Religion, Moral Values and the Democratic Party
J. Peter Nixon July 13, 2006 - 11:37am
Michael Scaperlanda over at Mirror of Justice has posted a link to a fascinating presentation that William Galston gave on Religion, Moral Values, and the Democratic Party. The event was sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the transcript includes questions from the floor.
There is far too much good material here to excerpt everything. But here is a taste that will orient you to Galston's essential line of argument:
By contrast, there was a significant swing among traditionalist Catholics - 17 points toward Bush - and there was also a large increase in their turnout - 12 percent. In my judgment - and I'm going to come back to this in the penultimate section of my remarks - the real story of the 2004 election was much more about Catholics than it was about Protestants. And I think the real story of American politics in the next 10 years will be written as much around the behavior of Catholics, persuadable Catholics, as it is around the mobilization of traditionalist evangelical Protestants.
I am in general agreement with many of the points Galston makes. But I do have one question. Much of Galston's analysis is focused on the voting behavior of white Catholics. I'm wondering what will change as white Catholics become a minority of American Catholics, which is slated to happen sometime over the next half century. As the ethnic composition of the Catholic population changes, will our perception of the typical "Catholic voter" change too?