Sour Grapes at the National un-Catholic Reporter over The Donald’s Victory

[Sour Grapes at the National un-Catholic Reporter over The Donald’s Victory]


1. Editorial: In toxic campaign, Catholics may find the impetus for just action

NCR Editorial Staff | Nov. 9, 2016

We’ve come through the most bitter, toxic and demoralizing presidential campaign in modern history. Though the votes have been cast and a winner declared, the republic has been seriously wounded, divisions have deepened and widened, large swaths of the country have drunk deeply of the toxic brew of intolerance and hate, or dismissiveness and denigration.

What are we Catholic Americans to do?

The divisive issues, tensions and attitudes that were magnified on the campaign trail will not dissipate soon. The key to Donald Trump’s victory was his promise to bring change to Washington, to blow up the status quo. Nothing in his campaign leads us to believe that he can bring disparate parties together. Trump won the campaign, but unknown is how he can govern. He does not even have the full support of the Republican congressional leadership. Republicans, now in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, will have to act much more responsibly than they have in recent years when their sole agenda was to oppose President Barack Obama. What the next four years will bring cannot be predicted.

Our one hope is the belief that our Constitution and the American people are strong enough to weather this storm. This country has at critical times in its history rallied together, overlooked differences and pulled through crises as bad and even worse than what we face now. And to be clear, the crisis we face is not the election of Trump, per se, but a broken political system and a divided nation.

We would like to say that as Catholics — a church with nearly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans but many common agendas because of our social justice tradition — could play an important role bringing healing to society, but regrettably, Catholics seem as divided as society in general.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which meets next week in Baltimore and will be choosing its own leadership team, is as divided as America itself. Instead of binding wounds and heralding a path of justice, the bishops have not reached a consensus among themselves on how to move forward in unity. Many are resistant to the initiatives of Pope Francis and mired in a culture warrior stance that has turned many of them into political partisans. Perhaps the bishops can set aside differences, and make it clear that Catholics across the political spectrum can work in good conscience for the common good. But four days before they gather, that doesn’t seem likely.

Trump was, in almost all respects, a despicable candidate who showed no regard for — or knowledge of — democratic processes, basic policy or the demands governance places on elected officials. But one thing of value emerged from the “movement” he created: a raw view of just how disenfranchised some Americans are, how distant from the political process some feel and how angry and frustrated those elements of the population have become. The political establishment, the journalistic establishment and the pundits underestimated the intense anger of white, working-class America. Trump rode this anger to victory.

If Trump’s bluster was easy to dismiss in most cases, one bit of his analysis rang true. Election cycle after election cycle, Democrats have renewed acquaintances with white, working-class America, one of their historic constituencies, only to ignore those voters and their plight post-election, which is why that friendship has frayed in recent years and this year it was utterly broken. Hispanics, in reaction to Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants, came out in record numbers but not enough to save the day for Secretary Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party.

It truly is a time for a new kind of politics in this country. Portions of the country seethe with discontent and feel marginalized. What is needed now is to bring these disenfranchised back into the fold and refocus this anger into political initiatives. We have little confidence that Trump can do this.

To move forward, we will need political leaders who will travel back to areas of those states inhabited by the most disenfranchised, the most angry, to listen to them and hear their concerns. We need to understand better and know better the human face of the momentous social changes underway. We need to absorb some of that anger in close quarters as the first step in convincing people they are not forgotten.

“All politics is local” is still a relevant bit of wisdom. Perhaps it is at the local level where Catholics, too, can begin the hard work of repairing broken bonds and redefining common commitments. In Hope for Common Ground: Mediating the Personal and the Political in a Divided Church, St. Louis University moral theologian Julie Hanlon Rubio argues for “a prioritization of the local” as the locus for social justice action, because, she writes, “the strength and heart of Catholic social teaching is in its anthropology, which characterizes human beings as profoundly and inescapably social, fulfilled in their connections to others and in the practice of self-gift in both the personal and social realms. This is where Christians bring something distinctive to public discussion, an alternative to the idea of the isolated individual and to a version of human flourishing focused on freedom, happiness and success.”

