The other day, I linked to the article at National Review in which the Catholic Republicans' A-listers urged their fellow Catholics not to vote for Donald Trump. I was thinking of penning a response, but Tony Annett at Commonweal beat me to it. His searing critique can be found here.
For the next few weeks, most commentators on politics will be focusing on the primaries and caucuses, which is at it should be: In a democracy, nothing is more basic than votes. But, there are conversations beginning to bubble up on the sidelines that are instructive about the state of our politics in this very strange year.
At RNS, Mark Silk analyzes Bernie Sanders' Jewishness and the effect, or lack thereof, it has on his candidacy. The comparison with Joe Lieberman is instructive and the phrase "Land of the Hanging Chad" is priceless.
Even a few weeks ago, let alone several months ago, most would have rolled their eyes at the suggestion that Donald Trump would effectively wrap up his race for the GOP nomination before former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton succeeded in securing the Democratic nod. But, with his big wins in Mississippi and Michigan, and a late night win in Hawaii, Trump is virtually impossible to stop while Clinton squandered her lead in Michigan and lost the state narrowly to Sen. Bernie Sanders.
A group of prominent conservative Catholics have taken to the pages of National Review to urge their fellow Republican RCs not to support Donald Trump. Of course, in making the case that today's Republican Party has been a vehicle for Catholic values and interests, they leave a lot out of the picture: immigration, solidarity, economic justice, environmental protection. The list goes on.
One demographic trend is going up at a breathtaking rate, while one institutional trend is declining at a similarly stunning rate. Latinos now constitute approximately forty percent of all Catholics in the U.S. and a whopping sixty percent of Catholics under the age of eighteen. Catholic schools have been shuttering at an alarming rate, from a high of 13,000 schools in the middle of the twentieth century to 6,568 today. And, the point at which those two trends intersect is alarmingly low: Only about 2.3 percent of the Hispanic school age population is enrolled in Catholic schools.
In The Leaven, his archdiocesan newspaper, Archbishop Joseph Naumann writes about the importance of considering the Supreme Court in voting this year. Interestingly, though, he also talks about a recent religious liberty at the state capitol. Funny, he did not mention any Muslim speakers.
It is obvious, even now to the GOP establishment, that their party has a Trump problem. It is difficult to see how the man can be stopped at the ballot box in the upcoming primaries, and even more difficult to imagine a scenario that robbed him, and his voters, of the nomination if he falls just shy of a majority of the delegates. But, the Republicans are not the only ones with a Trump problem.
Distinctly Catholic: The University of Notre Dame will give its prestigious Laetare Award to Vice President Joseph Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
....are both feeling unwell this morning, the GOP because they have allowed their presidential nominating contest to resemble a professional wrestling match and MSW because I caught some kind of stomach bug. Both should go back to bed, although I think the GOP needs to go back to bed until 2017.