Sunday, October 16, 2016

As a Democrat from about 1978 till early 2016 and a native of Brooklyn, New York, no one needs to tell me that Donald Trump has long been a jerk.  When our kids were young and we'd drive back to New York, our route would take us along the Belt Parkway through the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn.  My kids would ask about the housing development to our right, and I'd explain that it was "Trump Village" - built by Donald's old man.  I'd go on about how the supposed "financial genius" had received a ton of money from Fred.  It took a while before I caught on to the fact that my kids were teasing me - they'd be in hysterics as I'd be repeating a tale for the thousandth time.

I don't understand how NYC ever allowed its prestigious 5th Avenue of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwartz, and Tiffany's to be joined by the gaudy Trump Tower!  And on an issue of far more seriousness, you only need to walk a block or two from the casinos to realize that Donald Trump and his cronies did not bring an economic boom to that impoverished town!  And after he tossed aside the bride of his youth, how did Christian denominations bless "marriages" 2 and 3?  Donald Trump has long been a jerk with plenty of sycophantic enablers. 

I very much stay on top of federal legislation/issues being advocated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, be it the sanctity of human life or marriage/family, as well as immigration, incarceration, etc.   I very much stay on top of state human life and marriage/family legislation advocated by the Pennsylvania Bishops, through the Pa Catholic Conference.  I regularly write to Pa's delegation in D.C. and Bucks County's delegation in Harrisburg about the bishops' concerns.  While I am not a "single issue" voter, there are certain things that any careful reading of the Catechism informs us are non-negotiable.  Toward the end of the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were asked about Supreme Court choices:
  • Clinton: "....I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose, and I want a Supreme Court that will stick with marriage equality.  Now, Donald has put forth the names of some people that he would consider. And among the ones that he has suggested are people who would reverse Roe v. Wade and reverse marriage equality. I think that would be a terrible mistake and would take us backwards...."
  • Trump: "....I am looking to appoint judges very much in the mold of Justice Scalia. I’m looking for judges — and I’ve actually picked 20 of them so that people would see, highly respected, highly thought of, and actually very beautifully reviewed by just about everybody.  But people that will respect the Constitution of the United States. And I think that this is so important...."
If elected, Hillary Clinton would tie Ronald Regan as the oldest elected to serve as president.  If elected, Donald Trump would break that record.  As common sense demands that we look carefully at those who would be just a heartbeat from the presidency, the words of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence toward the end of the vice presidential debate are very telling:

  • Kaine: "....I grew up in a wonderful household with great Irish Catholic parents....I was educated by Jesuits at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City....And I worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras....I try to practice my religion in a very devout way and follow the teachings of my church in my own personal life, but I don't believe....that the doctrines of any religion should be mandated for everyone...." 
  • Pence: "....I know Senator Kaine, you hold pro-life views personally, but the very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me, and I can't conscious about a party that supports that....Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the long-standing provision in the law where we said we wouldn't use taxpayer dollars to fund for abortion. For me, my faith informs my all begins for me with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life."
  • Kaine: "....We support Roe v. Wade....Governor Pence wants to repeal Roe v. Wade...."
  • Pence: "....there is a choice here and it is a choice on life. I couldn't be more proud to be standing with Donald Trump, who is standing for the right to life. It's a principle that Senator Kaine -- and I'm very gentle about this because I really do respect you -- it's a principle that you embrace and I’ve appreciated the fact you supported the Hyde Amendment, which bans funding for abortion in the past, but that's not Hillary Clinton's view...."
  • Pence: "A society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable: the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart, and I couldn't be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump."
While I still think Donald Trump is a jerk, informed Catholics have no other choice than to support the Trump/Pence ticket.

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