How Pro-Choice are Democrats?


The Democratic party holds the principle of “choice” to be sacrosanct . . . that is, so long as they pre-approve it first. If its not in line with the liberal agenda then its not really a “choice” and the not-as-smart non-Democrats must be protected by their benevolent government from trans fats, soft drinks and charter schools. After all, “Government is the only thing that we all belong to.” Meanwhile, if you want to abort your baby or have sex with strangers then you’re assumed to be a genius who can only make good decisions, oh, excuse me, I mean “decisions with good results.”

This is what happens when public policy is driven by “the triumph of the human spirit” and government fiat (both of which really just break down to might makes right) instead of Natural Law, human rights, liberty, virtue and legitimate rule of law, a.k.a the constitution.

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Fair is Fair: Or is It?


In politics we hear a lot of talk about “fairness”. We can have free trade but only so long as it is “fair” trade, instead of “cut-throat” competition we need a “fair” market, we must always play “fair.” Fairness is an important concept in a society but what we actually mean when we say that something should be “fair” can differ and that difference, even if its subtle, can mean the difference between justice and injustice in a society.

Fairness may refer to the idea that everyone should be treated equally. Everyone is treated the same under the law, justice is blind etc. But, often, fairness is also used to mean granting everyone the same probability of success. Often, politicians and others have both definitions in mind when they talk about fairness. The reality, however, is that we cannot treat everyone the same and grant everyone identical probabilities of success in life. These two definitions of fairness are mutually exclusive to one another, the reason being that we are not created equal, we are not raised equal and we simply can’t be given equal opportunities in all things over the course of our entire lives.

This view may seem contradictory to our very own Declaration of Independence which states that “all men are created equal.” However, to understand what those words mean we must understand it in its context: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our founders never made such an asinine claim as that we are all created equal in regards to our biology: our physical health, our mental capacity and everything else that determines our talents and ability. No, we are created equal in regards to our rights. We are indeed very different in terms of utility but our souls are of infinite, and therefore equal, value, and that is why justice must be blind, that is why we all share the same universal rights.

Classical liberalist Ludwig von Mises recognized man’s natural inequality and pointed out that Karl Marx, a man on the complete opposite end of the political spectrum from himself, did as well: “Some surpass their fellow men in health and vigor, in brain and aptitudes, in energy and resolution and are therefore better fitted for the pursuit of earthly affairs than the rest of mankind — a fact that has also been admitted by Marx. He spoke of ‘the inequality of individual endowment and therefore productive capacity (Leistungsfähigkeit)’ as ‘natural privileges’ and of ‘the unequal individuals (and they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal).'”

Pope Leo XIII also readily recognized the inherent inequality between men: “There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition.” Here, Pope Leo XIII goes a step further and draws the logical conclusion from the observation that men are created unequal: that inequality of wealth among men is in accordance with Natural Law.

Our second definition of fairness, that all human beings be given an equal opportunity, with equal probabilities of success, is incompatible with this simple human reality of natural inequality. Some men are smarter, stronger or even just more fortunate than others. To attempt to “level the playing field” can only be accomplished by treating these men unequally as well: to prevent the fitter man from reaching his potential, by forcibly taking from him greater wealth and giving it to the less equipped man. Thus, by punishing people simply for being better endowed in life and rewarding others for their mediocrity does “fairness” become injustice and does tyranny ensue.

Conversely, treating all people equally under the law necessarily results in inequality. Believe it or not this is fair. It is fair because it is just: some men are more productive than others and, under a legal system that respects everyone’s rights equally and does not favor any special interest above the interests of everyone else, they will be rewarded according to their contributions. This actually ends up benefiting everyone. Mises put it thus, “Under capitalism the more gifted and more able have no means to profit from their superiority other than to serve to the best of their abilities the wishes of the majority of the less gifted.” When public policy is driven by Natural Law, when men are treated equally and rewarded according to their accomplishments, people are able to capitalize fully on their natural talents, to their benefit but also to the benefit of society as a whole. That is fair; that is justice.

Another Reason to End the War on Drugs


Ron Paul is perhaps one of the greatest opponents to the drug war and he’s been called every name in the book, including “crazy”, as a result. However, facts are fickle things and, time and again, the facts are on Ron Paul’s side. In the latest example experts validate Paul’s claim that the drug war is “very biased against minorities.”

