Listen to the Thought for the Week
Gentle readers, an occasional issue that some of you have with this blog is that it can be too political. We understand that. Today’s piece is the most political of all. If you are uncomfortable with that, please click away now and we will see you next week.
For those of you still here, buckle up buttercup.
This week our thoughts are around national politics. There is a lot of variability on the statehouse level and that is a topic too complex for this forum. Nationally, that is, in Congress and the White House, things are a lot clearer. We are about to embark on the circus that comes around every four years in the US, that is, the presidential election. As we seem to conclude every four years, are these the best two candidates a country of over 350 million people could come up with? Such is the case with the presidential election. It is not so much about choosing the best candidate. It is usually a choice of the lesser of two evils. Make no mistake, federal elections, particularly for president, are binary choices, either Democrat or Republican, nothing else counts. Now, we know that some of you support the occasional third-party candidate, like, say, Marianne Williamson, the new-agey, pop spiritual Oprah guest and reformed hippie, or perhaps Taylor Marshall, running in 2024 as a Catholic super-theologian, or maybe amateur communist Bernie Sanders, or Green Jill Stein. We suppose that is your right, but you are contributing to the binary choice, nevertheless. For those of you who don’t vote, because you either don’t believe in any candidate, or just don’t feel like the system is fair, or just don’t want to be distracted from YouTube and Instagram, you are also contributing to the binary choice. By voting for a third-party candidate, or not voting at all, you are basically delegating your support to the winner of the two-party vote, because your vote, or lack thereof, doesn’t count. At the end of the day, it is either Republican or Democrat, nothing else.
We hear a lot of equivocating on various candidates. “Well, I support this position, but the candidate is a “bad” guy,” (cue Donald Trump), or “Sure this party is right on position A, but what about positions B and C, where the other party is right? Surely B+C is greater than A.” Most of this is mental gymnastics to justify a confusing position. Ultimately, one must decide which issues are the most important and vote accordingly. If personality, likeability, or even character (yes, even that) are more important than discrete policy issues, then so be it, but making voting decisions on that basis is a personality contest and sort of what teenagers do in junior high. “Orange man bad” is not really an adult way of making decisions.
It should be clear that we are single-issue voters. There is nothing more important than protecting human life, at all stages, from conception to natural death. Anything and everything else is secondary. That makes the choice pretty clear. For the most part, Democrats at the national level are intensely pro-abortion and that is also their official party position. From the Democratic Party platform:
“We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. We will repeal the Title X domestic gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of people, especially low-income people, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, including in underserved areas.
Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to reproductive health and rights. We will repeal the Hyde Amendment and protect and codify the right to reproductive freedom (1).”
Naturally, the euphemisms of “reproductive health care” are used liberally, since “killing unborn children” doesn’t poll as well in focus groups. The Democrats are also enthusiastic about using tax dollars to support the slaughter of the innocents and prop up Planned Parenthood, as the market for selling baby parts must be off. The party platform is also replete with Democratic advocacy for LBGTABDCEFG+ issues, as well as gender identity cheerleading, because, for whatever bizarre reason, the murder of unborn children carpools with the homosexual-trans anti-family agenda. (Of course, the Democrats also support things like IVF and surrogacy, so the contradictions get a little confusing. Sort of like those time-travel novels where someone goes back and kills their grandfather; it’s hard to make sense. Maybe it’s a remnant of the pro-slavery Democrats of the 1860s, but I digress.) The Republican Party platform is similarly clear:
“We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth. We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare (2).”
The platform goes on at length supporting life, family, and conscience protection, that is, religious freedom. The respective party platforms make for interesting reading, and they also make the choice of candidates obvious, but that does not make for a pithy, 140-character tweet or campaign slogan.
One of the favorite techniques of cognitive dissonance is the “whataboutism.” We hear this a lot in the abortion debate. Typically, it goes something like, “Sure, the Republicans oppose abortion, but what about support for health care, and poor people, and climate change?” The implication is that, if one does not support all the other tangential issues around health and welfare, the opposition to abortion is somehow invalid. Another technique is moral equivalence, and we see this not only in the abortion debate but in a lot of other things. Basically, one person cites abortion as evil and the opposing person will cite an unrelated practice as equally evil, somehow lessening the evil of abortion. So, the response to, “Abortion is evil and should be illegal.” becomes, “Forcing women to bear children against their will is evil and threatens their health.” All of these may superficially sound reasonable, but they are not. As we said earlier, the protection of human life is the most important value – everything else is secondary.
