2016 Presidential Election

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

A Catholic Critique of Corporate America

In the recent presidential campaign we observed the strongly critical reaction of business and economic commentators, surely representing the views of many corporate leaders, to President-elect Donald Trump’s tough talk on trade and especially his zeroing in on China. In the last couple of years, we have witnessed the willingness of many big companies to [...]

On the Meaning of the Election and Its Aftermath

Much ink has already been spilled about what are the implications, big and small, of the 2016 presidential election. I offer a few thoughts as to its meaning and what we can expect from a new Trump administration. The election was certainly a rebuke—it’s far from clear if it was a decisive repudiation—of a corrupted [...]

A Seventeenth-Century Trump?

Democrats are outraged. From their perspective, the worst human has assumed the highest office in the land. Trump is allegedly so bad, there have even been suggestions that the Electoral College rebuke over two hundred years of tradition and elect Hillary Clinton as president, thereby denying Trump a legitimate victory. Green Party demands for recounts [...]

Overcoming Family Divisions on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming runner-up to Christmas as poster child in the “holiday wars.” Christmas remains the feast that dare not speak its name, re-(de)christened as “winter holiday.” (What do politically correct Aussies call it?) Thanksgiving has kept its name but been hollowed out. Do we have any communal answer to the question “to whom/what [...]

A Populist Election and Its Aftermath

Considering how many crucial matters were at stake during the recent election, including the right to life and religious freedom, and confronting the preponderant bias in the media and opinion polls, it did not seem melodramatic to hope for a providential Hand to guide things. Without mistaking optimism for hope, and cautioned by the disappointment [...]

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

Now that the election is over, the nation’s attention turns to the Trump presidency. Leaving the stage is an administration that made it public policy to assault religious institutions. Many Catholics supported Mr. Trump in the hope that he could secure the future of the Supreme Court and end the more anti-religious policies of the [...]

Tim Kaine Commends Hillary with a Communist Poet

Hillary Clinton’s concession speech the day after her stunning loss to Donald Trump was a historic moment. She was gracious and remarkably strong and poised given the political and emotional enormity of what had happened to her. But surely the weirdest part of the moment was her introduction by her running mate and comrade, Tim [...]

Beware of Candidates Who Define Catholicism For Us

Though he has local roots in the Kansas City area, I have never met vice presidential candidate, Senator Tim Kaine. From those who do know him, I understand that he is a very affable and likable person. In the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate, Senator Kaine acknowledged he was blessed with great Irish Catholic parents [...]

What’s Wrong with Guaranteeing a Free College Education?

Bernie Sanders failed in his bid for the presidency, but one of his major policy proposals—which helped to garner his much-discussed college student support—of guaranteeing free tuition at public universities and colleges is likely to continue to be pushed. It’s not surprising that this notion has gained traction, in light of the deepening student debt [...]

Is a Post-Trump Pact of Non-Recrimination Possible?

A former Bush administration staffer writes in National Review that there needs to be a kind of bloodletting in a post-Trump Republican Party. Peter Wehner, now ensconced at the highly respectable Ethics and Public Policy Center run by my friend Ed Whelan, wants to rid the GOP of certain smelly strains, specifically those around Breitbart, [...]

How Catholic is Kaine?

A recent flattering article in the New Yorker describes Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's vice-presidential running mate, as a "devout Roman Catholic." Not only that, but the paean proceeds to declare that the pious senator "is more comfortable quoting Scripture than any Democrat to reach the level of Presidential politics since Jimmy Carter." There is more: [...]

When We Subordinate Our Christian Principles

“I die in the Catholic Apostolic and Roman religion, that of my fathers, that in which I was brought up, and which I have always professed” wrote Queen Marie Antoinette in the early morning hours before her execution on October 16, 1793. She penned these words in her final letter, written to her sister-in-law Princess [...]

About Those Unthinking, Backward Catholics

Back in 2008, in the weeks leading up to the Obama-McCain presidential election, two young men visited me in Denver. They were from Catholics United, a group describing itself as committed to social justice issues. They voiced great concern at the manipulative skill of Catholic agents for the Republican Party. And they hoped my brother [...]

The Sacking of the West

If you’re looking for a good reason to vote Clinton this November, let me point you in the direction of this video. Movie director Joss Whedon has set up an organization dramatically labeled Save the Day, and is making some short videos staring an assortment of celebrities, mostly from his Avengers movies, with a few [...]

When Voting Your Conscience Became a Political Liability

“I do not care very much what men say of me, provided that God approves of me.” ∼ St. Thomas More What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always popular. Notwithstanding the refrain’s chronic understatement, conservatives in America used to appreciate the proposition’s fusty otherworldliness. Conservatives, that is, used to applaud [...]

At the Movies with Campaign 2016

“What are we going to do?” asked the Professor. “At this moment,” said Syme, with a scientific detachment, “I think we are going to smash into a lamppost.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare By all accounts, this has been a strange campaign season, and it’s only going to get stranger, so [...]

A Civics Lesson from a Zulu King

The chaos of the present election cycle calls to mind a story about the great African king, Shaka (1787-1828), the founder of Southern Africa's Zulu Empire. It is told that Shaka lamented the slowness of his warriors when they entered into battle. To remedy the problem, he ordered them to take off their sandals to [...]

Hillary Clinton’s Church Problem

We Catholics constantly deal with questions about pro-abortion or pro-“gay marriage” Catholic politicians and their conflict with Church teaching. The likes of a Nancy Pelosi or Andrew Cuomo or Kathleen Sebelius are regularly called out. During the 2004 presidential race, Democratic nominee John Kerry, a lifetime Roman Catholic, was strongly criticized for his support of [...]

Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Primary

It’s now almost certain that the major party candidates for 2016 are going to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s not too hard to understand how Hillary got there, but how can we account for a billionaire businessman and television celebrity who has been back and forth between political parties about to snare the [...]

Donald Trump and the Catholic Vote

Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election. Having already explained why this is a calamity for Catholics, and for all people of goodwill, I will not repeat those arguments here. Instead, I would make a different point. Those of us who recognize this disaster for what it is need to [...]

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