Author Topic: Fr Taouk on voting  (Read 2357 times)

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Offline Ladislaus

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Re: Fr Taouk on voting
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2019, 03:00:01 PM »
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  • Not to mention that the Utilitarian principles behind this position lead to completely muddled thinking.

    On the one hand, Father says that one cannot vote for a candidate if they hold morally-objectionable principles, and yet on the other he states that it's an obligation to vote for the candidate who is "more likely to promote the common good".  So do you vote based on the principles to which the candidate adheres or on the likelihood that he would act upon them.  It's a murky blur of principle and pragmatism.  It's no wonder why Catholics are so confused about this matter.

    This was mine.  Confounded "Not Anonymous" box.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #16 on: May 13, 2019, 03:06:16 PM »
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  • St. Alphonsus (per McHugh and Callan) taught that a preplexed conscience which cannot delay a decision must select the lesser of two evils.

    You'll need to cite the full context of this.  I bet that what he's saying is that one must decide on the option that is less likely or less probably evil ... when the conscience is not certain.  It's Catholic Theology 101 that one cannot do any positive evil ... even to prevent a greater one.


    Online Mithrandylan

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #17 on: May 13, 2019, 03:11:16 PM »
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  • You'll need to cite the full context of this.  I bet that what he's saying is that one must decide on the option that is less likely or less probably evil ... when the conscience is not certain.  It's Catholic Theology 101 that one cannot do any positive evil ... even to prevent a greater one.
    .
    Yes, I already gave the context (a perplexed conscience).  But that suffices to overcome the idea that there is something inherently anti-Catholic about the very concept of choosing the lesser of two evils.
    .
    I agree with a lot of what you said viz. the utilitarian ethos of how this idea is usually put out, and also join you in disagreeing with Fr. Tauok for basically the same reasons.  It seemed like the conversation was turning to talk about the concept of lesser evils as a concept and I would have to side with Claudel against your claim of them being inherently anti-Catholic.  Their role in giving the morally perplexed license to act is proof against that thesis.
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    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #18 on: May 13, 2019, 03:51:56 PM »
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    I don't have a moral obligation to vote for a man who is OK killing a thousand babies when the opposition is OK killing ten thousand.
    We don't live in a catholic country, nor a moral one.  There is no such thing as a perfect candidate.  In our present day, ususally the option is for a lessor of 2 evils, but when the choice is openly-evil vs neutrally good, you have to vote AGAINST the openly-evil man every time.  That's a moral duty.

    .
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    That isn't to say that it might not be prudentially wise to vote for a candidate who (say) wants to supremely limit abortions (even if not outlaw them) if they're up against someone who wants to completely open up the abortion industry.  I'm only talking about the existence (or lackthereof) of a moral obligation, and that doesn't exist for any politician who would not vote to outlaw abortion entirely.
    I disagree because the way our system is setup, since this is a democracy, laws get passed by majority.  Therefore, if you view each candidate in some super-strict catholic sense, you'd never vote for anyone.  On the other hand, if you vote for a bunch of "best available" candidates, and if they have the majority, then good laws can come about, even if the candidates themselves are lacking.
    .
    Case in point, Alabama and Kentucky's abortion bans were recently struck down by liberal judges.  But Alabama's law came first, and Kentucky piggy-backed off the idea.  Other states are following their lead, even though the judges will halt the implementation.  Why does this matter?  Because the more states involved, the more power they have when the case goes to the Supreme Court.  If catholics of these states didn't vote, then the state laws wouldn't have passed to begin with, giving the NATION AS A WHOLE no option (through the Supreme Court) to have Roe v Wade overturned.
    .
    Democracy does not work in isolation.  One group of conservative politicians (who may have many flaws) can jump-start a movement of catholic principles because politicians, by nature, follow the people.  The more politicians think they have support, the more they change to "go with the flow".  So the more that catholics support the BEST candidate, even if flawed, the better our country is. 

