A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Name: Tom McLaughlin
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
They talk much, the Donald and the pope, and the more they say, the more worried I get. Though I’m a conservative in my politics and in my Catholicism, I don’t relate to either. Watching our culture dominated by the left for decades, I expected the Republican Party and the Catholic Church would stand against the onslaught. With these two guys in charge, I’m losing hope. When they clash as they did last week over immigration, I’m not rooting for either. The Donald professes to be a conservative Republican, but I doubt that. The pope succeeded two men I greatly admired: John Paul II and Benedict XVI, but Francis doesn’t come up to them — not even close.
Pope Francis wants open borders. He exhorts European parishes to take in Muslim, so-called refugees from Syria and other places in the Middle East in spite of growing popular opposition to them everywhere. He said mass last week within yards of the US/Mexico border in Texas. When asked about the Donald’s promise to build a wall there, the pope said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
Trump, of course, hit back. “The pope is being told that Donald Trump is not a nice person, okay?” said the Donald. “Donald Trump is a very nice person. I’m a very… I am a very nice person, and I’m a very good Christian…” Maybe he is, I don’t know, but my gut tells me he became Christian while campaigning in Iowa. I’m glad he brought attention to the illegal immigration crisis, but I’m hoping he’s not the Republican nominee.
The pope talks like a communist, criticizing capitalism wherever he goes. Meeting with Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales last year (who wore an image of communist hero Che Guevara on his jacket), he called unbridled capitalism “the dung of the devil.” From Morales, he accepted a sculpture that was a morph between the hammer and sickle and the crucifix. That disturbed me.
As columnist Dennis Prager put it: “In terms of evil committed, what is the difference between the hammer and sickle and the swastika? Would the pope receive, let alone keep, a Fascist, racist, or Nazi sculpture with a crucified Christ on it? Of course not. Yet the hammer and sickle represents more human suffering than all of them combined. The number of people enslaved and murdered under the hammer and sickle dwarfs the number of people enslaved and murdered by any other doctrine in history.”
Prager is right, of course, as anyone who has studied history knows. John Paul II and Benedict XVI learned that first-hand, but it’s becoming painfully clear that Francis hasn’t. Neither has likely Socialist/Democrat presidential nominee Bernie Sanders who spent six months on a Stalinist kibbutz in Israel during the sixties. In 1988, he chose to take his honeymoon in the Soviet Union just before it disintegrated. He followed that with a trip to Cuba in 1989 where he tried to meet with Fidel Castro, who snubbed him. Bernie met with the mayor of Havana instead.
Until very recently, the Donald talked like a liberal Democrat, favoring abortion, Obamacare, eminent domain for private projects, and donating money to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and other liberals. Now he claims he’s pro-life and he will repeal Obamacare but he offers no explanations for how or why he got from there to here. He’ll solve every problem by getting the “most amazing people” to do this and “the smartest people” to do that. He’ll “negotiate tremendous deals” and everything will be wonderful.
I’m with him on immigration and it’s not unrealistic to deport all those here illegally and build a wall to prevent them coming back. I support his suggested moratorium on Muslim immigration too unless they can be thoroughly vetted — which isn’t likely considering how the San Bernardino killer from Pakistan was “investigated.” If that’s the best the State Department and FBI can do, then we better just stop for now.
First impressions can be lasting impressions. My BS alarm went off as soon as a got a look at the Donald’s hair and it never quieted. He seems like a loose cannon and as much a narcissist as President Obama. I can’t help but think of him as Mussolini with an orange pompadour.
It’s looking more and more likely that November will bring a choice between Bernie or Hillary and the Donald. God help us.