After his impressive victory in the South Carolina primary, the GOP nomination of Donald Trump is very likely. Marco Rubio may pick up some support from Jeb Bush’s overdue decision to leave the race, but Ted Cruz has established a national network of highly-energized Evangelical activists who are not wavering.
When and if Ben Carson bows out, his support will likely fall to Cruz, thus keeping Rubio from gaining very much of a lead.
Polling among Catholics nationally show Trump to be the least attractive candidate among the GOP contenders. Trump polls 43% to Cruz 60% and Rubio’s 65%. The recent testiness between Trump and Pope Francis will probably hurt him with a majority of Catholic voters while building some support among conservative Catholics disillusioned with the new pontiff.
There are several factors to consider regarding both turn-out and voting: 1) Would conservative, pro-life Catholics vote for Trump as a “lesser of two evils” when faced with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders? 2) To what extent are conservative, pro-life Catholics infected by the same sense of tribulation that is fueling the Trump candidacy in the first place?
Anyone who follows pro-life Catholics on social media has seen quite a bit of talk about “not voting” at all if Trump is nominated. If that threat turns out to be real, in large enough numbers, it will impact both voter turnout and grassroots organizing, both of which the GOP will need to win the White House in November.
But if enough conservative Catholic voters share the national unrest, the “Don’t Tread On Me” spirit of Trump supporters, both turn-out and campaign activism in the GOP might absorb the losses of some pro-life voters.
We’ve already seen serious and respected Catholic and Evangelical pro-life leaders mount a campaign to nominate anyone but Donald Trump. Their efforts in South Carolina may have helped Rubio catch up with Cruz, but far more likely it was the endorsement by Gov. Nikki Haley that moved a few percentage points of the vote.
If this campaign continues into more primary states it may drive the wedge even more deeply between pro-voters, both Catholic and Evangelical, and the presumptive GOP nominee for president, Donald Trump. This is an outcome that should be weighed carefully by those leading the charge against Trump against the outcome of Clinton or Sanders in the White House.
Trump has not claimed to be pro-life in the past, but he claims to be now, and he promises to sign a bill defunding Planned Parenthood. Skepticism towards Trump’s new position on abortion is warranted, and even some scoffing can be understood. Yet, on election day in November Catholic voters will be faced with two choices.
One candidate will be resolutely pro-abortion and linked arm-and-arm with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, and EMILY’s List.
The other candidate, if it is Trump, will be someone who has declared himself a recent convert to the pro-life cause. A candidate who, since his change of mind, has continued to defend his position in the face of incredulous questioning from the liberal media and the pro-life community.
A Trump nomination will send the Catholic Left, who have no regard at all for saving the unborn, into a frenzy, calling Trump unfit for Catholic support on the grounds, not of abortion, but because of immigration, particularly his promise to build a wall on the Mexican border. They will quote Pope Francis saying Trump is not a Christian, which is NOT what he said, and that he is “unChristian” for wanting to build a wall, which is what he did say.
In addition, a majority of US bishops will try to create every obstacle they can to keep the Trump campaign reaching Catholic voters. It will be ugly, a free-for-all among Catholic voters.
There’s no doubt in my mind how I will vote, as a pro-life Catholic. To hand the White House over to the Democrats for another four, or eight, years will destroy our nation’s character for at least one hundred years. This would be a disaster from which America might never recover.
I’m not concerned with Trump’s desire to build a wall, but wanting to deport 20 million people who are living in the US doesn’t strike me as particularly Christian. Fine, build the wall to prevent future illegal immigrants, but to throw 20 million men, women and children onto buses and dump them in Mexico is not right
I agree with you, Steve.
All the best, Deal
I will have a hard time voting for Trump. His very attitude smacks in the face of Christian values. 3 wives? Suddenly pro life? Tossing out minorities like old socks. Ridicule toward other candidates. I’m praying for kasich or someone new. 3rd party anyone?
You would do well to study the Benedictine Rule governing welcoming strangers into the monastery, but NOT allowing them “to turn the house upside down.”
