So much has been said and written about the present Presidential election campaign that many of us are no doubt feeling overloaded with unwanted and ill-tempered debate and are suffering from political-spin-fatigue. This being so, I have no desire to add to the political overload nor do I intend to descend to the sewers and gutters in which much of the so-called debate has been taking place. Instead I’d like to draw attention to something that has been singularly lacking in the whole campaign, namely the respect and dare one say reverence that is due to the dignity of the human person.
Leaving aside the utter lack of charity in the analysis of the campaign by political commentators on both sides or both extremes of the political spectrum, there has been an utter lack of such charity in the policies and utterances of both the mainline candidates.
On the one side, we have seen the less than edifying spectacle of Donald Trump flirting with racism and then, in the next breath, flirting with women in a manner that is scarcely less offensive than the racism. Trump’s treatment of women is indicative of the manner in which our consumerist culture has belittled the role of women to such a degree that they are now seen as being nothing other than objects of male self-gratification. One should add, however, that the collaboration of the Clintonite feminists in the pornocratic culture, in which feminists tell women to get in touch with their “slut within”, hardly exonerates the Clinton camp from its collaborative role in the debasing of women. Both camps are therefore guilty of treating women with less than the dignity that their humanity demands.
As for Hillary Clinton, her unabashed support for infanticide places her beyond the pale. Her position, if pushed, is that of the radical feminists of whom she is the darling. These feminists believe that a child is a woman’s property for as long as it’s in her womb and that she should be free to kill it right up to the point of birth. A child should have no human dignity and no human protection in law until it is born. Needless to say, the logical absurdity of saying that a baby is not human one minute before birth but becomes human at the moment of birth is untenable. We either treat the baby in the womb as being fully human or we are faced with the prospect, already advocated by Princeton philosopher Peter Singer, that young children can be killed also because they are not considered “fully human”.
The sad and sorry scenario that we are facing in this election campaign is the absence of virtue and the advent of viciousness on a scale seldom seen before. It bodes ill for the future that we can see our neighbours as being less than fully human if they are of a different colour, a different sex, or if they are considered a burden or an inconvenience.
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Joseph Pearce is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A native of England, Mr. Pearce is Director of Book Publishing at the Augustine Institute, editor of the St. Austin Review, editor of Faith & Culture, and series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions. He is the author of numerous books, which include The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc.