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A response to my post on Trump

August 3, 2016

Many months ago, almost but not quite getting ahead of the curve, I had a post in which I argued that Catholics should not vote for Trump.  After comments closed, I received an email from R.S. who wanted to comment on it, but found the comments closed.  As I am still trying to find my voice, but really want to revisit this post, I thought I would kick things off by publishing his comment here.   (I have made modest edits to the text.)  To be very clear:  I disagree with just about everything the author has said, but they represent a genuine point of view in America and in the Church.  Please proceed respectfully in the comments section.

This is in belated response to “Catholics Should Oppose Donald Trump”:  I must respectfully disagree. Indeed, a vote for Donald Trump may not only be permissible, but may be a moral imperative under the circumstances, for philosophical and theological reasons.

To be clear, under the circumstances and with regard to those theological and philosophical stakes involved, an attempt to eject the 11 million undocumented immigrants, and to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S. seems to be a morally inescapable course of action. Why would I say this? Let me present a quick argument, methodically.

It should go without saying that stealing is a moral wrong (Decalogue). And invasion represents nothing less than theft. Gifting and forgiving is of course morally right, but I will address this point, in these circumstances, in a moment.

To respond that uninvited mass immigration phenomenon does not represent such an invasion, i.e., that it is not theft, is effectively taking the position that the citizen population of the United States does not have a possessory right to that space called the United States. The citizen population does not “own” it, nor the socio-economic system appended to that space. [It is worth noting that the immigrants are not moving here, in search of mere land; they are moving in, in search of occupying a place in the American socio-economic system.] Yet, a community may certainly claim and own a geographical space, as much as an individual person can.

To claim that people have no natural right to property is close to heresy, and is at least wrong, and condemned by the Church (Rerum Novarum para 9-11).  Of course, people may decide to sell their land… or even give it away… out of caritas.  This is not the circumstance presented between Trump and his opponents.

Those assailing Donald Trump’s positions in these matters are in reality denying not only possessory rights… they are denying all borders, i.e., denying the existence of organic community, of a separate identity of peoples. They are NOT expressing caritas toward immigrants; they are expressing a communal nothingness, a self-annihilation. This is unacceptable. (See Archbishop Socrates Villegas regarding immoral and anti-Catholic T-shirts “No Race, No Religion, Embrace Diversity”)

Man is a social animal. Man is himself, within a society, a community, a tribe, a family (Diuturnum Illud). He is not an island unto himself, and the political community does not represent a simple aggregation of individuals. (Notre Charge Apostolique)

Which is really the poorer land, Anglo-America or Latin America? The one with the two child household average, or the one with the four child household average? Is human value ultimately in stuff? Or in other human beings? The Donald has expressed concern over the native birthrate. Clinton is, at best, ambivalent.

If the Mexican state invaded and took over Texas, the U.S. government would resist this with force. It is unacceptable that it does not resist Mexicans invading…. States should be secondary. People should be primary. Trump is oriented toward people—a particular people in a particular land. Clinton is oriented toward the “nation”-state. As an institution. Yet, if there is not an identity between the state and the people (i.e., the populace, the Raza in possession), then the latter should get rid of the former. Hopefully Donald will do just this.

Clearly eradication of Islam is a Church goal (Mirari Vos). As such, eradicating it from colonies of the West (e.g., here), then from Europe, and hopefully, God willing, from the Holy Land (Urban II Speech at Clermont; Fifth Lateran Council) is an imperative.

With regard to Trump’s purported Fascism. It should go without saying that Fascism is a lesser evil than Communism, and is capable of advancing the Common Good (e.g., the Spanish Falange, the Kataeb Party). The Church can dialogue with Fascism (Lateran Treaty); it can do nothing with Communism as it is Rerum Novarum). The last point could equally apply to Hilary Clinton’s Liberalism.

