Why Not a Catholic Political Party?

On the American political spectrum, the Catholic position fits neatly neither the views of the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party. Although there are many issues that could be discussed, this incompatibility comes across most clearly in contrasting the two parties’ positions on economic and social issues.  On the economy, Republicans tend to favor free-market capitalism with minimal government involvement in the economy.  They favor less government regulation of business, lower taxes, and less government spending on social welfare programs. Democrats tend to favor more government involvement in the economy to help the economically disadvantaged.  They usually favor more government regulation of business, more progressive income taxes, universal healthcare, and more government spending on welfare programs.  Catholic social teaching, which supports substantial government action to aid the poor, in this leans more to the Democratic Party’s position.  But the Catholic Church fundamentally disagrees with the Democrats’ positions on many social issues such as abortion, contraception, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, and same sex marriage.  On these issues, it is closer to most Republicans’ positions.  Thus, in its position regarding the American political spectrum Catholic social teaching is substantially incompatible with both parties and expresses the Catholic Church’s middle or third way.  By being pro-life while economically dedicated foremost to the welfare of the poor, Catholic social teaching occupies a hitherto neglected middle position that calls for the establishment of a Catholic political party.

David Bovée


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