Republican Party

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Lee Edwards, Hero of the Republic

You might say that Lee Edwards is the Zelig of the conservative movement, except Edwards is nothing like the inconsequential eager-to-please character created by Woody Allen. Even so, Edwards has been present and a central participant in every single significant conservative event and development for close to 85 years. I say 85 years because Edwards [...]

Overlooking the Failings of Catholic Democrats

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig’s inaugural essay as an opinion columnist at the Washington Post critiques the performance of Catholic Republicans in allowing Church teaching to guide their policies. Bruenig presents a tale of Catholic conservatives abandoning Catholic social teaching and respect for papal and episcopal guidance in exchange for a political alliance with evangelical Christians that [...]

What Catholic Social Thought Teaches About Conservatism

The popular view—encouraged at every turn by left-leaning analysts and commentators—is that the conservative view on economics is essentially laissez-faire and that conservatives want to eliminate government social welfare programs, even if the needy have to suffer. As a result, some Catholics say that conservatism is at odds with the Church on this. Is this [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

Is “Pro-life and Gay” Possible?

Can someone who promotes the LGBT agenda ever truly be considered an ally of the pro-life movement? The question may be of considerable importance for Catholic voters in the upcoming elections. The Republican Party has just adopted what has been called the “most pro-life platform ever.” However, if you watched the RNC Convention, you would [...]

Is Electing Trump Really Unthinkable?

A parish priest that I’ve known for years, though politically savvy, doesn’t follow the Democrat debates. Refreshingly cynical about both parties, he knows that to say the Forces of Darkness are presently arrayed against the Camp of the Saints would be a half-truth; he still insists on distinctions: “That party promotes everything that is evil.” [...]

Electing Trump Should be Unthinkable

I’ve never felt prouder to be a Minnesotan than on March 1, 2016. Minnesota conservatives rarely get the chance to vote and make a difference. Our politics range from blue to a deep, inky navy. It can start to feel oppressive. In 2012, our house was one of just three on the entire block that [...]

A Trump Nomination Means Victory for Clinton in November

Politically interested Catholics have been tearing one another apart over the question: would you vote for Donald Trump to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president? I worry about many things nowadays, but not very much about that. I’m not voting for Trump. He is an awful human being and an awful candidate, and he would [...]

Donald Trump, George Will, and the Crisis of Conservatism

If every cloud has a silver lining, we can say that the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump has—whatever his detractors may say—served some useful purposes. Those most critical of Trump speak of his followers as delirious, as if they were in the grip of some dreadful political fever. Nevertheless, a fever can be useful to [...]

How to Strengthen Republican Opposition to Abortion

On January 21, 2015—one day before the 41st March for Life—pro-life activists were met with what Jill Stanek called "a slap in the face." After weeks of promising that a vote on a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation—H.R. 36, the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act"—would take place on January [...]

Abortion, Torture, and the Juice-Box Theologians

There is a movement well underway to convince faithful Catholics they do not have a political home in the Republican Party. The effort is comprised of former political conservatives who now believe they are more Catholic than anybody else and therefore have cast a pox on both political parties, which is just another way for [...]

Republicans, the Pill, and the War on the Family

Why did Republicans do so well in the 2014 elections? Among the reasons emphasized by pundits and operatives on both sides of the political aisle has been the ability of Republican candidates to counter effectively the charge that they would escalate the so-called “war on women.” A key example cited by both left and right [...]

When Good People Don’t Vote

Coming up on another Election Day, I notice my neighbors and friends getting a little competitive. They’re not political activists. They’re political apathists. For some, an election is a can’t miss opportunity to broadcast their general contempt and hatred for America’s political scene. It’s actually become a bit of a joke at this point, since [...]

The GOP Answer to “War on Women”: Capitulation

A little while back in Crisis, I wrote about how supposedly pro-life Catholic candidate for a Virginia Senate seat, Ed Gillespie, when accused of wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade and enact a personhood amendment to the Constitution—as well as to "ban certain forms of contraception"—oddly replied that he actually wanted to make "contraceptives easier [...]

Feckless Republican Responses to the “War on Women”

Why has the strategy of a supposed Republican "War on Women" worked so well for the Democrats? It is an almost totally fake issue, yet it has proved to be a potent motivating factor in elections for not a few voters, including especially single women. One obvious reason for this is that the current virtually [...]

The Peril of Total Political Disengagement

In a recent column, I argued that Catholics should willingly lend political support to the Republican Party. The focus of that piece was on the contention that there is no particular principle on which the Republican Party and the Church are clearly and intractably at odds. For many serious Catholics, I suspect that that argument [...]

Do Republicans Deserve Catholic Support?

I can recall a time when I disliked being referred to as “a Republican.” Although I have consistently voted Republican throughout my adult life, I preferred to stress to friends and relatives that I was a Catholic and a philosopher, but that I had no special loyalty to any political party. Evidently this attitude is [...]

Virginia Election Result Should Not Discourage Social Conservatives

The recent 2013 Virginia off-year gubernatorial election quite understandably attracted considerable national attention. As a northern Virginia resident since 1982, I have followed, and have often been locally involved in, a number of these Virginia elections, including this one. A few observations on it from the standpoint of a grass-roots worker may add a perspective [...]

On Pulling Punches from the Pulpit

Casting broad generalizations about the state of American Catholicism is a hazardous business.  Yet from where I sit in the pew, pulpits are experiencing the phenomena of Sherlock Holmes’ hound that doesn’t bark.  More specifically, I am getting a sinking feeling that in this age of ideological political partisanship, bishops and priests are succumbing to [...]

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