Ryan W. McMaken
November 7, 2012
This election proved once and for all that the Democrats don’t need the Catholic vote to win, and it proved that evangelicals aren’t enough to hand victory to the Republicans.
As an electoral force, the Catholic Church is dead as a door nail. The American bishops. too lazy or too cowardly to actually preach their own doctrines for the past 40 years, now face a situation in which Catholic voters are now indistinguishable from the population at large, and thus are irrelevant as any sort of a unified voting block. The rank and file Catholics can’t even agree on the abortion issue. Thank the bishops. If there was a religious version of breach of fiduciary responsibility, the bishops would be guilty of it.
Conservative evangelicals, on the other hand, have become little more than a niche interest group within the GOP. This is the group that gives rise to people like Todd Akin, and who are far more of a liability for the party when it comes to appealing to urban and educated people, which is a huge part of the voting population.
In order to actually hope to win any national elections, the GOP or its successor party will need to flee from the religious conservatives. The new coalition will have to appeal to young Ron Paul people, to gays, to Hispanics, and to other anti-drug war libertarian types.