Experts told Politic365.com that Paul’s claim that minorities are disproportionally affected by the “war on drugs” is basically correct.

“But the most important thing that we also know is that African Americans are not the majority of users of crack cocaine,” McCurdy said. “Although they are the majority of people who are sentenced under these unfair crack cocaine laws…White and Hispanics are the majority of users of crack cocaine.”

Additionally, McCurdy explained that in the federal system 51 percent of the people that are in federal prison today are in federal prison for drug charges and 40 percent of those are people of color.

“And often what happens is, African Americans are assumed to be drug dealers and whites are assumed to be drug users, and therefore whites often get drug treatment where Africans Americans get incarceration,” she said.

Statistics compiled by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition from the Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, and U.S. Census Bureau show in 2010, African-Americans comprised 14.3 percent of drug users in the United States, but were 31.8 percent of those arrested for drug law violations.

“Another way to state the data is that black drug users are more than twice as likely to be arrested as white drug users,” said LEAP media director Tom Angell in an email.

Some experts like economist Walter Williams assert that the war on drugs is the only major reason that racism is still even an issue today in the United States. The evidence certainly supports his claim.

Romney and the Eternal Warfare State


Romney pledges to get serious about cutting federal spending but at the same time he promises to “reverse irresponsible Obama-era defense cuts.”

So far, these cuts have amounted to 2% of the defense budget if we adjust for inflation and, not adjusting for inflation, the defense budget has increased every year of Obama’s term. Additionally, under Obama’s proposals spending would have increased in real terms but only through spending freezes enacted by Congress has the negligible 2% cuts taken place. Obama does intend to decrease military spending in the future by 8% over ten years. However, this is still a small cut over a decade-long time period in which Obama won’t even be president for most of that span.

So what’s Romney’s plan? Create a defense spending floor of 4% of the GDP. This constitutes a massive increase in military spending. Keep in mind that Romney wants to cap all federal spending at 20% GDP, meaning that, at the bare minimum, military “defense” spending is obligated to constitute 20% of all federal spending no matter what. Spending amounted to 24.3% of GDP last year. Romney’s plan seems to be to cut “spending” without touching any of our biggest expenditures: Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, and Medicaid. In fact, Romney’s biggest cut would be Obamacare, about 95 billion. Romney’s plan to increases military spending dwarfs Obamacare – to say nothing of the 2010 $700 billion Wall Street bailout which Romney thought was the “right thing to do”.

Romney’s promises to reduce our escalating debt and return us to fiscal responsibility are empty. He will do no such thing. So when Romney states, “Getting our fiscal house in order has become more than just an economic issue; it’s a moral imperative. Every dollar of deficit spending must be borrowed, with the bill sent to our children to pay back. As president, Mitt Romney will ask a simple question about every federal program: is it so important, so critical, that it is worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?” That’s just rhetoric. That should really come as no surprise since Romney believes that cutting spending, paying off our debt and returning that money to the American people causes depressions.

What we can expect from Mitt Romney is an eternal warfare state with a bloated military budget that the Pentagon will have to perpetually justify if they want to keep their funding. We already have 700 – 1000 military bases around the world, we have been in a constant state of war in the Middle East for well over a decade and, prior to Romney’s spending increase, nearly half of worldwide military spending comes from the US with second place going to China with a budget only 1/6 the size of ours.

With the incentive of even more money thrown at the problem we can expect even more aggressive military interventionism, sinking us into greater debt, with more war, more US casualties and the propagation of anti-America sentiments as we get even more involved and use even more force around the world in places where we’re not wanted.

We’re not fighting Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia any more. We’re fighting ragtag terrorists with no nation and no center of command. We cannot win with tanks or nuclear submarines or fighter jets that can land vertically. Bloated budgets and aggressive interventionist foreign policy are terrorists’ greatest ally: millions of otherwise ordinary Arabs hate us because of what we’ve done in the Middle East making us the best recruitment campaign the terrorists ever had.

If we want to beat the terrorists we will do so through discretion and cunning. If we want to help our friends in the military-industrial complex we can do so by making sure we have a constant supply of enemies to fight – and we can do that by increasing out “defense” capabilities so as to constantly meddle with the affairs of every country in the Middle East from now until Hell freezes over.

