Sunday, August 26, 2012

Election Fever

Polls taken just prior to Mitt Romney’s naming of Paul Ryan as his running mate, showed Obama with a substantial lead in the presidential race. Despite the fact that I work in an area with strong Democratic tendencies, I hear little support for Obama in my daily interactions. So, who are these people who favor him over Romney in the polls?

As George Bernard Shaw said, “The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.“ One way to get votes is to freely hand out entitlements to the point of irresponsibility and then spread fear when the opposition is forced to take them away. The Democratic Party seeks to maintain control by keeping many of their constituents dependent upon the government for food, housing, healthcare and other benefits.

This is really an enslavement ideology. Rather than providing opportunity for self-sufficiency, Democrats see themselves as the caring master, fostering social dependency in exchange for votes. The contemporary plantation has moved to the inner city taking with it the hopelessness that manifests itself in violence and misery. Holding fast to the traditional family unit has become politically incorrect while the village takes over rearing the child.

Ironically, it was Democrat Joe Biden who accused the Republicans of enslavement. After Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate, Biden addressed a Danville, Virginia audience, about half African-American, saying, “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” He was apparently referring to a Romney-Ryan administration freeing businesses to create job opportunities.

In Biden’s view, big business is the enemy, not the main source of income for millions of families. He sees corporations interested in making huge profits at the expense of the middle class. At the same time, Democrats will advocate raising the minimum wage, which sounds admirable, but in reality, eliminates job opportunities for low-income families who desperately need them. While appearing noble, their policies actually propagate dependence on the government for sustenance.

Is it fair to say the Republicans are dependent on an educated and informed constituency to get elected, while Democrats are more likely to get votes from the uninformed and ignorant? Perhaps not, but if knowledge results in prosperity, and Democrats attach a stigma to those who achieve financial success, what does it say about their voter base? How often does one hear Republican supporters cite economic reasons or moral objections for opposing Obama while his supporters simply say they think he’s doing a good job and they like Michelle? Others want to protect their special interests.

Democrats would like everyone to believe Republicans do not care about the impoverished. They think the Ryan’s budget plan is designed to pad rich Republican pockets. Even the United States Council of Catholic Bishops criticized Ryan, himself a Catholic, fearing his budget plan would adversely affect the poor. Jeopardizing future care by racking up enormous debt to the point of financial collapse is acting irresponsibly. Sometimes providing for the future requires sacrifice in the present. Making tough choices to insure the future does not violate Catholic teaching. Spending the country into financial ruin only hurts the poor. A healthy free market economy not only provides opportunities for the poor to help themselves, it also provides resources to help those who cannot help themselves. Prosperity enables charity.

The latest flap revolves around an asinine statement made by Missouri Republican Representative Todd Akin. When answering a question about his stance against abortion in the case of rape or incest, he said that women’s bodies may somehow block pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.” As expected, Democrats went on the attack and even his fellow Republicans distanced themselves, many calling on him to withdraw from the Senate race. The sad thing is that a potentially strong pro-life candidate may have ruined his chance for election by taking a convoluted approach to a difficult question rather than answering directly and honestly. The pro-abortion crowd loves to hear pro-life folks say they would outlaw abortion even in cases of rape and incest under the assumption it is an unpopular stance. Perhaps the best response is to turn the tables on the questioner by asking, “If your daughter were raped and became pregnant, as horrible as that would be, would you think it okay to kill your own grandchild?”

Pregnancy resulting from rape is a tragedy for any woman to undergo. Yet, the baby is always innocent. The moral character of our society can be measured in terms of how we protect those unable to protect themselves. If one were able to discuss an impending abortion with the unborn baby, what would one say? “Sorry little one, but your daddy is a bad man and your mommy doesn’t want you, so I am going to kill you?” Put into words, it sounds morbid, mollified only by the fact the baby is not developed to the point of understanding or knowing fear.

Our secular society seems to think of sexual reproduction as strictly a biological occurrence – something that simply develops under certain conditions. To them, an unplanned pregnancy can be simply wiped away like a runny nose. The idea that a developing embryo is human life deserving protection, regardless of how it came to be, is completely eclipsed by concern for the mother. The fact is, at least two human lives are at stake here.

In this Sunday’s Gospel (August 26, 2012), we hear the end of Our Lord’s Bread of Life discourse. His disciples have just heard him say they must eat his flesh and drink his blood or they have no life in them. Their response is probably similar to what many today say when they hear all life must be protected from conception until natural death. “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (John 6:61) The gospel goes on to say that many of them returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Our country may have been founded on Christian principles, but many of us no longer accompany Our Lord, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the leaders we elect.