There are many things about politics that baffle me, but one concept trumps them all: the fact that diverse issues get bundled together, and it’s assumed that if you are in favor (or not in favor) of one of them, then you are in favor (or not in favor) of them all.
Yesterday I took a politics quiz on this website to see which presidential candidates share the most of my beliefs. Granted, as a faithful-to-the-Magesterium Catholic, all of my top results were Republicans. Honestly though, Catholicism doesn’t neatly fit into the Republican mould. There are some issues that Catholicism clearly takes a more Democratic stance on (welfare, helping the poor, immigration). There are other issues that the Church hasn’t really spoken clearly on that a faithful Catholic could go either way on (gun control – I am personally for it; the environment – I am personally for protecting it).
Catholicism is stereotypically Republican. Isn’t that impression? The issues of abortion and gay marriage have given us that reputation. And yes, indeed, we are Republicans on those issues. And truthfully, I usually vote Republican because I consider the issue of abortion so important.
But Catholicism isn’t purely Republican. Our faith existed before the party was created.
In fact, I really don’t like the bipartisan system, tbh. Stances on issues get bundled together. If you say you’re pro-life, people automatically label you as a gun-owning, anti-welfare homophobe.
As was expected, although my top result was a Republican (Marco Rubio), our stances only matched 83%. I mean, that’s pretty good, but 17% is quite a lot of difference. Also interesting is that my top Democratic result (Hillary Clinton) matched 37% of my beliefs. That’s a substantial portion.
Sure, the bipartisan system simplifies the political process, but it also simplifies people and organizations (like the Catholic Church). Truly, most people and organizations, if they’re really thinking, do not fit any one side perfectly. Otherwise, they are basing their stances not on the issues, but on whatever party they identify with.