Here Is Something Frightening for Catholic Democrats

| | Comments (5)

From a blog I discovered via Father Jim (RatherNotBlog), an excerpt of an op-ed piece in NYT (be sure to visit the site and read a fuller excerpt of this interesting piece):

from "Circling the Wagons" (NYT)
David Brooks

But that is not how things work in real life. As Donald Green, Bradley Palmquist and Eric Schickler argue in their book, “Partisan Hearts and Minds,” most people either inherit their party affiliations from their parents, or they form an attachment to one party or another early in adulthood. Few people switch parties once they hit middle age. Even major historic events like the world wars and the Watergate scandal do not cause large numbers of people to switch.
Moreover, Green, Palmquist and Schickler continue, people do not choose parties by comparing platforms and then figuring out where the nation’s interests lie. Drawing on a vast range of data, these political scientists argue that party attachment is more like attachment to a religious denomination or a social club. People have stereotypes in their heads about what Democrats are like and what Republicans are like, and they gravitate toward the party made up of people like themselves.

Once they have formed an affiliation, people bend their philosophies and their perceptions of reality so they become more and more aligned with members of their political tribe.

If this is, indeed true, it should give any Catholic in good standing pause. I do not think it is necessarily true, but I do think that it is more often than not true. Even the best of us hold out against peer pressure but poorly and if our principle interest strays away from God and toward politics, it strikes me as entirely plausible that one would soon find all sorts of good Catholics scrambling to defend the indefensible--referring here not to candidates but to specific items of the platform.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Bookmark and Share


The message is clear: Catholics must line up NOW, before it is TOO LATE behind the Falange. For the first fifty people who sign up, send a sizable contribution and mention seeing this announcement, I will send a personally autographed photograph of the Caudillo and Jefe of Northern New Spain.

Why doddle around in the Protestant party or the fallen into Satanism party? Stick with the One True Party for the One True Faith! Catholic Falange!

Dear Erik,

I knew I could count on you for a solution.



Solutions on hand. 24-7. For all of your solutions needs, contact Duce Keilholtz!

We do the micromanagemant for YOU!


It's not too late to cast your ballot for Jcecil3's Catholic Political Party.

All kidding aside, I don't buy this analysis. The fact is that many people shifted to the right in the 1980's and '90's as immigrant Democrats become richer and the Democrats became more stridently pro-choice and pro-gay.

And I think many on the right are beginning to question conservatism as Bush lead us into an insane war and tramples our civil liberties while running up a huge deficit to protect corporate interests.

I think there are millions of voters who want an alternative, but can't find it anywhere.


Dear JCecil3,

You need to read the original analyses. They had nothing to do with current events--they looked at Republican and Democratic opinions before, during, and after Reagan and Clinton so they are not subject to the modern events.

One of the reasons I belong to no party is because I had observed the progressive rigorization of persons belonging to a political party. My prime example is Jesse Jackson who used to be ardently pro-life gradually buckling as the Democratic party moved away from rationality on the issue.

Thus, I find the analysis quite persuasive just on the basis of peer pressure indicators. But I think an important factor here is that it is not INEVITABLE. That is, if one is aware that this is a tendency, one can guard against it more thoroughly. It is only when we are party -line all the way that we fall into real trouble.

Personally, neither party has anything to offer me that is substantive, they all acknowledge a half-truth, and that may be worse than a complete lie as it is more tangled and difficult to parse out what is true and what is not.





About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 8, 2004 1:07 PM.

Recollectedness was the previous entry in this blog.

More Dominicans is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll