Ex-Boston Dem Mayor Says Party 'Out of Touch' With American Values

By Roch Hammond | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Ray Flynn, former three-term Democratic mayor of Boston and the Clinton administration's ambassador to the Vatican, said the "core values" shared by Catholics and most Americans are being ignored at the Democratic National Convention and are absent from the Democratic Party platform.

Flynn said the Democratic National Convention being held in Boston is not reflective of how average working people in America feel on a number of important issues.

"The Democratic Party delegates, hierarchy, [and] leadership are out of touch with American mainstream values," Flynn stated.

Flynn and other pro-life Democrats are unhappy with the Democratic Party and candidate John Kerry for their views on issues such as abortion. While Kerry, a Catholic, has stated that he believes "life begins at conception," he has maintained that he does not want to impose his Catholic beliefs on others and supports a female's right to an abortion.

Kerry has voted against bans on "partial-birth" abortion and has garnered the enthusiastic support of groups like Planned Parenthood, which actually provides abortions, as well as NARAL Pro-Choice America and the National Organization for Women, which aggressively lobby for abortion rights.

Flynn noted that Democrats did not allow the late Bob Casey, popular former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania (1987-1995), to speak at their conventions on several occasions because of his "pro-life" and Catholic beliefs.

"What's so wrong with having a diversity of opinion on important issues in a major political party?" Flynn asked.

The former Boston mayor claims that the voices of average Americans and pro-life Democrats are being ignored because politics are "controlled, influenced and manipulated" by the money and pull of special interest groups.

"[T]he feminists, the left-wing groups -- they're the ones that have the great impact on the Democratic Party now," Flynn said. "Where are the voices of just average people out there?"

While Flynn pointed to the discontent among pro-life Democrats, Catholics and other Americans for the way Democratic leaders are "evading" certain issues, he was not impressed with the Republican Party's ability to address the concerns of average Americans either.

Those average Americans "don't believe either party welcomes them with open arms," according to Flynn.

Politicians from both parties need to be more "open" and "respectful" of the views of average Americans, Flynn said, but he added that the burden rests not only with the politicians. Catholics, as well as others who believe in American "core values," also have the "responsibility to get politically involved" to ensure that their views are being addressed by the major parties, he said.

Officials from the Democratic National Committee did not return repeated phone calls requesting comment for this article.

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