The path to success?

An article about the future direction of the Republican Party argues that it must adhere to Catholic social teaching and the common good and move away from the sinful individualism that has plagued it, and so many other political parties.

It mentions that “The Catholic Church, a politically and ethnically sprawling institution, has no natural home on the American ideological spectrum. Neither major party combines moral conservatism with a passion for social justice. So Catholic leaders have often challenged Democrats to be more pro-life and Republicans to be more concerned about immigrants and the poor”.

The article goes on to mention “President Obama’s first term was a period of unexpected aggression against the rights of religious institutions. His Justice Department, in the Hosanna-Tabor case, argued against the existence of any “ministerial exception” to employment rules. Obama tried to mandate that Catholic schools, hospitals and charities offer insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients. His revised policy still asserts a federal power to declare some religious institutions secular in purpose, reducing them to second-rate status under the First Amendment”.

It goes on to note “On top of this, Obama ran a stridently pro-abortion re-election campaign, seeking culture-war advantage on an issue he seldom mentioned four years ago”. However this was largely, though not completely, because of President Obama’s fear of losing the votes of women which he momentarily lost in the campaign. Obama used abortion to his advantage while at the same time as using it as a weapon to attack Romney and strengthen his advantage with women’s vote.

He makes the interest point, “Catholics have a historical advantage in understanding the imperative of inclusion in modern politics. They belong, after all, to an institution that has been multicultural since Peter first set foot in Rome. But white evangelicals are now getting their own education in coalition politics. They gave Mitt Romney a remarkable 79 percent of their vote—the same share that George W. Bush received in 2004 — while comprising a larger percentage of the electorate than they did 2004. But their energy and loyalty were rendered irrelevant—washed away—by GOP failures among other groups”.

He ends the piece “Outreach is not done in a single awkward lunge. It will involve more than endorsing comprehensive immigration legislation, though that is necessary. Hispanic voters have a series of concerns typical of a poorer but economically mobile community: working schools, college access, health care, a working safety net. Republicans will need to offer policy alternatives on these issues—defining an active, market-oriented role for government. Perhaps the greatest Republican need is to embrace and demonstrate some other sound Catholic teachings: a commitment to the common good and a particular concern for the poor and vulnerable. This might appeal to Hispanics — and others”.


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