Can you be a Catholic and support Donald Trump?

President Donald Trump accompanied by, from second from left, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, White House press secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By Andrew Lim

This essay follows on the heels of Joe’s previous piece “The  Philippines is not really a Catholic nation”.

But instead of dwelling on the local situation where there is much consensus on the “split-level”, cognitive-dissonant, hypocritical, shallow, superstitious appreciation and application of Catholicism in the country, we talk of the United States, where there has arguably been much more progress and vigourous discussion on matters of faith and its application to governance and social issues.

It is to be noted that there is a large number of professed Catholics in the Trump administration: VP Mike Pence, Speaker Paul Ryan, Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, Spokesman Sean Spicer, adviser Kellyanne Conway and husband (partly Filipino), Homeland Secretary John Kelly, General Mike Flynn (booted out), adviser Steve Bannon plus many more.

Visit American lay Catholic websites and see how they drool over Trump.

The discussion on Joe’s article led me to a blunt question:

Is it possible to be a Christian/Catholic if one supports Duterte/Marcos policies?

Now the US version: is it possible to be a Christian/Catholic if one supports Trump policies?

How do they square their Catholic faith with their actions and policies?

I think I have decoded how the likes of Speaker Paul Ryan can remain devoutly Catholic while simultaneously praising Trump for his harmful policies.

The personalities I named above together with Ryan are not similar to the hillbillies and rednecks of the Rust Belt, where the exodus to Trump was ignited by the decline in manufacturing industries. They are economically well-off, with above-average education.

The clue: their aversion to recent progressive policies on reproduction, marriage, immigration, etc make them think they are fighting a big moral crusade which justifies everything else they do.

In short, fanaticism makes you right all the time.

“I am fighting abortion and same sex marriage, so that makes everything I do justified” – the pussy grabbing, the lying and fake news, the destruction of institutions, denying climate change, Russian collusion, the immigration policies, healthcare, advocating violence against media, bullying, lack of civility, conflict of interest, etc. This could be how they frame their positions.

For Game of Thrones enthusiasts: remember the part where the group of fanatical believers called Faith Militant come into power and justify their actions and policies by referring to it as “the will of the gods”? When confronted with the depravity and moral inconsistency of their activities, they keep referring to the third person or to dogma, skirting any accountability – (shades of the Philippine Justice Secretary – he had to blame inanimate objects like cellphones when it came to light that even the vaunted Special Action Force (SAF) was not immune to being corrupted while serving as Bilibid guards.)

So while the problem in the Philippines is the lack of vigor in understanding the faith, the problem in the US is fanaticism.


155 Responses to “Can you be a Catholic and support Donald Trump?”
  1. “Is it possible to be a Christian/Catholic if one supports Trump policies?”

    The Mormons are probably the best ones to ask this question, because those guys are squeaky clean, and they still voted for Trump. But essentially they voted for Trump because they just didn’t like Hillary, she was secularization and liberalism personified, so if you’re conservative Trump’s your guy.

    But let me turn the questions around Andrew, what policies of Trump’s is un-Christian or un-Catholic in your opinion? and Why? 😉 (additionally, are you Catholic, atheist, Buddhist , or what? With these current Catholic , or dare I say anti-Catholic blogs, it might help if everyone fess up from the git-go… 😉 I’m agnostic, with a Jainist bent)

    • “The personalities I named above together with Ryan are not similar to the hillbillies and rednecks of the Rust Belt”

      Just some cultural tid-bit here, hillbilly and redneck is kinda like the word nigger, unless you’re part of these groups it’s considered rude to use, and especially here where it’s used wrongly, ie. hillbillies are generally in Appalachia, mountains ; while rednecks are in the South, small towns (hick is its synonym), White trash may be appropriate re the Rust Belt, but still considered rude to use , unless you’re one, Andrew.

      • Coal mines might be appropriate for hillbillies, same region, but technically a hillbilly makes his living in the mountains hence the term, but coal miners can i guess come from hillbilly background.

    • Miela says:

      Add to the equation the Bernie fans who did not vote simply because they believed the character assassination on Hillary (Bernie is partly at fault here because he followed the extreme right demagogue on Hillary Clinton).. I think that Bernie fans have a lot in common with Trump fans than democrats in general. Even Bernie is not a fan of immigration (he things immigrants are out to steal or depress American wages — eerily a rightist sentiment) and that “foreigners” (people living in other countries) steal US jobs through attracting US companies to outsource. Which is why I was not surprised that the suspect in the baseball shooting was an ardent Bernie fan who even volunteered for his campaign. Trump and Sanders tend to attract extremists who are out of touch with realities.

      But there are lot of parallelism in PH and US elections. The better candidates were victims of character assassination — Mar Roxas and Hillary Clinton.

      • andrewlim8 says:

        hmmm very insightful.

        Political ideology has become religion, and vice versa. In the 80s it was Marxism masquerading as “empirical” and its march “inevitable” , but it was just another religion competing for adherents.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Miela, you have totally confused left & right, I think.

        Left is a term nearly always used to describe people or policies that promote the welfare of the poorer people in a country. Bernie was doing exactly that.

        By contrast Clinton was & is identified with policies from the ( over ? ) educated professional chatterati….And most of them are in great paying jobs and benefit from cheap goods and services obtained by exploiting the poor doing low wage work in foreign countries like the Philippines.

        • A quibble or two. Exploitation is I think a subject that means something to idealists, but not to low-paid workers who are thankful for having a job or American companies who are delivering the growth and profits demanded by shareholders. I’m not sure of the composition of Clinton’s fan base, but I believe more people of color related well to her, versus Trump, and I don’t believe they fit properly into the chatterati class as you represent it.

          Those benefitting from cheap goods and services are the poor, lower, and middle classes, so that is most of America. Those with great-paying jobs . . . if you asked the workers themselves . . . is probably that set left over from the poor, lower, and middle classes because few are happy with what they’ve got, as there are plenty of demands on the paychecks: housing, food, gas, medical, taxes, etc., and the goal is to keep moving up the satisfaction chain. America’s innovation and productivity are essentially BASED on the drive for individual self-improvement.

          The question is, I suppose, is there a better system, for 2017 and beyond? Has democratically driven capitalism come to the end of the road? If so, what ought to replace it, and how does one move a nation in that direction? I tend to think idealists need to point out the road, then be architects for it and all the bridges that have to be constructed, and maybe even lead it so that they are forced to incorporate the pragmatics into their thinking. I don’t think belittling the Clintons moves much in that direction, as unity, not division, is most likely to bring us to everlasting happy hunting grounds, or heaven, or wherever we are heading.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Joe, do you remember Churchill’s statement about democracy ?
            “Democracy is the worst political system of government except for all the rest.”

            It’s always wise to be careful what you wish for. It may actually happen.

            • Haha, yes. And I remember the Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton debate in which he was just raging about her ties to Wall Street. Yet it is Wall Street that sources the capital that makes all of America rich, and I think Bernie failed to be the kind of idealistic architect that people had confidence in. Oddly enough, although Trump offends so very very many for his social gaffes and brash decision-making, Wall Street is thriving.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                A Democrat with ties to Wall Street.. No wonder the formerly rust belt democrats went Trump…

              • andrewlim8 says:

                @Bill in Oz

                “A Democrat with ties to Wall Street.. No wonder the formerly rust belt democrats went Trump. ”

                Which to their surprise, appointed several alumni of Goldman Sachs to his cabinet – Bannon, Mnuchin, etc. In addition, they are going to repeal the regulations put in place after the 2008 financial meltdown due to overleveraged Wall Street banks which the US taxpayer had to pay for through bailouts since these Wall St banks were too big to fail.

                Go figure.

              • Miela says:

                Sanders’ wife was the president of a private college in VT that closed because she decided to make an unrealistic investment. They borrowed huge money that they were not able to pay because she thought donations will come freely and enrollment will increase a lot. Well, that college went bankrupt. Now, it is closed. Sucks for the people who graduated there. Not flaterring to graduate from a school that cannot sustain itself.

                Not to mention the school is a liberal arts school that offers courses not needed by the economy.

                Bernie’s “free tuition” is a grander scale of that – thinking he will get what he wants. It could hsve ended uo with quotas in universities in an increase in income tax.

                Sanders idea of “funding” free tuitionnis funny. From stock speculation. If the economy tanks, even state schools might close.

          • NHerrera says:

            This is an interesting continuation, in a way, of an earlier discussion in the previous blog where Bill mentioned the need to orient one’s way to a less consumptive, less hard-working life to a more relaxed way — smell the flowers, get to that rocking chair and read and enjoy good books from the library — (I am paraphrasing here) compared to the “American” hard-working way.

            While I tend to agree with the more relax way described by Bill, now, because of my age-situation and relative money-security — not plenty, just enough — one question that I had but did not bring up is what Joe now states: who is going to architect all this (still paraphrasing), so that we have the economy that still provides the basic needs, including some medicine and medical facilities, while those the like of me sit in that rocking chair and enjoy the smell of the flowers and the frayed but good books from the library.