Republicans talk endlessly about how we need to have an active presence in the world. They are right, but that presence should not be defined by how many people we kill or by how many countries we occupy. Instead of responding to every whim with deadly force or the threat of deadly force, we need to bring our military home to defend our own borders and in its place open up free trade and diplomacy. That’s how you make allies. That’s how you foster peace. That’s how you change hearts and minds. Because no military can kill hate; guns and killing only perpetuate it. You kill hate by finding solidarity.

Does Romney Live Up to the Culture of Life? Part 2


In part one, I discussed unjust war, assassination, torture and the death penalty and how Mitt Romney has failed to live up to the culture of life on every one of those issues. In this second part I will cover euthanasia, abortion, contraception and gay marriage:

Euthanasia

Unlike many of his fellow Republicans, Romney has been startlingly silent on the issues of euthanasia and assisted-suicide. However, while Romney has failed to make any categorical statement regarding his stance on euthanasia and assisted-suicide what is known is that Mitt Romney made a statement that the government should not have tried to stop Terri Schiavo’s euthanasia and that the courts should “make the family make a decision.”The “family” in this case that Romney was referring to was Terri Schiavo’s husband who, during her coma, had two children with another woman and demanded that the doctors let Terri die by slowly starving her of food and water.

The only other time at which Romney seems to have come out on this issue is in the case of Haleigh Poutre, in which Romney’s Department of Social Services petitioned the courts to pull the then-11-year-old girl off life support. Mitt Romney remained silent on the issue until after the Poutre case received national attention and the young girl began to respond, at which point Romney put together an independent panel to look into the matter. It suggested changes for how the state handles such cases including more closely investigating requests to remove life support.

In light of these two scenarios, it seems that Romney has no qualms about allowing euthanasia and assisted-suicide if its what family members want or the courts rule in favor of such action. If, however, there is sufficient political pressure as in the high-profile case of Haleigh Poutre who was already beginning to respond on her own, then we can expect Romney to oppose euthanasia.

Ultimately, if my life were in Romney’s hands my mind would not be put at ease.

Abortion

Abortion is possibly the most emotional and controversial issue facing our country today and, given Romney’s history of bending with the wind, doing whatever is most politically expedient and never taking a firm stance on anything (at least, not for longer an election cycle), we can expect Romney to do absolutely nothing in defense of the unborn.

During his 1994 Senate Run, Mitt Romney argued that he was more pro-choice than Ted Kennedy: “When Kennedy called him ‘multiple choice,’ Romney demanded an extra rebuttal. He revealed that a close relative died of an illegal abortion years ago and said, ‘Since that time, my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter, and you will not see me wavering on that.’” (Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06). “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.” (Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)

 When he went to conservative Utah, Romney refused to take a firm stance on the issue, “When I am asked if I am pro-choice or pro-life, I say I refuse to accept either label.” (Glen Warchol, “This Is The Place, But Politics May Lead Romneys Elsewhere,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/14/99).
But when he ran for office in Massachusetts again, he was pro-choice again, “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. I will not change any provisions of Massachusetts’ pro-choice laws.” (2002 Romney-O’Brien Gubernatorial Debate, Suffolk University, Boston, MA, 10/29/02). In 2002, Romney Offered His Completed NARAL Questionnaire, Filled Out With “Mostly Abortion-Rights Positions,” To The Media Even Before Returning It To NARAL. “Yesterday, Romney also aimed to head off confusion about his stance on abortion rights by answering a Mass National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League questionnaire with mostly abortion-rights positions. He offered the questionnaire to the press even before he returned it to MassNARAL…”

Then he started thinking of national office as a Republican. That’s when he claims to have had his conversion. ”Romney said he had a change of heart on the issue after speaking with a stem-cell researcher, Dr. Douglas Melton. Romney claims Melton said  ‘Look, you don’t have to think about this stem cell research as a moral issue, because we kill the embryos after 14 days.’‘It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life,’ Romney says.” (Karen Tumulty, “What Romney Believes,” Time, 5/21/07)

Keep in mind, however, that after his pro-life conversion he appointed pro-abortion judges, stated that he will “maintain the status quo” regarding abortion laws, attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in 2004 despite his claims to de-fund the organization, and invested in two different companies involved in embryonic stem cell research – all of this occurring after his publicly recognized the sanctity of life and personhood of every unborn child.

