Past, Present, and Future: The Democratic Party from 2016 to 2018

The modern Democratic Party is at a crossroads. The pressures from the outside (the alt-right, Trump, and increasingly uncompromising Republicans) and from the inside (the ideological split between progressives and Clinton-esque establishment liberals) are reaching a critical mass. In order to once again become a successful party at all levels- federal, state, and local- the Democrats must examine their immediate past, their pressing present, and the direct future. The lessons of 2016 and 2017, as well as historic patterns of politics, need to feed directly into 2018. For Democrats, 2016…

The Francis Effect and the Fight Over Catholic Identity

  It’s a familiar scene: a “radical” speaker is invited to a college campus, until the skittish university decides to rescind the offer to avoid controversy. The twist? The radical figure here is a Jesuit priest, Father James Martin, and the university was Catholic University. Father Martin was scheduled to speak at Catholic University’s seminary Theological College, on September 15, when the seminary decided to cancel his appearance.  In an official statement the following day, Catholic University expressed disappointment that Father Martin had been uninvited. Nonetheless, the offer was rescinded,…

Where Are All the Moderates? Conservative Republicans and Moving Goalposts

In recent months, a certain narrative has taken hold in the media about Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan, it seems, was poised to counter Trump. The rumblings began near the Republican National Convention, with some Republicans hoping for a coup that would replace presumptive nominee Trump with the “moderate” Ryan. Once Trump won the election, the strength of this narrative grew. As Speaker, he was held up to be a balance, a centrist opponent who could challenge or even curb Trump’s more right-wing ideas. Paul Ryan was the moderate savior of…