            • You are whetting my appetite for a blog on the subject. We’d have to hypothesize the kind of social setting that would turn productivity over to robots and AI whilst still providing food and fun for citizens from the profits made. Gadzooks, I’m not sure that could be condensed to a page. But might be fun to try. 🙂

              • NHerrera says:

                Please do try Joe. Robots and AI produce the goods, etc. while I enjoy my relaxing read of TSH and some books while rocking myself in a chair with a robot gently massaging my neck and shoulders. (Correction: the robot rocks my chair.) 🙂

              • Miela says:

                Reminds me of Musks idea. He is an advocate of basic income so people will go for recreation than work and let AI do things. I think the unintended consequence of this is a creation of a new class divide – the elite are the ones qorking on the AI, the SMEs who cater to recreation needs, and the “welfare receipients”.

            • Miela says:

              With all the various types of “insurance REQUIRED by the government” and the ever increasing tax (with marginal returns to tax payers), a more relaxed lifestyle is quite far fetched in the US. You’re even penalized because you can’t afford healthcare insurance but don’t qualify for subsidies either.

        • andrewlim8 says:

          @Bill in Oz

          It is kind of tough to have arguments where the world is framed as rich vs poor, over-educated (a misnomer since you can never be over-educated) vs poorly educated, eloquent vs the foul-mouthed and take the side of the children of a lesser God with Trump as the savior.

          It does not take into account personal behavior and decisions which impact heavily on one’s
          well-being. I have so many personal, though anecdotal accounts of people with miserable lives but since I know their details it makes me ask: you were given a good education but you blew it by not taking it seriously and you took it for granted, and performed poorly. Now you are expecting an easy life?

          Or, you did not plan your family size and now you’re complaining that life is hard? Who in the world can live comfortably if you have eight children on one salary?

          Come on.

        • Miela says:

          Bernie identifies as socialist therefore, a left. But a lot of his platforms are similar to the right – covertly anti immigrant and implies that non-Americans oppress Americans by stealing jobs Americans do not want. I have lived in the silicon valley and central california farms and many jobs done by “imported workers” are the jobs that Americans do not wamt or there is shortage in skilled workers.

          If we are to be honest, the biggest “thieves” (of jobs and opportunities) from US born are people like me who came through “family chain visa” especially that I came here semi skilled. I “stole” a job that can be filled by a native born. The grants and scholarahips could have been given to a native born. I am mlremof a threat to a native born than someone in HB visa who are usually hired because of labor shortage. You can’t claim to be pro immograntnif you demonized people who came through HB visa. After all, some of the best CEOs in the US started as foreign students or HB visa holders. Sindar Pichai of Google comes to mind.

          But people in HB visa are easier to blame and have less political representation compared to greencard holders like me (quasi citizens).

          Bernie is not pro poor. He is a populist who likes to tell everybody he will give things for “free” no matter the long term costs. You can’t have inexpensive costs that is made in the US with $20 minimum wage. Plus manufacturing jobs aren’t what most Americans want yet they complain about foreigners doing jobs that Americans do not want to do. I live in central california where there is large farms. US born people complain about not having jobs yet there is chronic farm labor shortage even during the recession!

          The only way to have high minimum wage and low cost (assuming that people, not machines will make these) is by importing illegals and pay them nothing. The better and more humane way is outsourcing to countries with labor pool willing to do the job where the dollar goes a long way. If you want made in the US, accept that fact that you will likely have to pay 5x the price than something made in Bangladesh or Honduras or that a machine made it, not human.

          If people are required to “Buy American” and patronize US services, the poor people will the ones to NOT be able to afford it, even with welfare or govt stipends.

          Is that “pro poor” to you?

          And Bernie’s proposed tariff (similar to Trump) is anti poor. The US imports some fruits and vegetables from other countries. The “made in US” food are the highly processed empty calories. Is that pro-poor to you? When it comes to tariff, the consumer is ALWAYS the loser. Tariffs is a policy that is pro corporation. Those who want tariff wants consumers to habe less access to BETTER choices.

          Banana doesn’t grow in the US but it is the most consumed fruit. Do you want to deny poor Americans cheaper access to this healther alternative to US made cheetos?

    • Sup says:

      because those guys are squeaky clean?
      They are LGBT discriminating monsters…….

      The Church’s official policy toward homosexuality is that “acting” on one’s desire is a sin and that same-sex marriage is against God’s will.

      • It’s not just the Mormons, Sup, its pretty much every religion out there.

        You might then be interested in this on-going discussion on homosexuality and the Church: 😉

        • Sup,

          But I said squeaky clean, because inspite of their disdain for LGBT (and as Trump loves to add, Q ) , they are clean because they don’t drink, smoke, swear , and they remain faithful , not to mention very family oriented, at least as compared to other religious groups, a close 2nd would be Seventh Day Adventists (I’m sure those folks also voted for Trump).

          • p.s. Sup, that anti-homosexuality thread was generated by karl’s heckling 😉 , which I was more than happy to obliged, I actually have gay friends. Though I steer clear from drama queens. The gays you meet in the military are more practical, they know their audience and don’t provoke sleeping dogs (if you know what i mean). I’ve had similar talks with them over beers re homosexuality, so take it with a grain of salt, as you read it. But it’s a good discussion IMHO, thanks to edgar. 😉

            • Edgar Lores says:


              By this admission, I will call you a name now: Hypocrite.

              You are engaging in verbal judo to what end?

              The purpose of this forum is to teach and learn, and not to dominate.

              o Playing devil’s advocate without prior advice is dishonest.
              o The arguments even if they have the semblance of truth are made-up, fabricated, and therefore false.
              o They neither teach nor illuminate because they are not sincere.

              I request that you post this comment and confession of yours in the other thread.

              • Sup says:

                If you wait long enough to answer a person who desperately and instantly wants to get his ”You see, i am correct” he or she will go contradict him/her self after a while i guess? 🙂

              • edgar lores says:

                Sup, It depends on the wiliness of the devi… er, the devil’s advocate.

              • Did you not read my comment to karl, from the very start, edgar? 😉

                Did you not know that I wasn’t Catholic already? As for each point made, they were solid arguments, no? — most of which I do hold , except maybe for abortion and euthanasia (but this you already knew from Austerity ).

                Contraceptive was the one i was hoping you’d focus on, oh well.

                The sin parts you can take out, i don’t really buy it (but you already knew that), but the arguments are solid and their mine—- whether or not I’m really passionate about them is another issue , ie. I don’t really care what people do in private, edgar.

              • “he or she will go contradict him/her self after a while i guess?”

                Where’s the contradiction?

              • p.s.~ that wasn’t a confession to Sup. I was giving Sup a heads up, context if you will, so as not to read my views wrongly, since he’s not a regular; but for the regulars, I’m sure they would’ve already caught on, edgar, hence all the LOLs between me and karl and me and sonny.

              • It should be well known by now that LCX is here for the gamesmanship of it, which is why he carries the title Chief Troll. One should always read his arguments with one part admiration for the degree of effort and even talent he puts into it, whilst recognizing the only lesson one will learn is that one either chooses to engage him on his terms, for development of one’s own skills at debate, or one ignores him in search of better things to do. I generally do the latter, but occasionally will engage to the point of making my own points, then leaving the discussion.

              • edgar lores says:

                I am sorry, I do not take kindly to people wasting my time.

                If my request to LCpl_X is not performed, I further request the moderator to delete all comments starting from the following:


                and up to and including:


                I will abide by the moderator’s decision to keep the above if he thinks the discussion is illuminative or to keep the integrity of the blog intact even though the discussion is a sham.

                My apologies to Andrew for the diversion.

              • I think the conversation is what it is, intellectual, without name-calling, and I don’t really want to get into trying to judge good faith. So I’d prefer leaving them in.

              • edgar lores says:

                I accept.

              • edgar lores says:

                Please read the first four paragraphs of the blog, “Knowledge and Church Doctrine, a Kindly Debate.”

                In Reddit, there is a convention where some topics are tagged as “[Serious].” A guideline for postings to such topics is that they must be on topic. An unwritten guideline, from my viewpoint, is that the postings must be, as the tag indicates, serious. Violations of the guidelines result in deleted posts.

                From the first four paragraphs of the blog, the point is made not to treat the topic in a cavalier fashion. Accordingly, I took the blog to be of a [Serious] kind.

                I will grant that all postings were on topic.

                I think that arguments presented ostensibly to represent the Catholic Church must be consistent with dogma and doctrine.

                More importantly, they must be made sincerely and meant in earnest.

                Arguments made in jest are cavalier in the sense of “offhand disregard.” Even though they have a semblance of truth, they make a mockery of the Church. Even though the Church may make use of these arguments, their moral force is lost.

                The devil’s advocate is free to be creative, make specious arguments, and to deny rebuttals repeatedly just for the sake of argumentation.

                In [Serious] blogs, humor is acceptable. Feigned argumentation is not.

                My arguments, though critical of the Church, are respectful and the suggestions to changes in doctrine are made in earnest with the best interest of the Church in mind.

              • Thank you, Joe. These arguments are well crafted and I take pride in them. Once I stake a position I dig in and fight. Wishy washy I am not, nor are any of my arguments deceitful. There’s no rule in the blogosphere nor in real life that you have to agree 100% with your arguments , edgar. I took a position and I’m defending.

