The Democrats: The Party of the “Common Good”?
George Marlin, author of The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact (St. Augustine’s Press), writes at The Catholic Thing:
Democratic Party insiders know that they must persuade practicing Catholics to return to the party of their forefathers if they are to win the presidential election this November.My Comments:
To achieve that goal, the Democrats are throwing rhetorical crumbs to Catholics voters. In their 2008 national platform, for instance, they claim they “will empower grassroots faith-based and community groups to help meet challenges like poverty, ex-offender reentry, and illiteracy” so long as they “do not endanger First Amendment protections… [and] ensure that public funds are not used to proselytize or discriminate.” In other words, Catholic institutions need not apply because they support the tenets of their Church and oppose homosexual couple adoption or distribution of contraceptives.
As for abortion, Democrats, on the one hand, try to schmooze Catholics by claiming support for education and health care that will “help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.” Yet, on the other hand, they have employed the strongest pro-abortion language in their history: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
Democrats also frequently refer to the Roman Catholic social concept of the “common good” when describing their approach to governing.
In their party platform preamble, they demand that “leaders abandon the politics of partisan division and find creative solutions to promote the common good.”
To recapture the loyalties of an integral part of Franklin Roosevelt’s electoral coalition, urban and blue-collar Catholics, the Democrats are disingenuously appealing to the “common good” to lull them into believing the party is in sync with their beliefs. Catholics should not fall for this ruse.
And, lest we forget, here's what Cardinal George said recently on this topic:
... Good law defends the defenseless. Our present laws permit unborn children to be privately killed. Laws that place unborn children outside the protection of law destroy both the children killed and the common good, which is the controlling principle of Catholic social teaching. One cannot favor the legal status quo on abortion and also be working for the common good...(emphasis added)