Matt C. Abbott
Catholic anarchist reminisces about running for office; Tom Woods' economic 'Meltdown'; Canonist: Maciel wanted 'access to victims'
By Matt C. Abbott
February 16, 2009

"Like being coercively in the military, it was a million dollar experience you wouldn't give a nickel for."

That's how William P. Grossklas describes the experience of running for public office. Specifically, Mr. Grossklas ran for Congress in the 1980 Republican primary against the late John Neal Erlenborn.

"First of all, if you're not anointed by the party, they really don't do anything to help you run as a candidate from their party," writes Mr. Grossklas.

"Legally, they couldn't stop me from getting the papers so I could run; they just didn't like a candidate who had not come up through the ranks, or, as they told me, someone who had not carried water to the elephant.

"That was when I realized that despite the rhetoric of all those 'family' and 'moral' values and 'lower taxes,' et cetera, and, despite the fact that I actually would have adhered to those concepts and more, and that was what I said consistently in comparison to the incumbent, John Erlenborn, and despite publishing his record as a tax-and-spend congressman and a whole slough of other things, the party really didn't want me around.

"The precinct committeemen were a bit more agreeable and a lot of them carried my literature which they hung on door knobs in their precinct. But there were a lot who wouldn't because they knew the party really was not in favor of my running and I had not sought party leadership endorsement. The long and the short of it was that I garnered 18.7 percent of the vote — that was strictly a protest vote against Erlenborn.

"That being said, the campaign had its better moments. I met a lot of really nice people. I also found out that the overwhelming number of people to whom I spoke and gave speeches had more in common with me than with the party leadership.

"But it showed me the futility of trying to run without having massive dollar amounts behind you and good support to get out to the public; and, oh yes, you can almost forget the media. The media talking heads don't understand the issues, don't want to understand the issues, or, do understand the issues and aren't buying what you're selling."

Mr. Grossklas, a staunchly pro-life Catholic (as all Catholic should be, but, as we know, such is sadly not the case), father of nine and grandfather to fourteen, now considers himself — or, more accurately, doesn't mind being called — an anarchist. The libertarian label also applies

"Firstly, my views are that all government is evil. I have no use for government; I don't want anything from government; government does nothing for me which I want or need. I just want to be left alone. But the government won't let me or anyone else be. Unless government is conformable to the rights of the Church and her teachings (much less the people from whom they steal and rob under the color of law), what good is it? There is no necessity for government.

"My particular beliefs are almost 100 percent in line with those of Dr. Ron Paul, who ran for president this past campaign season. After the presidential effort, he started the Campaign for Liberty. There is only one thing with which I disagree with Dr. Paul and that is on the matter of immigration, and, actually, the way he spells it out, I have little quarrel with that position.

"Most any question on virtually any issue has already been answered by Dr. Paul. The other difference between us is that he is Baptist and I am Catholic. The only question I can see which people might have in their minds is how essentially Libertarian issues square with a belief in Catholicism. My answer is that I really don't see a conflict."

Catholic author Tom Woods has a new book out — Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse.

"My hope is that it might inject some sanity into the economic discussion at a time when the lunatics are running the asylum. Read a free chapter of the book at"

Regarding the late disgraced Father Marcial Maciel, canon lawyer Pete Vere writes:

"I'm pretty sure Fr. Maciel set up [the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi] to ... acquire, maintain and protect his access to victims."

Read Mr. Vere's entire post by clicking here.

Father Robert Farrell, of Manchester, England, writes:

"I thought you might be interested in Please pray for it and spread the word."

On Saturday, Feb. 21, Catholic speaker Kevin Haney will be giving a talk titled "The Crisis of the New Theology: Old Errors, New Names" at St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago. Mr. Haney's talk will follow the 8:30 a.m. traditional Mass.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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