The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



War should not be a factor

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The question, according to Jacqueline Cuisinier, is how a Catholic can be a Republican. Let me do my best to respond to this great riddle.

It may surprise her, but the free market is not contrary to Catholic doctrine. Nor are tax cuts. I recommend that anyone confused about this issue read the encyclical “Rerum Navarum,” which, interestingly enough, condemns socialism (which Jacqueline seems to be clamoring for) far more than capitalism. The free market is no more inherently evil than is democracy. If some people use the wealth they acquire through free and independent economic activity in ways not in accordance with the demands of charity, the fault lies with them, not with capitalism. If an elected official abuses his power, we do not blame democracy, the system through which he obtained that power, do we?

Regarding the war – true, the Bush administration has done a lot of killing, but that is not necessarily wrong. As a former serviceman who still has friends serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, I would say it is pretty clear that the vast majority of those who have been killed have been people eager to kill innocent civilians both in America and abroad. Why, though, does the Democratic party get a pass on killing the unborn, as some “unfortunate” plank in its platform (it is not a plank, but the core of the platform; but that is for another time), while Bush is held to the flames for killing terrorists? Why not say the war is just an “unfortunate” part of the Republican platform? If you are so smugly concerned for the poor, Jacqueline, why not for the unborn? What makes you so sure we who oppose abortion are just rationalizing our greed? Why do poor states vote Republican (look at a map) while rich states vote Democrat?

As for the rest of the world, I am not so sure her assertion that most of it is against Bush is correct. Countries like Iran and France and China are, while countries like Kuwait and Poland and Albania are not. Perhaps there is something wrong not with Bush, but with the countries which oppose him. Ever think of that, Jacqueline? I had no idea Bush severed our ties with the United Nations, by the way. Read the news, miss. Also, it seems to have slipped your notice, but Bush asked Congress for $15 billion to fight disease in Africa – this is about $15 billion more than what was allocated before him. You ask if anyone even knows what is going on there; have you asked yourself?

Go ahead and vote for Gephardt. Such a compassionate, humble and diplomatic man deserves such a compassionate, humble and informed voter.

Jason Arnoult

Class of ’99

Jan. 19