Debating in Ronald Reagan’s shadow in Simi Valley, there were plenty of Republican presidential hopefuls willing to deviate on social issues like embryo-destructive stem-cell research, but only one dissenter on the Iraq War—ten-term Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.
W. James Antle
Some of my friends and acquaintances, who are otherwise pro-life, have suggested they'd vote for a pro-choice GOP hawk over an anti-war Democrat. They fear the wars going awry that much. Will war be both the "health of the State" and the death of the pro-life movement? Wartime has a persistent way of demanding domestic surrenders for the sake of victory on the battlefield, and such voters are already tying their white handkerchiefs to their sticks.
Now to the debates.
Senator Brownback, for whom I have a slight inclination to vote, received a question on torture and compromised himself:
You've described a situation where American lives have been lost and we think more are pending to lose. And I think your real question you have to have here as the chief executive, as the leader of the country, what are you measuring here? Is your primary concern U.S. lives or is it how you're going to be perceived in the world? And my standard is U.S. lives, and I'm going to do everything within my power to protect U.S. lives, period.
I will do it. I'll move aggressively forward on it. If we have to later ask and say, "Well, it shouldn't quite have been done this way or that way," that's the way it is. But the standard must be protection of U.S. lives. That's the job of president of the United States, and I would take it seriously, and I would do it.
The art of being compromised sure isn't pretty. Brownback did not respond to the torture question explicitly, but his meaning is clear enough. We are to flee death, which runs faster than unrighteousness.
Colorado's Rep. Tancredo also did not acquit himself well:
Well, let me just say that it's almost unbelievable to listen to this in a way. We're talking about -- we're talking about it in such a theoretical fashion. You say that -- that nuclear devices have gone off in the United States, more are planned, and we're wondering about whether waterboarding would be a -- a bad thing to do? I'm looking for "Jack Bauer" at that time, let me tell you. (Laughter, applause.)
And -- and there is -- there is nothing -- if you are talking about -- I mean, we are the last best hope of Western civilization. And so all of the theories that go behind our activities subsequent to these nuclear attacks going off in the United States, they go out the window because when -- when we go under, Western civilization goes under. So you better take that into account, and you better do every single thing you can as president of the United States to make sure, number one, it doesn't happen -- that's right -- but number two, you better respond in a way that makes them fearful of you because otherwise you guarantee something like this will happen.
If torture is a necessary practice of Western civilization, I sure hope America is not one of its few hopes. Notice the abandonment of the one true Hope who is Christ?
When faced with a choice between nationalism and piety, even Theocons go for the secular messiah and the ideology of antichrist.