Distinctly Catholic

What Now?


The American people have rendered their verdict. After four years of some of the most divisive partisan politics imaginable from “You lie!’ hurled at President Obama during the State of the Union to repugnant television ads from MoveOn.org, after $6 billion spent on this election cycle, after an exceedingly close margin in the popular vote, the American voters ended up ratifying the status quo last night. President Obama, Senate Democrats and House Republicans all held their own. So, this morning, we must look through our bleary eyes and face the question: What Now?



I went to my polling place this morning at 8 a.m.and the lines were very long. I decided to head back later, and not delay the line longer for those who needed to get to work and do not have the luxury I do of working from home. I just got an email from a priest who is standing in line in Virginia and the wait is one and one-half hours. So, if you have not voted yet, bring something to read. And, whatever you do, don't give up! Too many people fought too hard for the franchise for anyone who has it to abuse it by not exercising it.

Checking With History


As we all relearned in 2000, the person who gets the most votes nationwide is not necessarily the person who wins the election. The electoral college has a math, and a sort of logic, of its own. There is a great website, "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections" that allows you to look at the electoral college breakdown in previous elections, including state popular vote results for each year. Easy to use, this is the best way to get a sense of the partisan history of the different swing states.

Melady for President!


A little over a week ago, I was speaking with former US ambassador to the Holy See, Thomas Melady. We were discussing the closeness of the polling in the presidential election. Mr. Melady is one of the national co-chairs of “Catholics for Romney” so, as you can imagine, his politics are not my politics, but I enjoy the ambassador’s take on issues and always learn a great deal from our conversations. After a few minutes, Melady said, “Well, whatever happens, the country must come together after the election.” I replied, “There it is.

Early Voting


Blessings on Ruth Marcus for raising concerns about early voting. Of course, in this election cycle, the big news on voting is that some in the GOP have abandoned what had been a long tradition of bipartisan commitment, embodied in the League of Women Voters, to increase voter participation. It is shameful and it is also shameful that so few conservative voices have been raised against it.

Must-Read: Gibson on "Catholic Moment"


Over at Religion & Politics, David Gibson suggests that American politics may have reached its "Catholic Moment" but that it is anyone's guess if American Catholics will figure out how to make the most of such a moment. Very insightful piece as we have come to expect from Gibson. Full disclosure: I am on the advisory board of Religion & Politics but I did not solicit nor edit Gibson's article.


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In This Issue

March 24-April 6, 2017