Perhaps, in our community, now is not the time for grand plans and sweeping gestures. Perhaps what Catholics need now is time for the quiet, interior work that will bring us back to the center of our traditions. Perhaps now is the time to call on the balm and healing our sacraments promise. In this our bishops and pastors can take the lead.

For those paying attention, regardless of personal politics, this prolonged election cycle has exposed the deep hurts and lasting damage that neglected members of our society endure — whether blacks in the urban centers or whites in rural and rust belt regions; immigrants who are not made welcome or women whose gains made over decades are severely threatened. The danger ahead, aside from what might occur given the president-elect’s own unpredictability, is that his victory may just exchange one disenfranchised group for others.

This is a profound moment in our nation’s history and in our church’s history in this country. The question now is whether we have the courage and leadership to confront these hurts, work for justice and begin the healing process.

2. The disaster that we chose

Michael Sean Winters | Nov. 9, 2016

Shock. It is the emotional reaction that has accompanied Donald Trump’s campaign from its start and it reached its climax last night. The country has administered a severe disaster to itself. The trappings of democracy cannot obscure the moral enormity, nor ameliorate the sense of disgust: This is a dreadful thing that has happened to America, but it did not happen the way an earthquake happens or a tornado happens.

This self-inflicted wound was chosen.

It is futile to try and predict what a Trump presidency will look like. The thought of Attorney General Rudy Giuliani sends a shudder down one’s spine. I am not a psychologist but I don’t need to be: Mr. Trump has advertised his preference for unpredictability. The man who claimed he knew “more than the generals” about ISIS now looks at the landscape of American politics and media and has received the self-assurance that he knew more than all of them, he knew he would win. This will not diminish his sense of self-importance nor induce a sense of restraint. He will not now suddenly learn the human necessity of declining to cross the bounds of decency.

If the country had elected Jeb Bush tonight, or Paul Ryan, I would be worried about certain public policies I think are important. In both cases I would also rejoice about the improved prospects of other policies. This is different. Part of the difference comes from the knowledge that a foreign power, no, a foreign adversary, played a conspicuous role in this election. This fact did not receive the attention it deserved, a worrying sign that we have already begun to become accustomed to the shock.

The president-elect delivered a conciliatory and even gracious speech last night. Do not be fooled. He rode to victory by stoking many of the worst sentiments in human nature and he awakened a beast. The beast will continue to want to be fed and when his advisors tell him not to continue agitating those base sentiments, he will scorn them. It is no secret that he already despises the Republican establishment as much or more than he despised Hillary Clinton.

There will be plenty of time in the days ahead to look deeper into how this terrible event came to pass, and there is surely more than enough blame to go around. Let us leave that for the days ahead. I am collecting thoughts from wise Catholic leaders and will post them later today.

At this moment, as a proud representative voice of the Catholic and political left, it is clear as day that the political left has lost the ability to explain itself to a majority of the American people. I often say that there is no problem that would not be made better if given the leaven of Catholic social doctrine. Now, the secular left needs the Catholic left more than ever. Demographics were never destiny and it was always an insult to democracy to suggest that they were. That Catholic social doctrine places moral claims, claims which may well demand resistance from us in the next four years, peaceful resistance to be sure, small “d” democratic resistance certainly, but resistance nonetheless. The damage must be contained as much as possible.

This election was not won or lost on any particular social issue or economic policy. This election was about our national identity. America is not the country many on the left thought it was. Consumer capitalism was never likely to be the friend of civilized democracy: It has raised millions of people whose untamed appetites govern their decisions and obliterate their moral sensibilities. Our democracy now has paid a terrible price for leaving socialization to the markets.

It is a grim, grim day. There is more work to be done than we realized, but let no one give in to despair. Let the sense of shock we feel be a moral prod. Immigrants, the vulnerable, the planet, all claim our vigilance and protection in the dark days ahead. Let us set ourselves to the task of fashioning a different national identity from the one ratified last night, an identity rooted in a true moral vision for our country, and reaching out to those for whom these election results are personally threatening and to those whose sense of cultural disenfranchisement led them to vote for Mr. Trump. The country has a massive self-inflicted wound this morning, we are all in the field hospital now. Let us not flinch from the work ahead.

