It’s long been wondered when the take down of Donald Trump and the modern day Republican party will begin. Just how many more racist, misogynist, sexist and outrageous things must this man say before enough is enough. The mass corporate media has chosen to give this clown a lot of air time yet they deliberately freeze out Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton. For a long time I believed it to be a mistake to give Donald Trump so much air time. To give someone like Donald Trump prime time air time is giving legitimacy to a candidate who has no business in the political discourse and Donald Trump milks this ‘free’ promotion to his benefit. It saves him the trouble of having to buy air time.
Give someone enough rope and they’ll hang themselves – the town hall meeting with Chris Matthews is that rope. When asked about abortion, which is an issue Trump is normally indifferent or moderate about about, he said definitively there ought to be some form of punishment for women who seek abortions. By punishment, they mean jail, fines and a criminal record -all for getting a medical procedure. Because it’s a medical procedure, it’s protected under medical privacy laws, no one but you and the doctor should even know about the abortion.
Trump tried to dodge the question of course, he first said “Well, people in certain parts of the Republican Party and Conservative Republicans would say, “yes, they should be punished.” – We already knew that, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, John Boehner all would love to see women and children locked up for having abortions, but they dare not say it out loud. They leave it to a buffoon masquerading as a presidential candidate to do their dirty work for them. And for all of his boasting of just how intelligent and smart he is, Trump makes the fatal error of being someone else’s puppet.
Chris Matthews wasn’t done, he wanted to know what Donald Trump himself personally thought about banning abortions and what the sanctions are if a woman gets an abortion. Trump, after all, has an opinion about everything and everyone else, where he thinks only his opinion is right. As a candidate for the Republican Party, his default position has to be pro-life, that’s a given. But just how pro-life would depend on the individual candidate. Some candidates believe in allowing abortions when the life of the mother is in danger or in incidences of rape or incest, some candidates are so extreme that they don’t wish to allow abortions under any circumstance, such as Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum to name a few.
Trump, being the misogynist he is, said that any punishment for having an abortion is reserved for the woman.
MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle?
TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.
MATTHEWS: For the woman?
TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form.
MATTHEWS: Ten cents? Ten years? What?
TRUMP: Let me just tell you — I don’t know. That I don’t know. That I don’t know.
MATTHEWS: Why not?
TRUMP: I don’t know.
MATTHEWS: You take positions on everything else.
TRUMP: Because I don’t want to — I frankly, I do take positions on everything else. It’s a very complicated position.
Republicans are a gift that just keep on giving. Trump not only articulated his own sexist and misogynistic views, that an unwanted pregnancy is the sole responsibility of the woman, she is to take all the responsibility legally and morally and the man just walks away scot free, like it never happened. Trump also did the extreme right wing a huge favor by articulating their views for them, which is they want to lock women and children (not all pregnant women seeking abortions are 18 and older) up for seeking abortions, and that is something they’ve been dying to say for years but dare not say it because no one wants to have another Todd Akin moment on national television.
Trump, being the slimeball that he is, try to turn this around on Chris Matthews, as Matthews is a Catholic and yet he’s pro-choice. Matthews tried to explain that moral paradox if not for the constant interruptions. Matthews can explain the position of most liberal Catholics very articulately, which includes our Vice President Joe Biden.
I am a liberal Catholic, I consider myself an observant and good Catholic (I think). The following is my take on the moral positions the Church takes. I respect all of the moral positions of my church. I do not question it nor do I wish to challenge it, I just accept it like one accepts their grumpy and cantankerous grandfather. I don’t agree with all of it. I understand my church is an antiquated institution in need of some serious reform to get with the modern times. There is a lot wrong with the patriarchal structure of the church and the inherently anti-women positions on the church. There is a lot of corruption within the hierarchies of the church. There has been a lot abuses perpetrated by the church, especially to women and non-believers (colonization). However, the church is vast, it’s teachings cover many areas not just limited to morality. The church as in institution has also done a lot of good for humanity. You don’t toss out the baby with the bathwater.
Most liberal Catholics also believe in the separation of church and state and that the state has no right to invade our personal privacy even if it’s against the teachings of the church. Most liberal Catholics I know are pro-choice, but most will not choose to get an abortion themselves should they ever be faced with such a choice as it is against our beliefs. We wouldn’t encourage another to get an abortion either but if a friend or colleague told us they had to make this choice, we’d have no judgement on it either. Nor would we get all condescending and ‘pray for them’, unless they asked of course. Again, it’s personal. Most liberal Catholics do not believe that churches should be forced to perform gay weddings as it is against the doctrine of the church but at the same time the church should respect the personal choices of others. We do not believe that just because one has been divorced, is gay and in a relationship or has had an abortion, they are not allowed to receive Communion. These decision lie with the individual and how they wish to go about these personal choices. Keywords: individual and personal. In the many churches I’ve attended throughout my life, I’ve encountered divorcees and homosexuals. It’s not a big deal. There are many openly gay people who choose to attend the church that is openly against them and what they are about because they understand the church is not just about morality, it’s much more than that. They are not self-hating or ashamed of the fact that they are gay, they just choose to be part of the church that perhaps helped them in their personal growth in other ways.
Most traditional Catholics may consider us liberal Catholics heretics and not ‘true’ Catholics, and if we were born in a different century, we’d be burned at the stake. But Chris Matthews is as every bit Catholic as the pope. I am as worthy a Catholic than those who don’t share my views on abortion and LGBT rights. I consider the most important tenets of my faith in not the ‘Thou shalt not’ items but the message of non-judgemental universal love, kindness, mercy and if people read their Bibles carefully, there is really only one commandment and that is “to Love others as I have Loved you.” And it’s love the verb, not love the noun, which means you actively love people, even if you don’t want to, even if they are unlovable.
The most important takeaway from the exchange between Chris Matthews and Donald Trump is Republicans still view women as chattel. We exist only to serve men and provide them with children. Any woman who goes outside of those boundaries do not deserve rights, even the most basic right of having adequate health care.