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December 15, 2006


Al Stakhanov

Arguably race (and not abortion) would best reflect the realignment of liberals and conservatives. The party of LIncoln did not lead the battle for civil rights in the 1960s.


How come a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats in the 1960s voted for the Civil Rights Act?

paul zummo

1) As bill912 mnetions, more Republicans than Democrats, percentage-wise, voted for the CRA.
2) It's hard to lead much of anything when your party represents about 1/3 of Congress.

Al Stakhanov

In light of the above comments, it may be useful to recall Nixon & Co.'s Southern Strategy.

[Note: All disclaimers and caveats regarding Wikipedia obtain.]

Nate Wildermuth

What are we to make of a Republican party that fully approves of wars that almost all of our Bishops and Popes fought against? "Better to fight the terrorists in Iraq than in New York," and we got our wish. The Republicans are firmly within the American culture - a culture of death.

Or do republicans condemn contraception as well as abortion? Do republicans condemn divorce as well as euthenasia? There is a difference between Catholic and conservative. A big one.

Brian Day


Yes, there is a big difference between Catholic and conservative. You are assuming that Republican = conservative. I argue that nowadays, Republican = Democratic Light ™. Except where the Democratic party supports abortion in its party platform and the Republican party does not, as George Wallace would say, "there isn't a dime's worth of difference" between the two parties.


There's an interesting article in the latest Human Life Review that traces the history of how the Republican party became the pro-life party instead of the Democrats:


Cajun Nick

I haven't read the article in Human Life Review, but I think it's the same one that Fr. Neuhaus has reviewed in the latest issue of First Things. (I don't have the journal here with me, so I'm not sure.)

If it is, then I highly recommend reading the full article. If it is not, then I recommending reading Fr. Neuhaus' review (of a different article) in the current issue.

Michael Joseph

I find it curious that Akin (I assume summarizing Ponnuru) describes Republican economic theory as "liberal". "Liberal", yes, in Adam Smith's day. We used to (and some still may) describe democracy as a "liberal" paradigm for political structure during the 18th and 19th century European revolutions. Yet, would anyone consider the structure of polity in ancient Greece, which is the forerunner to Western democracy, as "liberal" during antiquity? What's "liberal" and what's "conservative" is always contextual, just as what "modernism" is to a given pope is contextual. To describe Republican economic positions and free-market economics as "liberal" in our contemporary American context is not only dated, it also promotes the very equivocations that drive responsible discourse to impasse.

Evangelical Catholicism


Cajun Nick,

The article in Human Life Review is, in fact, the same as the one reviewed by Father Neuhaus. Sadly, the Neuhaus review is not available online.

Cajun Nick


Thanks for posting the link to the full article.

I'll be sure to check out Human Life Review often.

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