You say you're Catholic and you are going to vote for Obama? Are you stupid? Apart from the fact that the Dems are the abortion party, the Obama administration's attack on civil society is at odds with Catholic social teaching which rests on the principle of subsidiarity. David A. Bosnich, The Principle of Subsidiarity:
One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of
subsidiarity. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more
complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler
organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more
decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited
government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for
centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.
The principle of subsidiarity strikes a reasonable balance between statism and collectivism as represented by the manifest drift of the Obama administration, on the one hand, and the libertarianism of those who would take privatization to an extreme, on the other. By the way, one of the many mistakes Rick Santorum made in his campaign was to attack all government-sponsored education. He was right to question whether the Federal government has any legitimate role to play in education, but to question the role of state and local government in education was a foolish extremism that befits a libertarian, not a conservative.
Subsidiarity also fits well with federalism, a return to which is a prime desideratum and one more reason not to vote for Obama. 'Federalism' is another one of those words that does not wear its meaning on its sleeve, and is likely to mislead. Federalism is not the view that all powers should be vested in the Federal or central government; it is the principle enshrined in the 10th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Whether or not you are Catholic, if you accept the principle of subsidiarity, then you have yet another reason to oppose Obama and the Left. The argument is this:
1. The Left encroaches upon civil society, weakening it and limiting it, and correspondingly expanding the power and the reach of the state. (For example, the closure of Catholic Charities in Illinois because of an Obama administration adoption rule.)
2. Subsidiarity helps maintain civil society as a buffer zone and intermediate sector between the purely private (the individual and the familial) and the state.
3. If you value the autonomy and robustness of civil society, then you ought to oppose Obama and the Left.
The truth of the second premise is self-evident. If you wonder whether the Left does in fact encroach upon civil society, then see my post Obama's Assault on the Institutions of Civil Society.
Addendum: This just over the transom from an old sparring partner of mine from the early days of the blogosphere, Kevin Kim:
Thank you for your recent post on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which I had never heard of despite years of dealing with Catholics. I had a good chuckle when I read this:
"This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization."
And this from a gigantic, thoroughly hierarchized organization!
But what really burbled to the surface of my mind was the thought that, for a supposedly Catholic principle, subsidiarity sounds remarkably Protestant. Heh.
But isn't it obvious what the Catholic response would be? The church is in the business of mediating salvation. What the church does cannot be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. Nulla salus extra ecclesiam, where the church in question is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church founded by Christ himself on St. Peter as upon a rock and presided over by the Holy Spirit. It might also be argued that the principle of subsidiarity is a secular or temporal political principle and not one that has any bearing on soteriology. For the same reason there is nothing Protestant about it.