George Weigel’s recent review of the presidential election (CR, Nov. 20) was most disappointing. Without examining the reasons why 54 percent of Catholics voted for Senator Obama or these voters’ views on abortion, Mr. Weigel nevertheless describes these voters as “stupid” and “mindless.” Mr. Weigel’s view of the facts is distorted by his ideological biases.
Preliminarily, Mr. Weigel’s continued insistence that abortion must necessarily trump every other issue in a Catholic’s selection of a candidate ignores the wise counsel of the U.S. Bishops in “Faithful Citizenship”: “Decisions about political life are complex and require the exercise of a well-formed conscience aided by prudence.” Although it may be difficult for Mr. Weigel to believe, faithful Catholics in good conscience may come to prudential decisions which actually differ from his.
In addition, Mr. Weigel’s analysis fails to acknowledge what is plainly obvious to the most disinterested observer – that, as a practical matter, the one-issue approach to the selection of candidates advocated by Mr. Weigel and others has failed miserably.
Readers of The Catholic Review would certainly benefit from a thoughtful analysis of Catholic voting patterns in the 2008 elections. Unfortunately, clinging to an exhausted and failed political approach, and studiously avoiding any examination of the facts, Mr. Weigel is unable to provide any meaningful election analysis.