At the dual risk of being a prig and a bore, let me begin with what the scholastics called the via remotionis (crudely: what something is not). I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party. In the Catholic ghetto where I grew up, I never laid eyes on a known Republican until I was in high school. And while I accept that, alas, man is by nature a political animal, I have always thought that you really have to be some kind of dumb to expect much of, identify with, or invest yourself wholly in any political party, including the Republicans.
Yet barring any political earthquakes between now and November, I will vote with no little enthusiasm for George W. Bush and a whole raft of other Republican candidates.
My enthusiasm, to continue just a little more in the same philosophical direction, is not primarily about Bush. His down-home Texas routine is more foreign to me than Kerry’s tony Swiss schooling (though I’ve grown to appreciate its prickly charm, especially given Kerry’s lumbering blandness). Like his father, Bush is a thoroughly decent person. But despite all efforts, he somehow seems unable to communicate deep moral passion, which I have no doubt he feels. Bush knows the words, but can’t carry the tune. By contrast, Tony Blair was eloquent, just short of Churchillian, in the run-up to the Iraq war. So, while I support and largely agree with...
Robert Royal is president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His book The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century: A Comprehensive World History (Crossroad) is soon to be reissued in paperback.