Had a conversation with a friend recently. He’s on the opposite side of the spectrum from me on almost every issue. He’s also a perfectly partisan Democrat.
While talking with him, he told me that:
When the economy has done well, it was because the Democrats were helping it.
When the economy has done poorly, it was because the Republicans messed it up.
When the economy has done poorly when Democrats controlled the Executive and Legislative branches, it was because the Republicans filibustered their great ideas.
It was sort of stunning to hear someone so partisan, and so convinced that Democrats in power would solve all the problems. I know such people exist on the Republican side as well. Ones who think that the Republicans have been the cause behind times when the economy was good, and so on.
Of course, the annual national deficit has been $1 trillion+ the past four years, caused in large part by the wars Bush got us into, and Obama hasn’t reversed these deficits. When I asked my friend about that, he said it was the fault of the Republicans. And even when the Dems controlled everything in government, they couldn’t change things because they focused everything on Obamacare and not the deficit.
It was fascinating to talk with him, and listening to his arguments and claims, I could see how he believed them, even though I did not. The partisan blinders are covering his eyes and completely opaque. He eventually asked me what I thought the most important issue was. “The sanctity of life,” I replied.
A funny, confused look came across his face. He mouthed the words, trying to understand what the phrase could mean. So I told him. Which got us onto contraception and abortion. He told me those issues weren’t that important, that he didn’t care about them. I said “you should care about them.” And told him why.
I mentioned that the current administration was trying to force Catholics to violate their consciences. He wasn’t bothered at all.
So I pressed him to tell me when a new human life began. He couldn’t do it. He hand-waved “around two or three months maybe.” I told him science and reason both agree that life begins at conception. He balked and said “no, no, long after that.”
“On what basis?” I asked. He couldn’t answer and just said “there’s tons of factors that go into the question of when a fetus becomes a human being.” Tons of factors, but he didn’t describe what any one of them were.
Nonetheless, he informed me that he “believes strongly in a woman’s right to choose.”
Science and reason are against his belief that life does not begin at conception, that aborting the baby at almost any age of gestation is permissible. But he cannot argue from science or reason, so he hand waved and talked about what he “believes,” regardless of it’s basis in reason. This is how allegedly secular, atheistic thinkers show they can be just as fideistic as the most fundamentalist Christian.
At this time in our country’s history, the Republicans are the lesser of two evils. We need to work hard to turn the Republican party toward a consistent pro-life position, against hawkishness, against drone strikes, against kill lists, and eventually to distributism over capitalism. This seems like it is at least a possibility to me. Converting the Democrats to change their platform is a lost cause.
I’m not excited about Romney. On many of the fundamental issues facing our country and world, he’s just as blind as Obama is. And he seems like a political opportunist to me, rather than someone who has bedrock principles from which he acts. But as Dale said, it costs Romney nothing to repeal the HHS mandate, so he will do it if elected. And even if he will be one of the most milquetoast Presidents when it comes to the pro-life cause, at least he won’t be actively trying to twist Catholics’ arms into violating their consciences and beliefs.
So for me, this election wasn’t some difficult choice. Even though:
Both major candidates are blind to the fundamental forces undermining our country and culture.
Both are extremely wealthy men who will be wealthy their entire lives and not have to actually live with the choices they make for our country (e.g., Romney’s children will never have to go to the nearest public school and Obama’s daughters will never have to be on Medicaid and go to Planned Parenthood).
Both seem more intent on political gain, power, and reputation than truly helping our country (e.g. Obama’s inaction at Benghazi then the blatant cover-up and deception that has gone on since. Romney’s chameleon-like stances from his time as governor to now.)
I don’t have the blind trust in capitalism that Romney does. Sure, it worked for him just like hukt on fonix, but it leaves most people out in the dark. Nonetheless, from a Catholic standpoint, he’s the lesser of two evils. If and when he takes office, from day one I will be calling for him to end drone strikes, kill lists, and to stand up for the sanctity of life in a principled way, not in the wishy-washy way he is currently doing.