                If you feel you’ve wasted your time, edgar, you might take stock of all the other times you’ve engaged me in discussion; I learned plenty in every single intercourse, and have consistently thanked you for your time, why as to just now you’re feeling this slight I have no idea, but we’ve had plenty of long discussions like this, you’ve never used this “waste of time” excuse. So what gives?

              • Sup says:

                Sup is not a regular?

                Ok, i might not fill as many pages as you with all your internet copy and paste but i am the Society of honor new Filipino thinker awardee…You are not…. 🙂

              • Sup is a regular, irregularly present, and much admired for his wit and wisdom. 😀😀

              • “i am the Society of honor new Filipino thinker awardee…You are not…”

                What’s he talking about , Joe? And is this award as prestigious as Chief Troll? 😉

              • Every title granted is equally prestigious. You man the machine gun and Sup is a sniper. Both of you slay the enemy, ignorance, in equally important ways. Karl supplies a whole lot of ammo. Edgar works in intelligence.

              • “From the first four paragraphs of the blog, the point is made not to treat the topic in a cavalier fashion. “


                I admit I was being cavalier, but not your definition of the word.

                I was simply defending the Church’s position using my own arguments (i hope the Vatican took some notes 😉 ), with intent to show that your side isn’t necessarily the end say, especially the use of homophobia. I believe I was successful, and don’t feel i’ve offended the Church in any way.

                This is me,

              • “You man the machine gun and Sup is a sniper. Both of you slay the enemy, ignorance, in equally important ways.”

                Roger that, Joe—- locating , closing with , and destroying ignorance, by fire and maneuver , both near and far. Awesome analogy.

              • 🙂 I’m General Joe, paid to make sure the forces have good inter-operational ability. And I have a complete understanding of the process called ‘fragging’. 🙂

              • This I know all too well, General… that’s why I always say Aye, Aye, Sir! —give a sharp salute , a crisp about face and move on— when the hand comes down.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    In the followup blog of Joe I presented the CBCP stand against EJK, but even with condemning the act, they voiced their support to the president.

    What followed was the lament of many that the church was active in opposing the RHBill and passive or timid in condemning EJK.

    Now, before I read more on the stand of the Church on trump, let me read more on his policies or statements( personal?) on the issues of abortion, sane sex marriages, capital punishment etc.

  3. NHerrera says:


    PH — general ignorance and lack of time/ vigor to understand their faith and so act the way they do.

    US — certainly not-lack-of accessible knowledge and not-lack-of-time to understand their faith, in short fanatics (?), and so act the way they do.


    Good short essay Andrew!

  4. karlgarcia says:

    USCCB ( the US version of CBCP) head Di Nardo praised Trump’s anti abortion stance, but questioned his immigration policies, his policies in Syria, and he questioned the slashing of the budget for social security.

    That is what my speed reading produced for now.
    So Trump is pro-life which is consistent with Catholic ideals, but consistently inconsistent with Catholic daily reality here or in the US.
    I know people who take hormone pills just to stay alive like taking maintenance meds.

    Trump says he is for same sex marriage, but his detractors don’t believe him.
    As a cafeteria catholic, I am open to having lgbt friends and what they do in private or in public is none of my business.

  5. Miela says:

    Filipinos are fanatic about their “voodoo Catholism” or “paganism disguised as Catholicism”.

    The most ignorant Filipinos about Catholicism and the Philippine constitution are the middle and upper class. People who have access to education. Buti pa yung tambay na elementary lang natapos alam na hindi makatarungan ang EJK at kawalan ng due process pero yung mga nagtratrabaho sa multinational companies at BPO/call centers eh maka EJK.

    • NHerrera says:

      Last line — generally true, I agree.

      • Miela says:

        I know of a “human rights lawyer”, her husband is a councilor in Baguio and at first I admired her because I thought she was a staunch human rights activists — she was even a harsh critical of Arroyo. But come Duterte, even she is defending his EJK in the guise of “poverty issue is a human rights issue”. I mean, WTF? Para silang nagayuma or that they suddenly abandoned their “principles” in order to fit the pro-Duterte narrative.

        The admiration of the middle and upperclass Filipinos of Duterte is not lack of information. It is fanaticism. Similar to the Trump supporters especially from the Bible belt. The difference is, there’s a lot of “voodoo-ism” in the Filipino brand of fanaticism. Trump supporters praise him for his “policies”. If you look at it, Trump supporters are consistent with their racism and xenophobia and sexism. Meanwhile, Filipino Duterte fans are inconsistent. They will change their principles in order to worship the poong nazi-raan.

        • NHerrera says:

          BTW, Miela:

          To be fair, my note posted in

          NHerrera says:
          July 14, 2017 at 8:34 am

          applies equally well to the relatively ignorant and uneducated versus the educated/ knowledgeable in both the PH and the US.

          • Miela says:

            What I am saying is: the case of the Philippines is not “lack of information” regarding Catholicism versus fanaticism in the US as speculated by this post. It’s is both fanaticism on both sides. Many Duterte supporters have access to the best Catholic education in the country. Chito Miranda of PNE is an Atenean – from a Jesuit Catholic school but he supports Duterte even after the tasteless rape joke.

            Many of Duterte supporters are, unfortunately, from the country’s best Catholic schools. The difference between Trumpists and Dutertistas is that Trump supporters are predictable. You know that they tend to be racist, sexist, xenophobes. Meanwhile, the most ardent Dutertistas revealed the level of fanaticism of the middle and upperclass Filipinos. They worship Duterte like a saint.

            Read the last line: “So while the problem in the Philippines is the lack of vigor in understanding the faith, the problem in the US is fanaticism.”

            How does he explain the huge and ardent following of Duterte from the Catholic-educated people?

            Can someone explain this “gayuma”? Are people afraid of speaking against Duterte because, yknow, it’s not “cool” or “uso” or has the Philippines fallen into some serious cult following?

            • NHerrera says:

              Well, in relative terms, it is obvious from where I write this that there is indeed a difference in the degree of fear the Americans feel about Trump and that of Filipinos about Duterte. Using the word “fear” is even inappropriate with respect to Trump, except of course when speaking within hearing distance of some rabid Trump supporters.

              • Miela says:

                The Trump issue is more of political alignment than religious alignment – which makes his supporters predictable. You can gauge their stance on issues.

                This is not the case of Duterte. I have seen a number of human rights activists who support him despite all the calls for mass murder and rape jokes. Duterte support is plain worship of the guy. “Poong Naziraan” is very apt. Duterte supporters are more ardent than the voodoo Catholics who are devouted to the Black Nazarene.

                I’d rather be friends with a “voodoo Catholic” who was never properly catechised but knows that EJK is plain wrong than someone who went to a prestigious Catholic school but is an all-out Duterte supporter. At least Filipino mythologies are a fun discussion, but EJK is not.

            • andrewlim8 says:


              This is a fascinating point you have raised, worthy of a future blog for exploration. Fanaticism for Duterte as a “savior-saint” vs fanaticism for Trump because he supports conservative positions on reproduction, marriage and immigration.

              Fanaticism for a person here, fanaticism for ideology in the US.

              Both camps willing to ignore murder, corruption, collusion, deception, destruction of institutions,destruction of rule of law, lack of character, etc as long as their leader supports their core issues.

              All because they are fighting the “good fight.”

              • NHerrera says:

                The following is not well thought out. But something may be missing here, and if I may, let me use the bullet-approach in posting this, and the bullets refer mainly to the Republican politicians, especially its leaders, and not the voters:

                * “We have to take away from the Democrats another four years at the helm.”

                * So, pre-election, we thought of riding the only train we can ride to achieve this — Trump train — hoping he may turn a better Republican than he showed during the campaign.

                * But Trump turned out to be worse than advertised.

                * But let us ride this through, and see if we can do something to make this Republican Turn last beyond Trump.

                About ideology re same sex marriage, abortion and the like, if it is the Democrat’s turn, sure the initiative for legislative bills will come from the Democrats, but is it as if it is in the PH? (Death Penalty bill passes overwhelmingly at the House; certainly not because of ideology but because The Man hinted it, what with all other non-party mates having come on board the new party ship.) Serious discussions are done in the US and voted upon aren’t they? (Someone please correct this naïve view of American politics. I will appreciate it.)

              • andrewlim8 says:


                Generally, I would agree with your train of thought – that there is not much worship of Trump but a recognition that he will get some of the conservative positions done, regardless of the cost.

                But in the Phils, it is more of a worship of personality, for some reason people just cannot think or vote based on their understanding of issues or ideals or philosophies. It is just too primitive- go with the datu with the biggest dick, the biggest wallet, the biggest sword.

                And Catholicism does not stand a chance against this primitivism.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Andrew, wonderful insight about person vs. ideology.

              • Miela says:

                Trump’s win wasn’t really a surprise to me. There was the democratic division because of Bernie (he only became a “democrat” out of convenience. He never identified with the party until he ran for presidential elections. In other words, mangagamit). To add to that the Republican party was able to successfully assasinate Hillary’s character. Even Bernie fans blames her for Benghazi, but never blamed the “commander in chief” at that time – the one who really calls the shots.