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8 Comments
  1. Ronald King permalink
    August 4, 2016 8:42 am

    “Those assailing Donald Trump’s positions in these matters are in reality denying not only possessory rights… they are denying all borders, i.e., denying the existence of organic community, of a separate identity of peoples. They are NOT expressing caritas toward immigrants; they are expressing a communal nothingness, a self-annihilation. This is unacceptable.”–R S
    I do not agree with your perception. “Self-annihilation” is a starting point for the dismantling of the “false self” which is an identity built on the fear not being good enough and being isolated from one’s immediate environment. Therefore, that person seeks to preserve and protect that environment from perceived threats which may stress the delicate sense of protection and safety which defends the material possessions and beliefs developed to maintain its coherence and existence as something predictable and therefore safe. This is motivated by fear.
    The fear of being nothing is the foundation of an identity built on the psychoanalytic theory of the “basic fault” which I will not define now but can be found with an internet search.

  2. August 4, 2016 1:05 pm

    To say that Fascism is of less concern than Communism is to betray poor judgment. Hitler and Stalin were about the same, though Siberian imprisonment leaves more hope than Auschwitz extermination.

  3. Agellius permalink
    August 4, 2016 1:47 pm

    I agree with the limited point that the citizens of the United States should have a say in how many immigrants we admit on a yearly basis. My objection to the current state of immigration is not that we allow lots of immigrants per se, but that the people appear to have no say in the matter. If the people vote to allow 10 million immigrants a year, then so be it. But I don’t recall ever being given a choice in the matter.

    The stance of the Democratic Party seems to be that anyone living anywhere in the world has as much right to live in the United States as any American citizen has. The implication is that our country belongs no more to Americans than it does to anyone else. And anyone who disagrees with this is racist. A lot of people are fed up with this attitude.

    What a lot of people like about Trump is that he appears to represent, at long last, the notion that America belongs to Americans. This doesn’t mean that we prohibit anyone from immigrating – thereby becoming Americans — but that we the people decide whom to admit and in what numbers.

    For the record (it’s irrelevant to my comment but I’ll say it anyway), I can’t stand Trump for other reasons. But his campaign promise, that the immigration laws of the United States will be strictly enforced under his presidency, I think is a good one.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, OFS permalink*
      August 4, 2016 2:31 pm

      “The stance of the Democratic Party seems to be that anyone living anywhere in the world has as much right to live in the United States as any American citizen has.”

      This seems extreme: can you back this up with specific references to party platforms, speeches, etc?

      • Agellius permalink
        August 4, 2016 2:51 pm

        “This seems extreme: can you back this up with specific references to party platforms, speeches, etc?”

        I admit it is extreme. I can’t point to anyone saying it outright. But I do get the impression that any statement that we should limit immigration and strictly enforce the immigration laws is met with charges of racism. If it’s racist to want to limit immigration and enforce the immigration laws, it follows that no one should be prevented from immigrating. If it’s wrong to prevent people from immigrating, it seems to follow that everyone has the right to immigrate. If everyone has the right to immigrate, then everyone has as much right to be here as you and I.

      • Kurt permalink
        August 4, 2016 3:09 pm

        As a Democratic Party officer, let me say that is not the stance of the Democratic Party. Nor does the Democratic Party accept R.S’s assertion that undocumented immigrants are unvited thieves.

        For decades, with the wink and nod acceptance of the GOP and its patron, the business community, our immigration laws have been laxly enforced and businesses have knowingly hired undocumented workers. I have sat in congressional hearings with Republican congressman complaining about rigid enforcement of immigration law by the Obama administration on behalf of their agribusiness campaign contributors. And I have watched them cut the budget for Customs and Border Protection.

        The Democratic Party objects to this shadow labor force whose employers abuse its workers and undercuts labor standards for others. We don’t believe that 11 million people should suddenly bear the burden of deportation while those who hired them in the workplace pay no penalty.

        Under the Obama Adminisration, the immigration laws are more strictly enforced than what we saw under Bush. The question is the status of those inticed here by businesses (notice we never call them illegal businesses?).

        • Agellius permalink
          August 4, 2016 6:41 pm

          Well, if it’s the position of the Democratic Party that the American people should have more of a say in determining levels of immigration, and that the immigration laws should be strictly enforced, that’s one less reason I have to disagree with them. (If they made these positions a bit more conspicuous, they might be able to sway some Trump voters.)

  4. Chris permalink
    August 4, 2016 3:35 pm

    I’m just grateful that we have a Church and a Holy Father which present the authentic gospel of Christ on these issues rather than the sorry mess which is apparantly a “genuine American view”.

    God Bless

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