It’s NOT the economy, [stupid].

For several years, the conventional wisdom has been that conservatives who are Republicans should keep quiet about social issues since their positions are not mainstream enough. Instead, they have been advised to talk about the economy. Well, for the second presidential election in a row, we see where that got us.

In 2000 and 2004, it was widely acknowledged that value voters drove the election results. They turned out like Ronald Reagan was running for office. In 2008, they clearly stayed home. I’ll leave it to the experts to analyze what happened this year, but values were not front and center.

When we suffer defeat, we can always learn from our opponents. They did something better than we did. As Tom Peters and others have noted, they ran on social values: abortion, contraception, and gay marriage. Those “in the know,” i.e. those of us who tend to be more of the activist type, got the message that Romney was running on our issues, cloaked under the assumedly more palatable guise of the economy. But we activist types are the minority.

Unemployment and the fiscal mess that we seem to be heading into did not do enough to move voters.

I have supported Republican candidates because I believe that the social values issues, as set forth by the Catholic Church, are core to our society and the most prominent Democrat candidates have been explicitly opposed to the most fundamental of these same values. I don’t think that a society/government/economy will function well if human dignity is not respected at all levels. Looking back at history, I have yet to see one that did.

As Catholics, we have just begun the Year of Faith. If anything, this election tells me that we need to proclaim the truth that our faith teaches, particularly as it concerns the dignity of the human person. Let’s not try to sanitize the values issues with talk of the economy. It hasn’t worked. At the same time, there are a lot of Catholics voting who don’t understand or accept the Catholic Church’s consistent teaching on social values. That’s a great place to start our Year of Faith. As a church, we need to teach. As citizens, we need to voice our opinions, even when we fear that they might be unpopular.

Playing it safe just got us four more years of unprecendented support for the victimization and destruction of the least among us. It just guaranteed us a long, uphill battle to protect our freedoms of religion and conscience. What better way to start this next four years than with the Year of Faith?

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47 thoughts on “It’s NOT the economy, [stupid].

  1. AuthenticBioethics says:

    It’s becoming pretty darn clear that the Republican Party is a strategic and moral wasteland. It may mean several more Democrat presidencies, but it may in fact be time to start a coherent party that has strong values and wise economic policies that align with the very purpose of government as our Catholic faith presents it. Not a “Catholic” party per se, or a “Christian” one, but one that is at least a real alternative to the Democrats and not antithetical to what government is FOR. Hoping the Republican Party reforms itself (or recaptures its roots or however you want to put it) is fast becoming about as realistic as hoping the Democrats do.

    1. ThisCatholic says:

      Hillary in 2016!

  2. Z says:

    If Republicans would have taken a stronger stance on social issues, they would have lost by a larger margin this year. Going forward, I expect the Republicans will soften their stance on gay marriage, immigration and other social issues over the next decade. They run the real risk of watching the Tea Party secede into it’s own viable party, but would likely make up the difference by picking up moderate Democrats who have been forced to vote Democratic due to the Republican’s current agenda. This would be a win for the party, as they’d weaken democrats, come away from the edge of the cliff to crazy, and likely start winning more elections. The country is desperate for a centrist party, and Republicans could fill that void.

  3. Julie T. says:

    I believe people of faith, Catholic and non-Catholic, need to get ahead of the Democratic Party’s agenda before Mr. Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate have the opportunity to change the Supreme Court into an appendage of their party. We need to bring court challenges that, it can be hoped, will uphold the primacy of the First Amendment. Families of faith are often targeted for harassment by homosexual activists, and of course there is the looming HHS Dictate. We need to hope, plan, and pray.

    1. douglas says:

      Julie, there are no families of faith being targeted by homosexual activists. You are just trying to incite prejudice against others, and frankly, it’s disgusting and has nothing to do with Christianity at all.

      1. Bill says:

        Doug where have you been? I am a public school teacher and see it often.

        1. LIARs LIARs says:

          Have you reported it? Where are the police reports?

      2. Julie T. says:

        I would so give you a thumbs-down if it didn’t require an account with Disqus. Do you know why, “Douglas”? I would do so because I am tired up to the height of a cathedral’s ceiling with trolls like you. You KNOW Christians have been the object of homosexual bullying for years. Just ask the father in Massachusetts who was *jailed* for objecting to his *kindergarten-age* son being indoctrinated in class. Ask the woman who was told she can no longer go near her daughter’s middle school for objecting to *homosexual foreplay* being discussed in a “diversity” class. You can accuse us of lying, but you will need to include newspapers and television stations in your accusations because every so often the secular media forgets itself and *reports* stories like these. And frankly…your trolling is disgusting.

  4. Scott says:

    Could it possibly be that Mr. Romney just didn’t register as being honest and trustworthy
    with the base? Could it possibly be that even if you disagree with him, you at least get the impression that Mr. Obama cares about his fellow man. Could it possibly be that the middle class, regardless of their political affiliation, saw Mr. Romney as holding them in contempt? Could it possibly be that in what is often the choice of the lesser of two evils, Mr. Obama came out (for better or worse) as less evil that Mr. Romney?

