The GOP Debate: as Disappointing as Ever

The GOP primary debate is currently on live in South Carolina and I’ve finally reached the breaking point where I just can’t watch anymore. If anyone says anything else interesting I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it. In the meantime there were two statements made that I found particularly enlightening and would like to address.

The first statement was made by Romney as he announced his support for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial under suspicion of terrorist activity thus allowing the executive branch to completely bypass our judicial system. Up to this point Romney has not held a position on the bill as far as I am aware (At the time of the Iowa caucuses he stated that he was “unaware” of the bill and promised caucus goers that he would read it at a later date). I personally find it very disturbing that our legislators and many of the GOP candidates vying for the presidency have apparently lost all faith in our judicial system during the course of their war on terror and are now eager to completely excise it from our justice system at the expense of the constitutional rights of all American citizens.

The second statement was made by Rick Perry regarding the marines who urinated on the corpses of Afghani soldiers. In response to the marines the Secretary of Defense and the Obama administration condemned the actions as “utterly despicable”. Perry, however, while he thinks that these soldiers should be punished by the military, believes that this reaction from the President is too strong and that the marines should not be prosecuted for any crime. Furthermore, he relayed this incident in order to provide an “example” of Obama’s “disdain” for our military. Let me repeat that: Rick Perry thinks that condemning the marines who urinated on foreign soldiers corpses within their own land as “utterly despicable” equates to disdain by Obama for our entire armed forces, dishonoring them and all their sacrifice. However, what Rick Perry seems incapable of understanding is that the president’s words were entirely accurate: desecration of dead bodies illustrates a grave disrespect for the sanctity of human life and the immutable truth that each and every human being is made in the image and likeness of God our creator. President Obama’s choice of words were completely appropriate in respect to this violation and in no way was a reflection of his views on the military at large. That Rick Perry is willing to compromise recognition of the infinite value innate to human life for blind allegiance to our military bodes ill for the protection of human rights.

This is why I don’t like watching these debates. It doesn’t seem like much to ask for public servants who will simply uphold our constitutional rights and respect and abide by Catholic moral teaching yet apparently even that is more than our politicians can handle. I urge my readers that, in order to send a message to our politicians, you simply support a candidate compatible with Catholic moral teaching no matter how “unelectable” they may be, a candidate who doesn’t support abortion, unjust war, assassinations, torture, preemptive military strikes, foreign aid to dictators, covert operations against countries without declaration of war, redefinition of marriage, or increases in government power at the expense of our constitutional rights to name a few. Its more difficult than it sounds as such candidates appear to be rare this presidential race. The only major candidate on either side of the aisle who comes close in my opinion is Ron Paul, but don’t take my word for it; find out for yourself.

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