    Offline trad123

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #19 on: May 13, 2019, 11:37:36 PM »
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  • Well if we're going to talk about the inherent value of choosing a "lesser evil" (divorced from the context of Fr. Tauok) it does have some place in moral theology.  St. Alphonsus (per McHugh and Callan) taught that a preplexed conscience which cannot delay a decision must select the lesser of two evils.  That goes for individual, private morality.  In the public realm, the state is certainly allowed to tolerate lesser evils in the pursuit of staving off a greater one (this of course is a different situation, only bringing it up under the heading of lesser evils in general and their place in Catholic moral theology).  So it isn't right to say that it has no place at all, even if it has no place in the current context of there being a moral obligation to vote.

    Text can be found here:

    MORAL THEOLOGY: A Complete Course Based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Best Modern Authorities BY JOHN A. MCHUGH, O.P. AND CHARLES J. CALLAN, O.P.

    https://ia800302.us.archive.org/29/items/moraltheologyaco35354gut/35354-8.txt


    Quote
    612. St. Alphonsus gives the following directions to assist one who is perplexed in conscience:

    (a) If without serious inconvenience decision can be delayed, reliable advice should be obtained (e.g., from the confessor).

    (b) If decision cannot be delayed, the alternative that seems the lesser evil should be chosen. Example: The natural law requires that Titus should not expose his life to danger unnecessarily. The positive law of the Church requires that he go to Mass on Sunday. It is a less evil to omit what is required by the law of the Church than to omit what is required by the law of God. Hence, Titus should decide that he is not obliged in his circumstances to go to church.

    (c) If decision cannot be delayed and the party cannot decide where the lesser evil lies, he is free to choose either; for he is not bound to the impossible.


    Quote
    1502. Is it lawful to advise another to commit a less evil in preference to a greater evil?

    (a) If the other has not made up his mind to commit either evil, it is not lawful to advise that he do either. Thus, to counsel another to steal, and to make his victims the rich rather than the poor, is a species of seduction.

    (b) If the person has made up his mind to commit the greater evil and the lesser evil is virtually contained in the greater, it is lawful to advise that he omit the former for the latter. For in thus acting one prevents the greater evil and does not cause the lesser evil, since it is virtually contained in the greater evil which the other person had already decided on. Thus, if Titus is bent on stealing $100, Balbus is not guilty of seduction, if he persuades Titus to take only $10. We are supposing, of course, that Titus is so determined to steal that it is out of the question to deter him from taking at least a small amount.

    (c) If the person in question has decided on the greater sin and the lesser is not virtually contained in the greater, it is not lawful to recommend that he commit the smaller instead of the greater sin. For,if one does this, one does not save the other from the internal guilt of the greater sin intended, while one does add the malice of the lesser sin which was not intended. Thus, if Titus plans to kill Caius,it is not lawful to advise that he rob him instead, or that he kill Claudius instead, for robbery is a specifically distinct sin from murder, and Claudius is a different person from Caius. But, if Titus planned to kill Caius in order to rob him, it would not be unlawful to point out that the robbery could be carried out without murder and to advise accordingly.

    1503. Not all theologians accept the last solution just given.

    (a) Some reject it, and hold that, even when the lesser evil is not virtually contained in the greater, it is lawful to advise the lesser. They argue that what one does thereby is not to commit the lesser evil, to induce it or approve it, but only to permit it in order to lessen the harm that will be done, and they confirm their argument from scripture(Gen., xix. 8 ). According to this opinion, then, which has some good authorities in its favor, it would be lawful to advise robbery in order to dissuade another from the greater evil of murder.

    (b) Others modify the solution given in the previous paragraph, and hold that it is lawful to propose the lesser evil or mention it, provided one does not attempt to induce the other person to carry it into effect.



    St. Alphonsus Liguori. Moral Theology Book 1 (Theologia Moralis) Translated by Ryan Grant

    Quote
    Chapter 1: What is Conscience, how manifold is it, and what must be followed?

