Party of God/Party of Satan?
I am not interested in having future fruitless arguments over whether or not the Republican or Democratic Party is pure evil or not. It is like the old canard comparing some contemporary American politician to Adolf Hitler- it is a deal-breaker. I am one who believes that truth in politics is pretty spread out among the various major and minor political parties- there are some huge moral gaps in all, so the choice of party for me is not based on trying to find the perfect Party of God here in America.
I have been more inclined to the Democratic Party ever since I was 13 years old, despite the fact that I had no adult influences steering me in that direction. Now that I am a middle-aged adult I am not suggesting that anyone should just blindly stick with their childhood faith- you need to take ownership of your beliefs and your political participation.
I won’t denigrate anyone in their choice to be a Republican, Libertarian, Green Party member or other. I think there is a lot of room for good Christians and people of good will to have legit discussions over the political philosophy and particular issue stands of the various parties. I know full well that the establishment Democratic Party is seriously flawed from my own Catholic social doctrine-inspired point-of-view- but I do not think it is a hopeless cause to try to make reforms on issues dealing with the right to life for the unborn, and promotion of traditional marriage and sexual mores. I do not openly endorse candidates who are opposed to the right to life for the unborn, but I also don’t believe that the mainstream Republican strategy of framing abortion rights as a state’s rights question is a legitimate pro-life solution. So, I am not beholden to either of the major parties, not even on the question of abortion. And I feel that if Democrats get behind the Pregnant Womens Support Act, this could have an extremely positive effect on reducing the number of abortions- a partial solution which is better than the current situation. I believe ultimately in a natural law reasoning process that would include Supreme Court decisions, as that should clear the way for an international right to life for all vulnerable unborn children. Coupled with that determination would be a bill of rights for pregnant women to provide them with the necessary supports to see their children through to birth and beyond.
But if one is determined to believe that no good person could be a Democrat or a Republican, then I would have to say that that debate is closed for me. That would be a non-starter. There are debates that just go south real fast- I want to be able to have friendships with people across party lines, but if someone thinks you are evil or belong to the Party of Satan, well that pretty much ends all friendly lines of communication. So, I will end with some advice from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church on the tentative loyalties we should give to any merely political organization:
573. A particular area for discernment on the part of the lay faithful concerns the choice of political instruments, that is, membership in a party or in other types of political participation. A choice must be made that is consistent with values, taking into account actual circumstances. In every case, whatever choice is made must be rooted in charity and tend towards the attainment of the common good. It is difficult for the concerns of the Christian faith to be adequately met in one sole political entity; to claim that one party or political coalition responds completely to the demands of faith or of Christian life would give rise to dangerous errors. Christians cannot find one party that fully corresponds to the ethical demands arising from faith and from membership in the Church. Their adherence to a political alliance will never be ideological but always critical; in this way the party and its political platform will be prompted to be ever more conscientious in attaining the true common good, including the spiritual end of the human person.