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fightSo much has been said and written about the present Presidential election campaign that many of us are no doubt feeling overloaded with unwanted and ill-tempered debate and are suffering from political-spin-fatigue. This being so, I have no desire to add to the political overload nor do I intend to descend to the sewers and gutters in which much of the so-called debate has been taking place. Instead, I’d like to draw attention to something that has been singularly lacking in the whole campaign, namely the respect and dare one say reverence that is due to the dignity of the human person.

Leaving aside the utter lack of charity in the analysis of the campaign by political commentators on both sides or both extremes of the political spectrum, there has been an utter lack of such charity in the policies and utterances of both the mainline candidates.

On the one side, we have seen the less than edifying spectacle of Donald Trump flirting with racism and then, in the next breath, flirting with women in a manner that is scarcely less offensive than the racism. Trump’s treatment of women is indicative of the manner in which our consumerist culture has belittled the role of women to such a degree that they are now seen as being nothing other than objects of male self-gratification. One should add, however, that the collaboration of the Clintonite feminists in the pornocratic culture, in which feminists tell women to get in touch with their “slut within,” hardly exonerates the Clinton camp from its collaborative role in the debasing of women. Both camps are therefore guilty of treating women with less than the dignity that their humanity demands.

As for Hillary Clinton, her unabashed support for infanticide places her beyond the pale. Her position, if pushed, is that of the radical feminists of whom she is the darling. These feminists believe that a child is a woman’s property for as long as it’s in her womb and that she should be free to kill it right up to the point of birth. A child should have no human dignity and no human protection in law until it is born. Needless to say, the logical absurdity of saying that a baby is not human one minute before birth but becomes human at the moment of birth is untenable. We either treat the baby in the womb as being fully human or we are faced with the prospect, already advocated by Princeton philosopher Peter Singer, that young children can be killed also because they are not considered “fully human.”

The sad and sorry scenario that we are facing in this election campaign is the absence of virtue and the advent of viciousness on a scale seldom seen before. It bodes ill for the future that we can see our neighbours as being less than fully human if they are of a different colour, a different sex, or if they are considered a burden or an inconvenience.

Books by Joseph Pearce may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. Republished with gracious permission from Intellectual Takeout (October 2016). 

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18 replies to this post
  1. I have concluded that the two sides (politically) are not only incompatible, they are alien to one another. I cannot relate to someone who thinks partial birth abortion should not only be legal, but should be celebrated under the great umbrella of “Reproductive rights”, yet that seems to be Hillary’s position and that of most of her party. And the press won’t challenge her (or them) on it, it took Chris Wallace of FOX News to bring up the issue at all.

  2. The political process has diminished the individual and the value of the individual. God’s love, his rights to us illustrated by the Constitution are individual rights, not block grant rights. As to the individual candidates: their substance as human beings is shown in their actions not their words.

  3. Trump has not brought up race or skin color in this campaign, except to say things like “African-Americans love me.” (Islam is not even remotely a race or skin color, as there are Muslims of every race and color.)

  4. After learning that Hillary was provided with the debate questions, before the debate, I place very little importance on the staged performances called debates. I do not form my judgment of Hillary or Trump based upon baseless accusations. Instead, I listen to both candidates speeches at their rallies. For those responsible enough to do so, I’m sure they were moved by Trump’s speech in West Palm Beach almost 2 weeks ago, and even more so by his speech in – I forget what city – but when he came out he gave a hug to the American flag. This man is nothing – nothing- like the media presents him. He is a man who has grown greatly in his humility. He is a man with genuine love for his fellow man and for his country. There is nothing disingenuous about him. He is all give and no take. And if human dignity matters to anyone, abortions will continue and probably increase under Hillary; they will decrease and possibly cease under Trump. He is not against immigrants, he is against illegal immigration and the problems it provides a cover for, primarily drugs and a road into our country for Isis cells. He wants to make our inner cities safe and prosperous again so that our black brothers and sisters can live without fear and economic hardship. He wants to establish a healthcare system that is worth having. Unlike Hillary, he is not interested in getting us involved in wars and, again, unlike Hillary, he wants to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. He wants a strong military as a deterrent to attack, and he wants to take care of our vets rather than putting them on the back burner. He wants to lower our taxes and supplement them with taxes that will be collected from companies who have taken their business overseas because of our current oppressive business tax – the highest in the world. These returning companies will hire American workers. It sounds like our collective human dignity will be much improved under a President Trump. And for those who don’t understand what the future will be like with a Hillary style Supreme Court, no explanation will suffice – they want to live in the dark.

  5. Joseph – ONLY ONE candidate will best protect the dignity of the person in the United States of America:

    Donald J. Trump.

    All Catholics and people of good well VOTE TRUMP NOV 8.

    • I can answer that. Trump is NOT flirting with racism at all. This author is wrong and with his background ought to know better.

  6. I expected the partisan response, bearing in mind the timing of my comments. Please note, however, that my article never addressed for whom people should vote. I understand the argument that Catholics should consider voting for Trump in order to keep Clinton from power. My criticism is of the absence of the dignity of the human person in the campaign.