    10.—Let us proceed to argue the other species of conscience. A perplexed conscience is one in which someone that has been placed in the middle of two precepts believes he sins no matter which side he chooses, e.g. if someone could save the life of the defendant in a trial by perjury, and on the one hand he is distressed by the precept of religion to not commit perjury, while on the other (deduced from an error) by the precept of charity towards his neighbor, and he cannot resolve himself to do one or the other. Thus it is a question of what he ought to do in this case. We respond: If he can suspend an action, he is bound to postpone it until he consults a learned man: but if he cannot suspend it, he is held to choose a lesser evil by avoiding a greater transgression of natural law than of human or divine positive law. Moreover, if he cannot discern what is the lesser evil, and he were to choose either part, he would not sin because in a case of this sort he would lack the freedom necessary for formal sin.


    St. Alphonsus Liguori. Moral Theology Books 2-3 (Theologia Moralis) Translated by Ryan Grant

    Book 2

    DUBIUM V: On Gluttony

    ARTICLE II: What is Drunkenness?

    77.  Whether it is always a mortal sin to make another drunk?

    Quote
    77.—4. It is a mortal sin to cause another man to be drunk, or to challenge him to a drinking contest with the intention of getting drunk, or with the knowledge that drunkenness is going to follow in him or in the other man. Lessius, loc. cit.

    5. If for a just cause, e.g. a great evil could be otherwise impeded if the author of it is drunk, it is lawful to induce him to drunkenness, which at least is not voluntary, viz. apart from intention, and therefore he is inculpably drunk; e.g. a very strong wine, or toasting with a medicated drink, when the other man is deceived, not knowing its strength. Wherefore, one can so make others drunk, who otherwise would betray the city or abduct him. (Lessius, loc. cit., and Sanchez, l. 2, de matr. d. 11). But in this case, would it be permitted to induce someone to drunkenness if it were a voluntary act? There is a doubt. Lessius (l. 4, c. 3, d. 4, n. 32), affirms; because, he says, one may persuade and induce to a lesser evil that prevents a greater one. Laymann, (lib. 3, sect. 4, n. 6) more rightly denies it, because in no case may one induce someone to sin.

    Quaeritur: Whether it is licit to induce someone to get drunk, to impede him from a more serious evil, say from committing a sacrilege or a homicide?

    There are three opinions.

    The first upholds it, and Lessius (l. 4, c. 3, d. 4, n. 53) holds it as probable, and Medina, Gob., Diana and others cited by Croix (l. 2, n. 224) think it is probable. The reason is because one may be prapred to commit a greater evil to induce someone to carry out a lesser one.

    The second opinion, which Laymann (l. 3, sect. 4, n. 6), Bonacina (tom. 2, d. ult. de praec. eccl., q. 1, p. 1, n. 3), Palaus (t. 7, tr. 50, d. 3, p. 5) and the Salamancans (tr. 25, c. 2, p. 4, n. 51) hold it, saying it is licit to induce another to material drunkenness, i.e. when he would otherwise make himself drunk without sin, say by placing a very strong wine in front of him, or one that is medicated; because then on his side he would not sin, and on the other the damage of drunkenness is permitted to avoid even graver damage to others. But it is not licit to say one can induce formal drunkenness, namely when it is by his own sin, since this is intrinsically evil and therefore never permitted. Nor is it opposed (as they say) the reason of Lessius, for they respond that this avails when a lesser evil is included in a greater evil, precisely when you lead one that wishes to kill his enemy to only strike him; but not when the evil is disparate.

