I would like to vote, this year or sometime, for a ticket and a party that is pro-life, pro-family, and pro-poor.
It’s not clear to me why this formulation (which I was introduced to by the Reverend Eugene Rivers and political scientist John DiIulio) seems so odd to so many people. For me it follows from a commitment to the essential dignity and equality of every human person. It restates the very Catholic notion of a consistent ethic of life, which seeks to cherish and enhance, through both private and public action, life from its beginning to its end, but with due concern for the middle years as well. It takes its stand with the most vulnerable: the unborn, the dying, the young, the oppressed, the poor, and even the criminal.
As I have thought it through, being pro-life, pro-family, and pro-poor means neither idolizing the free market with its disregard for inequality, nor assuming that all problems are best solved by large federal spending programs. It means not assuming that everything that is sinful ought also to be criminal, but also not precluding the possibility of influencing or regulating moral behavior, for example on late-term abortions. And because democratic politics is the best mechanism we have yet invented for doing our public work this side of the kingdom, it means being committed to open, thoughtful, evidence-based deliberation.