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Charles De Koninck Against the Trump Defenders

Why does one not require, as a matter of principle and as an essential condition, that the leaders of society be men who are good purely and simply? How can one admit that a bad man might make a good politician? To be sure, it is not new to see subjects governed by bad men, men to whom one does nonetheless owe obedience in those things which pertain to their authority. What is new however is the manner of accepting and defending them. (On the Primacy of the Common Good, p. 69).

17 thoughts on “Charles De Koninck Against the Trump Defenders

    • I am not sure what Pater Edmund will reply to that question, but the title of the post makes me think of much more than the vote. I understand why many people who care about good things intend to vote for Trump. But I am disturbed that many of them don’t just defend their vote but defend Trump. They exonerate him for things they would never forgive a Democrat, they admire the way he defeated his primary opponents through low, comic mockery, and fantasize about what he will accomplish should he become President. I understand why people will vote for him, but they should do so knowing that he is “a vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem”, who will likely be a train wreck as President and a continual source of scandal and embarrassment for Republicans.

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  1. Unfortunately, the American political system and state of morality in this country being what it is, what choice does one have really? Third party votes only help either of the two main candidates, but the reality also is there is no morally safe major third party candidate either.

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  2. This reminds of the fictional time I found myself at the controls of a runaway train and was approaching a split in the tracks. If I steered right, I would hit a puppy that was asleep on the tracks. If I steered left, I would hit a van full of Little Sisters of the Poor that was stuck on the tracks. Not wanting to be responsible for any evil, I took my hands off the controls and left the outcome to chance. Although the ensuing mayhem was lamentable, I had the smug satisfaction of knowing that I had removed myself from the chain of causation. Also, the tragedy lent strength to my strong letter of protest to the railroad about the state of repair of the brakes.

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  3. Also, I wrote in “Saint Theresa the Little Flower” on my ballot. That’ll send a real message! It’ll almost be as strong as those French knights who refused to muster with Charles the Hammer in the Battle of Tours because they could not accept an adulterer as their leader.

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      • On a more serious note, there is a good reason to think that a vote for a candidate is in fact an endorsement of the candidate at least in a small sense, even if it does not of itself imply formal cooperation. I refer to the disturbing phenomenon noted earlier by Andrew Seeley, whereby self-declared Trump voters, by and large, gravitate in the direction of defending or minimizing Trump’s behavior, instead of merely saying that they will vote for him despite his atrocious behavior. Darwin Catholic notes the same behavior in a recent blog post. In a recent lengthy defense of voting for Trump, Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life begins by asserting that a vote for a candidate is in no way an endorsement of the candidate or his personal behavior, then proceeds, in the same discourse, to make bizarre and egregious defenses of Trump, including suggesting that running for President somehow constitutes the highest form of repentance on Trump’s part.

        Since the natural is what happens always or for the most part, this pattern, whereby even those who explicitly disavow the connection are prone to implicitly support it, suggests that the connection between voting for a candidate and supporting a candidate’s behavior at least on a basic level is both real and natural.

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    • This reminds me of Chesterton’s poem “The Ballad of the White Horse,” where he has Alfred the Great asking his men to pray for him due to his sins of adultery.

      Christi pax.

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  4. Pingback: Cf. 1110a – Subsannabit

  5. Pingback: Trump Grabs Presidency, Bores Children! – Subsannabit

  6. Pingback: The American Election and the Virtues and Vices of Liberal Politics (and Politicians) | Sancrucensis

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