Language seems to be a problem. What is “pro-life”? The teaching is that life is from conception to natural death and everything in between. So as a pro-lifer I would oppose abortion, breaking up families for deportation, death penalty, not welcoming strangers, etc, etc, etc. LIFE! Now I am anti-abortion but that is only a small part of being pro-life.
And what example do Catholics set for the youth of the church? Support Trump with 2 divorces and with his 3rd wife and per Jesus a double adulterer. Support Clinton who is married to the same man for over 40 years yet is pro-abortion. Yet Clinton is pro-family and Trump is not.
So what teaching of Jesus do you ignore?
As stated before, “nothing” is more important than the innocent life in the womb. Until we have “life” the other social justices are moot points.
FRIEND WRITES – I lived in Southern California from 1991 – 2012 and the impact of illegal immigration is difficult to comprehend to those who only read about it. One of the most pressing things is the devastation of several industries by illegals, namely landscaping and restaurant work. A longt5ime friend in the Bay Area is a Ph.D. level microbiologist and Masters Degree level botanist who did professional landscaping for years, first as a hobby and then professionally. He is out-of-business now because the ‘Mexican Mafia’ stole or damaged his equipment, destroyed his work (that he did for customers) and harassed him at worksites until the customers stopped calling. I was training manager for an LA-based auto accessories manufacturer and I saw the ‘Mexican Mafia’ first-hand in that it was literally impossible for any non-Hispanic to get a job in our factory. The managers, the supervisors and the union all colluded to keep non-Hispanic English-speakers out. Our HR executive was threatened physically if she tried to enforce citizenship requirements. On a less direct point of view, where are our children supposed to get their first jobs, such as fast food worker, when a glance in the back of any SoCal Taco Bell will show a group of 45 year old Hispanic men working there. Hospitals are overcrowded with illegals using the Emergency Room for primary car – for which they never pay – the schools are overflowing with the children of illegals and the traffic is negatively impacted by (at least) 3 million illegals on the road every day.
And then there’s the crime…
Destroy our nation’s character? It’s already destroyed. All we can do is try to piece together the rubble.
A Catholic may never do evil so that good may come of it. I will NEVER vote for Donald Trump.
I am a Catholic, 16 yrs. Catholic education, radical, pro-life activist and I am with Donald Trump until I’m not. I believe him when he says he is pro-life now.
If he gets the nomination, it is up to us to hold him to it. I pray you are right.
“a Catholic is BOUND by the Catechsim to vote first and foremost “pro life!” And in the absence of a pro lifer, we are to vote for the least harmful to the cause of Life!
Glad Republican Deal Hudson made his voice heard on this. This is not a pro-Catholic article. This is a pro-Republican article.
Juliana, thanks for posting your comment. The irony is this: I just got beat up at breakfast by a GOP guy who told me a Trump nomination will destroy the GOP. Sorry you think I am pushing the GOP for the GOP sake.
All the best, Deal
How silly, this is an opinion of a Catholic Philospher and political operative who knows the ropes all too well. Rubio is the establishment guy……
The abortion rate is the lowest it has ever been, after 8 years under whom right wing Catholics referred to as the “abortion President.” It’s just facts. Perhaps good Catholics should ensure a social safety net that gives women other choices besides abortion.
Misty, good point. I think it’s safe to say the credit goes to the success of the national pro-life movement whose energized grassroots have shut down so many abortion mills, such as Planned Parenthood. The “safety net,” I agree, should be preserved but we don’t need another president who will reverse the Mexico City Policy; use federal tax dollars to pay for abortions; and give Planned Parenthood $500,000,000.00 per year. The abortion rate could do even lower.
All the best, Deal
I don’t think it is safe to say that b/c the decline has been fairly even across states with and without such initiatives.
And the three items we “don’t need” shows how vapid and partisan the pro-life establishment has become. None of those are likely to have any impact on the abortion rate, they are just rhetorical tools designed to marry RTL with the tax cutting lobby and Chamber of Commerce.
