Why I am Voting Republican this Year
(While Holding My Nose)

Christopher A. Ferrara

Being Pro Life Still Matters in America

(Sarah and Todd Palin and family before the birth of their fifth child.)
(Posted September 1, 2008 www.RemnantNewspaper.com)  I never thought I would say this, much less write it for public consumption, but here it is: In recent days I have become convinced that Catholics are not only justified in voting for the McCain-Palin ticket in November as the lesser of two evils, but that they are morally obliged to do so.  Please, hear me out.

I have not arrived at this conviction because there is even a dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats in their adherence to the Cult of Liberty that has destroyed a once Christian civilization and brought the Western world to the brink of an apocalypse. Nor do I have any expectation that President McCain or Vice President Palin would be able (or even willing) to save a single life in the womb through an exercise of executive authority in defense of the divine and natural law, or through the appointment of Supreme Court justices who would construe the Constitution in accordance with the divine and natural law. On the contrary, the candidates for both parties remain equally submissive to the dogmatic teaching of the Cult that, as UCLA sociologist Robert N. Bellah has put it, “the national magistrate, whatever his personal religious views, operates under the rubrics of the civil religion as long as he is in his official capacity…”[i]

Rather, I am convinced we have a moral duty to vote Republican for two reasons that make this election significantly different from previous elections. The first reason is Sarah Palin: an unreservedly “pro-life feminist” mother of five, who gave birth to her fifth child knowing that he had Down Syndrome; a woman who has been married to the same man for twenty years; a self-described “hockey mom,” avid hunter and NRA member; a fiscal and social conservative (by contemporary standards) who—and this alone is reason to cheer—endorsed Pat Buchanan’s presidential bid.

Yes, during her acceptance speech Palin did pay tribute to Hillary Clinton’s “determination and grace,” which is hardly the way to describe Clinton’s frenetic attempt to sink her steely fangs into the presidency like some desperately flapping famished vampire bat. And yes, Palin, baptized a Catholic, suffered the misfortune of being made a member of something called the “Wasilla Assembly of God” by her parents when she was still a little girl. As a participant in one of the innumerable Pentecostal enthusiasms born of the Cult of Liberty (cfr. Nathan O. Hatch’s The Democratization of American Christianity), she would be just as insensible as the rest of Protestant (and liberal Catholic) America to the radical errors of pluralist democracy which are the catechism of the Cult. Yet despite the religious decisions that were made for her when she was a child—during the mid-70s, when Catholics were deserting the Church en masse thanks to the postconcilar “reforms”—the appearance of Sarah Palin on the Republican Party ticket is nothing short of a minor miracle. This woman clearly possesses the kind of decency, integrity and simplicity of intention that American politics has bred out of practically every contender for public office at any level in this country.  Where did this lady come from?

Obviously, McCain chose Palin in a bid—calculated and cynical—to mobilize electoral support among the evangelical Christians who were quite rightly threatening to boycott this election (along with many traditional Roman Catholics, this writer included). And had McCain chosen anyone on the menu of losers that reportedly comprised his short list, that boycott would have denied him the White House. But McCain chose Palin—a right-winger called in from left field—thereby signaling that he knows, and that the Republican Party apparatus knows, that the limit has been reached in the Republicans’ game of the carrot and the stick. 

In fact, McCain has abandoned his once dogged effort to add exceptions for rape, incest and “danger to the life of the mother” to the Party platform on abortion, with its call for a Constitutional amendment to declare that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to humans in gestation.  It seems to me that this year, at least, the Republican Party has sufficiently distinguished itself from the Democrats on the greatest moral issue of our time to justify voting Republican, with the selection of Palin tipping the balance in favor of that conclusion.

In my view the choice of Palin confirms that at least the Republicans now recognize that their survival as a party means they must cease alienating pro-life voters. In spite of itself, the Republican Party apparatus has been forced to add a genuinely pro-life candidate to its ticket, who will act as a brake on the “pro-choice” faction in the Party.  That isn’t much, but we cannot say that it is nothing.

