Dec 14, 2015
With the election of a new president less than a year away, at least one thing about the outcome seems reasonably clear: whoever the winner turns out to be, a majority of the voters identifying themselves as Catholics will probably have voted for him or her.
That's been the pattern for a long time now, and there is no reason to think it will change next November. And why should it? People like to be on the winning side. Why should Catholics be any different?
Hold on though. When I'm tempted to think that way, I recall something said a while back by columnist Michael Gerson. Writing about Catholic voting patterns, Gerson remarked that Catholics are so often swing voters because, being "so typical," they tend to vote "almost exactly like their suburban neighbors."
Gerson, a non-Catholic, didn't consider that good news. "There is something vaguely disturbing," he remarked, "about the precise symmetry of any religious group with other voters of their same class and background. One would hope that an ancient, demanding faith would leave some distinctive mark."