                Meanwhile, Duterte’s fame was a result of years of public manipulation. To be honest, I think the situation is more dangerous in the Philippines than is in the US. The US civilian institutions are still intact and functioning especially at local level. There are big companies that oppose Trump policies. In the Philippines, the civilian institutions are degrading rapidly. The only govt institution that I deem intact is the military. The military as an institution, heeds the constition, the rest heads Dutertism.

                I think the difference in the US and PH is that the case of the Philippines is a result of active manipulation given the fervent politician worship the country has. What came as a surprise to me was the demographics of the Duterte supporters – they aren’t the perceived “mangmangs” like FPJ or Erap supporters but people who “believe” they are “progressive”. Just check out posts at skyscraperforums. Many Duterte supporters there are people who live in Canada and support Canadian liberal policies. Meanwhile Trump supporters is always GOP/extreme conservatives.

                The US case is the typical conservative – liberal divide that was magnified by some of Obama’s policies and too high an expectation since the recession.

            • chemrock says:

              I tend to agree with you Miela. I have always asked what’s so difficult to understanding ejk is wrong, surrendering those islands is wrong, vulgarism is wrong, burying a thief as a hero is wrong, etc. Education is not the problem. Fanatism is the problem. Question is what drives this fanatism. So since education is not a problem, the driver is not external but internal. Because it is internal, there is nothing you can do to change d30 diehards views by discrediting the man. He can kill 100,000 and still be supported. They will change only when there is internal impact, like an own child being ejk’ed or when economy tanks.

              • True. The NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitude is very rampant in PH. If a situation is perceived not to impact a person and his/her immediate circle, it is seen as just and/or irrelevant. The usual personal narrative is: “EJK? Why should I concern myself about it? I am not a criminal or drug addict and people I hold dear are not either. Carry on, PNP and PRD, just stay away from my neighborhood.” It is PH’s inconvenient truth.

                In PH, the personality behind the act is “judged” and if he/she passed muster, then he/she can walk on water. It is obvious that for a lot of Filipinos, PRD had been weighed and found satisfactory. Woe to those who found him wanting because the mechanisms to drown their dissent are in place.

              • Thea says:


                “Education is not the problem. Fanaticism is the problem. Question is what drives this fanaticism. So since education is not a problem, the driver is not external but internal.”

                What drives fanaticism? What drives these educated, middle-class (or rich) people to become fanatics?

                If we are to look at the nature of religions(and politics) in the Philippines,one would easily say Filipinos are darn fanatics. (I would concentrate on Filipinos and later perhaps, with excuse that I have limited knowledge on American politics). But then,why are we fanatics? Is this intrinsic or brought about by external forces?

                Let’s see.

                Fanatics are not born fanatics or became fanatics over night. People need to belong,that is normal. But to be a fanatic,it needs time and various conditions.

                1. These people are usually betrayed or disappointed in the society or group in which they live and feel they are liberating this experience by disregarding their alliances in the society that betrayed them.

                2. They are exposed to an ideology or informations opposed to their former beliefs and practices.

                3. They have an insanely charismatic leader who embodies their ideals, a person who they think can deliver the promised ideology and who identifies with them.

                4. This new ideology has been reinforced and strengthened by internalisation of the informations which they get from the leader(or by his group) and by internalisation the former “we” becomes “us” and “that no other is better but us”.

                5. After indoctrination, the fanatics will now denigrate or deny any information from outside the new ideology.

                I should say, the forces are external too and it is not surprising to find educated,rich,well-meaning individuals to become fanatics. Take the case of Usec. Lalaine Badoy for one.

                We are all candidate to fanaticism for the forces are there. They exist. Under the right conditions, all of us can be susceptible to fanatical ideologies even in a democratic society. We have to be vigilant of our family and society. Death in the family will not change the mind of a fanatic, it will remain as is without psychological rehabilitation. This should be the main task of the next government. That was not done after the EDSA 1, this time our officials must understand that they have to fix the damage ,morally and socially.

                P.S. That is why, it is good to question and debate a subject so we don’t become fanatics in TSOH.

              • edgar lores says:


                You have expanded on fanaticism, on its source (items 1 and 4), its drivers (items 2 and 3), and its proselytization (item 5).

                1. On the source, I said it was internal emptiness and you have suggested social alienation and discontent (item 1). JoeAm suggested emotional emptiness. In item 4, you further suggest internalization or indoctrination. I will refer to these as the Void.

                1.1. On reflection, the Void is more spiritual in nature. In fanaticism, the Void in men’s lives are filled with the Cause, which we have said can be either religious or political, personality or ideology.

                1.2. The case of Fr. Tabora is strange because, being a man of the cloth, one would suppose he is already filled with the Holy Spirit. I am not sure, though, whether he can be said to be a true believer since he recanted his political adherence and returned to his religious one.

                1.3. The Void is neither intellectual or social as we see in the case of Tabora and Badoy, who both have intellectual and social gifts.

                1.3. In any case, we know there is a Void in fanatics and it has to do with an absence of a fulfilling meaning in their lives. Without a Cause, they live meaningless or semi-meaningless lives. With a Cause, they become filled with holy purpose.

                1.4. In item 4, you allude to a sense of identity, belonging as brought about by brainwashing (indoctrination), and superiority. To make an analogy, the once empty vessel is filled, it assumes the shape of the Cause, and its veneer turns brighter than the unvarnished or dilawan clay vessels.

                2. On the driver, it seems to me that the Cause must not only have novelty but have broad streaks of irrationality. It must appeal more to the heart than to the mind. More than Love, it must inflame the heart with Hate. Hate for scapegoats, for immigrants or for drug addicts. Hate burns with a longer and fiercer fire than Love. And the Hate unites haters in a way that Love does not unite lovers. This is where our Prophet of Love, Will, falters.

                2.1. I think Chemrock is correct: The source (the Void) is internal but the driver (the Cause) is external.

                3. On proselytization, the path of fanaticism, as Eric Hoffer posits, is full of destruction. It is the path of a typhoon.

                3.1. How and when can the Typhoon be stopped? I think fanaticism ceases when the Cause falters either from opposing forces (explosion), from internal weaknesses (implosion), or from its death. It should be instructive to witness how the reigns of Trump and Duterte will end. (We should mark this blog and record their respective endings for posterity.)

                3.2. But do not clap your hands too soon. The Marcos fanaticism still survives and haunts the nation.


                4. Miscellany.

                4.1. Perhaps there has to be a differentiation between religious and political fanaticism but at the moment I cannot see it.

                4.2. The capability of fanatics to switch over from one cause to another should also be a fascinating case to study.

              • chemrock says:

                Very good Thea. So externalities get internalized and fanaticism germinates. But since this occurs in both the uneducated and the educated, then education or lack of it is not a causal factor.

                @ JP your crisp comment summarises the state of the nation well..

              • “4.2. The capability of fanatics to switch over from one cause to another should also be a fascinating case to study.”

                Drug addicts especially, edgar, who switch one addiction for another, usually some Christian evangelical fringe, or lately especially those still in prison here, to Islam —- Black Muslims, of the Malcolm X variety, a organization he’d eventually leave, have been a main stay since the 70s here, but now they’re seeing Hispanics and Whites in prison converting to Islam.

                So drugs too can be exchanged for religion, probably tickles the same portion of the brain. Interesting. Though drugs to politics, whether left or right, i’ve never seen, unless you count joining groups, but politics alone doesn’t tickle the mind as much as purporting to understand the mind of God.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Edgar, again thanks for your thoughts today.. The Emptiness leaves room for a Cause to fill it and so provide Purpose…

                So often the ‘Cause’ can be evil in character and so lead to evil action….But acknowledging that the action is evil, means uprooting the ‘Cause’ and being left with the Void again…

              • Edgar Lores says:


                Aha, you scared me with the thought of the eternal Void.

                I guess the possibilities are infinite. We are shapeshifters.

                1. Some fanatics grow up and lose their idealism due to the need for to survive. In their youth, when they are dependents, they want to change the world. Then when they graduate, become independent, take on family responsibilities, and need to eke out a living, they become practical. You know the saying, “If you’re not a communist at the age of 20, you haven’t got a heart. If you’re still a communist at the age of 30, you haven’t got a brain.”

                1.1. In the Philippines, the brilliant leftists in college often become the new smart corrupt men when they join the government service. They join the world they wanted to change and make it worst.

                2. Some fanatics find their true vocation in life — an artist, a teacher — and are consumed by it. They become productive.

                3. Some fanatics drift towards the under belly of society. They become criminals, are caught by the law, put into jail, and convert to Islam as LCpl_X pointed out.

                4. Some are truly radicalized by religion or ideology and become terrorists, suicide bombers, or communist rebels.

                5. Some find business, social, or political success and become presidents or supporters of the president.

                6. Some grow up, say, “This is not for me, this is not the true path,” and become spiritual seekers.

              • Miela says:

                I wonder if it’s the “bandwagon” effect? At the height of Yolanda, it was “fashionable” to bash Mar. Now it is fashionable to call anyone who question Duterte an LP or a “yellow”. Political parties never mattered to Filipino voters until it became fashionable to bash the LP. Forgetting many Duterte allies were once LP. The once who stayed in LP are probably the ones who actually believed in what the party stands for.

