Know where the candidates stand!
On Election Day, our country will make critical decisions about the
types of leaders we will have for years to come. If you have not been
doing so, it is time to begin looking more carefully at the candidates
who will be running.
To make the right decision when deciding on the candidates whom you
will support, it is essential that you look carefully at the positions
of the candidates in the race. This step in the process is critical in
fulfilling your responsibilities as a faithful citizen, as you must
participate in the political process with a fully informed conscience.
This includes knowing the positions of the candidates.
- You can find this information in several places, such as
newspapers, television news, voter guides, and on the internet.
- If these sources fail, you can always contact the
candidate's campaign to make an inquiry about his or her position.
If possible, this should be done well in advance of the election and
should include a request for a response in writing. The reason for
this is that, especially in local campaigns, phones can be answered
by people who think they know more about the candidate than they
actually do. Once you find sources of this information, be
sure to review them carefully.
Frequently politicians make statements like, "I have always been
personally pro-life," or, "I would never encourage a woman to have
an abortion." Rather than offering comfort to pro-life voters,
statements like these should raise red flags, as they are typically
followed by, "but I would never impose my personal beliefs on
anybody else," or some similar statement. Even in cases in which
these words do not follow, they are often implied. In such cases, be
sure to look for a clearer statement of the candidate's position,
again, in writing if possible.
And remember, the key question is not simply what the candidate
believes. Ask what the candidate will do
to restore protection to the unborn.
- You should also look at a candidate's voting record. This
is extremely easy with members of Congress as you can simply contact
any one of a number of national organizations that track votes as
part of their regular activity. They will be able to inform
you how your Congressman and Senator voted on the bills that have
come before them. You can often obtain similar information about
state candidates from pro-life organizations within your state.
- Pay attention to what individuals or groups have endorsed,
promoted, volunteered for or contributed to the campaign of a
candidate. This says a lot about what the candidate stands for. You
will know a person by his or her friends.
- Finally, remember that elections not only put candidates into
power, but they put parties into power, too. In voting for a
candidate, you should know the positions of the candidate and also
the positions of the party to which he/she belongs.
If you have further questions about how you should evaluate
candidates, please contact our office at (888) 735-3448 ext. 260.
-- Fr. Frank Pavone
National Right to
Life guide on where the 2016 Candidates stand on abortion (pdf)