and placating Her enemies (with a few notable exceptions, Thank you Bishop Chaput). We can only be the salt of the earth when we speak with unity, authority and confidence!

    Believe me folks, if you don’t think this society is capable of much greater atrocities, then you are naive. We have two or three generations that are basically amoral. They act on animal instincts. What ever I need right now (food, money, sex) is mine to take. As long as those things are in ready supply the ignorant masses will be generally happy. Withdraw them and watch the chaos ensue. People vote basically for one reason; what can the candidate give me?

    The article is very correct in that the president (or any single government or private entity) cannot fix the economic mess we are in. This economic mess is just a symptom of the spiritual mess. We may lose our homes, jobs, retirement plans (I don’t have to worry about that one) but it is out SOULS that Our Lord wants!

    Am I suggesting we put our heads in the sand and do nothing? Of course not! My wife and I just had our ninth child, and that is our testimony of hope for the future. What I am suggesting is that we get real and understand what is really going on. The devil doesn’t want us to lose our homes and retirement plans. He wants our souls to devour in hell for eternity! His followers (yes, the liberal democrats – there, I said it!) will at first move to quiet us, erase us from the public debate, and marginalize us. However, that will not be enough, as scripture attests to. We are in those times!

  • tednkate

    There are very few pro-life socialists. And when they are pro-life, they are willing to compromise those pro-life attributes to advance the goal of governmental control. The socialists took control of Spain, and now you’ve got abortion, homosexual “marriage” and the like. Even in Portugal, you’ve got aboriton. (Incidentally, unless I am mistaken, “pro-life” socialist politicians are okay with taxpayer paid for contraceptives as part of a “health care package”. Contraception of course fuels abortion.)

    In order to get people to be dependant and submit to a distant and “cold” state, you’ve pretty much got to destroy the warmth and love of the family. Abortion does that. Sexual license does that. So do easy divorce laws.

    We need to remember that the reason we have abortion is because of the tremendous licentiousness of our society (facilitated by the Pill, etc). The government can’t do anything about that, espcially since our religious communities (I refer to Protestant ones as well) are pretty much okay with it, or at least willing to look the other way. This makes a political solution to abortion difficult at best. I don’t blame the President of the United States (or any other politician) for avoiding the March for Life or rarely speaking about abortion. I’ve been going to a Catholic Parish now pretty much every Sunday for the past 12 years. I have heard about abortion maybe once, and contracpetion only once (by a visiting LC priest). If our priests and bishops just can’t get the words out of their mouths, why expect our politicians and judges to stick their necks out?

  • kirbys

    I generally agree with what you are saying, Andrew, but I do have a couple of thoughts.

    The church HEIRARCHY is charged by Christ with speaking with unity, authority, and confidence. If particular members of the heirarchy are having problems with that, we should pray for them, encourage them when they DO govern, teach,and sanctify us, and look to the Holy Father and Magesterium of the church, especially for the authority. The authority with which I can speak can only come from that true heirarchy, not from me.

    We are called to be salt of the earth, and I am well aware of the spiritual mess that we are in, and that we are definitely capable of further atrocities and persecution in this society, but I wonder if looking upon the rest of America as “ignorant masses” is prudent. I don’t think Christ looks at his creation like that (although, for example, Marxists do!) These are my extended family members, my neighbors, the people I encounter at the grocery store. Aren’t we truly all sheep, and easily led astray if we are not always gazing at the shepherd? How can I evangelize and at the same time have contempt? (And I do struggle with that sometimes!!!)

    I agree with you, the economic mess is not the primary concern, and can certainly become a distraction so we don’t notice what is going on in our souls and in those entrusted to us. However, we as Catholics can circle the wagons so excessively that we are no longer salt.

  • wgsullivan

    Sorry Andrew James in misunderstanding you.
    I too have to shake my head in disbelief at what confronts us.
    My sister works for a parish in the next door diocese. She says she really has to bite her lip when the parish priest and religious sister push their strong support for the Democrat’s nominee. How does she evangelize her bosses, the should be pro-life evangelizers?

  • MICHAEL

    I agree with what Andrew James is saying in principle, but perhaps it is in tactics that we differ somewhat. First, I think it is clear that this election and all the issues and difficulties that are now transpiring are symptomatic of something much bigger and larger than just an election. It is my beleif that our system, our way of life has decayed to a point of near complete corruption. Not only corruption in the sense of illegalities, but much like a computer system-it is infected throughout the entire system and once that happens there is not much that can be done to save and fix the computer or the system. I feel we are dangerously close if not past that point in our country given what has happened during the last several decades, but especially within the past few weeks. This, however should not cause dismay or fear-for in fact, the very men who founded this country predicted this day would come and have provided us with the blue print for fixing it.

    Please allow me to digress a bit into our history as I think it is an important background to the issues we face today. Thomas Jefferson said, “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny”? He also said, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”? Jefferson and the other founding fathers had an inate understanding of the weakness of peoople and in this sense almost knew at some point government would become abusive to the very people whom elected it and put it into place. Jefferson went on to say, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent” and “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” But most importantly, Jefferson and our other founders told us that “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it”.