                The Duterte worship stems from something cultural that is magnified by class divide. Matapobre. Literally, kill the poor.

                Most Duterte supporters don’t even know what party Duterte is currently in. They know though that Mar Roxas and Leila is a “yellow”.

                But if the economy falters, it might be “fashionable” to be anti Duterte.

              • Miela says:

                It is harder to understand if those who support EJK and giving up Philippine territory are the very people who studied the constitution and laws of the land. I’m not only talking about the mayor president. Many Filipino lawyers support the man who blatantly disregard the constitution! Even the IBP is mum.

                With the grand scale of Duterte worship among the better-educated Filipinos, I am losing hope on the Philippines.

    • madlanglupa says:

      I’ve seen that documentary where a schoolteacher shows her devoutness, and yet agrees that “discipline” is needed to eradicate all narcotics.

      Meanwhile some intellectual young Filipinos have proclaimed themselves to be either agnostic or atheistic, and yet some of them take their non-faith way too seriously and defensively.

      Don’t forget the lunatic crowd who often listen to explicit music,watch shock videos, subscribe to pornographic fanpages, and play games where trash-talking is the norm — this is the same mob who often support EJKs.

  6. An article in La Civilta Cattolica, a Vatican approved magazine and written by a close confidant of the Pope, criticizes US conservative Catholics and evangelical fundamentalists for creating a tag team resulting in a ” ‘ecumenism of conflict’ that demonizes opponents and promotes a ‘theocratic type of state’ ” and a “xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations.”

    Alt right rabble-rousers, conservative politicians and far right religious zealots support Trump. A number of them call themselves Catholics.

    • “LA CIVILTÀ CATTOLICA is a publishing project given to the Jesuits by Pope Pius IX in 1850, during a time of convulsive change in Europe.

      One of the oldest, continuously published Catholic journals, the fortnightly review has always aimed to provide deeper assessments of topics and events of broad significance.”

      This is some really good reading, jp. I’d not read about this. So this is the official publication of the Jesuits? Are there other official publications for other orders.

      I thought Jesuits were conservative, though liberal in thought. They’ve been called God’s Marines. I’d have to read more articles here, but are Jesuits now more known to be liberals, and not conservatives when they started out?

  7. Grace Sapuay says:

    In the time of Marcos during the Martial Law years, Cardinal Sin was the greatest critic of the dictatorship. Indeed, it was he who rallied the people against the Marcos dictatorship and support the fight of Enrile and Ramos, and we all know that that led to the EDSA revolution. What does this mean, you cannot be Catholic yet support a fascist regime. You cannot be Catholic if you support wrongdoings of a leader. Period. The only thing I can support about Donald Trump is his support to the Catholic.

  8. Bill In Oz says:

    Andrew, you ask if it possible to be a (practising ? ) Catholic and also support Trump as president.

    Well there is a separation of church & state in the USA and that is important. So there is no legal impediment. In fact such impediments are discouraged.

    Then there is Trump’s policies : US citizens have made their decision about Trump being president based on his clearly announced policies on such things as :
    1 Minimising illegal migration,
    2 :The need to build the wall on the Mexican border to minimise such illegal migration
    3 : Putting the interests of US workers & jobs, ahead of foreign poorly paid workers and their jobs.
    4 : Suppressing Islamic terrorists effectively.

    None of these policies are in conflict with being a believing Catholic anywhere in the world even though Papa Frank does not like some of them.

    • Is that a wall around the Vatican or do my eyez deceive me, Bill? 😉

      • Bill In Oz says:

        It’s an illusion Lance. Only Catholics can see it. 😉

        • When did voting for my interests, your 1-4, suddenly become un-Christian, Bill? Riddle me that.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            They have never been before Lance.
            But Papa Frank is keen on promoting Christian charity for the poor and homeless of the world.. And he is sincere in this.. And at one level I agree with him..
            But a person will always need to seek their own best interests… After all no one llse wil..

    • andrewlim8 says:

      @Bill in Oz

      You have re-stated Trump’s policy in your own words (and it sounds harmless) , and that is what his voters have done as well. Trump was aware of the raw animosities and packaged his campaign to fit it. But the devil is in the details.

      You have cherry picked four arguments, while excluding others like the removal of healthcare coverage for 23 million or the request for voter data to suppress votes in the guise of looking for voter fraud (which practically all states refused)

      It can be disputed with facts on the ground:

      1-2. Minimising illegal immigration is not to be done while whipping up racism and xenophobia. Bannon is a white supremacist, based on his Breitbart writings.

      3. Trump has had his branded ties and shirts made in China and India, and Ivanka has had her business manufactured in China as well. The promised jobs to be retained in Carrier and Ford which he claims are a result of his lobbying are still going to Mexico, only a portion will be retained, but in exchange for tax incentives. In any case, automation is a bigger factor than the migration of manufacturing in job losses.

      4. Trump projects that he is “tougher” on terrorists, but if I were one, I’d be a lot happier with a Trump in the White House, since he will effectively drive more people in the Arab world to support jihadists
      because he is prone to alienating everyone, even former allies.

      • One of the more interesting fall-outs is that the states and cities are not marching to President Trump’s band. I’m personally proud of my ‘home state’, California, for starting to operate almost as an independent nation.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        You make the comment Andrew ” Trump was aware of the raw animosities and packaged his campaign to fit it. ” Indeed such is the ‘task’ of aspiring politicians.

        You seem to be suggesting that it is not right. Well there we disagree. It’s the nature of democratic government. Get over it mate.

        You mention somebody named Bannon – a ‘white supremacist’. I know nothing of him. Nor do I wish to.

        Is he a Catholic as well who shouldn’t be supporting Trump? Or are you simply dragging him into discussion because you don’t like his politics.

        I find myself perplexed. There is a general hysteria about Trump in some of the media even here in Oz ( Eg. ABC ) where he is almost entirely irrelevant to our politics. There is a constant harping of his manners, his rudeness, his wife or his family or his this or that. There is the noise about what he might do, could do, should not do, hasn’t done, ad infinitum…

        But he’s been president of the USA for exactly 6 months…

        Frankly it’s precious political nonsense & very boring Andrew. I have opted out of it. Whenever the media try to bully me with all this stuff, I switch off, do something else or mute it.

        • It is bizarre to me that you choose to opt out but opt in enough to challenge those who are engaged. If you are opted out, opt out and don’t label ‘boring’ those who believe it is important to participate in democracy.

          Bannon is indeed a white supremacist who founded breitbart news, the place to go if you wish to read racist humor and insult. I found it the most disgusting piece of trash I’ve ever read outside of GRP.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            I joined Joe as I wanted to make a contribution to the topic : Can one be a Catholic & support Donald Trump. My reply is basically that one can. But that the whole Trump hysteria is rather boring as it has little relevance to Australians..The same point might be made on behalf of Filipinos. Mainly because it is basically an American issue or problem.

            That’s an honest opinion. Others have the right to disagree. Fair enough.

            But I will refrain from further comments on this post.

            I wish you well with your electricity brownout. May it be short lived.

            • ‘Boring’ is up to readers to decide without your oppressive judgment. “Relevance’ of Trump to different nations is an appropriate subject to discuss. Do you see the difference?

              • Bill, Trump is a lot of things, but boring he most definitely is not!

                If you remember 2 years ago, CNN and MSNBC were pretty much inciting race riots across the country with their lopsided coverage of police uses of force (which the Obama administration happily took up).

                Essentially they were undermining the police. Finally, Trump came along and gave ’em a taste of their own medicine, ie. undermining the media… sure it was totally fine when they took local news stories into the national stage manufacturing a bigger problem than it really was, thus inciting these protests and riots,

                but when similar treatment was thrust on them, the media, they call foul.

                However you, or anyone feel about Trump, he’s generating much needed interest in American politics again. Boring he is not. Totally agree with his targeting of the media here, especially cable News.

              • I’m inclined to guess that the most common initials among CNN employees is ‘WTF’ as the network receives another blast from the President. Whilst I agree that a bit of forced introspection is a good thing, I think freezing legitimate news agencies out of the national debate is a pernicious cousin of propaganda.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                I agree Joe. From here sitting by my window in Australia, the ‘Trump hysteria’ in the media is a boring over heated beat up..

                But, separate question, is Trump himself boring ? No definitely not.

              • Trump policies on immigration, trade, global warming, and open seas affect Australia. His phone call with Turnbull was an early indication of his method that DID create, if not hysteria, than consternation among your leaders.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                I did say Joe, that Trump is not boring. I gather he was aggressive and rude on the phone to Turnull back in late January… And Turnbul was not impressed..

                But they have met since then and talked much more .. So cooperation is still happening.. I gather that Trump sees Australia’s immigration policies and methodologies as a model for the USA to learn from…And Turnbul’s activism on cyber terrorist activity lead to G20 countries adopting a much stronger position recently. Companies like Google, Facebook & Apple will be required & ordered to stop protecting cyberspace criminals & terrorists and organised crime via their encryption processes…

                And that’s all good…

              • I’m guessing you will stop finding Trump-politics boring when the oceans are destroying Australia’s coastal cities because Trump thinks global warming is nonsense and he doesn’t give a shit about other nations.

