Friday, November 9, 2012
One last rant on the election
When I turned 18 (many decades ago!) and registered to vote, I registered as a Democrat. I was not just a member of the party: I worked on campaigns, I was a member of a city Democratic committee, I was even asked to run for office as a Democrat (I chose not to).
But over the years, my own thinking on a number of issues matured and developed. It wasn't a matter of switching positions on these issues. It was more a matter of coming to a deeper understanding of them and their interconnectedness.
At the same time, I watched the Democratic Party move further and further away from my core beliefs and Catholic teachings on a number of issues. I remained in the party, hoping to be a positive force to bring it back to its senses. I even helped to create a state chapter of Democrats for Life. But the party's drift continued, and I saw practicing Catholics, pro-lifers, and Democrats for Life being exploited and marginalized.
Finally, I gave up on the Democratic Party.
A Republican candidate came along a few years back, and to help with his campaign I registered as a Republican. I had no illusions about that party; our Republican Congressman, a Catholic, was pro-choice. And the party seriously considered the pro-choice, pro-homosexual marriage Rudy Giuliani as a plausible presidential candidate. Moreover, the focus of the party was on economic, not social issues. But at least in that party I saw some folks who shared my values. Not enough to make me a true Republican, however.
The Republican candidate I was supporting lost. After just one year as a Republican, I registered as a member of the tiny Right to Life Party. The party is so small - indeed, is basically defunct - that it doesn't even have a line on the ballot, so I'm considered a "blank" or independent.
This past week's election marks another change. With such clear choices, the American people chose a Presidential candidate who is totally out of line with my beliefs and, I don't mean to sound over-dramatic, is, I think, a threat to Christian/Catholic churches. But it wasn't just at the Presidential level that I saw threats. So many candidates with views out of sync with basic Catholic beliefs were elected, initiatives were passed that conflict with Catholic teachings. Even the Republican Party is now considering shifting its positions to remain politically viable.
I saw the way things are going in this nation. Tuesday, I gave up on the political process.
I recognize that politics is simply a reflection of the culture, of our society as a whole. It is only when our culture is changed that the parties will change.
So I realize that the real work has to focus on the culture, not political parties.
I'll continue to speak out. I'll continue to vote. I may support some candidates down the road.
But I have no faith in the political process any more.
I must live in the world, but not be of the world.
I'm not a Democrat./ I'm not a Republican.
I'm a Catholic.
Now if I could only get my name off all those political party mailing - give-us-money - lists!
Pax et bonum