[Editor’s note: Former U.S. Ambassador the Holy See Miguel Diaz recently published a piece in Crux making a Catholic case for opposing the Trump administration. Here, another former U.S. Ambassador, Francis Rooney, now a Florida congressman, expresses a different perspective.]
Catholics should be really thankful that Donald Trump was elected, instead of Hillary Clinton, to be our next president of the United States. We faced a binary choice and the people of America showed once again that they are smarter than the pundits, beltway bandits and establishment insiders.
What can we expect from President Trump that is contrary to what we would have had with Mrs. Clinton?
- The Supreme Court. We begin with a nominee to follow the huge legacy of Justice Scalia. How much better to have President Trump proposing a pro-life candidate from the field he has set forth instead of an Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, etc. as would assuredly be put forth by a Clinton Administration.
There may be two or three additional appointment opportunities in the next four years. This is a generational imprint on our legal system, not to mention the numerous appellate and district court judgeships, which will come available for appointment during this period.
- Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law. Trump has made clear his support of making the Hyde Amendment, prohibiting abortion with federal funds except in cases of saving the life of the mother, incest or rape. It has existed tenuously since 1976, renewed on a year-to-year basis, and may now be finally codified into permanent law.
- Assure First Amendment protection for the activities of religious organizations and for religious objectors to Obamacare. Fortunately, the Scalia court overturned the Obama administration in Hosana vs Tabor and left a 4 to 4 remand on the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Now the issues these cases raise can be dealt with in a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
- Planned Parenthood can and must be defunded – it can be removed from all support by the federal government.
- As I wrote last May, there is substance to what President-elect Trump has said about jobs. From the beginning, his campaign focused on the fact that globalization and technological change have had impacts on the job market in the United States. Undeniably, there have been both positive and negative results from these developments. It is incumbent on our government to work for all of our citizens, to foster a regulatory environment to assure that jobs and good wages are made available to them, and to make globalization work for all Americans.
As Pope Benedict expressed in Caritas in Veritate:
“Today’s international economic scene … requires a profoundly new way of understanding”…that businesses must “assume responsibility for all…stakeholders.” And that “globalization, a priori, is neither good nor bad. It will be what people make of it.”
Technological advances may be more disruptive to the historic workforce in the United States than even globalization, and all levels of government need to direct efforts at job skill development, education and mentoring to assure that our new entrants into the workplace can perform the jobs of tomorrow.
Donald Trump raised these issues in a manner that motivated our electorate and brought many new voters into this election.
- The first afternoon, right after the parade, President Trump can move the ball rapidly down the field by canceling the Obama administration’s “Executive Orders.” President Obama has made use of this device to circumvent the legislative branch and our Constitution. The number and scope of these orders has crept into every aspect of our personal and professional lives.
- Some form of repeal-replacement for the Affordable Care Act, which has proven to be a failed sociology experiment which is anything but affordable.
I hope that Catholics, along with the rest of our country, will support these kinds of efforts to get our country and Constitution back in order.
Republican Francis Rooney was recently elected to Congress in Florida’s 19th Congressional District and served as U.S. Ambassador to The Holy See from 2005 to 2008.