“Christian Democracy avoided class-based appeals and emphasized instead social and moral reforms. In particular, it insisted on the importance of the family, a properly Christian theme with significant policy implications at a time when the needs of single-parent, homeless, and destitute families had never been greater. Thus Christian Democratic parties were ideally placed to capitalize on virtually every aspect of the post-war condition: the desire for stability and security, the expectation of renewal, the absence of traditional right-wing alternatives and the expectations vested in the state – for in contrast to conventional Catholic politicians of an earlier generation, the leaders of Christian Democratic parties and their more radical younger followers had no inhibitions about enrolling the power of the state in pursuing their goals. If anything, Christian Democrats of the first post-war years saw free market liberals rather than the collectivist Left as their main opponents and were keen to demonstrate that the modern state could be adapted to non-socialist forms of benevolent intervention”
— Tony Judt, A History of Europe Since 1945.