    Mr. Romney is wishy-washy, has no firm ground to stand on, is both for and against life… He is, like a feather caught in a breeze, apt to go wherever he may.

  5. Paul says:

    This just isn’t true at all. People voted for Obama BECAUSE of his stance on social issues. You should know this better than anyone. Do you really think that Washington would have voted to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian citizens while voting for a candidate that ran on a platform to ban it? That’s ridiculous.

    The truth is that American’s views on social issues have changed. The republicans are still trying to catch up.

    1. Mike says:

      Yes American’s views on social issues have changed because the lack of spiritual teaching and beliefs. The reason we lost this election is due to the fact we’ve been outflanked within our educational and governmental systems and allowed the left to take control without a fight. Without God and without his spirit to lead us, we will become the next Roman Empire!

      1. Douglas says:

        This isn’t true at all. The truth is that the Catholic Church is morally bankrupt these days. It seems like the Bishops have lost their way.

        1. Paul S says:

          “Morally bankrupt these days”? I’ll make it easy for you: Give me an example from the last six months.

          1. emma4 says:

            The Catholic church and its liberal views contributed to Obama’s relection. The Church is spineless. Where was the Catholic church standing up to Pelosi, Biden and the rest who blatantly endorsed abortion, etc? In my church hardly a word was said about voting except in the intercessions which were “give us the courage to make the right decisions” A bunch of BS. I agree with Douglas: the church is morally bankrupt. It preaches social justice: ie..women’s rights. I am sick of the church’s continually espousing —liberal values. Where are the teachings of self-reliance with compassion? I will no longer be donating to my church as before. After all, they blinding support and funded causes such as ACORN and who knows what else. I do not trust them with my money. The church has proven to be corrupt with its money and sexual coverups. It does not stand up for what it used to teach. As a 64 year old female weekly churchgoer who was brought up with 12 yrs of Catholic education, I am disallusioned with a church that is so weak.

          2. AuthenticBioethics says:

            Paul S’s challenge was unwise – the history of the Church has shown that there are always bishops who have lost their way. That doesn’t prove they are all corrupt however.

            On the other hand, Douglas, the wrongdoing you link to happened in 2010 and 2011, well more than 6 months ago.

          3. Paul S says:

            Oh, I see…you meant that some INDIVIDUAL members and leaders of the Church are morally bankrupt. That’s not really what you said. By that logic, the entire public school system in this country is even MORE morally bankrupt.

          4. Bisugly says:

            They spent 1.5 Millions dollars from church coffers trying to write a minority out of constitutional protections instead of say, feeding the poor and needy.

          5. Paul S says:

            Which minority, and which constitutional protections?

          6. Paul S says:

            Are we talking about the constitutional right to change the definition of marriage? I missed that one in my last read of the document.

    2. craig says:

      I have to agree, sadly enough. Given a clear choice, sometimes the people choose Barabbas. Catholics and Christians of all stripes ought to get that.

      Anyone on the right who is surprised at how the left runs a scare campaign about abortion, contraception, etc., with baseless charges that the GOP wants women barefoot, pregnant, and back in the kitchen, hasn’t been paying attention since the early 1980s. It happens every time, because it usually works. A Christian can truthfully believe that a child conceived in rape is beloved of God anyway, but to make inartful comments like Mourdock’s is not going to get anyone elected. Be wise as serpents.

    3. American’s views may change but God’s moral laws are enduring. I’ll side with God every time over fickle voters.

  6. Lee_Riley says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on this issue. However, this election also showed me that we need to pray diligently for God to return to this country. My gut tells me the majority of United States citizens are moving further and further away from having any spiritual thoughts or values. And that, to me, is the battle going forward. If they don’t know God, then why would the rest matter?

    1. Paul says:

      That’s because churches continue to drive people away.

      1. Mike says:

        Why do you continue to blame others? Is it that religion or spiritual teachings goes against your life style or habits?

      2. “Drive people away..”
        Really? That’s the argument here? I’m sorry, but that’s more of a personal issue, and so happens to be the choice of what they want to hear, or believe. Do not place the blame on “the Church” as your reason to be driven away. That’s pretty sad for a majority of Catholics. Talk about holding true to the Year of Faith!!! I’ve never felt more motivated by the direction of “the Church” on their stance to fight the intrinsic evil that we are currently dealing with. Being Catholic is a universal thing! Travel anywhere in this world, and you will find the same faith that still stands.

      3. Lee_Riley says:

        I never mentioned “church”. My thinking was more in line with those who, if they truly know God, would want to live by His commandments. Self pride and secularism is the way this country is turning. Not only by those who vote, but the electorate most especially our President. He can’t even compromise and be bi-partisan with his own Congress/Senate. How will he ever manage to compromise and understand a God loving people?

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