    Sorry for this digression, but I think it applies to our situation today. We often hear politcians talk about our Constitution. The newly elected President will place his hand on a Bible and swear to protect and defend the Constitution. But what is the primary source document for our Contsitution and all other laws? It is the Declaration of Independence-it’s a really short document and if you have not done so lately (or at all) you ought to read it.Then put the words written in 1776 into context for today. Here are the first two paragraphs:

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

    When faced with the great crisis of the Civil War and the devestation at Gettysburg, Lincoln did not turn to the Constitution- he went to the Declaration and eloquently reminded us that all me are created equal and that government of, by and for the people will not perish from the earth. I believe we are in a similary crisis now, but unfortunately we do not have leaders like Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington. Therefore, the burden falls upon each one of us. Now, this does not mean open or violent revolt, but I think it does mean as Catholic Christians we need to take the lead in changing our society. If one wants to form a separate Catholic community, go ahead and I pray it works well for you. I would rather see Catholics be part of the community but live a more Catholic life. First, let honor and keep the sabbath a holy day and a family day. Convert ourselves and families back to honoring God. Lets create peace in our own families and in our own communities and be an example-let Christ shine through us. I think in this way, we will see a conversion for our nation. In this way, we will lead our so called leaders. Maybe I am “pie in the sky” on this, but I firmly beleive this is the only way- start with yourself and your own family and then move it out locally. Second, get involved at the local level-at the PTA or even in local politics. Last, and most important, pray, pray pray and know that whatever happens, God is in control of it all.

  • heinz

    Wonderful point, Andrew Jones. It appears that we are coming to a familiar point in history. When I think about the United States and its current condition, I am immediately reminded of Rome falling. And what happened after Rome fell is just what Andrew said: the Catholics formed small communities of believers.

    However, another possibility that I see is Germany under the Socialist . Pray with everything breath that you breathe that the future situation is the first!

    Pax

  • Lucky Mom of 7

    “Proportionate” = Relativism, right?

    Hitler rescued the German economy.

    I think one human life is more valuable than the whole economy. Fortunately we’re not put in a position to have to choose between the two.

    Lucky

  • kirbys

    “I think one human life is more valuable than the whole economy. Fortunately we’re not put in a position to have to choose between the two.”

    I don’t know, Lucky–these assisted suicide laws are certainly pushing us into a “solution” regarding too many old people, not enough Medicare money….
    Yikes!

    kirbys

  • fishman

    I don’t believe either candidate can fix the current economic problems.
    Even if I did I would not vote for that candidate if he would also prolong the American Holocost that so far has destroyed 25 million citizens.

    Perhaps, What McCain should be pointing out is that any economy that is missing 10 to 15 million workers is bound to end up with a cut in production and contract.

  • fishman

    I would love to see the formation of catholic communites. John micheal talbots is the only one I know of that is still fully functioning.

    It used to be that there were, catholic banks, catholic businesses , catholic authors, catholic hospitals, catholic schools. All of these institutions were focused on carring out various parts of the mission of the church and Christ and although money needed to be made to keep operating. Making a profit was not anywhere near the first priority.

    Perhaps and economic collapse s what we need to get back to that.
    Either way, I’ll trust in God’s plan before any political cadidates.
    I’m uncertain anything can fix the current economic problems. I am certain God is not pleased by people who slaughter thier children to the false idol of finacial property. So if Oboma is elected and the economy collapses I guess there will be a part of me who feels like that is what the country deserves.

  • Mary Kochan

    Hey, Fishman, where you been? Welcome back!

  • jpburke

    I place the issues that always involve evil at the top of political issues, and use them to disqualify candidates. Things like abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, assisted suicide, and many other life issues easily disqualify about half the candidates out there. It makes voting rather easy.

    The next tier of issues helps rank anyone remaining. This is where the economy may fit in. The nice thing is that pro-life people often know the most about the economy. When I hear Obama talk about his economic plans with confidence, it scares me. His plan to raise the minimum wage would hurt the poor the most; economists have said that about the minimum wage for years. It leads to unemployment of the poorest and triggers inflation. Oh yeah, he wants to index the wage to inflation; that leads to runaway inflation. Runaway inflation creates pressure to print more money, thus devaluing the dollar, thus increasing costs of things like energy.

    Just because someone speaks with confidence in their plans doesn’t make them right. It’s the ignorance of how economics really works that helps lead to hardship, and people are deceived by a smooth-talking candidate.

    So I can’t be party to the horrors of abortion that Obama would unleash on our nation, nor can I fall for his economic policies that consistently failed in the past. Of course economics isn’t as critical from a moral perspective, since economic policies are implemented to help people, and are rarely intrinsically evil. Their results also vary. Well-intentioned policies often fail, and demonized policies often work.

    In short, prioritize the issues, but also understand them.

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