Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Charles Pierce on Hispanic Catholics As Key to "Catholic Vote" in 2016 Elections

I'd suggest that if we're going to make Trump's loss of support among "Catholics" an important just-breaking story, one being underreported by journalists as a Daily Kos piece has just argued, we need to parse these data and separate white Catholics from Hispanic and black ones. It isn't in the least news that Trump is trailing among "Catholics." 
Why do white and Hispanic (and African-American) Catholics see the candidates so differently? There's a huge difference between how these various groups approach political, theological, and moral matters, and it serves no good purpose to gloss over that difference as we talk about "the" Catholic vote and "Catholics" in the public square.

Here's Charles Pierce writing the same day: 

It continues to be the opinion here at the shebeen that there really is no such thing as The Catholic Vote any more, and I doubt that either Trump's run-in with Papa Francesco, which I didn't even remember until this story brought it up, or the long-faded memory of anti-Catholicism in American politics, have very much to do with it at all. 
A whopping number of Catholic voters are Hispanic—this was a critical part of Karl Rove's attempt to woo Hispanic voters through emphasizing social issues, before The Base went nutty over immigration—and I think that's where the key to these numbers lies. They've lined up against He, Trump for far more obvious reasons than the fact that a Boston mob burned down an Ursuline Convent in 1834.

He's absolutely correct in these assessments, I think. As I said several weeks ago, it's time to retire that shopworn old meme that Catholics in the U.S. are under attack by anti-Catholic forces. The attempt to dust it off as an explanatory vehicle to justify white Catholic support for Donald Trump is embarrassing in the extreme in a country in which the Supreme Court is dominated by a large majority of Catholic justices, and Catholics are richly represented everywhere in the corporate, governing, and academic leadership structures of the nation.

(I want to acknowledge and thank a reader, p2p, who sent me the link to the Daily Kos story I cite above.)

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