    The third opinion, at length, which the Continuator of Tournely upholds (loc. cit., Unde 9), and Holzman (tom. 1 p. 155, 735), along with Arsdek., says it is not permitted to induce anyone to drunkenness whether formal or material, on account of fleeing both evils, because (and in this they speak rightly), an evil, even if it is material, against the natural law is truly an evil, which is why one may never cooperate with it. Still, these not withstanding, the first opinion seems sufficiently probable to me, and other learned men that I have consulted, whether the drunkenness were material or formal, on account of the reasoning that has been provided, because it is licit to induce another to a lesser evil so that he would be impeded from a greater one, according to what we will say in book 3, number 57. Nor is what the Salamancans say (loc. cit., against Lessius) opposed, for, although the evil of drunkenness does not seem included in that greater evil of sacrilege or murder, since they are per se disparate evils; nevertheless, really, virtually it is already included in that greater spiritual evil, since every spiritual evil includes, nay more exceeds, every temporal evil, so much that anyone is held more to suffer every temporal evil to avoid even the lest spiritual evil. Nor does it impede us to say that it is not lawful to persuade a lesser evil to be imposed on a third, because then the one persuading would be the direct cause of damage of the third, because it would not happen to him unless he would persuade, for this occurs when an evil is imposed on a third innocent man, who is not held to suffer the damage, to avoid the spiritual evil of another; but not in our case, where he who is induced to drunkenness, is indeed held to tolerate (as we said above) every temporal evil to put to flight a greater spiritual evil.



    St. Alphonsus Liguori. Moral Theology Books 2-3 (Theologia Moralis) Translated by Ryan Grant

    Book 3

    DUBIUM V: On Scandal

    ARTICLE II Whether, and when, passive scandal can be permitted or on account of it avoiding something it ought to be omitted?

    57.   Whether it is lawful to persuade to a lesser evil to avoid a greater?

    Quote
    57.—Whether it is lawful to persuade or permit a lesser evil to avoid a greater one?

    The first opinion rejects this, according to what Laymann (de char. c. 12, n. 7) holds, with Azor and others. The reason is, because the comparative does not abolish the positive; for this reason, one who persuades a lesser evil, truly persuades an evil. Laymann and Azor place the limitation, unless the evil would be virtually included in the other greater act. So, if you could persuade a man prepared to kill someone that he should only cut off his hand, nevertheless it is the same thing, but not planned by the other. So also for one wishing to commit adultery if you could persuade him to commit fornication with someone that was free in general, but not in particular. The Salamancans admit this (loc. cit. § 1, n. 58 ) provided he would decide to carry out both evils. (with Navarre, etc.) But Laymann instinctively says (as well as Sanchez with the second opinion, as will soon be said), that he expressly rejects this limitation because (as he says) then a lesser evil is proposed, not that he would perpetrate another, but that he would withdraw from the greater.

    The Second opinion is more probable and holds it is licit to persuade a lesser evil if the other is determined to carry out a greater evil. The reason is because the one persuading does not seek an evil, but a good, namely the choice of a lesser evil. (Sanchez, de matrim. lib. 7, d. 11, n. 15, with de Soto, Molina, Navarre, Medina, Sylvest. and many others, and the Salamancans loc. cit. with Cajetan, Soto, Palaus, Bonacina, etc; Croix thinks it is probable, lib. 2, n. 223, moreover, Sanchez teaches the same thing in n. 19, with Cajetan, de Soto, Vocar, Valent.). It is licit to persuade a man prepared to kill someone that he should steal from someone instead, or that he should fornicate. And the defenders of this opinion argue it from St. Augustine (in c. Si quod verius, caus. 33, q. 2) where he says: “If he is going to do something that is not lawful, now he might commit adultery and not murder, and while his wife is living he marries another, and does not shed human blood.” From such words, “now he might commit adultery,” Sanchez proves (dict. n. 15), with de Soto, Molina, Navarre, Abb., etc., that the Holy Doctor spoke not only about permitting, but even persuading. And Sanchez adds this (n. 23) with Salon, it is not only lawful for individuals, but even for confessors, parents, and others, to whom the duty is incumbent to impede the sins of subordinates.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.


    Anonymous

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #20 on: May 14, 2019, 06:16:20 AM »
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  • Say in 2024, both candidates are women. Or pro-abortion. Do we abstain from voting then, when there is no lesser of two evils?

