I want to congratulate the Catholic Left. They have conquered the Republican Party.
Consider all the things they hate about the GOP. Its libertarianism. Its making an idol of the free market. Its bloody-minded efficiency. Its war-mongering. Its lack of compassion and solidarity.
All of this is now gone, or on its way out, or at least out of fashion on the Right.
And whom does the Catholic Left have to thank for remaking the GOP in its own image? Why, the man who is the best candidate for their values in 2020, of course.
Of course, you won’t hear that from them. They spent years deriding the pre-Trump conservative movement as “The Thing That Used to be Conservatism.” But now they hug that Thing tight.
That is a strange turn of events when you consider that President Trump has re-made the GOP in approximately the way the Catholic Left has always said it wanted.
The Republican Party still supports religious liberty and the right to life of the unborn. But they are in the process of dropping their other, less palatable ideological commitments.
Think of Tucker Carlson, for instance, telling Ben Shapiro that a stable society is more important than the free market. As one commentator noted:
The very idea of such a prominent right-wing media personality making criticisms such as these of capitalism is impossible to imagine as few as three years ago. But Carlson makes it very clear that although he considers capitalism to be the best economic system possible, that doesn’t make it a religion to be accepted as perfect, nor is it “some nicene creed” that he has to “buy into” in all cases whatever, damn the consequences. Capitalism is not the end of government. Government does not exist to secure its tenets. On the contrary, capitalism is merely a means by which we may achieve the ends of good government.
Or think of the widespread celebration on the Right of the demise of The Weekly Standard, the leading magazine for Republican belligerence in international affairs. In language that could have been taken right out of a Catholic Leftist’s blog, one Righty critic wrote that, now, with the death of the magazine, “It’s time for Republicans to embrace a ‘Main Street’ conservatism that prizes solidarity over individualism and culture over efficiency.”
What is happening here is that values long championed by the Catholic Left are now being mainstreamed on the Right because of Donald Trump.
I don’t mean this as a criticism of Trump.
Certainly, I object to the Seamless Garment when it is used as a weapon against pro-lifers. But in general, I’m down the line with the teachings of the Church. That Trump has brought the Republican Party’s economic and military policies into closer alignment with Catholicism is, to me, a thing to be celebrated.
And yet, strangely, the Catholic Left is not celebrating. Why is that?
Prior to Donald Trump, it would have been unheard of for a mainstream conservative media celebrity like Tucker Carlson to speak so passionately about solidarity as opposed to economic efficiency. Or for Republicans to embrace, say, prison reform.
But thanks to President Trump, there has been a ripple effect—a positive one—that gets no attention from the Catholic Left. There are people on the Right who never felt any pressure to show compassion, to show solidarity, with their fellow Americans, until Trump. But now they do.
Under Trump, the Republican Party is in the process of dethroning market efficiency as a substitute religion. Under Trump, the GOP is abandoning its preferential option for endless war.
So why are our fellow Catholics on the Left not celebrating the fact that it is their values that are now celebrated on the street by the average Republican voter?
If Catholic Leftists really mean what they say, they should all be lining up to re-elect President Trump.