And less than a month ago lifesitenews.com reported the following:

MIAMI, FLORIDA, May 17, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney scheduled a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser at the home of Phil Frost, the executive of the company that makes the Morning After Pill, on Wednesday night. Plan B One-Step is produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Frost’s company.

Additionally, Romney has provided for tax-payer funded abortions in RomneyCare, including a mandate and tax payer funded abortion on demand. Romney enforced a law that required Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. Obama’s recent health care mandate that forces religious institutions to violate their conscience is trampling on America’s most sacred right, The Freedom of Religion. But before Obama discarded the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Mitt Romney had done it in Massachusetts, forcing Catholic hospitals to give out abortion causing pills.

Romney remains pro-abortion in the cases of incest, rape and in saving the life of the mother, stating, “I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view.”

Contraception

On July 25th, 2005 Romney vetoed bill to ensure emergency contraception for rape victims, known as the morning after pill. Arguing that the hormone drugs “would also terminate life after conception.” However, on December 8th, 2005 Romney reversed that decision on the advise of his counsel and ordered all hospitals in the state to make the “morning after” pill available to rape victims, over the protests of Catholic hospitals, who argued that this went against their religious beliefs. A Boston Herald editorial said that Romney had “executed an Olympic-caliber double flip-flop with a gold medal-performance twist-and-a-half on the issue of emergency contraception.”

On October 5th, 2005 Boston Globe reports that Romney had signed a bill seeking federal waiver to expand the number of low-income people eligible for family planning services, including the morning-after pill, over protests of pro-life activists. “The guy’s not coming around,” said Joseph M. Scheidler, the national director of the Pro-Life Action League. The action appears to contradict Romney’s June 18, 2007 claim that “I came down on the side of life” in every decision he made as governor of Massachusetts. See video here.

Inadvertently or not, when asked if he supported the Blunt Amendment, a Republican bill that would exempt Catholic and other religious-backed hospitals and schools from a White House rule requiring them to provide free birth control insurance coverage, Mr Romney said he did not.

“I’m not for the bill,” Mr Romney told an interviewer while campaigning in the crucial swing state of Ohio. “The idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a women, husband and wife, I’m not going there.”

An hour later campaign officials said that Romney had “misunderstood” and was in favor of the amendment. In response to the HHS mandate that would require Catholic employers to provide insurance that covers, not just contraception, but sterilization and abortifacients as well, Romney stated, “This kind of assault on religion will end if I’m president of the United States,” Romney said, calling it “a real blow … to our friends in the Catholic faith.” However, Romney was largely silent about the Massachusetts law, which essentially mirrored Obama’s proposal and was signed by Romney’s predecessor in 2002, the year before he took office, that required virtually the same contraceptive coverage. Romney did not seek its repeal.

Gay Marriage

Romney favors “domestic relationships” for gay couples and states that it is a state issue and that he “did nothing to change it” as governor of Massachusetts. However, he has also chosen to nationalize the issue by calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage. If the ban does not apply to civil unions, it will not stop states from allowing legal arrangements “identical to marriage” but for the name, which Romney says he opposes. But if the federal government tries to prevent those, states won’t really be free to “make decisions with regard to domestic partnership benefits,” the approach he says he favors.

Either way, Romney is against gay marriage. But when pressured to take a stand what can we expect from a Romney presidency? He seems to pride himself for sitting on his hands regarding Massachusetts’ gay marriage laws and Romney displays that same passivity regarding religious freedom and gay privileges:

In 2006 the Archdiocese of Boston stated that it would no longer place children with homosexual couples (as the Church considers homosexuality “gravely immoral”). A media storm quickly followed. Responding to charges that it was illegally discriminating against homosexuals, the Archdiocese then asked the state to grant a religious exemption to Catholic Charities, but the Legislature balked. Existing Massachusetts non-discrimination laws referencing “sexual orientation” plus “legal gay marriage” would not allow the Church to follow its moral precepts, it was claimed.

Romney erroneously blamed the Church’s predicament on non-existent law and could have rescinded the administrative regulations that would not let Catholic Charities deny placement of children with homosexual couples. Romney also failed to point out that religious freedom was already protected in both the state and federal constitutions. The Archdiocese could have fought this in court but did not — perhaps out of fear of losing major donors with liberal views (who were well represented on Catholic Charities’ board). In the end, the homosexual activists and their allies got their way, and it was another public whipping for the Catholic Church — all of which Romney could have prevented.