But why do I say that we have a positive moral duty to vote Republican in this election? That brings me to my second reason: Barack Obama. Obama’s pseudo-Catholic sidekick, Joe Biden, is of course just another American Judas who revels in his power, ponies up for hair transplants, and boasts of his “drop-dead gorgeous” wife, as he calls her. Pope Leo XIII recognized long ago in his encyclicals on Americanism that this country would be a breeding ground for the kind of brazen apostasy Biden exhibits. (The European continent has of course become the same thing, although the process of converting Catholic Europe to American-style pluralist democracy was not fully completed until after Leo’s death.)  Obama, however, is no Judas but a true believer. His speeches tell us that he has never been anything but a devoted adherent of the Cult, a universal man of “the first universal nation,” as the liberal Catholic Father John Neuhaus so approvingly describes it. A master demagogue of truly frightening power, Obama (unlike the merely pathetic Biden) is a man to be feared.

Obama adheres to the Cult of Liberty not merely because one must do so at least exteriorly in order to gain admission to the seats of power in America, but because he really believes in the righteousness of the New Order of the Ages enshrined on our dollar bills. He is truly convinced that it is “In God We Trust” as Americans vote themselves the power to spend their dollars on the services of abortionists—or indeed anything else that money can buy, so long as a bare majority declares there is a “right” to have it.  Obama adheres with all his mind and heart to that great teaching of Liberty, which comes to us from Locke by way of Rousseau, that “in order… that the social compact may not be an empty formula, it tacitly includes the undertaking, which alone can give force to the rest, that whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free…”[ii] As the very Apostle of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson—a devoted student of Locke—declared in his first inaugural address, there must be “absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics…” That the “decisions of the majority” really mean the decisions of a few politicians elected by a minority of the total population is part of the great fraud of “government by consent of the governed.”  But that is for another article.

Yet so deep is Barack Obama’s devotion to the Cult that he would override even the otherwise sacred will of the majority by judicial decisions in order to enforce the “fundamental right” of abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. He would do this because the ability to rid oneself of unwanted children before they are born is inseparably connected to that libertarian super-dogma of “self-ownership,” first revealed by Thomas Hobbes and developed more palatably in the “magisterium” of Locke, the co-founder of “classical liberalism.”  As Hobbes declared back in 1640, at the dawning of the Cult of Liberty: “And considering that… every man by the law of nature hath right or propriety to his own body, the child ought rather to be the propriety of the mother, of whose body it is part, till the time of separation…”[iii]

Obama, however, has gone even further in his defense of the dogma of “self-ownership.”  As an Illinois state senator he opposed the Induced Infant Liability Act, which prohibits the practice of allowing babies who survive attempted abortions to die for lack of treatment. The Act was passed only after Obama left the Illinois Senate. The federal analogue, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, passed the House with only 15 votes in opposition, and was unanimously adopted by the Senate just before Obama arrived there. Even NARAL supported the federal bill, which President Bush signed into law. At Christ Hospital in Chicago, where Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, served on the board of directors, tiny abortion survivors were being taken to the Soiled Utility Room and left there to die. But the testimony of a nurse who witnessed these murders, Jill Stanek, left Obama unmoved.[iv] He kept the Act bottled up in committee.

Obama’s defense of passive infanticide reflects an aspect of the “Ethics of Liberty” enunciated by the late Murray N. Rothbard in his morally idiotic book by that title. Rothbard, the great libertarian guru of the Cult of Liberty, notes “the conservative Catholic position” on abortion, which “comes disquietingly close to the general view that a newborn baby cannot be aggressed against because it is a potential adult.” The Catholic “position,” however, is contrary to “every man’s absolute right of self-ownership,” from which “right” Rothbard deduces the rule that “the law… may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.” This “rule,” writes Rothbard:

allows us to solve such vexing questions as: should a parent have the right to allow a deformed baby to die (e.g., by not feeding it)? The answer is of course yes, following a fortiori from the larger right to allow any baby, whether deformed or not, to die….

Our theory also enables us to examine the question of Dr. Kenneth Edelin, of Boston City Hospital, who was convicted in 1975 of manslaughter for allowing a fetus to die (at the wish, of course, of the mother) after performing an abortion. If parents have the legal right to allow a baby to die, then a fortiori they have the same right for extra-uterine fetuses.[v]

Or, as Obama put it in explaining his opposition to the Induced Infant Liability Act: “What we are doing here is to create one more burden on women, and I can’t support that.”[vi] In fairness to Obama, however, unlike Rothbard he does not advocate a right to allow all unwanted children to die of neglect, but only those who have not been completely dispatched by an attempted abortion.  And it is entirely possible that Obama arrived at his amoral application of the “Ethics of Liberty” without ever having read Rothbard’s asinine arguments. True believers in Liberty are perfectly capable of arriving independently at the absurd but deadly conclusions dictated by the dogma of the Cult.

