Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Robert George on Obama's Extremism

Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University has written a brilliant essay in Public Discourse, an organ of The Witherspoon Institute, in which he assess the reasons why many Catholics who count themselves as pro-life nevertheless favor Barack Obama in the presidential election.

I picked up the reference to the essay from Dr. Michael Liccione, my co-conspirator over at Philosophia Perennis. I agree with him that the essay is both very good and very important, but, sadly, I must also agree with him when he writes to me: "too bad it probably won't matter". It certainly won't matter in the broader sense of having any effect on the outcome of the election, but it is certainly very sad that it also probably will have no effect on the thinking of those pseudo-Catholics who think that they can support such a man for the presidency in good conscience.

A friend of mine once remarked that he would probably support Obama in the election, not so much because of his policies, but because of the two candidates he seemed less likely to actually have any impact on anything important. In short, according to my friend, there are some ways in which Obama is the lesser of two evils. Given the impotency of the presidency in the face of an unruly Congress there may be some truth to this, but if one pairs up an Obama with a Congress controlled by the Democrats, one shudders to think of what may happen to the SCOTUS and, ultimately, the most innocent of human persons. The irony here, of course, is that supporters of Obama portray his position as one that defends liberty: the liberty of women to choose. The argument is sometimes made rather doctrinally, as though choice in and of itself were the only liberty at stake, but more reasonably the argument is sometimes made that an Obama administration would promote values, programs, and institutions that, in the end, will make the "need" for abortion diminish to the vanishing point.

As Robert George says in his essay, this point of view is delusional.

1 comment:

fromtheboundary said...

George Weigel has a similar opinion here:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/163896