Monday, March 23, 2009

My Beef with Neo-Conservatives

There’s an old saying: “If you’re not a liberal at age twenty, you’re heartless; if you’re not a conservative by thirty, you’re brainless.” That being said, at twenty-five I can’t say that I find myself directly between both sides. In fact, I have no problem saying that I’m not a liberal Democrat! At the same time, I can’t seem to say that I am all for what the neo-conservative movement has been about. Or maybe I should call it the neo-neo-conservative movement – but I’m really not sure if "neo-neo" could even apply to someone as old as John McCain!

In any case, this past presidential election was evidence enough that foreign policy and matters of war were what the Republican Party was really stressing though their candidate. It became the party of national security more than the party of life. This, however, is not to say that national security (and the defense of Israel in particular) isn’t important, but rather that everything we do in our lives – including politics – must be formed by the Christian foundation and natural moral law that our Founding Fathers so clearly espoused in the eighteenth century. Obviously the Far Left has thrown these principles aside, but it seems as if more and more Republicans are doing so as well. There are, unfortunately, many examples of this.

Let’s begin with Republicans in Left-leaning states. This is what at first made me leery of Mitt Romney in the ultra-Left state of Massachusetts and what makes me so glad that the Constitution keeps those like Governor Ahh-nold of Ahh-stria from being president. They tend to compromise on the moral issues in order to please others. They call themselves “fiscal” conservatives (which is in itself okay) but are then “social liberals” on matters of, say, abortion or gay “rights”. Romney, though campaigning on a pro-life stance, has had a mixed record on the matter and did strike some as holding a potentially compromised position on the issue of life. Giuliani, however, was clearly the pro-lifers’ nightmare. Granted I have an unparalleled respect for the man, I could never vote for him due to his untenable position on life’s most vulnerable. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is another example of a “conservative” willing to trade millions of innocent lives for political gain. Besides Arnold, Hollywood’s conservatives also have a stained record. Clint Eastwood, whose newest movie (Gran Torino) has proven to be perhaps the most morally remarkable of his career, recently directed a movie that overtly supported euthanasia!

John McCain, however, seemed to become the “acceptable” middle candidate. Like Giuliani, I have a great deal of respect for McCain. Nevertheless, how he could say that abortion is evil and yet tolerate embryonic stem cell research is appalling. What difference is there between the embryo in the womb and the embryo outside the womb in a dish? Granted, life should not be artificially created as these embryos are – but we have life and life should be protected! To me, this position for embryonic stem cell research seemed to me to comprise McCain on matters of life in general. He was, however, a much better candidate than Obama – who has since used his skills at defending the deaths of children to justify the death of our economy as well.

Perhaps the movement away from the Christian ideal began with members inside the Bush Administration. President Bush, it should be said, ran this country in as thoroughly a Christian manner as could be expected from a man of his convictions. He was devout and faithful and his leadership, by and large, reflected this.

One problem, however, was in Donald Rumsfeld. As Secretary of Defense, he helped shape the militaristic foundation of the neo-neo conservative agenda. What’s more, he appointed the man whose job it was to assign chief offices in the military. This man, a homosexual proponent, sought to make open homosexuality an acceptable “orientation” in the military and gave a speech in which he strategized how he could make homosexuality in the military a part of the soldier’s everyday life! Is this the kind of leadership we want in the military?!

In conclusion, I believe the GOP is typically by far the lesser of two evils – but Christians must be vigilant of both parties, never assuming that one is obviously the best. The Church teaches that we must closely examine each candidate and not vote for a single party or vote based on a single issue. The biggest problem, however, is that we have to choose the lesser of two evils! Christians need to stop being prudent, pragmatic, and practical and start standing up for what is true, good, and beautiful. They need to speak out and get involved! Jesus Christ, the light of the world, cannot be put under a basket and be hidden from the world. Instead, he must be proclaimed by our words and our actions – especially the actions of those who call themselves Christian politicians.

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