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  •  Not all Catholics knee-jerk vote (none)
    In fact, one thing hopefully learned last night is that not all Catholics knee jerk vote Democrat either.  There's been way too much taking groups for granted.  Knowing Latinos and Catholics that are not Latino, and having been raised Catholic myself, I can say that many more things than denomination govern votes.

    For many Latinos, abortion was huge this year.  But for many other Catholics, it was the war.  And remember, the death penalty has been denounced by the pontiff as well.

    For many Catholics, however, it was gay marriage.    For still others, economic justice.  It's complicated shit.

    We can win the Catholic vote if we start talking to Catholics as Catholics.  We can win the Latino vote if we talk to Latinos as Latinos.  We will win no vote if we expect entire ethic groups and religious groups to just fall in line with us wholesale, or away from us, wholesale (except maybe the fundies, who literally pride themselves in not thinking)

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by nullspace on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 01:05:17 PM PST

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    •  You are Right (none)
      The Catholic vote is not a monolith.  But, if you say that abortion isn't a very important issue to Catholics, you are deluding yourself.  I am Catholic and I went to Church on Sunday.  When I came out, there was a flyer on my car that told me to vote for GWB as if "life depended on it."

      Now, the priest indicated that the Church was not behind the flyer, but there it was.  I tore it into a hundred pieces.  As I drove out of the parking lot, I saw a few K/E bumper stickers.  So, there are Democratic Catholics attending Church services.

      I have voted in six presidential elections.  By far, this was the most intense pressure placed on Catholics that I have ever seen.  I don't know if it was just Rove -- but I was shocked by how much the abortion issue was played up this time.  I expect, given the success that Bush had, that this pressure will continue unabated.

      As a 39 year old Catholic, I can tell you that the Democratic position on abortion is the hardest issue for me to resolve of any.  I believe in extending governmental rights to gay couples.  I think that promoting stability is good for our society, not bad.  Whether that right is known as "marriage" or "civil union" is a semantical point.  I think that the government would be well served to use "civil union" for heterosexual couples, too.

      I think that the Democratic party has the right position on the overwhelming majority of social issues -- education, death penalty, war, etc.  We should reclaim the moral superior position.

      I think that a softening of the abortion position would go a long way toward securing a large majority of Catholic voters for the foreseeable future.

      Focused on moving GWB to the ranks of the unemployed.

      by mndemguy on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 03:14:29 PM PST

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      •  I agree the abortion issue is a minefield (none)
        But it's not something the party can really soften.  It is so yes/no: does the government have the right to intervene in the decisions made about a person's body?

        That said, I think we could do a lot to reframe the debate on this one by remembering why we fought for choice in the first place.  Too often we get caught up in the rehtoric aimed at getting our side to look like we are for aborting fetuses.  That's just not why we are pro-choice, and it is playing right into the hands of those that are crucifying us with it.

        We originally fought for choice as a moral position: women were dying.  Unwanted children were dying.  Regardless of how we felt about the choices that would be made, we fought for the choice to make them and stop the dying.  

        I have never directly known anyone who was pro abortion.  I think the large majority of liberals, democrats, et al, are not in favor of abortion.  We are, fundementally, progressives, and that includes giving every person an equal chance.  We're in favor of saving lives, we are in favor of limiting government's intrusion on our liberty, and we are in favor of offering help to those in need.  That's why abortions are low where we have power and high where we don't.  We're pro-life, but with results.

        But we've been backed into a corner by allowing the discourse to be framed in such a way that we are always defending the right to choose an abortion, without ever talking about why, in a moral language that everyone can relate to.  By hiliting what we do to minimize abortion (family aide, domestic and child abuse protection, education) we can get this back to what we believe:

        Safe. Legal. Rare.

        (good comment, btw, made me really sit back and think.)

        "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

        by nullspace on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 08:05:19 AM PST

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