      • What Catholics? Hillary is not just pro abortion, but radically pro abortion. On this vital issue alone, the choice could not be more clear, and every Catholic who is in any way authentic knows what that choice is. Otherwise, you’re just putting politics as being more important than religion, in which case your religion doesn’t amount to much.

    • This may sound odd, but there are some things more important than human dignity. Like preserving American civilization. Early on, Donald Trump reminded me of the Rodney Dangerfield character from “Caddyshack” – boorish, profane, crude, pretty much the opposite of dignified. In a normal election year, you would not want him running for president. Problem is, Hillary Clinton also seems like a character from a movie – only it’s a horror movie.

      • There is nothing, really, more important than human dignity, though perhaps not as defined or presented in this particular article. The survival of American civilization, or of any true civilization (Western), is entirely dependent upon it.

        • Let me put it this way – if it meant a guaranteed Donald Trump victory and a defeat for The Hillary – would I be willing to dress up in a chicken suit and spend Election Day parading around Times Square flapping my wings going “Bawk Bawk Bawk”, in other words, looking like an utter fool just to keep Hillary out of office, then the answer to that is YES. The NeverTrump movement seemed to put dignity uber alles, and criticized Trump on these grounds, but that does not excuse their willingness to sell out this country on that basis.

  7. In his famous study on the downside of diversity, sociologist Robert Putnam found that people tend to “pull in like a turtle” as diversity levels rise. They even avoid contact with people of their own race. So we can blame globalism for corroding community ties and social bonding. The only possible result is an artificial Hobbesian world of mutual distrust and alienation.

  8. Mr. Pearce, I think most conservatives understand from where you are coming when you say, “The sad and sorry scenario that we are facing in this election campaign is the absence of virtue and the advent of viciousness on a scale seldom seen before.” It was good that you used the qualifier “seldom” as it was a little odd that today after reading your essay I opened Messrs. Hyneman and Lutz’s “American Political Writing during the Founding Era 1760-1805” and read the following in the Preface:

    “Finally, the reader unfamiliar with the literature of the period should be warned that there is one important respect in which these essays are not representative of the massive outpouring of printed material during the era. Political writing then was often quite colorful as a result of being vituperative, self-serving, prone to name-calling, full of high-flown rhetoric, or just plain nasty. The anonymity of authors was as likely to be used so as to avoid action for libel as to avoid prosecution by authorities. The essays reproduced here retain a certain colorful quality, but the reasoned analysis they contain is exceptional, not necessarily typical.”

    “…often quite colorful….” I have commented in these parts upon what a travesty this election and country are these days, but I could not help but see a little humor in it all after being reminded of the fact of the human condition and how the more things “change” the more they stay the same and there is nothing new under the sun. The Big Circus comes to town every four years, but don’t take your children to this one as these clowns can be very vicious and may very well make them cry.

  9. Mr. Pearce, I would be interested in your justification for these remarks: “On the one side, we have seen the less than edifying spectacle of Donald Trump flirting with racism and then, in the next breath, flirting with women in a manner that is scarcely less offensive than the racism. Trump’s treatment of women is indicative of the manner in which our consumerist culture has belittled the role of women to such a degree that they are now seen as being nothing other than objects of male self-gratification.” To me these remarks seem straight from the style manual of the mainstream mass media in which media I suspect ( and i say this with all respect) you have been thoroughly immersed. My guess would be the NYT or NPR. Am I right?.

    If there has been any “flirtation with racism,” it has been a very benign flirtation in which he has repeatedly expressed concern for the young men of our inner cities and his desire to put them to work by bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. if this is “racism,” we need a lot more of it. He has also, specifically in reference to blacks and Latinos put forth a plan in which school choice would be available to them. This is bad? This is racism?

    There is nothing in Trump’s campaign which justifies the phrase, “then, in the next breath, flirting with women in a manner that is scarcely less offensive than the racism.” His video-recorded reprehensible comments were made eleven years ago and were made part of the current discussion by hostile media. He has apologized for them and repudiated them as “locker room talk.” He has very credibly in my opinion denied the allegations of the women who have come forward to accuse him. This is flirtation? Of course, his second and third marriages contravene Catholic morality and the law of God for that matter, and how this reflects on his character should be considered, of course, but your objections as stated simply do not obtain. This man is not Roger Ailes or Bill Clinton, I, at least, am unaware of anything that would justify your saying, “Trump’s treatment of women is indicative of the manner in which our consumerist culture has belittled the role of women to such a degree that they are now seen as being nothing other than objects of male self-gratification.”

    Honestly, to my mind your comments however sincerely made are a disservice to the truth and a further coarsening of an incredibly tawdry electoral season.

  10. Mr. Gilbert, It is not legitimate to quote what I say about Trump’s attitude to women out of context from what I say about feminism in the very next sentence. As for being immersed in the mainstream media, I don’t own a television, don’t read any mainstream newspaper, don’t listen to NPR, and am largely unplugged from all social media. So, in a nutshell, you are not right!

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