              • “is Trump himself boring ? No definitely not.”

                Now I got you, Bill. It’s the coverage. Totally agree. And I believe if CNN and MSNBC don’t find that sweet spot, balance, they’re essentially making people feel “bored” (which is the opposite of keeping your viewers interested), over – exposure, Bill. They’re not even covering actual news anymore, they might as well rename themselves Trump TV.

                New York Times and Washington Post though are kicking ass and taking names though.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Lance I do not watch, listen or read CNN or US MSNBC. I mostly watch Australian non commercial TV. That is mostly the Australian Broadcasting Corporation & SBS. And for the past 2 – 3 years their 2-3 female Democrat Party sympathising US based TV reporters have all been having hysterics about Trump..

                I see these journalists job primarily as reporting the full facts so I can form my own opinions. I refuse to pay any heed to emotional gushing designed to make me accept their opinions.

                I So I now decline to watch anything that they send back to Oz. I have actually learned more information & facts about Trump here on TSOH

                Also Joe, re Global warming, if you actually knew my opinions and the facts that I base them on, you might be surprised.

                Suffice to say my home is in an area of South Australia well back from the seas at about 360 meters ( 1150 feet ) above current sea level. ( That elevation may be ‘overkill’, I acknowledge. But then other factors were in play as well )

                As for Trump versus Obama on Global Warming, it’s beside the point as the time to ‘prevent’ GW was in the 1990’s..Now it’s a matter of living with consequences. I hope that you have made your home in an ‘elevated’ location there in the Philippines….
                But not in a high rise with flammable cladding and cheap Chinese structural steel 🙂

              • Haha, our home is about 400 feet up . . . on what is classified as an active volcano.

              • karlgarcia says:

                They say life is what you make of it and those lemonades from lemons sayings.
                @Bill, judging fron your comments after the boring conment, you made yourself a lemonade drink, hope you did not forget the sugar or honey.

              • Hehe, I had mango juice.

              • karlgarcia says:


          • Bill In Oz says:

            Active volcanoes are part of the geological background; along with typhoons, hard to avoid ! Like floods & rains here…

        • andrewlim8 says:

          @Bill in Oz

          Steve Bannon is a former Goldman Sachs banker, former owner of extreme right wing, white supremacist Breitbart news and now White House Chief Strategist in the Trump White House. He is a Catholic.

          It is a very influential position, responsible for policies on immigration, economy, etc.

          He is often at odds with the Trump children and Jared Kushner, esp Ivanka. on major policy issues.

          I hope you do not confuse bullying with fact checking.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Andrew, Speaking as an outsider, the Catholic Church is one of the world’s major multi-racial organisations. In fact from memory it actually strongly condemns racism.

            So If Bannon is as you describe him, then it is the Catholic Church task to cast him out..

            And, acknowledging his natural rights, Bannon’s task then to prove he is a not a racist..

            • He bills himself as a Nationalist, Bill, as opposed to a Globalist, essentially Obama and Bill/Hill Clinton.

              This is the more popular divide these days, ie. Nationalist vs. Globalist, where before it was Conservative vs. Liberal/Progressive.

              Both Bernie and Trump were popular because they were Nationalists, most libertarians too like myself, though I’ve never considered myself a Nationalist would lean more towards them.

              Which puts Catholics in a quandary, IMHO. Not so much the American Evangelical movement, it would make sense for them to be Nationalists.

              I don’t think he’s racist, Bill…. it’s just name calling like homophobia to discredit others.

              Bannon’s whiteboard has become popular in trying to ascertain his priorities, click & zoom in the picture,

        • chemrock says:

          Steve Banon is a traditionalist who quotes people like Julius Evola, a Nazi lover. A traditionalist is extreme ultra right winger whose ideology is to destroy political institutions in order to rebuild. Sort of cleansing or purging society. Banon’s objective is to destroy a lot of American governmental agencies. He was well on his way to doing that as the White House chief strategist until he had his wings clipped.

          • chemrock says:

            Latest on Steve Banon
            In his financial disclosure form he failed to record properly his US$2 mm mortgage loan. Once again we see Philippines copy other countries process but never do it properly. Phil’s SALN only records the asset side, not the liabilities. US disclosure requires the liabilities as well. Why? To make sure they don’t get preferential rates.

            Something interesting in this episode. This matter was unearthed by Center for Public Integrity through their cloud-sourced investigation program. We should have this cloud sourced capability here too so scumbags can be publicised. Calling Gian Irineo Edgar. Set this up.

          • “I kind of break it up into three verticals of three buckets,” Bannon said. “The first is kind of national security and sovereignty and that’s your intelligence, the Defense Department, Homeland Security.

            “The second line of work is what I refer to as ‘economic nationalism’ and that is Wilbur Ross at Commerce, Steven Mnuchin at Treasury, (Robert) Lighthizer at Trade, (National Trade Council head) Peter Navarro, (adviser) Stephen Miller, these people that are rethinking how we’re gonna reconstruct our trade arrangements around the world.

            “The third, broadly, line of work is what is ‘deconstruction’ of the administrative state.”



            “Banon’s objective is to destroy a lot of American governmental agencies.”

            chemp , that’s one of three.

            1). national security/sovereignty (immigration would fall under here)

            2). economic nationalism (trade deals, buying American)

            3). deconstruction of the administrative state (making gov’t smaller, which has been the push-pull in American politics since it all began, ie. between state and national, between executive vs. legislative vs. judicial )

            Central to 3 is this thought: “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Thomas Jefferson

            1 and 3 are already part of our DNA, chemp, nothing new (the push-pull has been constant since inception); 2 , I think is more post-WWI stuff, ie. League of Nations , where Trump is doing an about face.

            2 is where the actual test is IMHO, whether or not Trump can turn the ship with 60 plus years of history, going a certain direction.

  9. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: Ombudsman finds PNoy liable for Mamasapano.

    What coincidence.

  10. chemrock says:

    Nice article and a good question. I’m not well versed in the subject matter so i would rather sit back and watch the arguments. I have only one thing to say

    This question is in the context of only two choices. So as a Catholic should I vote Clinton or Trump. I think the top of the list of a Catholic’s concern is where is the country’s or govt’s direction as far as God matters. The Democrats are taking the country away from God. Neo liberation is the new God. We have to understand the US is the only country other than Isreal, that is consecrated to God on it’s founding. On this score, the Democrats are wrong. For those who chose to move away from God, or Muslims who demand to a place for their God in govt, they are in a wrong country. The founding generation chose to consecrate the country to God. As a Catholic, that would be my core driver. Trump may be an idiot, but he is not my idiot. My God is safe with him.

    But the real me will separate Ceasar and God. It’s the economy. The one most likely to create prosperity has my vote.. Not because I’m money mind. But prosperity is more likely to bring a host of other goodness.

    And talking of consecration, this is another thing Philippines always get their things wrong. There is so much deference to God in governance when the country is not consecrated to God.

  11. NHerrera says:

    Joe, I read through the blog again, and you did a good job of putting the house in order — with some bit of humor.

    It recalls to my mind the concept of entropy, liberally interpreted outside of thermodynamics. In a close system, it says, low entropy or “pattern/ order” tends naturally towards higher entropy, that is, “chaos.” It needs an energy from the outside to decrease entropy/ chaos. Now you are part of the close system of TSH, but as editor you are also effectively “outside” of this close system. You applied some energy to decrease the natural tendency of the close system to increase its entropy.

    (Hahaha! I just introduced some “irrelevance” into the conversation.)

  12. Edgar Lores says:


    1. I would not consider religion to be an important factor in my support for a candidate.

    2. Certainly, if I were a Catholic and the candidate was John F. Kennedy, I would go all out to support him. JFK was the first Catholic president of the USA. He was the Justin Trudeau of his generation. I read that Trudeau was a lapsed Catholic who regained his faith.

    3. Generally, the important factors to me would be:

    o Policies
    o Character
    o Experience

    in that order.

    4. Policies is the vision thing, how the candidate sees the world and the nation and how he intends to reshape them.

    5. Character we will deal with in a moment. Experience tells us about a candidate’s educational background, his capacity and capability, and whether he will be able to lead.

    6. Character is a grab bag of qualities. Primary for me are intelligence, trustworthiness, and morality.

    7. By the above, Trump’s chances with me would be dismal.

    7.1. His vision was to make America great again by insulating it and, at the same time, projecting its military power. Stop immigration. Keep manufacturing within. Build a wall.

    7.2. He has no government experience and for a candidate to jump to the White House without any past qualification as mayor, governor, representative or senator is ludicrous.

    7.3. But even without considering policies and experience, I would fail Trump on character. His intelligence is of the money-making kind, not that that would make him unworthy. But the man has little sense of boundaries. He was telling tall tales during the campaign. He was a pussy grabber. And in office, he practices nepotism.