According to C. J. Doyle, head of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts:

The opponents of religious freedom never start by assaulting the right to worship, frontally, to assault the right to worship on Sunday morning. They start by trying to marginalize the charitable, restrict the charitable and the educational and the social service activities of churches, and try to narrow the parameters of religious liberty. This is what we’re seeing here in Massachusetts

Apparently, though, Romney didn’t think that the restriction of Catholic charities and the violation of religious freedom that it represented was worth getting involved over.

Romney’s response to all of this? I’m consistent on gay marriage “since running for office”. But with the increasing number of cases of the gay movement and government bullying people to not simply tolerate, but embrace, the homosexual lifestyle at the expense of their freedom of conscience Romney cannot simply stand by and do nothing as he has in the past.

Conclusion

 Mitt Romney continues his poor performance upholding the culture of life in this second part, remaining largely silent on the issue of euthanasia and opposing it only in the case of significant political pressure; he is uncommitted on the issue of abortion, frequently undermining the cause for life and favoring abortion in special cases; he also continued to expand funding and availability of the morning-after-pill after his pro-life conversion, even forcing Catholic hospitals to provide the abortifacient against their consciences; finally, while Romney opposes the re-definition of marriage he does not consider the issue worth sticking his neck out over even when religious liberties are on the line.

To compare and contrast Romney with Obama on all eight issues, on the death penalty, torture and on euthanasia I rate him just as bad as Obama while on the issue of assassination, gay marriage, contraception and abortion I rate him only slightly better. On the issue of unjust war Romney has made it clear that he endorses a foreign policy even more aggressive than Obama’s own and therefore actually rates worse than Obama.

Ultimately, Mitt Romney’s agenda has been on the side of the culture of death on every single issue at one point or another in his political career and he has yet to make an unqualified switch to the culture of life on even one of these issues. Therefore, overall I rate a Romney presidency practically as destructive as Obama’s regarding life-issues. Its incredibly sad that the Susan B. Anthony List and other pro-life groups have endorsed Romney and promised millions to his campaign despite his extensive record of cooperating with the culture of death and his refusal to sign the Susan B. Anthony List’s pledge promising to defend life and promote the pro-life cause. With the percentage of pro-life Americans at an historic high, with 23% of Americans opposing abortion under all circumstances and 51% self-identifying as pro-life, there is absolutely no reason why such a massive demographic should settle for a presidential candidate predominantly in cooperation with the culture of death over one that almost categorically does. Whether Romney or Obama secures power in November, the life movement loses. But by simply voting our consciences and holding out for true pro-life candidates, while we may lose the battle, we will be in a better position for the future to win this war.

How a Drone War Works


Reposted from Mark Shea’s Catholic and Enjoying It!

1. President orders somebody killed, based on God knows what.
2. By their mystic arts, people operating drones decide they have found the person the President wants dead.
3. Drone blows up that person and whoever else happens to be around, like this kid:

4. All victims (funeral goers, teenagers, etc.) are labeled “combatants” for the crime of happening to be in the area of the guy the drone operators are pretty sure was the guy the President wanted dead.
5. Kids are labeled “collateral damage”.
6. Administration labels strike a success.
7. If somebody asks, “What about that kid?” court prophets say, “War is hell. Better the innocent should perish than the guilty escape.”
8. If somebody asks, “How do we even know if the target was guilty of anything? How do we even know the target was the guy on the President’s kill list?”, Administration “Everywhere is the Battlefield in the War on Terror” and ponders adding subversive questioner’s name to secret kill list. Return to step 1.

Feel safe, or you you may be a Enemy of the State.

Does Romney Live Up to the Culture of Life? Part 1


Obama and Romney are nearly identical on most issues but the one exception may be on life-issues and the Catholic church. Obama has proven himself to be the most pro-abortion President in our country’s history and has opposed the Catholic church at every turn. How does Romney, on the other hand, live up to the Culture of Life?

Unjust War

Iraq

The Vatican strongly opposed the Iraq war as it represented a direct violation of just war doctrine . However, Romney supported the invasion and the troop surge. Per The New York Times, moderator Tim Russert asked Romney during a 2008 presidential debate if the Iraq war was “a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent.” Romney answered, “It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now.” As New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait explains, Romney’s debate answer came at a time when it was already clear that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction.