“I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions,” said Obama to a group of House Democrats after his megalomaniacal appearance in Berlin.  Obama sees himself as the living embodiment of Liberty, that collection of man-made “traditions” according to which the truths of revelation (including the “Catholic position” dismissed by Rothbard) are a matter of private opinion that is no business of government’s, whereas “self-ownership” is an inviolable right that must be recognized universally and imposed by the law of nations. If this man is elected, he will move mountains to protect abortion as the great sacrament of Liberty. Boasting a 100% rating from NARAL, Obama opposes any and all restrictions on abortion on demand, even parental notification laws.

But it is not only concerning abortion that Obama is a man to be feared.  As this great demagogue of Liberty declared in his own version of Mein Kampf, the Audacity of Hope, “we are born into this world free, all of us… each of us arrives with a bundle of rights that can’t be taken away by any person or any state without just cause…” Rest assured that if elected Mr. Yes We Can will say yes to enactment of the now-dormant Conyers “Hate Crimes” Bill and the Home Grown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, for he will certainly find “just cause” to limit the only freedom in the illusory “bundle of rights” that Liberty still allows without restriction in America: the freedom to criticize the regime.

And Liberty, ever vigilant to the slightest sign of a resurgence of that dread “common enemy,” as Locke called it—Roman Catholicism—is certainly not pleased by the condemnations Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have received from at least six American bishops.  Owing, one must suppose, to the graces won by the Motu Proprio that is so feared and loathed by the forces of the “modern world,” it appears that the Church has managed to free perhaps one finger on one hand from the strings by which the Lilliputians of Liberty have tied her to the ground while proclaiming the glories of “religious freedom.” Expect IRS action and even hate crimes prosecutions if Catholic bishops and priests become too vocal in their opposition to the reign of Liberty under its vicar Barack Obama. For as Locke declared in his hilariously entitled Letter Concerning Toleration, the “common enemy” of Roman Catholicism must not be tolerated when Catholics dare to “mix with their religious worship and speculative opinions other doctrines absolutely destructive to the society wherein they live, as is evident in the Roman Catholics that are subjects of any prince but the pope.”

From its very beginning with the revolt of Luther, Liberty has always been about keeping the Catholics down.  Should the Catholic hierarchy in this country decide that it will no longer be kept down, should it even attempt to break those Lilliputian strings of Liberty, there will be outright governmental oppression of the sort we are already witnessing in Canada and the EU.

In short, God help us all if Barack Obama ascends to the White House, the very throne of what Jefferson, that great hater of Catholicism, liked to call the Empire of Liberty. And so I am voting Republican in this election. Because this time the Republicans, by adding Sarah Palin to their ticket, have done just enough to present voters with a clear moral choice. But more important, because under no circumstances can Catholics sit back and allow a veritable forerunner of the Antichrist to become President of the United States. 

Our Lady, Patroness of the Americas, intercede for us!

[i]Robert N. Bellah, “Civil Religion in America,” Dćdalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Winter 1967, vol. 96, No. 1, p. 12.

[ii]Rousseau, Social Contract, I.7.

[iii]De Corpore Politico,  II.4.1.

[iv]“Obama More Pro-Choice Than NARAL,” Human Events, December 26, 2006.

[v]Rothbard, Ethics of Liberty, p. 98, 100-101. This repulsive and preposterous book is aggressively promoted by Lew Rockwell’s libertarian think tank, the Von Mises Institute, and its “Senior Faculty,” several of whom purport to be orthodox Catholics—yet another manifestation of the bizarre Americanism that has infected the Church in this country. See http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp for an online searchable version of the book. See http://mises.org/faculty.aspx. for a list of “Senior Faculty.” In a laudatory introduction to another of Rothbard’s books, Senior Faculty member Thomas E. Woods, Jr. praises Rothbard as “a scholar and polymath of such extraordinary productivity” and says this of Ethics of Liberty: “In The Ethics of Liberty Rothbard set out the philosophical implications of the idea of self-ownership.” Indeed he did—and without the least criticism from Woods or any of Rothbard’s other disciples. See Woods, Intro. to The Betrayal of the American Right (Ludwig von Mises Institute: 2007), ix.

[vi]Jill Stanek, “Obama Blocked Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” April 2, 2008 http://www.citizenlink.org/content/A000007034.cfm.