Servants, Not Servile
One congressman seizes the moment.


Lopez: How is the Left engaged in a national disorganizing project? And how is that different from how disorganized I am?

Representative McCotter: As Wisconsin demonstrated, the Left believes the end justifies the means; consequently, viewing crises as opportunities, the Left is bent upon creating disorder from which it can politically profit. I assume your disorganization is neither by design nor a menace to order, justice, and freedom.

Lopez: You contend that America is freedom. The Egyptian/Libyan/etc. streets may feel differently?

Representative McCotter: If so, that is unfortunate for the Egyptians. Conversely, Iran’s Green Revolution is seeking American support for freedom, just as did the people of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. Better to share with Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa the view that America is a beacon of freedom than to agree with Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hu Jintao, and Vladimir Putin that America is an oppressor.

Lopez: What do you want this president and this Congress to do about China?

Representative McCotter: It must be remembered how, in his time, Ronald Reagan’s concerns about and strategy to defeat the Soviet Union were derided by the GOP policy establishment, which preferred “détente.” While more stealthy than the Soviet Union, Communist China (their term for themselves) is a strategic threat and rival model of governance to the United States. Yet, while Reagan put the USSR into the dustbin of history, some voices inanely claim it is our job to usher Communist China onto the world stage.

Bluntly, Communist China believes the state can provide its subjects with prosperity and security without liberty; we know liberty undergirds sovereign citizens’ prosperity and security. Thus, in the same manner as Imperial Japan before them, the Beijing regime believes our nations will inevitably clash. I do not agree. We must take the following initial and immediate — and by no means exhaustive — steps to deter the dragon.

First, we must get our fiscal house in order to reduce our dependence on the People’s Republic of China’s floating our fiscal deficits and debt, and reduce the tax, regulatory, and litigation burdens on American manufacturers so we can reduce our trade deficit. Further, we must aggressively and comprehensively contest the PRC’s mercantilist trade practices — notably, its currency manipulation and its intellectual-property theft, the counterfeiting and reverse-engineering of our products — and establish the reciprocity of capital investments and reestablish human rights as criteria of trade relations with our nation. Also, we must strengthen our information security against the PRC’s incessant cyber attacks and spying; confront the PRC on its succoring of rogue regimes, such as Iran and North Korea; and closely work with our allies, particularly in the region, to constructively contain the regime. And, of course, we must support the pro-democracy movement within Communist China just as Reagan did the democracy movements within the former Soviet Union and oppressed Eastern Europe.

Lopez: How does being Catholic affect how you approach public life?

Representative McCotter: Ultimately, our life shall be measured as a whole. Thus, I do not muse on how being a Catholic affects my public life; I think about how being a Catholic affects my entire life. I do not compartmentalize my Catholicism.

Lopez: How do you make sense of the fact that we’ve had two back-to-back House speakers who are Catholic, who are so different?

Representative McCotter: Speaking of compartmentalization, Speaker Pelosi represented the errant thinking that material redistribution compelled by the state was the primary pursuit of a Catholic politician — indeed that it was superior to the protection and preservation of innocent human life. Speaker Boehner represents the correct understanding that the protection and preservation of innocent human life is the primary pursuit of a Catholic politician, and that this virtuous duty forms the foundation for just relations between individuals and with institutions.


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