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The Grand Old Split

Convert or die.

February 22, 2023  0


Church Militant (a 501(c)4 corporation) is responsible for the content of this commentary.

There is a widening split within the Republican Party and it's not the obvious Trump vs. DeSantis issue. It's the rank and file vs. the Party elites. It's not exactly like that's new to the Party, but in recent years, it's become apparent even to the most Pollyanna Republican on Main Street that the elites don't represent them anymore — not that they really ever did.

A recent survey by the American Principles Project — APP — of Grand Old Party primary voters shows that Republican voters are much more interested in defending American culture than so-called conservative elites. The culture wars have been of little interest to the Paul Ryan–Mitch McConnell ruling class, and that disinterest stretches back decades.

Multiple so-called conservative outlets simply dismissed the culture wars, sensing that Americans in general were reasonably down with the sexual revolution and its aftermath. They were correct in that analysis. It's only now — in the wake of the massive devastation brought on by the 1960s-era train wreck — that more than a few are beginning to wake up.

Quoting from survey results of those GOP primary voters, "There was also significant GOP voter enthusiasm for candidates who back federal laws banning permanent sex-changing medical procedures for minors (76 percent), prohibiting biological males from competing in girls' sports (69 percent), and requiring age-verification measures for pornographic websites to protect kids (86 percent) ... ."

America is sick, and only Catholicism can cure it.

Those are significant majorities. The APP survey also showed that while there does remain support for the pet projects of Party elites — like social security reform, for example, and other economic issues — they scored much further down the list of top concerns. The primaries are a year away and duking it out over religion, race, gender and U.S. history is a sure way to win the votes of these primary voters. That's the good news — that the rank and file still have something of a pulse.

Now for the bad news: The Party elites don't hold any special animus against culture war issues per se; their sole interest is in winning, nothing more. In their calculus, while the culture war issues play well with the 40% of GOP voters who turn out in the primaries, the rest of the GOP and all of the Democrats hate all that and actually support the evil.

So from the elites' perspective, the culture war issues are losers in the general election. And frankly, they're right. Americans have proven time and again that they are largely indifferent to sexual immorality and other cultural issues. And when these topics or candidates who support them come up on the ballot against a Democrat (who supports abortion, contraception, the trans or gay agenda), that Democrat usually wins.

The GOP elites, regardless of how they may personally feel about them, plan their strategy around the culture wars being a sure loser come November. It's not the 1980s anymore. And that's not to say the 1980s were anything great on the culture war front, but given the current state of affairs, looking back, those were halcyon days.

Today, America has so morally deteriorated that many insightful people have true and abiding concerns about whether any of it can be salvaged. But the rank and file of the GOP, which represents about 10–12% of the entire U.S. population, do have some hope, even if it does appear an unreasonable one.

The culture war issues, however, need a further breaking down. While some issues, like race, critical race theory, Second Amendment rights and religious liberty are specifically American — and people can and should rally around the flag on those issues — notice the shift in what constitutes a "cultural issue."

Sexual immorality and abortion and homosexuality aren't on the list anymore because even among GOP primary voters there is wide acceptance of these. But these are the very cause of where we are now as a culture. It was sexual issues that the commie Democrats rode to power on. And too many Republicans — grassroots and elites — were either happy to go along or failed to recognize the danger.

They might remain somewhat mum, for example, on "gay marriage," but they will not come out and oppose it. They might remain mum on other things like contraception, but they will not oppose it when the rubber hits the road. Those things, like abortion, are now baked into the American consciousness as acceptable or at least not worth the fight — not the hill to die on.

Americans need to convert or watch this nation die.

So from an authentic Christian point of view, it might be interesting to watch the unfolding GOP war over Trump and DeSantis. But if by some chance one of them were to win the White House come next year, how much change on the moral issues could you really expect to see?

Sure, gas prices would go down, the trade imbalance would level off somewhat, taxes would decrease; we could all afford eggs again. Baby formula would be back on the shelves, interest rates would stabilize and decrease, CRT would be held at bay in schools; lots of good things would happen.

But in the end, the moral decay would continue, just at a slower pace — perhaps. America's illness is not predominantly economic, although that's where everyone can easily see the symptoms. But it's foundationally a rejection of natural moral law. And when that happens, everything else sooner or later spins out of control.

We are now in the out-of-control clown world portion of the collapse. And no amount of fighting about the Second Amendment is going to fix that. America is sick, and only a healthy dose of Catholicism can cure it — because only Catholicism has the intellectual heft to overcome all these issues and provide an answer for all of this. Americans need to convert or watch this nation die.

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