(Ethika Politika) - What then is the best Catholic strategy for the present? In 2004 I wrote an article for New Oxford Review arguing that if we Catholics really wanted to have an impact on U.S. politics, the best means would be a strategy selectively to abstain from voting, so as to serve notice to politicians that until they come to us with a platform reasonably in comformity with the entire range of Catholic teaching, they could not expect our votes. Play hard to get and let them come courting, I argued. There are enough of us so that we should make them earn our votes, not run after one politician or the other who mouths agreement with Catholic teaching on this or that issue.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In the upcoming presidential election, I am going to propose the following. Since the GOP race now seems to be solely between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, I am going to say that Mr. Santorum is worth a try, in spite of his short comings, because he may be influenced by his Catholic faith just enough to do the right things while in office. In other words, it may be worth giving another Catholic a crack at the Whitehouse just to see what happens.
Is this still our best hope for influencing American politics? Much depends, I think, on whether any of the current legal or political efforts to overturn the administration’s health care mandate will succeed. If they do not, if there are not enough active and faithful Catholics to make this politically feasible, then perhaps the best strategy for the Church is to forget about electoral politics entirely for the time being and simply preach the whole Gospel, both those parts that resonate with the left and those that resonate with the right. After all, was this not the mission given to the Church at her origins? In any case, no compromise with either political bloc will serve the interests of the Church in the long runs, interests which are ultimately not of this world anyway, but simply the sanctification and salvation of souls....
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Now I want to clarify. Rick Santorum is probably one of the worst anti-liberty candidates in the Republican primaries. He is the political antithesis of everything every freedom-loving Southerner stands for. However, in comparison to Obama on that issue, he is no worse, so when it comes to freedom, a race between Santorum and Obama is a wash. We pretty much break even. The only thing that's worth a darn about Santorum is his Pro-Life position, coupled with the fact that he (as a supposedly conservative Catholic) will have his feet held to the fire on that one. If he takes the dictator-in-cheif position in favour of the unborn, than perhaps an ounce of good can come from his administration. Though I'm sure it will be short-lived. Just as soon as a Democrat regains the Whitehouse, after his 'reign,' all the benefits will be lost.
Another 'good' Rick Santorum might accomplish is to finally decouple freedom-loving Southerners from the Republican Party. Right now people associate the Republican Party with the TEA Party and conservatism. A Santorum administration would once and for all put an end to the notion that constitutional restraint can be realised within the Republican Party. The G.O.P. is the author of American dictatorship through its infamous hero -- Abraham Lincoln.
If however, Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination, I am going to say that we have no truly Pro-Life candidate running for president this year.
Without a truly Pro-Life candidate in the race, I think it might be wise to not vote for president, or vote third-party, or do whatever it takes to rob both the Democrats and Republicans of our vote entirely.
Maybe in the absence of any real political solution, this is the only answer. Maybe we should just stop voting, perhaps limiting our participation to state and local politics if we vote at all, until the national political parties start courting us again. Your thoughts?