    8. I shudder to think that men like Trump and Duterte have been able to weasel their way to the highest offices in their lands.

    8.1. The important question about fanaticism is: What breeds it?

    8.2. I would say internal emptiness. It was as if men are made of straw and something – a man, a woman, a cause — lights a fire and they become blazing zombies. Even the intelligent are not immune.

    8.3. As Eric Hoffer offers, the fanatic feels fulfilled only in a perpetual struggle for power and change.

    8.4. There are fanatics in religion, politics, and entertainment. The fanatics in religion and politics are, as Hoffer characterizes them, vicious and possessed of the desire to destroy. I would add, they are first possessed of the urge to worship. The fanatics in entertainment are different in that they do not have the urge to destroy; only to worship. Oh, I guess there are spats between Taylor Swiftians and Katy Perrians, but this is limited to the hair-pulling kind on soc-med.

    8.5. There are practically no limits to the power of the urge to destroy, whether it be attached to a personality or an ideology. So far, Trump’s fury is limited to immigrants and the policies of his predecessor. Religious fundamentalism and communism have killed millions. Fascism in our country has killed thousands — and no one is keeping track or able to keep track.

    8.6. The great danger in our country is that the boundary of law has collapsed, helped in no little measure by the lawmakers and the adjudicators. In America, the boundary is intact and, I daresay, will never be breached.

    9. The great danger with Trump is that he has vacated the ideological position of leader of the Free World. Militarily, however, the US seems to be holding the line and keeping to its worldwide security commitments, especially here in Asia with its sea and air patrols.

    • 8.2, emotional emptiness, indeed seems to be the problem. People look for quick and too often easy solutions. REAL solutions require effort and discipline. Modern media undermine those qualities.

    • chemrock says:

      8.3 explains the motivation of people like mocha uson and nieto and sass sargot ++.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      @Edgar Lores

      Clarity as always. Often in the lives of fanatics, the only thing that gives them meaning is their devotion to the leader or to the “cause”.

      Their lives are miserable in the first place, so why not destroy everyone else’s?

    • I totally agree with pretty much everything you wrote, edgar. Just wanted to add to this in particular,

      “He was a pussy grabber.”

      Trump’s accusers, clockwise from top left: Summer Zervos, Kristin Anderson, Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, Mindy McGillivray, Karena Virginia, Jessica Drake, Cathy Heller, Jill Harth, Temple Taggart McDowell, Cassandra Searles, Natasha Stoynoff.

      Whether or not, these women’s stories are true or fabricated, I don’t know. But Zervos, was pretty much discredited, since she was in constant contact with Trump even after the purported incident, Leeds was connected directly to the Democratic party, I’m not too sure about the rest, but their stories were more on inappropriate touching (and kisses), no pussy grabbing.

      Of all the above women, Kristin Anderson’s story seemed to make the most sense , IMHO the most truthful (easiest to believe). She was in a club in NYC and seated next to her was Trump and he touched her vagina, consistent with his “Grab them by the pussy” statement.

      Just wanted to add some cultural tid-bit here again, for anyone who hasn’t been to a club in NYC or Vegas, that’s pretty standard behaviour in clubs, both on the dance floor and if seated in the lounge area.

      You let your hands wander, sometimes it catches an interested party, other times not, I believe Kristin’s story, because that’s pretty much how women react, either they touch back or make themselves open, or they say ewwwww don’t touch me (which is what she said). Some, rarely, will yell at you and make a scene, also guys will fight over a woman’s honor, etc. But in a club setting this is rare.

      So my point, there’s a whole lot of touching and grabbing in clubs, the day clubs, ie. pool parties in Vegas are even crazier.

      • ooops, Kristin Anderson is 2nd from the left, on top, between Leeds and Zervos.

      • President Trump continues to make headlines for his singling out of women for his brand of leering attention, most recently summoning a reporter to his desk to say she has a nice smile, and the other day remarking to France’s first lady that she was in great shape. These are unbecoming a modern man who ‘gets it’ that such acts objectify women and keep them subordinate to the leering male. He’s like soooo 1950’s . . .

        • He is really awkward, Joe. I mean that whole pussy grabbing thing is sexxxy if you do it right, but to just essentially stick your hand up there (which is what Kristin Anderson described him doing) , without taking the scenic root, is very very clumsy.

          Most rich folk, who rely on their money to get women, never really develop a finesse when it comes to this stuff, Joe, but I don’t think he’s as bad as he’s been demonized re women, the fact that most , if not all, women who’ve worked for him, have nothing but praise, tells me a lot.

  13. Sup says:

    Duterte said ”The Catholic Church is “full of shit,” according to President Duterte who ramped up his attacks against priests and bishops in the Philippines”

    Sup said ” Duterte is a cheat”

    Duterte, who as President wants to bring back mandatory ROTC, said he tricked the military registrar by submitting medical documents that proved he was too sickly to take ROTC, thus exempting him from the requirement.

    Duterte was an undergraduate at the Lyceum Philippines where he took up political science.

    In the year he was supposed to graduate, Duterte said he went to Camp Aguinaldo where he was told by a registrar staff that he won’t be able to graduate unless he completes the ROTC program. He was told that he would only be exempted if he has tuberculosis or is handicapped.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    Back to catholics and Trump. With sll these fake news going around, which data results do you believe?

    Below is said to be from a Jesuit publication.

    Crux is one Catholic website that repororted on how Trump won the Catholic vote.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Intuitively, I find it difficult to believe that Clinton won the Catholic vote since the non-negotiable issues for US Catholics are abortion, marriage and end of life issues.

      More plausible to believe that Trump got the reluctant Catholic vote just so the conservative positions are upheld.

  15. Miela says:

    One thing to remember is Clinton actually won the popular vote albeit by a small margin. But the US has a weird electoral voting system where in most states vwinner takes all”. It’s a weird marriage of trying to be parliamentary and presidential. Trump won the electorate.

  16. NHerrera says:


    In the current blog as well as a lot of previous blogs, we have discussed the actions of groups and commented, sometimes impliedly, on the rationality of these various groups in taking those actions as well as our own group, say the group that comprises the active members of TSH.

    I have found a gem of a pdf file online which treats of the main work — Economy and Society — of that old scholar and researcher Maximillan Karl Emil Weber, referred to for short as Max Weber. He died in 1920 at age 56. Wiki describes him as a German sociologist, philosopher, jurist, political economist. His ideas profoundly influenced social theory and social research. The portion of the work that concerns me is his characterization of rationality that drives social actions:

    – instrumental rationality
    – value-rationality
    – affectual rationality
    – traditional rationality

    The referred to pdf file is

    Click to access MaxWeberEconomyAndSociety.pdf

    It is 1643 pages long and I started to scan-read it only a day ago. It is a translation from the German and was published after his death, and translated and published into English in that pdf file in 1968 and re-issued in 1978.



    Social action, like all action, may be oriented in four ways. It may be:

    (i) instrumentally rational, that is, determined by expectations as to the behavior of objects in the environment and of other human beings; these expectations are used as “conditions” or “means” for the attainment of the actor’s own rationally pursued and calculated ends;

    (2) value-rational, that is, determined by a conscious belief in the value for its own sake of some ethical, aesthetic, religious, or other form of behavior, independently of its prospects of success;

    (3) affectual (especially emotional), that is, determined by the actor’s specific affects and feeling states;

    (4) traditional, that is, determined by ingrained habituation.

    1. Action is instrumentally rational when the end, the means, and the secondary results are all rationally taken into account and weighed. This involves rational consideration of alternative means to the end, of the relations of the end to the secondary consequences, and finally of the relative importance of different possible ends. Determination of action either in affectual or in traditional terms is thus incompatible with this type. Choice between alternative and conflicting ends and results may well be determined in a value-rational manner. In that case, action is instrumentally rational only in respect to the choice of means. On the other hand, the actor may, instead of deciding between alternative and conflicting ends in terms of a rational orientation to a system of values, simply take them as given subjective wants and arrange them in a scale of consciously assessed relative urgency. He may then orient his action to this scale in such a way that they are satisfied as far as possible in order of urgency, as formulated in the principle of “marginal utility.” Value-rational action may thus have various different relations to the instrumentally rational action. From the latter point of view, however, value-rationality is always irrational. Indeed, the more the value to which action is oriented is elevated to the status of an absolute value, the more “irrational” in this sense the corresponding action is. For, the more unconditionally the actor devotes himself to this value for its own sake, to pure sentiment or beauty, to absolute goodness or devotion to duty, the less is he influenced by considerations of the consequences of his action. The orientation of action wholly to the rational achievement of ends without relation to fundamental values is, to be sure, essentially only a limiting case.

    2. The orientation of value-rational l action is distinguished from the affectual type by its clearly self-conscious formulation of the ultimate values governing the action and the consistently planned orientation of its detailed course to these values. At the same time the two types have a ‘common element, namely that the meaning of the action does not lie in the achievement of a result ulterior to it, but in carrying out the specific type of action for its own sake. Action is affectual if it satisfies a need for revenge, sensual gratification, devotion, contemplative bliss, or for working off emotional tensions (irrespective of the level of sublimation).