^^^THIS. The biggest mistake the Pro-Life movement made is tying itself to those who advocate for anti-life initiatives (death penalty, war, war on the poor, anti-immigration). Pro-life means WHOLE LIFE, Mr. Hudson. That’s why it’s so misguided to be a Republican or Democrat activist and claim to be speaking for Catholics.
You must not read or know your catechism if you don’t know that “the death penalty” in certain cases is just, however, abortion NEVER is. Although I am not a death penalty advocate, know your own faith before you try and argue it. 🙂
Oh, for Pete’s sake, Misty, we Catholics do everything we can do for unwed mothers, including housing them. What you are saying is a cliche.
Other candidates need to learn from what is working for Trump. And we need to seriously work for a good candidate of substance – Carson, Kasich…
Trump is a natural leader, probably born that way. It is not an acquired trait.
No matter how Deal Hudson votes Trump will not be elected. He will not win ten states in the general election. In that case, the party will rebuild. In the event Trump fails to win the nomination he will run third party, ensuring Clinton’s election. The Republican Party will fracture and soon join the Whigs in the history books. The Country? You wont recognize it.
Rob, you might want to read Teddy White’s “In Search of History.” He is the man for the times.
I am absolutely a pro-life voter, pro-family, but much more a Catholic and a social conservative that a republican. I have voted for GOP candidates and even supported even when there were many policies and rhetorical “truths’ that I didn’t like. I will not vote for Trump. I will work to convince anyone I know NOT to vote for Trump. Trump and his followers are dangerous. And no, I do not believe for a second there is any reason to think he is sincere on abortion or that it would be any priority for Trump.
Social issues will mean nothing as the Muslim migration is not stymied, and our borders are not sealed. We will not have a country if this is not resolved. The Church is benefitting money wise for aiding illegals. They have broken the law. What have all the so – called pro- lifers in Congress accomplished over these years – SQUAT!
I am a devout and pro- life Catholic ( who prays and counsels at Planned Parenthood); I don’t need your sanctimonious advice while bashing Mr. Trump! Rubio might be a Catholic, but he is a liar and turncoat on immigration. Ask Phyllis Schlaffy. Look at Mr. Catholic , Paul Ryan.
I am voting for the most capable canidate, – Donald Trump.
Excuse me, Mary, are you saying that I “bashed” Donald Trump. If you read the article you may have noticed that I said I would vote for Trump. Is that bashing?
Mary, how dare you call the writer “sanctimonious?” A person all beit a well informed person is certainly welcomed to their opinion Don’t like it, don’t read the article. Name call much?
Furthermore, you must not be outside Planned Parenthood too much or, involved in the movement then you would know that abortions are at their lowest level in years AND we just passed the http://www.mccl.org/pain-capable-unborn-child-protection-act.html this year! Keep Up!
I am a pro-life voter. That is why I feel morally obligated TO vote for Bernie or Hillary if the race comes down to one of them vs. Trump. I cannot share the motivated naiveté of some that Trump actually cares about the unborn and is not just using the talking points as opportunistic pathos to please gullible voters. But what I DO know is that the man is willing to COMMIT WAR CRIMES (“take out their families”) and can send our servicemembers to their deaths to “take their oil.”
You’re concerned about the nation’s character?! If you are willing to back this vulgar yam with an insatiable contempt for humanity – this blackmailing, unrepentant, bigoted, adulterous, petulant authoritarian-wannabe just because he mentions The Babies™… what exactly is this “character” you are trying to preserve?
You’re kidding right? The pro abort murder in the womb Hillary and the Bernie the socialist?
