As a Catholic radical, one who is religiously and morally “conservative” but deeply concerned about the concentration of wealth and power and the steady erosion of the working class, President Obama’s reelection is a mixed bag. Yes, he is no friend to the unborn, to understate it, though in the news today I saw that abortion is at an all time low since legalization. And no, he is no friend to religious liberty, however hypocritical many Catholic institutions have been in protesting his policies; you know, like the Catholic hospitals who do sterilizations or the Catholic colleges that dispense birth control to students. And he has reversed himself and now endorses the metaphysical impossibility of gay marriage. And he has continued Bush’s policies in concentrating presidential power.
On the other hand, he is taking baby steps against the thirty years of policies that favor corporations and the rich; nothing radical mind you, but a far cry from the attack on workers and the poor that a Romney administration would almost certainly have launched. And there is no reason to believe that a Romney presidency would in any way affect the status quo regarding abortion, except perhaps to increase the number of abortions as social programs were slashed.
But I was thinking yesterday about those who are both religiously conservative and economically “conservative”; ie, classically liberal.
To them there is nothing redeemable in the President’s reelection. It is all bleak. While it is hard for me to imagine that many sincerely believe that deregulating finance and industry and lowering taxes for the wealthy really would bring about prosperity for all, despite the results of doing just that for thirty years, let us give them the huge benefit of the doubt.
Blindsided and bewildered, there is wailing and gnashing of teeth on the right. And finger-pointing, lots of finger-pointing.
The world must appear bleak and hopeless. Despair must eat at them like a worm in a tomato.
I can’t help feeling a little sorry for them. Really, I do, however deluded they are.
Which does not in the least diminish my relief at their defeat.