    Examples of pure value-rational orientation would be the actions of persons who, regardless of possible cost to themselves, act to put into practice their convictions of what seems to them to be required by duty, honor, the pursuit of beauty, a religious call, personal loyalty, or the importance of some “cause” no matter in what it consists. In our terminology, value-rational action always involves “commands” or “demands” which, in the actor’s opinion, are binding on him. It is only in cases where human action is motivated by the fulfillment of such unconditional demands that it will be called value-rational. This is the case in widely varying degrees, but for the most part only to a relatively slight extent. Nevertheless, it will be shown that the occurrence of this mode of action is important enough to justify its formulation as a distinct type; though it may be remarked that there is no intention here of attempting to Formulate in any sense an exhaustive classification of type of action.

    3. Purely affectual behavior also stands on the borderline of what can be considered “meaningfully” oriented, and often it, too, goes over the line. It may, for instance, consist in an uncontrolled reaction to some exceptional stimulus. It is a case of sublimation when affectually determined action occurs in the form of conscious release of emotional tension. When this happens it is usually well on the road to rationalization in one or the other or both of the above senses.

    4. Strictly traditional behavior , like the reactive-type of imitation discussed above, lies very close to the borderline of what can justifiably be called meaningfully oriented action, and indeed often on the other side. For it is very often a matter of almost automatic reaction to habitual stimuli which guide behavior in a course which has been repeatedly followed. The great bulk of all everyday action to which people have become habitually accustomed approaches this type. Hence, its place in a systematic classification is not merely that of a limiting case because, as will be shown later, attachment to habitual forms can be upheld with varying degrees of self-consciousness and in a variety of senses. In this case the type may shade over into value rationality.

    It would be very unusual to find concrete cases of action, especially of social action, which were oriented only in one or another of these ways. Furthermore, this classification of the modes of orientation of action is in no sense meant to exhaust the possibilities of the field, but only to formulate in conceptually pure form certain sociologically important types to which actual action is more or less closely approximated or, in much the more common case, which constitute it in elements. The usefulness of the classification for the purposes of this investigation can only be judged in terms of its results.



    I believe that the average contributor to TSH belongs to the value-rational category. The more business-like minds, although retaining some measure of value-rationality, tend to the instrumentally rational category. BTW, Game Theory, of which I am a student — because of its mathematical attraction — uses the intrumental rationality thoughts. If I can, I want to straddle the first two rationality types, but difficult to succeed in the process, I believe.

    I find Weber’s rationality category useful in trying to understand the rationality of the other groups in the Philippines — mostly of the affectual and traditional rationality types, and perhaps the more serous ones, the instrumental rational ones.

    • NHerrera says:

      Note that the pdf file I referenced is 56MB and so may take some time to download depending on the speed of the internet connection.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      NHerrera, thanks.

      1. There is much truth to what Weber says. I like his taxonomy of action. It is indeed a gem. But, typical of his time (1864-1920) and the generations before him, his analytic thinking is static rather than process oriented.

      2. For Weber, instrumental rationality is ”when the end, the means, and the secondary results are all rationally taken into account and weighed… Determination of action either in affectual or in traditional terms is thus incompatible with this type.”

      The second sentence is patently untrue. Let me explain.

      3. Basically, we should see action as a process. And if we see action as a process, we will observe that all action is born of desire. Or in Weber’s terms, by affect.

      Affect, as noun, is “emotion or desire as influencing behavior.”

      4. Any action we take springs almost from “impulse,” defined as a “sudden desire. And the initial impulse is usually, not irrational, but non-rational.

      5. After the impulse arises and proceeds to the action phase, then we can use Weber’s taxonomy. Then the action may be characterized as instrumental-rational, as value-rational, affect-rational (!), or habitual rational.

      For example:

      o We “feel” the need to perform Number 1 and/or 2. Our action, then — which is “traditional” or “habitual” – drives us to the loo.

      o The impulse to contribute comments to TSH may vary for each us. As I have said for me, it is primarily to illuminate and heighten consciousness for the other contributors, the readers, and myself. The impulse is firstly affect-rational and then the action of using intuition and logic is instrumental-rational. I may appeal to the emotions of the reader and be affect-rational. As I post contributions regularly, the action becomes habitual-rational.

      o For a more complex example, consider Christmas. At Christmas time, we engage in the action of gift-giving. The action is certainly “traditional.” And the action is also “affectual” for both the giver and the recipient. But it may also be value-rational in keeping with Christian norms. And it can be instrumental-rational when we consider whether we can afford to give nice gifts or small gifts or tell the kids we cannot afford any this year.

      But beyond tradition, the impulse to give gifts may spring from different desires. It may be the desire to feel pleased with oneself in being generous. It may be the desire to please others by making them happy. It may even be selfish as in the desire to win a future favor.

      6. Generally, the process is first heart then mind/heart. I would say the same process applies to “the other groups in the Philippines.” To think that it is not so is an effect of static thinking. It is only that with these other groups:

      o Their impulses may be to promote something undesirable, to become celebrities, or to dominate.

      o Their reasoning specious.

      o Their values self-serving.

      o Their affects and effects chaos and destruction.

      7. As Weber suggests there may be other types of “rationality” although I cannot think of one at the moment. He also says the modalities are not mutually exclusive. Here he contradicts himself. (Refer to the second sentence quoted in item 2.)

      7.1. I am intrigued by the commonality he sees between value-rational and affect-rational, which is “the meaning of the action does not lie in the achievement of a result ulterior to it, but in carrying out the specific type of action for its own sake.”

      I have negated this in my observation that gift-giving may be selfish. But I think what he says is true when we act out of a sense of compassion… or honor. As hopefully all of us do. 🙂

    • edgar lores says:

      There are unconscious actions that do not fall within the taxonomy. Sleepwalking for one. There are also automatic actions that are non-habitual, falling below the level of consciousness. Such as motor activity, neural activity, and the autonomic processes.

    • NHerrera says:


      Thanks for the comment. I agree that with your two examples, Weber is shown to be wrong with that statement of “incompatibility” of instrumental rationality with affectual rationality. He should have been more careful and used a qualifier such as “mostly” to precede incompatible, for in the last para I excerpted, he did state the non-exclusivity of these rationality classes ( It would be very unusual to find concrete cases of action, especially of social action, which were oriented only in one or another of these ways. ).

      I have not read much beyond the pages I excerpted from Weber, as translated. Perhaps, another way of viewing the italicized line above, is that he meant that individual or groups normally have a “dominant” rationality category, with sprinkling or small fraction of the other rationality categories, especially as the subject of concern changes.

      In the case of Trump, I believe, his dominant rationality category is of the affectual kind:

      * with value-rationality, if any, he adopted from his election supporters or from the likes of Bannon;

      * he is obviously not adept in using instrumental rationality except perhaps in the narrow sense of business deals he is accustomed to;

      * and in the larger sense, on issues of national security, uses instrumental rationality by transference or by a “forced move” knowing no better move, through the efforts of his National Security advisers — where such advisers use the customary instrumental rationality, ala Rand Corp, to deal with those issues .

  17. Bill In Oz says:

    Miela, It is true that Clinton got more individual votes than Trump. But she got fewer electoral college votes. The US voting system is definitely weird.

    But it NOT a parliamentary one at all. Please do not spread that misinformation

    • Miela says:

      I never said it was. But the idea electorate is from the parliamentary system, while the popular vote is from the unitary system

      Looks like you missed the word “mixed”.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        You said “It’s a weird marriage of trying to be parliamentary and presidential.”

        And that is simply factually wrong mate. The Electoral college in the USA is the invention of the USA. I know of no other country that uses it…

        Your additional comment re the idea ‘electorate’ being from the parliamentary system and popular vote from a ” unitary system” is simply misinformed and hairsplitting of the English language.

        It indicates. you have never studied or understood what a parliamentary system is.

  18. just caught Bill Browder’s interview w/ Fareed Zakaria, video here:

    “The latest headlines in the ongoing Trump-Russia scandal demonstrate that Vladimir Putin is on a desperate mission to repeal U.S. Magnitsky sanctions that target those in his regime who abuse the rights of Russians with asset freezes and visa bans.

    Canada has already been targeted by Russian disinformation campaigns targeting domestic advocates of Magnitsky sanctions and we should look to what’s happening in the U.S. to learn what’s coming next.

    Emails released last week by Donald Trump Jr. regarding a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, present the clearest evidence yet of the Kremlin’s active determination to strike a deal with the Trump administration about the repeal of Magnitsky sanctions.

    An offer for political “dirt” related to Hillary Clinton was offered to the Trump campaign via a Putin connected oligarch, the details of which were to be revealed at a meeting with a “Russian government attorney,” Natalia Veselnitskaya.

    Veselnitskaya has been actively working for the past several years to repeal U.S. Magnitsky sanctions. In 2016, she helped produce a film discrediting Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer the sanctions legislation is named in honour of.

    Veselnitskaya also founded the benevolent sounding and ironically named, “Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation” whose stated goal is, according to its website, to “help restart American adoption of Russian children” (Putin banned U.S. adoption of Russian children in 2012 in response to U.S. Magnitsky legislation).”

    read more:

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