I am 67 and a brother of the Knights of Columbus, I have sister who is a retired Nun. I have a PhD in Engineering so our society would label me as well-educated. I say this to make everyone understand the socio-economic “rung” and religious upbringing that I have had. But, I also understand what a President can and cannot do … he/she is a President, not a king/queen!!. A President should be the best candidate based on many factors and many “issues” that are within their control. The pro-life question is a very good one … there are others equally viable from a Catholic’s perspective. I have struggled with this potential choice until one night last week I decided to apply the same principle I use to evaluate a sporting event. When I am trying to determine the “better team” I say to myself, if the score ended up 30 – 10 who won? Based on that question I can then determine which is the better team. The same applies in my mind to the upcoming “potential” decision in our election. Let’s assume it is Hillary and Donald as the two major party candidates. So by the same logic I want to determine the best candidate. So I decided to play a Rip Van Winkle experiment, I pretended to go to sleep for 4 years and then awoke to find the world drastically different. I am seeing that not just our country, but many dimensions of our global political system are much better than it was when I fell asleep. Wow!! Then the question to be asked is “which candidate won the election?” Did I sleep through 4 years of Hillary or 4 years of Donald? If you are honest you know the answer to this question !! Therefore, not only will I vote for Donald Trump, I am hoping he is the GOP nominee because I WANT to vote for him. I see him as (on balance) having so much upside potential that he could be the best president in my lifetime … Hillary as president has the upside potential to be “average”.
Trump will be good for the Catholic Church. He might even encourage our Pope and Bishops to stand up for Catholic morality and against our enemies. He might even give them a little courage not to be so politically correct all the time.
Good for the Catholic Church? Really? I have yet to hear a “plan” about anything…..he is a good cheerleader and reality show star, oh and “strip club owner.” That’s exciting.
Deal, your reasoning to vote for Trump if he is the Republican nominee– even if it has to be with the attitude that he is “the lesser of two evils”– makes good moral and common sense. In the Republican primary, I will be voting for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. But if Trump wins the Republican nomination, I will definitely vote for Trump in the general election.
With Trump there can be a reasonable hope that he will keep his pro-life promises; but with a Democrat, there is no hope at all that they will thwart abortion. They will aggressively push it to more extremes as well as other intrinsic evils. And not to vote at all helps to elect the party-of-death Democrat who will appoint only the most radically left judges to the Supreme Court, which is really where our “nation’s character will be destroyed…(and) a disaster from which America may never recover.”
Also, it is scandalizing to see so many hood-winked bishops who will trash the candidacy of Trump in favor of the Democrat nominee. It will likely be the same bishops with skewed priorities who have been in collusion with the pro-abortion, pro sodomy, anti-religious freedom, totalitarian Democrats.
absolutely not. Never for a baby killer. Remember that conception is the beginning of a life.
I’m a pro-life Catholic conservative who will not, under any circumstances, vote for Donald Trump. I find the man’s outlook on so many other issues to be fundamentally antithetical to Catholic thinking.
When Pope Francis was speaking about building walls rather than bridges, I believe he was speaking metaphorically about Trump on immigration generally. This is a man who would ban 1 in 5 people on the planet from setting foot in this country because of their religion. Based on our history of being subjected to religious discrimination over the centuries, any Catholic should be wary of someone who shamelessly advocates religious discrimination. This is a man who would upend and destroy families by deporting 13 million people. This is a man who would effectively end legal immigration into this country. If you don’t believe me, read his immigration plan.
Beyond that Trump has no regard for civil rights. He openly brags about wanting to go “way beyond” waterboarding when interrogating suspected terrorists. He believes in killing family members of terrorists as a deterrence tactic. He has said that he considers the bill of rights to be subordinate to ensuring the nation’s security.
And then there is the man’s temperament. Profoundly narcissistic, incredibly thin-skinned, mean-spirited, hateful, insulting. Unable EVER to admit that he was wrong or that he made a mistake. And pathologically intolerant of any kind of criticism. It is beyond my imagination that anyone could think that such a preening self-satisfied egomaniac has the temperament necessary to lead the free world.
What about his personal and religious life. Profoundly pro-choice until it became politically expedient to be pro-life. The man does not attend church. Cannot cite a favorite scripture passage other than reading something from “Two Corinthians.” Divorced twice, married three times. Brags about his conquests of married women. Noted philanderer. And most importantly, a man who has said that he has never sought forgiveness from his Creator because he has never felt that he needed it.
In my opinion, this is the most dangerous man to run for president in my lifetime. I’ve never thought I would vote for a pro-choice democrat for president, but I will gladly give my vote to Hillary instead of him.
