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Forget your idealism, welcome to the real world

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Jacqueline Cuisinier’s article “How can Catholics support Bush?” in the Jan. 19 edition of The Observer ends with the line: “I believe that he [Dick Gephardt] is the man who will best carry out Catholicism’s idealism.”By saying this, Ms. Cuisinier is openly admitting that she is an idealist. Unfortunately, we live in the real world. It might be nice to think that the world is a great place, but this simply is not true. As Catholics, we need to not only follow the ideals of our faith, but also use common sense and rationality when making decisions. If you blindly follow your faith or anything else for that matter, you are no better than a puppet. Many of Ms. Cuisiner’s criticisms are based on the idea that the United States is only benefiting itself through its actions. For this, I recommend that Ms. Cuisinier take a political science class and read “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” by John Mearsheimer. In sum, all nations do what is in their best interest. Nothing is “right” or “wrong.” Ms. Cuisiner would say that we should just make everything “right.” But, she does not realize that there are implications to changing our foreign policy to do what is considered “right” from the Catholic perspective. There is no doubt everyone on this campus wants the most comfortable live possible. If we decided to change the policies of the United States in favor of Ms. Cuisiner’s opinions, we would have to give up our McDonalds, Abercrombie and SUVs. Who is prepared to do this? Are you realistically prepared to make the sacrifices of not living in luxury for the people of Tajikistan?While it might be easy to criticize the Bush administration from the cozy confines of Notre Dame, I urge Ms. Cuisinier to look beyond the bubble that we live in and adopt a more worldly perspective and stop blaming Bush for the “problems” of the United States. The United States purely acts in a way to make our lives better, like it or not, no matter who is in office. Welcome to the real world.

David TaglerfreshmanDillon HallJan. 19