Taylor Marshall for President? No.

May 25, 2023 (Steven O’Reilly) – Catholic social media has been all ‘atwitter’ following Taylor Marshall’s announcement he is running for president. While there are those who have welcomed this news, count me among the contrarians with respect to Dr. Marshall’s candidacy.

Some stream of conscious thoughts, and opinions are offered below on this topic. They are not intended as personal attacks. But in as much as Dr. Marshall has, by his announcement, made himself a ‘political’ figure; his qualifications for the political office he now seeks are fair game for critical examination. Below, I broadly outline my reasons for opposing Taylor Marshall’s candidacy, while offering some constructive, albeit gratuitous advice on other avenues he might pursue.

These are perilous times — These are not the times for larping

One of Dr. Marshall’s friends, Kennedy Hall, wrote a nice piece on Dr. Marshall in Crisis Magazine titled Taylor Marshall Running for President: What Does This Mean?  Certainly, as a balance to my cynical view of Dr. Marshall’s candidacy, the reader may want to check it out as well. While Mr. Hall’s piece was not promoting the candidacy per se, the last sentence of his article, in particular, caught my eye.  It read:

In a time when log-cabin Republicans are the closest thing we have to sane presidential candidates, Americans could do a lot worse than Taylor Marshall.” 

Well, yes, that’s true. However, I suppose the same might be true of candidates picked at random from your parish directory. Yes, we can “do a lot worse than Taylor Marshall” as Mr. Hall suggests but, certainly, let us hope to do better – as the times we live in demand it. This is not said to belittle Dr. Marshall. The truth is, we do in fact live in grave times. That is indisputable.

The US economy is approaching a crisis point as we’ve already had several bank failures in 2023, and more are coming. The country is teetering on the edge of a serious recession if not an outright depression. There is rising inflation. Rising interest rates. A U.S. debt crisis. The US Dollar is in danger of losing its reserve currency status. Our cities are crime ridden cesspools. There is also the serious problem of dealing with, battling against, and reforming – or better yet, dissolving – the “Deep State.”

Globally, there are the gathering clouds of an approaching World War. This is in part due to our inept foreign policy with regard to Russia and Ukraine which has brought us to the brink. There is the growing threat of China’s military, and that country’s apparent intentions to take Taiwan by force in the very near future. Iran will have nuclear weapons imminently — if they do not already have them. Nuclear-armed North Korea is a problem. In sum, we are closer to a nuclear conflict than we have been since the Cuban missile crisis.

Times such as these call for someone with the background, skills, and experience in economics, finance, and foreign policy on both the national and world stage. Let us be honest with ourselves as Catholics, and as responsible citizens of this Republic. That someone is not Taylor Marshall, nor someone picked at random from your parish directory. Our times do not allow us to be so frivolous. Let us be real. Let us not pretend. Let us not fool ourselves. This is not a time for larping.

For my part, at this moment, I favor a second term for Donald Trump. He seems best suited to take on the problems of Russia, China, the global elites, the Deep State, the economic crisis, etc. Granted, the former president has his faults and weaknesses. I do have concerns in the area of social policies, such as where he appears to be headed on pro-life issues – but, again, at this point, he seems the best option.  Who knows, that might change for me.

Making the Perfect an enemy of the Doable

The prospects for Dr. Marshall’s campaign to be victorious are, realistically, non-existent. The Christian minister Pat Robertson ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988. In fact, he did score some level of early success during the primary season, but he went into that campaign with strong name recognition, even having his own television network/show. But even so, his candidacy ultimately fizzled, and he dropped out of the race before the end of the primary season when it became evident he had no real prospect of victory.

In the case of Dr. Marshall, while he has a successful podcast, its popularity is within a very narrow band of a Catholic sub-demographic. Even with his 500K subscribers, Dr. Marshall is nowhere close to the level of name recognition or popular support Pat Robertson had going into his failed 1988 campaign. So, certainly, the doubts and questions about why Dr. Marshall is really doing this are more than understandable.

