Sunday, November 9, 2008

Election 2008: History and Infamy

The 2008 election has come and gone. Senator Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of these United States. He becomes the first African-American president in our country's history, and the first President elected from the Senate since John F. Kennedy in 1960. His running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden, is the first Catholic Vice President. I wish them the best of luck and pray that the Holy Spirit illumine their minds as they lead our nation.

I did not vote for the Obama-Biden ticket. I found their support of the Freedom of Choice Act, and voting history supporting abortion to be deplorable. As a Catholic, I find that I cannot support a candidate for office who holds such views and acts on them while in office. I did not support the Obama tax scheme, which advocates a greater redistribution of wealth and increasing the estate/inheritance taxes. I felt that the lesser evil was to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. Not entirely pro-life (McCain supports embryonic stem cell research), but more pro-life than Obama. They support the continued hostilties in Iraq and Afganistan as a means of securing the Middle East for American interests. I say that the U.S. never should have invaded Iraq at all. American interests in the Middle East would have better been served by a stronger presence in Afghanistan, and if more efforts were taken to rebuild that nation. I digress.

Fr. Rob, at Thrown Back, has written a column that articulates my thoughts on the predicament of the Catholic voter more than I can. A sample:

Many of us are volunteering to cooperate with evil, because we see no way out of the dilemma of aligning ourselves with one party or the other. In essence, faithful Catholics are forced to accept whatever bones the major parties and candidates throw us: If we think the Democrats offer more compassionate social policies and the prospect of ending the war in Iraq, we must tolerate their embrace of abortion and same-sex unions. If we think the Republicans offer the best hope of eliminating abortion-on-demand and defending marriage, we have to be willing to tolerate their embrace of "preventive" war and so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. Catholics, it would seem, are being forced to make Faustian bargains every time they enter the voting booth.

My thoughts may not seem particularly cogent, yet to be quite honest, I am sick of being played by politicians. I am tired of the politics of fear put forth by the Republicans, and I am tired of being condescended to by the Democrats. I truly wish for a third party that I could vote for and truly feel that my vote is not wasted. It makes me wish that Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose party were still around. The cynic in me says that the third party option will never take root in the U.S. The optimist says that there needs to be enough like-minded people willing to have the courage to work for a third-party to make it happen. On the other (third?) hand, I am beginning to think, like Adams and Washington, that the idea of political parties were evils that sullied purpose of representative government. They have no place in a true republic. Coalitions of like-minded representatives could get together on pieces of legislation for the good of the country, never mind the career-advancing advantages of partisan politics.

Two hundred years ago, the American Church expanded with the creation of the dioceses of New York, Bardstown (Louisville), Boston, and Philadelphia, and the archdiocese of Baltimore. John Carroll was the first bishop of Baltimore, and thus, one of the fathers of the American Church. From his Prayer for the Nation and Civil in 1791:

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.


1 comment:

angela said...

donald!! FOCA is a terrible foe and i am concerned that congress may actually present it bit by bit, disguising it as they tend to do as our freedoms and choices. i have contacted feinstein, berryhill and (who is the other one?) already to voice my opinion. i am also attempting to spread the word about