Brutally Honest has had quite the run... 13 years ago this month, I launched it as a political blog with a conservative, evangelical bent... and its popularity for a time surprised me.
It was able to garner over the years millions of visits and pageviews and I am most grateful for each and every one however, in the last few years I've seen the readership and the visit/pageview counts take a dramatic dip, likely due in large part to my decision to be more focused on Catholic perspectives, viewpoints and related topics and this played a large role in my deciding it was time to take next steps.
The blog won't necessarily disappear, at least for a while, as there are things written I'd like to keep around until I find a decent way to stow them but additional content posted here, if it happens at all, will be most rare.
So what's next for yours truly?
A new beginning over at Boldly Catholic. It's sparse over there currently but I hope to begin posting more frequently in the near future.
You're welcome to follow me on over... or not... but if you've been a long time reader, allow me to end this post, with some sadness admittedly, to say thank you for your loyalty and the time you've spent on these pages.
What makes Donald Trump a bad Presidential choice? Is it simply this leaked video of the man being... himself? No. Not at all. It's the sum total of what he has to say and what he's done and there are people in recent days finally waking up to the reality that's been present since the man came on the political scene. Should Hillary get our vote instead? I'm not ready to pull that lever. I continue to believe writing someone in or going third party is best.
It's true that we're all sinners... it's not true that this then should force us to accept/overlook/vote for a deeply flawed candidate. I'm a parent and a grandfather... do I decide that I can't hold my children and grandchildren to a higher standard because I've failed to meet those standards? I don't think so. As a parent and a grandfather, I'm willing to cut a child/grandchild slack... after all, they're my offspring, much younger (obviously) as to the ways of the world, and worthy of my correction. Donald Trump is no child. Donald Trump has a history of these sorts of things. It displays a lack of character that does not bode well as to future performance, particularly in leading these United States and the free world.
It's tough for me personally to trust what a man is now saying when his past suggests that his words mean very little. It's the same problem, only worse, that I have with Hillary Clinton. If a woman is willing to overlook, for political expedience, the breaching of the basic trust that must exist between a man and a woman in marriage, that woman is certainly going to be willing to breach any trust we're supposed to have in her as President of the United States. By that same token, if a man is willing to breach the basic trust that must exist between he and his wife, how more willing is he going to be to breach the trust of those who elected him? I cannot trust either of them to appoint right minded people to the SCOTUS. I cannot trust either of them to advance the cause of the pro-life movement. I cannot trust either of them to promote the values that have made this country great. I cannot do any of these things because past performance is the best gauge for future performance and the past performance of both these people is abysmal.
But there's a much larger reason why I can't particularly support Donald Trump. Whether people find this credible or not, whether they find it relevant or not, I have been moved, despite my flaws and failures, to take up the cause of my Catholic and Christian faith and to do that which in the end will draw others to that same cause. I will fail at times, no doubt but I am largely responsible for and obligated to that cause. How credible will the mission to uphold that cause be, how effective, if I'm seen to be someone who is willing to set aside the mission and support a man who is on record stating that he will target the families (women and children) of our enemies, who believes waterboarding is too mild a method of torture, whose pro-life record is spotty at best, who's promised to do this and that only to reverse himself days and sometimes even hours later, who has little respect for religious liberty, who is willing to walk away from the women and children fleeing the ravages of war, who has decided that your place of birth will impact how credible he'll find you to be, who has never asked God for forgiveness nor sees any real need to do so, who has skewered far too many small business people in pursuit of his own profit and gain, who, in essence, and I could've started here frankly, stands for far too many things that are in direct opposition to the Catholic and Christian mission to which I've pledged my commitment?
This is where I stand, this is my personal line in the sand.
You do what you will but please, for the sake of this country and its future, and, if you consider yourself a follower of the Risen Lord, for the sake of the mission of the universal Church and your part in it, do a very thorough examination of your conscience before voting.
I consider it an obligation. I hope you will as well.
I watched the debate last night and, particularly at the beginning, was ashamed. Ashamed to be an American, ashamed for the Republican party, ashamed for my country which is now faced with choosing between a pig and a pig's wife for President. God help us, for many reasons.
Someone whose opinions I once respected, whose opinions I've shared on these pages, who considers himself a conservative and, because of my #NeverTrump status, considers me anything but, was moved to suggest that my opposition to his political savior, particularly in light of my expressed disgust in the audio tapes released days ago, made me a bonafide member of the Party of Caiaphas, his accompanying explanation relaying that Christ fought against the power structures of His day and that I, because I opposed Trump, opposed that same fight today.
Think on that... my opposition to Trump was, in the eyes of this supporter, opposition to Christ-likeness and put me on par with the high priest and his merry band of Christ-killers. Yup. And he meant it but... didn't stop there.
My strong disgust with Trump's view of women, and oh by the way, Bill Clinton's view of women, makes me a sexist because... are you ready for this... expressing the notion that all men should treat all women with dignity "commands us to think of all women as the same" and "the truth is, you can't get more sexist than that."
Now think on that... my belief in the words expressed by St. John Paul II in the graphic above make me and by extension, every faithful Catholic and many others, sexists.
I've come to a conclusion, one I've held for some time now, that Donald Trump isn't the problem. The man's rise to stardom within the Republican Party, his support among particularly Evangelicals and especially far too many Catholics, is symptomatic of something far deeper, far more troubling, far more sinister.
For 80 years, the Deseret News has not entered into the troubled waters of presidential endorsement. We are neutral on matters of partisan politics. We do, however, feel a duty to speak clearly on issues that affect the well-being and morals of the nation.
Accordingly, today we call on Donald Trump to step down from his pursuit of the American presidency.
In democratic elections, ideas have consequences, leadership matters and character counts.
The idea that women secretly welcome the unbridled and aggressive sexual advances of powerful men has led to the mistreatment, sorrow and subjugation of countless women for far too much of human history.
The notion that strength emanates from harsh, divisive and unbending rhetorical flourish mistakenly equates leadership with craven intimidation.
The belief that the party and the platform matter more than the character of the candidate ignores the wisdom of the ages that, “when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2)
We understand that politicians and presidential candidates are human and that everyone makes mistakes. We do not believe that what is expressed in an unguarded moment of conversation should be the full measure of an individual. And we unquestionably support the principle that people deserve forgiveness, compassion and a second chance.
But history affirms that leaders' examples either elevate or demean the lives of those being led. When choosing the ostensible leader of the free world, the American electorate requires the clear assurance that their chosen candidate will consistently put the well-being of others ahead of his or her own personal gratification. The most recent revelations of Trump’s lewdness disturb us not only because of his vulgar objectification of women, but also because they poignantly confirm Trump’s inability to self-govern.
What oozes from this audio is evil. We hear a married man give smooth, smug and self-congratulatory permission to his intense impulses, allowing them to outweigh the most modest sense of decency, fidelity and commitment. And although it speaks volumes about sexual morality, it goes to the heart of all ethical behavior. Trump’s banter belies a willingness to use and discard other human beings at will. That characteristic is the essence of a despot.
They're not quite done... and no, they're not endorsing Hillary Clinton... thank God.