In an interview with the Italian online journal Tempi on the so-called “Catholic vote” in the 2016 elections, Novak admits that Trump is not the candidate of his dreams, but given the options, he stands head and shoulders above his opponent.
“It is clear that Trump is not exactly the candidate by whom a Catholic would want to be represented. But in politics you elect a president, not a saint, or a bishop or the Pope,” said Novak, the author of the international bestseller The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism and a point of reference for many Catholic thinkers.
Along with other Catholic intellectuals, Novak considers Hillary to be simply unvotable. “She’s a woman who has lied, violated national laws and anyone else would end up in prison for these things,” he said. “As for me, I cannot vote for a candidate so favorable to abortion, to the secularist agenda in the moral sphere and such a ferocious adversary of religious freedom.”
Asked about Trump’s spat with the Pope over building a border wall with Mexico, Novak said it is a problem that affects Italians but not one that has resonated particularly with American Catholics.
“Here, no one pays the slightest attention,” he said, “while illegal immigration is a real problem, strongly felt by the Americans who want to uphold the law.”
Novak acknowledged that it isn’t easy for Europeans to see the elections the way Americans do. “The truth is that if Clinton wins we risk losing our freedom, because Democrats are increasingly illiberal with those who don’t think the way they do,” he said.
Regarding the popularity of the Republican candidate with middle America, Novak said that Trump is “very good at talking to the gut feelings of the country” and always repeats the same message to Americans: “they have betrayed you, it is time to change.”
“If he is successful it is because he simply speaks a great truth. All Americans know very well that they have been betrayed. But this betrayal did not happen in a day, it started 60 years ago,” he said.
Gradually, “we started to divide values from life, values from law, through many small compromises. And Catholics have a great responsibility in this. Education has failed, because the universities have all fallen into the hands of the left and we have pulled down a whole generation, the so-called millennials, into a vacuum of values and meaning,” he said. (Read more.)Share