The recent pangs of voter remorse have reminded me of how close I was to voting third party in the presidential election. I initially had no intention of voting for a candidate belonging to the Democrat or Republican Party. But I changed my mind following the last debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and I published my first article arguing the case for Donald Trump on October 27, only a couple of weeks prior to election night.
I have been reexamining the arguments I made in favor of casting a vote for Donald Trump, and I would still consider them to be a reasonable assessment of the realities America was facing in the election. My main arguments were very simple:
- Donald Trump’s foreign and domestic policies, when vulgarities had been set aside and measured as objectively as possible, were far superior to Hillary Clinton’s.
- Donald Trump’s appointments for the Supreme Court would most likely be far friendlier to religion and the pro-life movement.
- While Donald Trump would by no means be the savior of America and Western Civilization, his presidency could possibly open up pathways for traditionalist Catholics to make significant strides toward evangelizing the culture.
These three arguments, coupled with the reality that no third party even had a chance to make a dent in the election against Hillary Clinton, are what determined my vote.
There was, however, a lingering concern I eventually ignored in order to cast my vote for the Donald, and that was his capitulation to the Israel Lobby on the campaign trail. Trump’s speech to AIPAC was a nauseating spectacle of political pandering. A corollary to the submission to AIPAC and Israel’s foreign policy agenda is Trump’s stated commitment to dismantling the Iran deal, which at this point would most likely be a mistake.
Donald Trump’s foreign policy was on a collision course between two contradictory positions:
- An unbridled loyalty to AIPAC and Israel.
- An America first, realist foreign policy committed to non-intervention and an explicit redirection away from regime change in the Middle East.
These two foreign policy positions cannot happily coexist. A statesman who surrenders to AIPAC will necessarily move toward an interventionist foreign policy. A nationalist committed to realism in international affairs will ignore the proposals of any lobbyist group suggesting policies which undermine the security and flourishing of the nation.
These are the only options. My hope was that the nationalist side of Donald Trump would dictate his foreign policy, while the campaign trail rhetoric delivered to AIPAC was nothing more than a measured political maneuver to advance toward the White House. Donald Trump was elected based on the nationalist prospects of his message overcoming the influence of foreign policy lobbyists.
Unfortunately, it is the nationalist side of Trump that is being pushed aside to please those special interests dictating the direction of American foreign policy – the military industrial complex and the Israel Lobby. These groups united with the deep state have created a monstrously diabolical Leviathan and the Trump administration is in its tentacles.
So what are we to do now? Is American politics so corrupt that participating in the idolatrous civic religion of democratic election cycles amount to a principled consent to the corruption? This might be a hard truth to realize, but both parties are corrupted and controlled by special interests.
Acknowledging this reality, however, does not entail surrendering to the forces of darkness. To the contrary, it means that we pick up the weapons of spiritual warfare and do battle. The fatal conceit of the American narrative is that the only way to make a change in the culture is to cast a vote for one of two parties complicit in the degradation of our society. The defiled dialectic of who wields the sword of the secular state has infiltrated the political worldview of the Catholic mind, resulting in state of amnesia concerning the mission of the Church Militant. The Catholic culture in America has internalized the secular identity of those seeking to neutralize the power of the Great Commission. It is time for Catholics to purge themselves of the secularist implant and rediscover our try identity by returning to the Great Commission.
– Lucas G. Westman