Assuming the election is between Trump and Clinton I don’t think any one issue should determine your vote. The question should be which candidate do I agree with the most on all issues and which candidate shares the most of my values. I would start with integrity and transparency. Next look at the economy, education, jobs, and our country’s status in the world. Near the bottom of the list would be the social issues like abortion and gay marriage and immigration. This may be the most crucial election since WWII in determining the future of our country and we each need to give it much thought. All the candidates are flawed individuals and you won’t agree with everything any one candidate says, but which one is the least flawed in your opinion? That is the one you should vote for. Personally I don’t particularly care for either candidate mentioned above, but I do think the time has come to shake up the DC political/ industrial/commercial complex and the federal bureaucracy.
“one issue?” I think that many who consider themselves pro life should know that without “life!” the other issues are non issues. Meaning, until we protect life at it’s most vulnerable stage we can never move ahead on the other social issues. NOTHING carry’s the “Gravitas” of murder in the womb. 🙂
I will voting for Trump if he gets the nomination. The fact that he has converted to pro-life is just a bonus. I’ve been voting pro-life as a Catholic for many years now, but living in California, one always loses. I am hoping to win, at least for once.
My main reason for a Trump vote is his stance on immigration. He wants all illegals out of the country and make all those who want to come in do it legally. Meaning, they should stand in line at the legal immigration bottleneck. Stand at the back of the line.
And why not? It’s the law. Thousands of people are in line for legal immigration, many of whom have been waiting for 10 – 15 years. Filipinos, for instance, are made to wait up to 20 years before their applications are processed. Many of them are educated, hardworking, Catholic; they speak English [or willing to learn] and they assimilate easily into American society and culture.
To give preference to those who violate immigration law over those who seek to enter legally is unchristian. As Trump said in one of the debates, “It [amnesty] is unfair to those who are waiting to come in legally.”
I hope Trump gets the GOP nomination because I can never, ever vote for the pro-abort Clinton woman.
I am undecided as to what I will do.
Donald Trump is one of the most nastiest charlatans to ever run for political office as a candidate for a major party in the US. His own record is a walking caricature of everything he is supposedly standing against as a candidate: He’s railing against the the political establishment looking out for its donors and selling out the interests of the country. Yet Trump has spent his adult life as one of those willing donors who would do anything for his own advantage. He’s used eminent domain to seize houses from old ladies to build casinos; he’s declared bankruptcy so his business doesn’t have to pays its bills; he’s spent years campaigning to remove homeless veterans from the sidewalk outside Trump tower; his campaign is accepting donations while he’s making it sound as thought it isn’t. I could probably go on all day with Trump’s own hypocrisy.
And that’s just related to campaign/power/donations issues. Trump’s views on life largely resemble those of the early 20th century eugenics movement. His claimed pro-life conversion occurred when he saw an unwanted child grow up to be a “super star”. An admirable sentiment, but what does he think about children who don’t grow up to be super stars? What if they grow up to be losers? What if they were born overseas? I’m shocked and amazed at all of the observant Catholics I see who don’t seem to think illegal immigrants are indeed people with human dignity. It is utterly absurd to round up and deport every single person who is in the US illegally, many of whom have jobs, marriages, and children in this country. It’s telling how some of the hard-identity Catholics I meet go through extraordinary measures to try and justify such practices under the premise that those illegal immigrants broke the law. Simply breaking a law does not make it morally justifiable to enact any punishment other than the death penalty. We need to stop selling out our faith to suit the political agenda of a certain part of the Republican Party that is currently being exemplified by Trump.
We can also look at Trump’s own descriptions of faith and virtue in his personal life, but I will spare you the characters; it’s all been said already. And even if we bite our tongues, wash our hands, and vote for Trump, he has made no promise that he even wants Roe v. Wade to be overturned or would appoint pro-life justices. Yes the Republican establishment has screwed this up before, but Trump isn’t even claiming to WANT to!