Now, with no new information available, Romney states that in hindsight he would not have invaded Iraq knowing that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Romney’s latest comments come only a few days after the U.S. marked the end of the nearly nine year conflict. The Republican contender has not been shy in his criticism of President Obama’s handling of the troop withdrawal. This past Sunday, BBC News reported that Romney said, “I think we’re going to find that this president, by not putting in place a status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqi leadership, has pulled our troops out in a precipitous way and we should have left 10-, 20-, 30,000 personnel there to help transition to the Iraqis’ own military capabilities.”

The pro-life movement is well aware of the horrors of abortion but most are not aware of the staggering cost of this unnecessary and unjust war. Opinion Business Research, estimated that the death toll of Iraqi citizens between March 2003 and August 2007 was 1,033,000. Furthermore, over 4 million people were displaced in one of the largest refugee crises in history and over 140,000 new cancer cases have been reported (depleted uranium being the suspected cause). Finally, the Iraq war has resulted in 4,484 American military casualties and 33,186 wounded. Additionally, the economic hardships and continued adverse health effects inflicted upon the Iraqi populace can be expected to continue for decades to come.

So, Romney was for the Iraq war that violated Christian just war doctrine, even after it became clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction, and he was in favor of continued occupation of up to 30,000 personnel 9 years after the initial invasion. When he did finally change his position it was after the war ended and not based on the grounds that the war was immoral but because there were no weapons of mass destruction – an irrelevant point regarding the war’s legitimacy as far as Christian just war doctrine is concerned.

Afghanistan

Romney is opposed to talking to the Taliban despite the fact that the Afghan war began well over a decade ago. This speaks of a fight first, diplomacy last mentality that is the polar opposite of what just war doctrine dictates is necessary for a war to be considered just, stating that a declaration of war or continued hostilities must always be the option of last resort, with diplomacy being the first – not the other way around. Additionally, Romney is opposed to Obama’s timetable to end military involvement in Afghanistan by 2014 despite the facts that Afghanistan wants us out even sooner, such a timetable has the support of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and NATO, and such a timetable would still leave us with a war that lasted 13 years – more than half of my entire life. Contrast that with World War II which lasted only six years, of which the United States was only involved in for four.

Iran

Romney refuses to rule out the use of nuclear weapons against Iran in a preemptive strike to prevent them from developing their own nuclear arsenal. In a June 2007 New Hampshire Republican debate, Romney was asked if he agreed “that the use of tactical nuclear weapons, potentially, would be possible if that were the only way to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb?” Governor Romney responded that “You don’t take options off the table, but what you do is stand back and say, ‘What’s going on here?’ You see what’s happening in Sudan and Afghanistan, in Iraq and Iran. All over the world, we’re seeing the same thing happening, and that is people are testing the United States of America.” In 2011, Romney advocated both overt and covert means to get Iran to stop its nuclear weapons development program. He said that “Ultimately, regime change is what’s going to be necessary.” Keep in mind that preemptive nuclear strikes against Iran’s nuclear reactors would result in an estimated 3 million civilian deaths and compromise the well-being of another 71 million people. Even Obama’s own aggressive foreign policy, while still subpar, is more conservative, showing more restraint than Romney’s.

Our own intelligence agencies admit that they have zero evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons but as far as just war doctrine is concerned the point is irrelevant. The use of nuclear weapons, because of their indiscriminate destruction, are never morally permissible. Additionally, the US Catholic Bishops point out that any military action against Iran at this point would be immoral:

“In Catholic teaching, the use of force must always be a last resort. Iran’s bellicose statements, its failure to be transparent about its nuclear program and its possible acquisition of nuclear weapons are serious matters, but in themselves they do not justify military action.”

“Discussing or promoting military options at this time is unwise and may be counterproductive. Actual or threatened military strikes are likely to strengthen the regime in power in Iran and would further marginalize those in Iran who want to abide by international norms. And, as the experience in Iraq teaches, the use of force can have many unintended consequences.”