One of the most confused organizations in the country is Democrats for Life of America. (Yes, I also didn’t believe this was a real thing, but they are.) This is an organization of persons with strong Democratic Party affiliation, who are also strongly pro-life. Their website makes for fascinating reading:
“We exist to help pro-life Democrats win office and pass laws that are Pro-Life for the Whole Life. Although abortion deserves special consideration as the most striking violation of human rights in the Democratic Party platform, we support the Consistent Life Ethic. This means that we are opposed to any policies or actions that undermine the value of human life. Specifically, we focus on five areas: opposing abortion, opposing assisted suicide, opposing the death penalty, improving healthcare, and taking action on systemic racism. The Consistent Life Ethic means we strive to be consistent in the stances we take. It doesn’t mean diminishing the critical importance of abortion as a social justice issue. We never endorse pro-abortion candidates (3).”
Sounds good right? Wait, it goes on:
“Does DFLA endorse pro-abortion candidates? Never. DFLA has a strict policy in favor of only endorsing pro-life Democrats. We never endorse Republicans and we never endorse pro-abortion Democrats. The right to life comes before all other rights. The Democratic Party is traditionally the party of the underdog, but that claim wears thin when not applied to pre-born children. Science has abundantly proven the humanity of the unborn (3).”
A little confusing there. They support pro-life Democrats and policies, but will never endorse a Republican? So, how do they vote in the presidential election? The Biden administration is rabidly pro-abortion, even proselytizing their gospel of death to Africa and the developing world (along with the whole LGGBT thing). (One has to think that Kermit Gosnell, cleaning toilets in hell, is thinking, “And I’m the bad guy?”)
We are not Pollyanna enough to believe that all Republican politicians are on the right side of the issue either. There are certainly Republicans who support abortion, such as the pro-abortion Republican governor of New Hampshire, “Bloody” Chris Sununu. And, because they are politicians, there is no shortage of Republicans who waffle on support for the unborn when it becomes politically inconvenient or threatening to their chances for reelection, including Donald Trump, who recently said, “We’re looking at a lot of different things.” when asked twice by the AP whether he supports a federal abortion ban (4). Trump, who describes himself as America’s most “pro-life president” often side-steps difficult questions around abortion when it starts to eat into his electorate.
(Politicians are a lot like retailers. Politicians will say one thing to win a primary and then say other things to win a general election. Retailers will cheerlead for “pride” merchandise when it helps sales but have amnesia when in other markets. BMW USA has the usual rainbow colors on their website and rondel for pride month in the US, but the website and rondel show the usual blue and white in the Middle East, so hypocrisy and shilling for evil are not limited to politics.)
This all being said, however, federal elections are still a binary choice and voters have to decide which of the two candidates supports their values. For us, and the Catholic Church, it is crystal clear. The Democratic Party, as its official position, supports abortion on demand. The Biden administration has vigorously supported all pro-abortion legislation and does everything in its power to circumvent legislative protection for life at the state and federal level, including loosening restrictions on mifepristone and promoting murder by mail, despite the risks to pregnant women. To them, the life of pregnant women is not important, only the death of the unborn children. Democratic brain trust leader Alexandra Ocasio Cortez said that, should the Supreme Court restrict the distribution of mifepristone, the administration should simply ignore it, stating, “I do believe that we must start to push back on our system of checks and balances, which is designed to push back should there be an example of judicial tyranny and judicial overreach (5).”
She is not alone in that opinion, and it is echoed by some other Democrats as well. (We guess a “threat to democracy” is in the eye of the beholder?) January 6 bad; ignoring the Supreme Court good.
To reinforce the Democratic appetite for destruction, one need only look at the House of Representatives’ vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act, where every single Democratic member of the House of Representatives, except one, voted against requiring medical professionals to care for infants who are born alive after surviving an abortion attempt. 210 against, 1 for, 1 abstained (coward, but politician). Every Republican member voted in favor of the bill. That seems pretty binary.
You cannot be Catholic and vote Democrat. If you vote Democrat, you are participating in a genocide.
Period, full stop. There is no mitigating circumstance that makes that ok. There is no position, no whataboutism, no moral equivalence, no character trait of a politician that makes it ok to vote Democrat. As we have previously said, there are plenty of other religions that will welcome equivocation on abortion and the “right to choose.” Feel free to pick any of them but send your Catholic card back to the Holy Father in Rome.
Help, LORD, for no one loyal remains;
the faithful have vanished from the children of men.
They tell lies to one another, speak with deceiving lips and a double heart.
May the LORD cut off all deceiving lips, and every boastful tongue,
Those who say, “By our tongues we prevail; when our lips speak, who can lord it over us?”
Because they rob the weak, and the needy groan,
“I will now arise,” says the LORD;
“I will grant safety to whoever longs for it.”
The promises of the LORD are sure, silver refined in a crucible, silver purified seven times.
You, O LORD, protect us always; preserve us from this generation.
On every side the wicked roam; the shameless are extolled by the children of men.
This concludes the audio portion of this article. Thank you for listening.