Why are Catholics supporting Trump?
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Catholics are closing ranks behind Trump, causing many inside the Beltway to ask why. However, Catholics are facing the same struggles as other Americans and they do not see establishment insiders as offering hope of anything better.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Catholic vote is one of the most important votes in the nation. Catholics make key voting blocs in swing states, such as Ohio, so how Catholics go, so too does the nation. It was Catholics who elected Obama, twice.
Catholic voters can be difficult to predict. Instead of being single issue voters, they are more like the general electorate, voting for the person who supports their interests. About half of all Catholics support contraception and nearly half, abortion. Catholics are also divided on issues such as immigration reform, with some believing the nation must do more to welcome immigrants, while others feel we should follow a strict policy which excludes many.
However, Catholic have one thing in common, they don't like being told what to do. This may seem ironic for members of a Church that is also one of the planet's last absolute monarchies. And while Catholics will often listen to the Pope, sometimes begrudgingly, they will absolutely rail against fellow Catholics, including clergy, who tell them who they cannot vote for.
Recently, a pair of Catholic thinkers published a piece criticizing Donald Trump and those who support him in the National Review. The piece drew intense fire from Catholics who did not appreciate being criticized because of their support for Trump.
So why are Catholics rallying behind Trump?
The reason has to do with the general disgust felt by Catholics in general. American Catholics face the same problems as all other Americans. They're tired of establishment politics that they feel has sold them out. Many have been working for a decade without seeing a significant rise in pay. They see perpetual war which is making them weary. They are tired of Obama and his policies which the Republicans seem unwilling to actually fight. They're tired of Republican ineptitude.
As for the clergy, they're tired of ineffective sermonizing that has done nothing to change the country. Problems such as abortion, remain problems. Human trafficking, illegal immigration, drug abuse and other moral issues remain as pervasive as ever.
Indeed, if the Church had the right approach it would be much more effective, spreading virally instead of shrinking.
So Catholics tend to take exception when these same people tell them how to vote.
Catholics are choosing Trump because he seems to be their best choice for genuine, conservative change. Time and again, Catholics have sent so-called conservatives to Congress only to be quickly disappointed. Consider John Boehner (R-OH), who was formerly Speaker of the House. The morning after the last midterm elections, which gave Republicans a very clear mandate to shut down Obama's policies, especially on the issue of religious freedom and Obamacare, Boehner met with Obama and renewed their friendship.
Catholics want someone who will fight for their interests, not sit down to coffee with their enemies.
Until Republicans get the hint that Catholics want sincere and solid, moral leadership in Washington, they will continue to vote against establishment incumbents and in favor of insurgent candidates.
Right now, that means Trump.
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