Then on the other side, we have Hillary and Bernie, the problems of which should be obvious to every Catholic who hasn’t been living under a rock since well before my Millennial self was born. We have the harsh reality that if the left gets one more supreme court justice, they essentially have the ability to establish a socially progressive dictatorship: the SCOTUS could literally rule whatever the left wants without any power to stop them. When’s the last time a liberal judge dissented from the progressive position in a landmark case? Hugo Black in Griswold v. CT in 1965? Ugh. We have terrible options.
I think that it is time for all of us who recognize these perils to go out and vote in the Republican primary for the other candidates. Personally, I think the only one with a prayer of stopping Trump at this point is Marco Rubio, though I will gladly aid any friend to the cause of stopping the dual threats of Trump and liberalism. It feels almost dirty to support a political candidate (not just oppose but actually support) based on religious logic, but let’s not kid ourselves, the Republican electorate must act quickly if we want to stop the madness. The time really is running out.
As a pro-life devout Catholic, I support Trump now. My main concern is the crippling national debt – I feel that Trump, with his mega business success, has the know-how to balance our national budget – the greatest threat to our country. The other elected official candidates don’t seem to care about the $19 trillion debt OR they would have proposed plans in their respected offices to balance the budget by now. Watch what they do (have done in office), vs what they talk about. If Trump is not the R nominee, I will surely support the R nominee. But for now, Trump has my vote.
If you are a pro life devout Catholic, then how is your “main’ concern debt and not life?
I don’t think there should be blanket amnesty. But I do find the lack of moral concern for our brothers and sisters who are the undocumented. Many are coming here desperate and surely some mercy is in order. To throw aside a candidate like Marco Rubio because he wanted to show mercy. A candidate with 100% pro life record for Trump says something.
I don’t know what I am going to do, but I am leaning towards a vote for Hilary. This will have to be done with much prayer. But my reasoning is this.
In Trump, I see someone who is bringing out the worst instincts in our nation. He is making fun of the disabled, war heroes. He is saying horrible things about Asian Americans and Hispanics. He threatened to punch a protester.
His words even suggest he will bring about a trade war.
He is a selfish and seems to be out for only his own power. I fear such a man could do much damage.
Then there’s his talk about what he will do to Islam. This is serious folks if he will go after Islam if he will go after us.
This is a horrible Sophie’s Choice. But I feel like should I vote for someone who is spouting these racist things, just because he claims to be pro life. (even though he has said it depends even now) Or should I have a little more discernment?
I have issues with Hilary. She is corrupt and her stances on marriage and on abortion. But then again how can I trust Trump on religious freedom either.
However the fact of the matter is, I know people who are pro choice and some seriously and truly believe it is not a life. However they are decent people. So I have to look at who will be the most resolute on nuclear power etc. And who know will also know what they are doing.
Her husband too was a much better President than Obama and actually went to the middle and worked with Republicans.
I hate it. The idea of doing it bring me to tears. And I will pray deeply before I do. But my instinct and my heart tells me to vote for Clinton. I seriously worry what Trump would do with nuclear weapons.
Maybe God will change Hilary’s heart. My instinct tells me her heart is more likely to be changed than Trump’s.
Deal – Did you not hear Trump ask Ted Cruz at the debate to apologize because he was criticizing his sister’s decision on the NJ’s partial birth abortion law? Judge Maryanne Trump Barry wrote a scathing pro-abortion decision on the matter. Did you not hear him adopt the 3% language of Planned Parenthood? Also, your belief about pro-life people coming to Washington is incorrect. I know the political people in the NY and NJ area very well (I have been one of them) and I know who he is aligned with. Just take Mike Duhaime (who once told me that Republicans focus too much on social issues) – Mike ran Christie’s presidential campaign (who went after Rubio on abortion during a debate – Trump supporter) and who ran Rudy Guiliani’s presidential campaign (pro-choice Trump supporter) and who served in Bob Frank’s office (former NJ pro-choice republican senator). They do not care about abortion. Beat Trump in the primary, or write in a candidate, or vote for a pro-life third party member. Don’t kill the pro-life cause with one election by electing a nightmare candidate.