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6 comments on “Sour Grapes at the National un-Catholic Reporter over The Donald’s Victory

  1. This is the banality of evil – pro-abortion liberal baby-killers crying like crybabies that they were prevented from funding more late-term partial-birth abortions. Did you see Hillary’s pathetic speech?

    Get the therapy you need, but you better repent soon.

  2. HowlinglyAbsurd says:

    [P]ro-abortion liberal baby-killers crying like crybabies that they were prevented from funding more late-term partial-birth abortions.

    ‘Devastated. Angry. Disgusted.’: Planned Parenthood reeling over Trump’s ‘unthinkable’ victory

    Lisa Bourne

    WASHINGTON, D.C., November 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood has been uncharacteristically silent in the wake of Donald Trump’s surprise win Tuesday night. But in a fundraising e-mail Wednesday morning, the abortion giant’s president Cecile Richards shared their utter horror at the “unthinkable” result.

    “Let’s get all these words out of the way: Devastated. Angry. Heartbroken. Outraged. Shocked. Sad. Disgusted. Ashamed. Discouraged. Exhausted. Shattered,” Richards began.

    “And now four more words,” Richards continued, “the most important ones: THESE. DOORS. STAY. OPEN.”

    “If you want to stay in bed or hide from the world, I can’t blame you.”
    “I know that you and I can’t possibly have enough words to describe our feelings about what happened in this election and what lies ahead,” she states.

    “If you want to stay in bed or hide from the world, I can’t blame you,” Richards says. “But I hope you won’t. Instead, I hope you’ll join me in focusing on those important four words: These. Doors. Stay. Open.”

    The email goes on to insist Planned Parenthood will continue to fight for “health care, reproductive services, and abortion,” and praises Clinton for portraying the abortion behemoth as a supplier of the “health care of millions of people.”

    The doors of Planned Parenthood’s “health centers” “will stay open because our voices get louder,” Richards promises in the email.

    * * *

    CNN: Clinton’s headquarters in despair as Trump victory looms: ‘Some of them have been crying’

    John Jalsevac

    November 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Moments ago CNN’s Brianna Keilar described the gloomy scene where she is at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters, as a Donald Trump victory appears more and more assured.

    According to Keilar, the festive, relaxed atmosphere of earlier in the day has given way to one of despair. People are standing around “stony-faced,” she told Wolf Blitzer.

    “Some of them have been crying.”

    “There are people who are just in shock,” she added, saying that some people have their “mouths opened.”

    “They are just stunned.”

    Keilar continued: “They were coming to this event for what they thought would even be an early night watching Hillary Clinton being elected as the first woman president, and now they are confronting the reality that they could be walking out of here not knowing, or even expecting that Donald Trump will be president.”

    “I can certainly understand their sadness,” said Blitzer, before cutting to Jim Acosta at the Trump headquarters.

    “The mood here is the exact opposite” of what Keilar described, said Acosta. “It is starting to feel like a victory party here at Trump headquarters.”

    Acosta said that Trump supporters have been chanting various chants, including “USA.” But one “disturbing” chant was heard, said Acosta…”Lock her up” – a reference to Trump’s promise to put Clinton behind bars for breaking the law with her private e-mail server.

  3. This is what the insanity and mortal sin of promoting abortion, infanticide, baby parts sales, and Malthusian population control do to crazy pro-abortion liberals. They are crying like crybabies that they are being prevented from killing more babies with U.S. tax dollars. It’s bad enough they are puppets for the Illuminati, but now they are crying like infants. How crazy is this?

  4. Media Mood Shifts from Fun to Funereal During Fourth Estate’s Longest Night
    by Daniel J. Flynn, 9 Nov 2016

    You could almost hear the distant din of the funeral-home Wurlitzer. [Great opening sentence!]

    “There’s no other word to describe it—this is a surprise,” Chris Matthews informed MSNBC viewers at 10:35 p.m. Three minutes later Eugene Robinson noted, “The polling seemed to indicate something different than tonight.”

