distributism is neither a liberal nor a conservative idea. Therefore, I would like to address what I think is, from a distributist perspective, one of the greatest lessons of the last ten months, and especially the events related to the US presidential election that just came to a tumultuous end.
When this site addresses political positions or candidates, the intent is not to advocate for them but to examine them in the light of distributist principles. Therefore, I will start off by stating very clearly that I am not a member of any political party, and have not been since 1996. I mention this so that it is clear that, when addressing the two major parties in the US, I am not taking sides. I am merely stating the facts as I understand them, and one of those facts is that the positions of both of them are woefully inadequate when it comes to protecting the common good of society. I do believe that one is markedly worse than the other, but anyone with a distributist outlook would be foolish to pin his hopes on either one. As someone very dear to me said just a few years ago, "A pox on both their houses. Release the Kraken!"
The main point I want to look at is the fact that the hopes of the majority of people in the US, regardless of what side they were on, were firmly pinned to the outcome of the election for the highest political offices in the land. As a society, the United States, like most of the "developed" world, has become subject to what can only be described as a totalitarian central government with almost unlimited power over its citizens. This is the true position for both major political parties, despite claims to the contrary. King George III is surely rolling in his grave with laughter at what we tolerate from our central government today while still justifying our breaking away from his government on the grounds that he was a "tyrant." Compared to what some Americans call the "last hope" for freedom in the world, his was a true small government that responded to the concerns of its subjects. I am sorry to point out, again, to any readers who still think the contrary, but the United States basically gave up on the idea of limited central government some time ago.
In my opinion, nothing reveals this better than the events of the last ten months and, in particular, this last month. It has been a time of social and political despair in the United States. It has been a time where communities completely failed to band together to support each other to help each other through a time of crisis. It has been a time where we allowed ourselves to be subject to dictators who were blatant hypocrites, failing to observe the restrictions they supposedly imposed on us "for public safety." It has been a time when those responsible for protecting the common good allowed rioters to go unchecked while law abiding citizens suffered. It has been a time when even constitutionally protected rights were blatantly tossed aside and the free exercise of religion was banned while shopping and, in some cases, going to bars was allowed. It has been a time when even our religious leaders seemed to cave to the political pressure, leading to accusations that they care more about their precious tax-exempt status than proclaiming the teachings of God. To what did the overwhelming majority of people turn to find a solution to all of this? The federal government. In this time of despair, it seems that all hopes were pinned on the outcome of the federal elections.
To those who firmly believe that the 2020 election process was corrupted and the end result was false, I say that the corruption has existed for many decades and, I believe, was practiced by both sides. To those who believe that, with this last election, the American experiment with limited self-government has finally failed, I say that it failed long ago but too many of us failed to notice. To those who think the riot in the Capitol building proves the corruption of the sitting president and those who support him, I say that you're a big part of what caused that riot and only your most blind followers will forget that you ignored or even encouraged rioters for the last six months. To those who think the riot in the Capitol building was justified, I say that all you did was embolden those who won and made the country even more dangerous for your side than ever because they will point to your riot, and your defense of it, to justify whatever they choose to do to punish anyone who doesn't step in line with their plans.
What is the solution to all of this? The social Kingship of Christ is the only answer that I can give. Pray more fervently than you have ever prayed before that it gets established for it is our only hope. Society must apply Catholic Social Teaching throughout the land. Help people understand that this teaching forms the principles on which a truly just and prosperous society is founded. Clearly, what has been tried for the last 245 years has completely failed.
4: An Economics of Justice and Charity: Catholic Social Teaching, Its Development and Contemporary Relevance. https://www.angelicopress.org/an-economics-of-justice-and-charity
5: Distributism Basics: Foundational Principles. http://thebp.site/167644