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #21 on: May 14, 2019, 08:18:38 AM »
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  • St. Alphonsus was talking about a scenario where there is no alternative, non datur tertium.

    So, for instance, if someone is holding a gun to my family members and telling me I have to rob a bank or else they'll kill them.  If there's no way out of that situation, then robbing the bank is permitted since the greater evil would be the murder of my family.  This is absolutely not permitted except in a situation where there is no alternative, no third choice.  In other words, there is NO MORAL FREEDOM to do anything other than something OBJECTIVE wrong.  That is not actually a moral choice, an act of the will; as there's no free choice of evil.  In other words, in that scenario, while it would be objectively/materially wrong, it would not be formally immoral.  That has absolutely nothing to do with voting ... or with absolutely any other scenario in which one is FREE to do something that is not evil.

    This has absolutely no applicability to voting.  Unless there were someone forcing you to pick a candidate under pain of death, you are free not to choose either candidate, to vote for a Third Party candidate, or even write someone in.




    Anonymous

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #22 on: May 14, 2019, 09:44:59 AM »
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  • Unless there were someone forcing you to pick a candidate under pain of death, you are free not to choose either candidate, to vote for a Third Party candidate, or even write someone in.
    Exactly. 


    Online Mithrandylan

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #23 on: May 14, 2019, 10:03:35 AM »
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  • St. Alphonsus was talking about a scenario where there is no alternative, non datur tertium.

    So, for instance, if someone is holding a gun to my family members and telling me I have to rob a bank or else they'll kill them.  If there's no way out of that situation, then robbing the bank is permitted since the greater evil would be the murder of my family.  This is absolutely not permitted except in a situation where there is no alternative, no third choice.  In other words, there is NO MORAL FREEDOM to do anything other than something OBJECTIVE wrong.  That is not actually a moral choice, an act of the will; as there's no free choice of evil.  In other words, in that scenario, while it would be objectively/materially wrong, it would not be formally immoral.  That has absolutely nothing to do with voting ... or with absolutely any other scenario in which one is FREE to do something that is not evil.

    This has absolutely no applicability to voting.  Unless there were someone forcing you to pick a candidate under pain of death, you are free not to choose either candidate, to vote for a Third Party candidate, or even write someone in.
    .
    I agree about the limited applicability and brought that up earlier.  The point is that there is nevertheless an applicability, contrary to your statement that the concept itself was inherently anti-Catholic.  That's all.  We agree that voting is not one of those areas.
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    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #24 on: May 14, 2019, 10:09:43 AM »
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  • We're changing the debate here.  The original debate was over a 2 party alternative: Evil politician vs neutral/moderately good politician.  Mith says he's not obliged to vote, morally.  I disagree.
    .
    Obviously, if there is a 3rd party candidate who is "better" than the neutral/moderate candidate above, then you should vote for him.  But you're still voting for an imperfect candidate, which is what Mith objected to originally. 
    .
    If you avoid voting, then I say you are committing a sin of ommission. 

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #25 on: May 14, 2019, 10:59:02 AM »
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  • We're changing the debate here.  The original debate was over a 2 party alternative: Evil politician vs neutral/moderately good politician.  Mith says he's not obliged to vote, morally.  I disagree.

    So, according to your principles, do I meet my obligation to vote if I write in a non-viable candidate?


