Of late, several definitive events have come to pass in my life, mostly fortunate. Two days ago, I was able to attend the Mass of the Ages at Immaculate Heart of Mary chapel again. Before Mom and I headed over to the community brunch, we happened upon Brother Andre Marie (furthest right), the prior of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whom we had spoken with two years before. We were still fresh in his memory, and a conversation began, quickly shifting to my immediate future at Assumption College. After telling him of the liturgical abuses at the school's chapel (itself an abuse to the eye, a modern structure of 60s design), such as the Creed being inaudibly sung by a female vocalist, I spoke about my major in Political Science. Brother then asked what political news sources I use. Once I mentioned Human Events, Ann Coulter, The Remnant, and New Oxford Review, he recommended Joe Sobran to me [I've yet to check him out], and digressed into details about his support for Ron Paul. Now, I've long respected Brother Andre Marie, so I did my best to consider his opinion objectively, and have apparently succeeded.
First expounding upon Paul's venerable libertarian yet pro-life record, Brother asked about my choice: Sam Brownback. He reminded me that Brownback was relatively pro-war (though not so much as most of the other Republicans, to be sure). I replied that my preference for the Kansas senator were based upon his superb pro-life credentials- after all, he's just about the most anti-abortion and truly Catholic man in the entire Senate. Taking my thoughts with a predictable grain of salt, the model monk became slightly sadder and less bright-eyed. He declared that he held the more "radical" opinion, that the United States should withdraw its forces from Iraq immediately. Recounting the war's complete incompatibility to Catholic just war theory, which I already knew, he told me one specific I'd not before realized. Of St. Thomas Aquinas' three prerequisites for a war to be just, #1 is that it must be conducted by a proper authority.
Of course, the conflict in question was authorized by Congress, but with no declaration of war. As Brother continued, I glanced nervously at the copies of Neo-Conned! and Neo-Conned! Again on the shelves of the Saint Benedict Center bookstore. He told me about several like-minded experts he had read before the war began, who had predicted the eventual, dismal course into quagmire. Throughout, I have advocated variants of "stay the course", because I really believed that we could not abandon a nation, however imperfect, whose people desired freedom fall to a jihadist minority; furthermore, I had thought that the troop surge (our only real change in strategy thusfar) would succeed, and the lives of Iraqi civilians would improve. Probably a month ago, I realized that I was wrong. Rather than burden myself with new regrets, I shall thenceforth join the withdrawal bandwagon. The surge's original time frame is almost up. The hawks have had their fair chance. Now it's time to confess this grand, G.O.P.-engineered failure for what it is.
Brother finished with his thoughts on the neoconservative motivation for the war. Here I still disagreed. While he placed the blame on Zionism and Administration connections with Big Oil, I hold that these are only secondary motivations. One of my best friends in high school was a compassionate and optimistic self-identified Dick Cheney conservative. The neocons, we must realize, may be misguided, but the vast majority have honest intentions. They are ideologues, and simply act through their adoration for democracy, which they cherish over all else. In substituting a means for an end, they are often blind to reality, and in the case of Iraq demand a still longer surge, and still more troops in their descent into dialectical madness.
Luckily, the atmosphere became again gleeful at the brunch, whence Brother Andre Marie gave a long speech on the motu propio, and then answered many questions. We went home happy.
The next day, my Ron Paul conversion was completed. A look at his platform [see his website on my sidebar, and also Wikipedia] revealed that he does believe in laissez faire, but distinguishes between free trade and "managed trade" under NAFTA and CAFTA, which are jeopardizing our sovereignty- he has found the proper, middle path. Furthermore, he has cosponsored legislation to end the federal judiciary's ability to impose abortion on the states, and is a foe of the death penalty. Oh, near as much as sin do I deteste changing my mind...but in honor of Christ, whom we call Logos, I cannot continue to support one great candidate when a still finer one is out there, even though I've already donated $75 to the Brownback campaign. Still well spent...at least it wasn't Romney!
The catchphrase seems to be "RON PAUL REVOLUTION". However, as a Catholic Traditionalist and a man well aware that Rep. Paul is merely trying to make our government into what our honorable Founders wanted it to be, RON PAUL COUNTERREVOLUTION is more fitting for this pundit's new warcry.