We shouldn’t expect religious faith to replace the work of politics. The Beatitudes aren’t policy prescriptions, writes CV blogger Stephen P. White at the Washington Examiner.
With our scandal-plagued president meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican on Wednesday, President Trump’s detractors are doubling down on one of their favorite tactics: trying to undermine Trump’s credibility with Catholic voters, who make up almost a quarter of the electorate, by highlighting the glaring differences between him and the Pope.
“Sure, it didn’t keep Catholics from voting for Trump in unusually high numbers last November,” the thinking goes, “but maybe it can help finish him off now that he’s on the ropes.” This effort likely to fail. Again.
First, without putting too fine a point on it, Trump’s most die-hard supporters tend not to be Catholic, and those who are tend not to be the sort of folks who take their political cues from Pope Francis. Just ask Sean Hannity. Or his viewers.
Second, millions of American Catholics who reluctantly voted for Trump already know he’s childish, vain, vulgar and unstable. They don’t need to be persuaded on this point. They voted for him anyway because, for all his painfully obvious inadequacies, Hillary Clinton utterly failed to convince in the role of less bad alternative.
Third, attempts to stymie Trump politically by delegitimizing him religiously reek of opportunism. For those who have spent the last few decades warning about the theocratic tendencies of the religious Right to suddenly insist on a particular set of policies “because the Pope said so” is ironic, even galling, and not particularly persuasive. And that’s before we even get to Democratic Party’s uniform dedication to the abortion license and its purge of pro-life candidates.