    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #26 on: May 14, 2019, 11:16:02 AM »
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  • There's no such thing as a "non viable" candidate, unless you listen to the media, which uses psychology and fake polls to make people think that "so and so" doesn't have a chance.  If people voted for the best candidate instead of who has the best chance of winning, America would be better off.  Yes, if you vote for the best candidate, regardless of polls, you fulfill your obligation. 
    .
    Another factor which people forget:  Typically, only the major races (president, congress, governor) are covered by the media with much effort.  Certainly these races are important, but there's usually only 2 candidates which have a chance here.  The major opportunity to change america is at the local/state level.  The races where no one knows the candidates too well and they are often forgotten (i.e. a state's secretary of state, or state auditor, state senate).  If people concentrated as much on these races as they do on the governor or US Congress, each state could be changed for the better, very rapidly.  This would have an effect on DC, as state's Attorney Generals and Governors are affected by the state congress and can affect the US Congress through legislation and lawsuits.
    .
    My whole point is that if you get into this mindset where you only have to vote when a candidate "has a chance", or you don't have to vote if there's no good candidate, then you are probably going to avoid voting/caring on the local races, since you don't vote/care about the bigger ones.  Not following the local/state races is a major lost opportunity that America's middle class has squandered for the last 50 years.

    Anonymous

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #27 on: May 14, 2019, 11:21:46 AM »
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  • As of last night, Trump is strongly considering sending 120,000 American troops to the Persian Gulf area to wage war against Iran.
    That's what voting does for America, it keeps the War Machine going.
    Candidate Trump ran on "stop being the policemen of the world, and focus on the America"
    Now, Trump is Israel's little orange bich.
    Trump's Jew whore daughter and his Jew son-in-law make sure Netanyahu's commands are carried out by Trump.
    Trump can never say "no" to his Jew whore daughter. Whatever she demands, Trump fights to make it happen. She's also behind Trump's global campaign to decriminalize sodomy.

    What has Trump actually done to perpetuate, much less expand, America's military presence around the world?

    ZERO.

    Don't fall for the misinformation and misdirection that Trump has to use to throw off the Deep State and the Mainstream Media. Remember "I have a bigger nuke button than Kim Jong Un" and the Media went wild? But what actually *happened*? Trump has been secretly working out peace with many countries, using old-fashioned means that can't be spied on like physical snail-mail letters.

    When it comes to actual deeds, and results, Trump is doing a great job. The best we can hope for at this point, at the stage we're in.

    He has done everything he can in TWO MEASLY YEARS to roll back the American Empire, deep state, global police action and interference, of the US, etc. He needs more than a couple years to roll back 80+ years of pure corruption.

    He has been quoted as saying he wants no more "endless wars". So far, he has only waged peace, not more wars. Why would he end several wars, only to start 1 or 2 more?

    Matthew

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #28 on: May 14, 2019, 11:25:09 AM »
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  • Remember when Trump pretended to believe the lies that Assad was a butcher and dictator? He launched several cruise missiles, and the MSM went wild? Even I was upset with him at first.

    Then the truth came out.

    Those missiles were all aimed at ISIS, and the proof was that Assad's forces were poised and ready to follow up the gains started by the missiles to take over more ISIS land. If they had been aimed at Assad's forces, it would have been the other way around.

    Under Obama, ISIS took over most of Syria. With Russia's help, Assad is finally back in control of Syria.

    Note that Trump is working with Russia (in a good way) too -- he's not drumbeating for WW3 nuclear war with Russia like Hillary and many Dems are.

    Putin is pro-Russia and Trump is pro-America. They have one thing in common: nationalism, and they both have no use for the Deep State. They both want what is best for their respective countries. PROTIP: Nuclear war with a major nuclear power isn't good for one's country.

    Trump has my support and my vote!

    If you want more years to prepare for (inevitable?) WW3, or you want WW3 to be averted or at least delayed, every Catholic who loves his family should vote for Trump. He's our ONLY HUMAN HOPE.

    Matthew
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    Anonymous

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    Re: Fr Taouk on voting
    « Reply #29 on: May 14, 2019, 11:29:03 AM »
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  • I don't care if Trump is pro-Israel. I'll take what I can get: a president that actually loves America.

    I'm sure presidents have been pro-Israel for many decades. Trump is still rolling back the clock countless decades -- he'll be nice to Israel, but not at the expense of America like so many presidents in recent years. 

    Trump wouldn't go along with a 9/11 false flag attack like Bush did, even if it greatly benefited Israel. That's where Trump draws the line.


     

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