    Over at CNN, where talking heads used their inside voices, Jake Tapper wondered at 11:01 when pundits should stop talking about Trump’s narrow path to victory and start talking about Hillary’s. “Brooklyn,” he deadpanned, “we have a problem.” Fifty-three minutes later, commentator David Axelrod admitted: “This is clearly not the race we expected.” Still later, Van Jones maintained: “You have people putting children to bed tonight, and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘How do I explain this to my children?’”

    Over at Fox, Juan Williams observed at 11:28: “There’s not a Democrat watching who is not just bewildered but sick to their stomach.” Back on MSNBC, Kristen Welker reported at 1:58 that the Clinton campaign “has gone dark.” Seven minutes later, over the soundtrack of Katy Perry’s “Roar,” the network’s cameras captured the whimpers of Clinton supporters. They cried and hugged as viewers wondered if MSNBC cut to the sad scene to prevent viewers from spying the sad scene of Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson crying and hugging back in the studio.

    Conservatives watched MSNBC and CNN on the last night of the election season for the same reasons they did not watch MSNBC and CNN for every previous day of the election season. The slanted coverage that normally induces remote-control clicks provided conservatives catharsis and delivered comeuppance on November 8.

    The media invested not just in a Clinton victory but a Trump humiliation.

    “Relax, Donald Trump Can’t Win,” a headline at The Nation reassured readers. “Donald Trump Is Poised to Lose in the Biggest Landslide in Modern American History,” Damon Linker wrote at The Week. “I couldn’t find a single [Republican] who now thinks they’re going to win,” Bob Schieffer of CBS told Face the Nation in October. He added, “I’m not sure the Republican Party is going to survive this.”

    These and other advertisements for incompetence acted as not just this campaign’s Florida-goes-for-Al-Gore moments, but conveyed the perpetual Pauline Kael-quality (“I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”) of journalists. People broadcasting from Washington, where Hillary Clinton won 93 percent of the vote, and Manhattan, where 87 percent of ballots announced “I’m with Her,” reported with shocked faces that people in other parts of the country cast different ballots than their neighbors.

    After the media condemned Trump as a bigot and a racist and a sexist and a fascist and a xenophobe, citizens unsurprisingly showed reluctance to tell the media’s emissaries surveying them that they supported a bigot and a racist and a sexist and a fascist and a xenophobe lest they attract taunts of bigot and racist and sexist and fascist and xenophobe.

    The pollsters judged a 6.5 advantage for Hillary in Wisconsin. Trump won the state. The surveys similarly showed a comfortable 3.4 margin of victory for the Democrats in Michigan. Trump won the state. Media number-crunchers lost credibility when Hillary lost the presidency. HuffPost Pollster gave Trump a two percent chance of victory. The Upshot from the New York Times saw Clinton enjoying an 85 percent chance to win.’s Nate Silver received copious criticism for allowing for a 29 percent chance of a Trump victory. When the men interpreting hard data show soft hearts for this or that candidate, they create candidates, like Donald Trump, who diss and dismiss pollsters and quant nerds. They devalue their profession. Pollsters did that here. So did journalists.

    There’s an I’m-rubber-you’re-glue quality to New York magazine putting an unflattering close-up of Donald Trump under the caption “Loser” on its cover. The Dewey-Defeats-Truman of a magazine cover strikes as a microcosm of Election 2016. The slanders hurled against Trump by the media bounced back and stuck to them.

    The more the Fourth Estate attempted to discredit the Republican nominee, the more they discredited themselves. A law of diminishing returns governs media bias. Stridency desirous of influencing viewers instead alienates viewers. Journalists told us who they are when they told us who Donald Trump is. And we considered their counsel with this in mind.

    Hillary Clinton, who finished her race for the presidency with a lie when her campaign manager vowed to fight just as she called her rival to call it quits, conceded to Donald Trump over the phone before CNN or MSNBC declared a winner in the presidential race. Sometimes those with the most to lose become the last to negotiate a treaty of surrender with reality.

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