Whether Dr. Marshall runs as either an independent candidate or as a candidate for the Republican nomination, at best, he will only take votes away from a more credible candidate who has a better chance of actually putting in place at least some policies favored by Catholics and other Christians.  Here, Dr. Marshall, through his futile effort, may only succeed in pitting the perfect against the doable, and thereby only succeed at undermining both.

Now, all the above said, my argument is not that Dr. Marshall should not run, and or advance Catholic/Christian friendly policies. While I do believe his presidential run is futile, it seems to me that if he really wants to hold office, then he would have a more credible chance of gaining a hearing for a Catholic/Christian platform in the public mind by running for the Texas state legislature, or even for the U.S. House of Representatives [NB: Other Bloggers/Vloggers have separately made this point as well — i.e., he should, if anything, run locally (e.g., see HERE)].  Dr. Marshall would certainly have the support of his podcast audience, and he would get more bang for the buck from political donations within a congressional district – rather than in a national campaign.

In running for a lower office, such as Congressman, Dr. Marshall might actually stand a real chance of getting a hearing for his platform, and possibly even winning, and then — if he does — actually being in a position to attempt to legislate key planks of a Catholic/Christian friendly agenda into law.

A Reservation

Above, I’ve laid out some of the reasons why I do not find Dr. Marshall’s candidacy to be credible. Still, even if the difficulties outlined in the article above could be somehow overcome; I have one reservation that remains, which, for me, personally, cannot likely be overcome. This reservation has to do with Dr. Marshall’s involvement in the Pachamama incident which is a matter of public record.

Do not misunderstand what I am saying. I do believe the Pachamama images were indeed idols. They needed to be tossed into the Tiber. However, that said – and that all true; speaking for myself, I cannot help but consider Dr. Marshall ‘s part in this matter — to put it as charitably as I can — to have been disingenuous (for example, see and compare Here and Here).

Final Thoughts

Along with the economic and global disorders briefly outlined above, we are living through a civilizational collapse. The legal order, the moral order — you name it; all is in disarray and collapsing around us. There is rampant disregard and contempt for the basic precepts of the Natural Law, and of religion. Our Constitutional Republic is being undermined by the very institutions which should uphold them, whether educational, media, business, entertainment, law enforcement, intelligence, military, or political. The Church is in disarray.  Now, more than ever, indeed, Catholic and other Christian voices must be loud, and active in all these spheres of influence.  For anyone with common sense, and courage, this is an obvious, and not a new, or original observation.

Christianity by most metrics is on the decline (e.g., attendance), so common sense informs us the ultimate solution to this crisis will not be a political one. Ronald Reagan ran explicitly on “traditional values”, but look where we are 40 years later. Our society has become a pagan one. We must each become better Christians, raise lots of Christian kids, and in turn seek to be more vocal and active in all areas of life (education, work, etc.) in order to take a stand where necessary, help influence minds, combat modern paganism, and to help win souls. In doing this, we may yet save our culture, society, and civilization.

Catholic and other Christian media can play an important role in this ‘cultural war.’  Therefore, it does surprise me that Dr. Marshall, with a respectable following, and his own media platform, thinks he can do more through a futile, non-credible run for the presidency. Even a Tucker Carlson who has played an important role as a commentator on our culture and politics, and who might be a credible candidate, has opted not to run in 2024.

As stated earlier, while it’s true we can “do a lot worse than Taylor Marshall” as Mr. Hall suggests; let us hope to do better, and we must do better — as these times require that we do. Times such as these call for someone with the background, skills, and experience in economics, finance, and foreign policy on both the national and world stage; these times call for someone with the background and skills necessary to be an effective Commander-in-Chief of these United States at this dangerous moment in our country’s history. Let us be honest with ourselves as Catholics, and as responsible citizens of this American republic — that someone is not Taylor Marshall.

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta. He has written apologetic articles, and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms; and of Valid? The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI(Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com  or StevenOReilly@ProtonMail.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on GETTR, TruthSocial, or Gab: @StevenOReilly).

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