Assassination

Romney is surprisingly silent on this topic but what we do know is that he supports drone strikes in Pakistan. Obama has eagerly expanded the CIA drone campaign: the program has targeted rescuers, funerals and weddings and has killed an estimated 385 – 775 civilians – but the drone campaign has attempted to lower that number by defining all males of military age within a drone strike as “combatants” unless categorically proven otherwise post-mortem. The “kill list” is decided unilaterally by Obama-appointed assassination czar John Brennan and, ultimately, Obama himself. The legal rationale for what can only be referred to as an executive death panel is a secret memo drafted by the office of legal counsel and unavailable for the public to read. Considering that Romney supports drone strikes, supports an interventionist foreign policy more aggressive than Obama’s own, and has in no way condemned the CIA drone campaign, the appointment of an assassination czar, or Obama’s own involvement in the program it seems unlikely that Romney would do much, if anything, to dismantle the CIA drone campaign. In fact, its possible that he may simply replace Obama as the solitary man who says who lives and who dies.

Torture

Romney opposes torture but supports “enhanced interrogation” including waterboarding. The Catholic church and the culture of life are categorically opposed to the use of torture under any circumstance and, unfortunately, “enhanced interrogation” is just a euphemism for torture; such is the case with waterboarding.

Some conservative Catholics argue that because the church does not have a specific stance on a specific torture technique then it cannot be torture, and if it is not torture than it cannot constitute inhumane treatment of prisoners, and therefore if it is not inhumane treatment then it is perfectly compatible with Catholic moral teaching.

However, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.” Furthermore, the exact rubric for defining torture is listed below:

The Church defines torture formally (i.e., what makes an action torture):

1. violation of human dignity in the form of
2. intentional mental and/or physical harm in order to
3. use a human person as a means (or instrument) for some producible end
4. against that person’s will.

At low intensity, waterboarding intentionally inflicts mental harm against the prisoner’s will in order to extract information or as punishment, and at even moderate intensities can be lethal. Thus, waterboarding constitutes torture and is an intrinsic evil in violation of Catholic doctrine. For anyone not convinced or who believes that waterboarding is just “splashing prisoners with water – and besides its effective and they deserve it anyway” I recommend that you read this article on waterboarding written by Malcolm W. Nance, a counter-terrorism and terrorism intelligence consultant for the U.S. government’s Special Operations, Homeland Security and Intelligence agencies and a 20-year veteran. Here’s an excerpt describing the same waterboarding used by the CIA and supported by Romney:

Waterboarding is a controlled drowning that, in the American model, occurs under the watch of a doctor, a psychologist, an interrogator and a trained strap-in/strap-out team. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning. How much the victim is to drown depends on the desired result (in the form of answers to questions shouted into the victim’s face) and the obstinacy of the subject. A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience, to horrific suffocating punishment to the final death spiral.

Waterboarding is slow motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of black out and expiration –usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch and if it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia. When done right it is controlled death. Its lack of physical scarring allows the victim to recover and be threaten with its use again and again.

Death Penalty

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following in regards to the death penalty:

Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”

As the most powerful nation on Earth with one of the most secure prison systems I believe that it is safe to say that cases in which execution is absolutely necessary are nonexistent and therefore use of the death penalty in this country cannot be justified. In 1994 Romney supported the death penalty. In 2005 Romney brought forward a death penalty bill in an attempt to bring the death penalty back to Massachusetts. When testifying, “Romney asserted that, rather than serving to put terrible criminals to death, the major benefit of the legislation would be to pressure the accused into accepting guilty pleas for life sentences, rather than risk execution. As then-District Attorney, now-Congressman Bill Keating explained, that is precisely an argument that had recently been made by the state’s top court for the possible unconstitutionality of the death penalty — that the accused, innocent and guilty alike, could be pressured to plead to anything just to avoid it. An unconcerned Romney testified optimistically that the state might end up saving money by avoiding actual trials.”

As with drone strikes and other issues like the NDAA not addressed here Romney seems more concerned with streamlining serious life-and-death issues by “avoiding actual trials” to save time and money at the expense of due process, the constitution and, most horrifying of all, innocent human lives. Mitt Romney still supports the death penalty today.

Conclusion:

Up to this point, presidential candidate Mitt Romney has failed to live up to the culture of life in his public capacity as a politician on every single issue. On the death penalty and torture I rate him just as bad as Obama while on the issue of assassination I rate him slightly better – but only for a lack of a firm stance. On the issue of unjust war Romney has made it clear that he endorses a foreign policy even more aggressive than Obama’s own and therefore actually rates worse than Obama.

There will be a second part to this article published within the next couple days which will cover euthanasia, abortion, contraception and gay marriage.

Read part 2 here