Corrupt Catholic ‘Elites’ Embrace Soviet Sanders
Yesterday I wrote about why so many ordinary Catholics vote wrong. My focus was on the 82% who (a recent study reports) do not accept all the Church’s teachings. I left aside the 18% who claim to. Most of them vote pro-life, and know better than to accept the bread-and-circuses which Grand Inquisitor Christians offer instead of the Bread of Life.
Fooling Even the Inbred Subculture
But scripture warns us that “if the time were not foreshortened” even “the elect” would be fooled by Antichrist. If even that can happen, then Catholics who reject birth control and prefer the Latin Mass might prove quite gullible too. The right-leaning Washington Examiner announces that it has discovered among this 18% a
group of young, Latin Mass-going Catholics who have veered from their peers’ more commonly conservative political opinions by supporting [Bernie] Sanders.
That’s right, the Soviet candidate. Like the other Democrats, he backs infanticide. Unlike them, he wants to wipe out private health insurance. And spend uncounted trillions turning every nook and cranny of American life into an extension of the Post Office or DMV. Sanders is the only candidate with a strong track record of praising the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Praising them while they were persecuting Christians, destroying local economies, and torturing political prisoners. Defending them, in some cases, to this day.
Latin Mass Sandinistas?
Wait, you might ask yourself. How could “conservative Catholics” go anywhere near that rumpled suit full of plutonium? That’s because they’re nothing of the kind. They’re either deeply confused or frauds. Whatever they think they believe in, it has almost nothing in common with Christianity, much less the historic Catholic faith. They might quote a pope out of context here. Or complain about birth control there. Or take selfies at a beautiful Latin Mass they can’t financially support.
But, at best, they are deeply misguided. I suspect some are frauds, though only God knows the heart.
I have some insights into the figures cited by the reporter. He points to “Catholic pundit” Elizabeth Breunig. He doesn’t mention that she is an open, avowed Marxist. (The reader might have liked to know that.) It’s really rich that she tried to “cancel” Rep. Paul Ryan because of his long-ago, disavowed flirtation with Ayn Rand’s ideology. Given that she, to this day as far I know, still endorses the even more hateful, totalitarian ideology of the crass reductionist Marx.
I’ve tried, really tried, to finish some of Bruenig’s insufferable, twee columns. I watched her lapse into total incoherence in a debate with Fr. Robert Sirico. A room full of hundreds of avid free-marketers bowed their heads and blushed. We were embarrassed for her. Bruenig couldn’t cover her total ignorance of economics and social history with pedantic citations of Church Fathers.
Bruenig claims that socialists like Sanders are pro-life in a secret, esoteric way. They see human life as “so significant, so inherently valuable, so irreplaceable that it should be the central subject of political concern.”
Yes, that’s my take-away from decades of studying Marxism. It’s all about human dignity, and the sanctity of life. Assuming that you think sacrificing perhaps 100 million lives is the way to render them “sacred.” Rene Girard wrote a dozen books on that diabolical process. He called it the “Scapegoat mechanism.”
“The Capitalist Class Will Be Done Away With”
Another figure whom the Examiner chose to highlight is Kevin Gallagher. From what I could glean from his social media, he’s a Wall Street finance guy who does business in national socialist, Muslim-concentration-camp-hub the People’s Republic of China. That’s when he isn’t promoting Marxist hostage notes like the Tradinista Manifesto.
In it, the “Tradinista Collective” (of which Gallagher is apparently a leading member) promised that the “capitalist class … will also be done away with.” The Manifesto also called for global open borders. For guaranteed incomes for those who refuse to work. And for most items on the LGBT activist wish-list. But alongside all of these, he wants … an intolerant Catholic sharia state. I’m so glad that the Examiner is speaking to responsible, thoughtful young Catholics.
Embittered “Aristocrats” and Crownless Philosopher Kings
But they’re not entirely outliers. I’ve encountered people like this before. They tend to cluster thickest at small, self-consciously “orthodox” Catholic liberal arts colleges. These are the ones that real Catholic, conservative parents often sacrifice to send their children through. I wrote a long piece here years back analyzing why “Embittered Catholic ‘Aristocrats’ on Food Stamps Turn Against America.”
How Did We Get Here?
Here are the steps by which a young person raised by hard-working, patriotic, freedom-loving Catholics turns out … like this.
- Every academic 17-year-old wants to be a philosopher king. It comes with being that age. The still morphing brain gets hold of neat, geometric formulas (like Marx’s or Rand’s, or even Hitler’s) for tidying up a messy, fallen world. The world looks worse to him because he’s often still tormented by unresolved adolescent angst.
- Even better if the formula the student chooses is popular among secular elites, and likely to shock and appall his pious parents.
- Assuming he’s a liberal arts major, the student’s getting the kind of education designed (as Newman observed) for aristocrats with inherited wealth. He might well learn to disdain merely “servile” studies that “bourgeois” students undertake to gain skills for the market. The grubby, vulgar Market. Where you have to “alienate” your labor by serving other people’s needs, in order to make a living. (No kidding, a huge portion of the Tradinista Manifesto is devoted to asserting this slacker axiom, which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez borrowed for her Green New Deal.)
- Assuming he’s an orthodox Catholic who rejects birth control, he knows that he’s likely to have a large family. That is, unless he delays marriage well into his 40s. He has likely learned the score from friends or family members. The aristocratic subjects that he’s studying won’t pay the bills to support a stay-at-home wife. Much less seven or nine or twelve home-schooled children.
- If he has taken student loans, he graduates owing (on average) $29,200, according to Forbes. So will his spouse, adding up to $58,400 in debt. All of which Bernie Sanders promises to cancel.
- A lazy reading of non-infallible papal punditry from the 19th century, trumpeted as “Catholic social teaching,” will tell him that any employer owes him whatever wage will support however many kids he decides to have.
- Since no employer will offer him that, he concludes that “the system” is unjust. (Maybe he decides that American capitalism is a “Protestant” or “Jewish,” or “Masonic” or “Liberal” plot to limit Catholic families.)
- He’s likely to end up, if he keeps on this road, married with kids he can’t feed. And so reliant on food stamps, Medicaid, maybe even welfare. Which
- Bernie Sanders promises more of. Lots and lots more. Gummint cheese for everyone. Every health plan reduced to the level of Medicaid. And so
- He supports Bernie Sanders. QED.
And that’s how you get little Bolsheviks leaving church to go campaign for a pro-abortion Soviet.
John Zmirak is a Senior Editor at The Stream, and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism.