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John Livingston

Conservative Political Philosophy

My purpose for writing has always been to explain to first my family and many of my friends—especially in the medical community the logic and predicate for my political philosophy. In past columns, I have quoted Paul Ryan as saying, “My Christian Catholic faith informs every aspect of my life” Even though I became disenchanted with the former Speaker of The House, I respect his words and even must admit that I try to follow them. The platform for my political philosophy is a straight line running through ancient Israel and Athens, through the great Church Fathers like St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas. Through Magna Carta and the Enlightenment and then through our Great Declaration and Constitution. Non-Christians have also been able to embrace this philosophy through an understanding of Natural Law Theory.

Natural Law is simply the idea that there is a “law imprinted in the hearts of all men made known through the faculties of reason and faith.”—the part about faith is missing in the libertarian point of view—for example Ayan Rand. But faith, as stated in Our Sacred Creed “in all that is seen and unseen”, is the bases of not only political philosophy, but of scientific exploration. The great scientists of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, all believed in what” could be seen and unseen”. It is the bases of “inductive reasoning” and the scientific process. It is why there is no ‘unsettled science” and why Copernicus and Galileo searched the universe for unknown planets, stars, a galaxy for things that had been previously “unseen. It is Auton van Leeuwenhoek believed in microscopic things previously unseen and invented the microscope enabling scientists to observe microscopic life for the first time.

To be a scientist requires faith. During the Renaissance and until the Enlightenment many of the great discoveries were made by devout Christian scientists. Their faith in God and their faith in the unseen were one and the same. Blasé Pascual, Copernicus, Kepler, were all devout in their faith. There is a new awakening by many Judeo-Christians in the basic sciences—chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and even applied theoretical astrophysics, reconciling science and faith. In GENESIS AND THE BIG BANG Harold Schroeder an MIT astrophysicist reconciles Biblical time mathematically with equations showing that Man’s time is as we know it and God’s time travels at the speed of light contracting time. Einstein even commented on this in his later life when asked about the philosophical implications of his theory of relativity.

Christians are often scoffed at when explaining their political philosophy. It seems that whenever two or more humorless, sanctimonious, liberal progressives are gathered together, they look down their noses at us and call us “deplorable, racist, privileged, bigoted, ignorant, superstitious, or sexist” One time after walking out of Mass at St. Alphonso’s one of my colleagues asked me what was in the room on the fourth floor where I went most weekdays at 1200 noon. I told him it was a small Catholic Chapel run by the Sisters for patients and staff. He had been on the staff for 30 years and passed by the room daily and he didn’t know or care to know what that room was about. I invited him to be my guest, but he never took me up on the offer. Several weeks later in a discussion in the doctor’s lounge at St. Luke’s the same physician stated that in “this day and age religion is a superstition”. As I have recently been told they no longer do daily Mass at St. Al’s. So many progressives deny the predicate of the Christian conservative foundations for our argument. They have no moral platform for their positions, and they deny the predicates for our arguments. When providential issues are concerned—right to life, self-protection, agency issues of sovereignty, where can we find middle ground? Prudential issues like how to fund a school or build a road or fund the military are easy. It will be the Providential issues that will test our society and culture. Until and unless there is a NEXT GREAT AWAKENING, we may continue down a road of conflict and political tension.

I say all this because in most cases liberal progressives can’t tell you the bases of their own political philosophy. Talk about abortion or privacy rights or the right to self-protection and their arguments are based on emotion and feelings. There is no predicate for what they believe and that makes it hard for us to argue. Going back logically to “first instances” is not possible. When the argument deteriorates that’s when they resort to using names. “Racist—Bigot—ignorant”

I would like our political leaders to come out and explain to the people of Idaho what the moral predicate was for shutting down non-essential businesses. I would like an Attorney General who could connect the dots from moral predicate to Constitution to Law. I believe Raul Labrador is such a person. What about the moral predicate for executive orders and orders from the health districts? What about closing churches and schools? This is precisely why we need everyday citizens in positions of authority and not “experts—doctors or lawyers”. We need a citizen Governor and legislators to connect the predicate to the policy and we need experts to connect the law to the action. Two very different processes and they need to be separate. When a Governor or Legislator skips that process and allows the expert to define the action, We the People become suspicious. That is the difference between how Florida and Texas reacted to the Covid-political pandemic and how Idaho proceeded.

Governor Little—What moral compass did you use when directing the recommendations of the “experts”? Is individual liberty and individual health more or less important than corporate well-being and safety? Who is in a better position to judge risk—families or government? We need to ask that question of all our politicians. Our politicians should share our values. Idahoans are a virtuous God-fearing people which is why we have such a great State. We deserve to be ruled by people who are worthy of the trust we put in them

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