MSW on “the disaster that we chose“:
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….
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….
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.
And Catholic scholars react:
“I am as yet unable to imagine the future — I can’t think about the Supreme Court, the fate of immigrants, race relations, Obamacare, the economy, or any other issue,” says Professor Cathleen Kaveny of Boston College. “I cannot get Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and the nuclear codes out of my nightmares.”…
“This is someone whose every gesture speaks of frustration with the rule of law, frustrations with any checks on his ‘leadership,’ and who yearns for nothing less than authoritarian power,” Schneck warns. “Our beloved republic is in grave, grave danger with this election.”