The Catholic Left Has a New Champion Running in 2020

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I want to congratulate the Catholic Left. They have conquered the Republican Party.

Consider all the things they hate about the GOP. Its libertarianism. Its making an idol of the free market. Its bloody-minded efficiency. Its war-mongering. Its lack of compassion and solidarity.

All of this is now gone, or on its way out, or at least out of fashion on the Right.

And whom does the Catholic Left have to thank for remaking the GOP in its own image? Why, the man who is the best candidate for their values in 2020, of course.

Donald Trump.

Of course, you won’t hear that from them. They spent years deriding the pre-Trump conservative movement as “The Thing That Used to be Conservatism.” But now they hug that Thing tight.

That is a strange turn of events when you consider that President Trump has re-made the GOP in approximately the way the Catholic Left has always said it wanted.

The Republican Party still supports religious liberty and the right to life of the unborn. But they are in the process of dropping their other, less palatable ideological commitments.

Think of Tucker Carlson, for instance, telling Ben Shapiro that a stable society is more important than the free market. As one commentator noted:

The very idea of such a prominent right-wing media personality making criticisms such as these of capitalism is impossible to imagine as few as three years ago. But Carlson makes it very clear that although he considers capitalism to be the best economic system possible, that doesn’t make it a religion to be accepted as perfect, nor is it “some nicene creed” that he has to “buy into” in all cases whatever, damn the consequences. Capitalism is not the end of government. Government does not exist to secure its tenets. On the contrary, capitalism is merely a means by which we may achieve the ends of good government.

Or think of the widespread celebration on the Right of the demise of The Weekly Standard, the leading magazine for Republican belligerence in international affairs. In language that could have been taken right out of a Catholic Leftist’s blog, one Righty critic wrote that, now, with the death of the magazine, “It’s time for Republicans to embrace a ‘Main Street’ conservatism that prizes solidarity over individualism and culture over efficiency.”

What is happening here is that values long championed by the Catholic Left are now being mainstreamed on the Right because of Donald Trump.

I don’t mean this as a criticism of Trump.

Certainly, I object to the Seamless Garment when it is used as a weapon against pro-lifers. But in general, I’m down the line with the teachings of the Church. That Trump has brought the Republican Party’s economic and military policies into closer alignment with Catholicism is, to me, a thing to be celebrated.

And yet, strangely, the Catholic Left is not celebrating. Why is that?

Prior to Donald Trump, it would have been unheard of for a mainstream conservative media celebrity like Tucker Carlson to speak so passionately about solidarity as opposed to economic efficiency. Or for Republicans to embrace, say, prison reform.

But thanks to President Trump, there has been a ripple effect—a positive one—that gets no attention from the Catholic Left. There are people on the Right who never felt any pressure to show compassion, to show solidarity, with their fellow Americans, until Trump. But now they do.

Under Trump, the Republican Party is in the process of dethroning market efficiency as a substitute religion. Under Trump, the GOP is abandoning its preferential option for endless war.

So why are our fellow Catholics on the Left not celebrating the fact that it is their values that are now celebrated on the street by the average Republican voter?

If Catholic Leftists really mean what they say, they should all be lining up to re-elect President Trump.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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About Author

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Peter Wolfgang is president of Family Institute of Connecticut Action, a Hartford-based advocacy organization whose mission is to encourage and strengthen the family as the foundation of society. His work has appeared in The Hartford Courant, the Waterbury Republican-American, Crisis Magazine, Columbia Magazine, the National Catholic Register, The Stream, CatholicVote, and Ethika Politika. He lives in Waterbury, Conn., with his wife and their seven children. The views expressed here are his own.

11 Comments

  1. We Catholics seem to be prolific when it comes to labeling folks… “left, right, staunch, pro-this and pro-that”, etc. What we fail to understand is that labeling a person or group divides the country even further.

    Trump is a disgrace as a role model for our children. He is a prolific liar, a con man and, after his Tweet on our withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan he is unqualified for the post. More dangerous is his brotherhood nature with a murderer, Putin, who has now announced new more deadly rockets to outdo our capability of destroying them. There must be a God.

    • Obama’s brotherhood with Muslim leaders who want Sharia is better? They won’t let us practice our faith if they get a foothold in our country—-you know that, don’t you? Dems are all in for abortion and gay marriage. Something the Church needs to speak out against now more than ever with the gay mafia taking over the Church. Our Church will be bankrupt in a few years and weak. Think about that. Trump is for religious freedom. I’ll stick with him. Putin can be controlled and Trump is doing it. Or do you want him to declare war on Russia?

    • The angry Catholic in the post above seems to have forgotten Jesus’ message about loving everyone, forgive endlessly, and don’t be so judgmental. The folks on the Catholic left can’t even live up to their own watered down version of Christianity.

    • I see. We must not “label” people. But Trump is a “disgrace,” a “liar,” a “con man,” “unqualified,” a “disgrace.”

      And it’s a “disgrace” to withdraw from WARS???

      If you are concerned about “murderers,” do a search for “clinton body count.”

      • You are in the image of your conspirator-in-chief.

        It is NOT a disgrace to withdraw from wars. But, their are acceptable methods… you can’t do it absent the knowledge from your primary military advisers, you must have an exit strategy, you must make our allies aware of the move and you can’t Tweet unilaterally from the darkness of the WH. Trump defies the law.

        Our Liar-in-Chief is quick to divide the country by using labels for those who he thinks are his enemies. Pray to God that Mueller will soon produce the evidence on this man who has 17 charges against him.

  2. Bah! The katholyk left is pro-abortion. They will always support the pro-abortion Democrat in every election.

    The seamless garment is NOT a listing of the teachings of the Church. It is a list of left-wing policy preferences of the bishops’ conference, with abortion included because, under JPII, they didn’t dare leave it out.

    BTW: The pale gray typeface on this page is ILLEGIBLE. I won’t be straining my eyes here in the future.

  3. Michael J Kelley on

    Oh my goodness. Economic liberty is the best thing for peace. Socialism breeds poverty and that in turn creates class warfare. I am a Libertarian and I do not want war. Did you not hear the howl of the left that we should continue with our part of the was in Syria? FDR got us into WWII so he could pull out of the Great Depression. All of liberal/socialist ideas had failed to work. He lead the poor share cropper farmer in the South to believe that he was taking care of them all the while he was buying support in the West through wasteful public works. The left kills the unborn.

  4. I’m glad that the views of this author do not represent the views of CatholicVote, because frankly, they are ridiculous. The “Catholic Left” consists of those bishops, priests and laity who are opposed to closing borders to illegals and/or Muslim “migrants,” support gun control, endorse the climate change scam, provide CCHD money to pro-abortion nonprofits, and also those, like the heretic Fr. James Martin, who are either trying to normalize homosexuality (because they themselves are homosexual) or who provide support for those who take that position.

    And BTW, Tucker Carlson is not Catholic, he’s C of E, so why does this author keep citing him as if he’s Catholic? Very poorly thought out, to the point of being scatterbrained.

  5. So there are Catholics out there that think it’s ok for their sons to behave like Mr. Trump….that Mr. Trump is a good moral Christian example to look up to …… that it’s ok to be little those who are less fortunate and take advantage of the lowly.

    There are Catholics that believe that he is and acts intelligently for the good of the American people and really is putting America first.

    Ok. Whatever, but I wouldn’t want my son to ever repeat any of the phrases that come out of Mr. Trump’s mouth… It’s not ok …just not ok