Frankly, you’ve both missed my point.
Beryllos, a primer of Catholic moral theology will easily show you that some things – abortion, euthanasia, so-called “gay” marriage, embryonic stem-cell research – are intrinsically evil, and can never even be considered. (Guess where our esteemed leader stands on all of those?)
Other things – such as war – are not intrinsically evil, and can be dabbled with if just cause and other conditions are met.
You may have some valid points about GW, McCain, etc., in that “just cause” may not have been met. But their positions about war, which causes death as an unintended side effect, are somewhat more defensible than the direct murder that Mr. Obama heartily embraces. In fact, your first post brushed upon this, though only briefly: a “pro-choice” stance is “not good” (really, never acceptable), whereas caring for the poor is good, but HOW that care is enacted is something that Catholics can legitimately disagree on. Notice how one is absolutely wrong (abortion), and the other issues of concern have contributing variables that may or may not make them wrong. (In the end, wrongs may be being committed on both sides, but the person who embraces the intrinsic evil ought to be disqualified from your ballot, unless the alternative is equal or worse on those intrinsic issues, due to the moral gravity.)
Edwest2 – I agree that left/right, liberal/conservative, etc. are political terms, and not really ideal in the arena of Catholic positions. But I think most people know what those refer to in (admittedly) very general ways. I don’t like the term “orthodox Catholic” in terms of viewpoints because it seems to imply that those who don’t hold those views are completely outside of the ballpark. And that wasn’t my implication, so I was working with terms that I thought would convey the general idea.
However, I’m not sure why you’re advising that I study Church teaching (I’ve done that quite a bit; see the preceding portion of this post) because my question was about how the Catholics of this country (USA, for me) use terms that may or may not represent the correct teaching when overlayed onto political decisions.
And really, my original question had nothing to do with the Founding Fathers. It had to do with a recent trend of using the term “common good” to occasionally justify things or candidates that would otherwise be clearly unacceptable.
Anyhow, based on these posts I gather that my perception of the term “common good” being misused might just have been me, so I won’t get too worried about it.