Election Day is approaching, and I’m motivated to vote and to influence many other votes. I’m motivated because voting is part of what I need to do to fulfill my life’s dream – a dream shared by many others – that abortion, the biggest holocaust the human family has ever known, will cease.
Some, even in the Church, don’t seem to get the fact that there’s no problem in society bigger than abortion. But then again, when it’s constantly celebrated by many others as a Constitutional right, and when we don’t read the descriptions or see the pictures, it’s easy for abortion’s horror to escape us.
I’m motivated to vote, not because one election will end abortion, and certainly not because I expect our elected officials to be perfect or to do my work for me. The People of God have to do the work of ending abortion – providing alternatives, educating minds, changing hearts, changing laws. But part of that work is electing the people who will pose the least obstacle to that mission. We don’t elect people to do our work for us, but rather people who will let us do our own work. So often it’s a choice between those who will do the least damage, or permit the fewer numbers of abortions. It may be a choice between those willing to permit all abortions or those willing at least to draw some lines at where it should stop. I’d rather have the line-drawers, because when it comes time for the lines to become laws, at least they won’t stand in the way. I don’t look for the perfect candidate, but when I have a choice between a mess and a messier mess, I choose the mess.
I’m motivated, because we’ve made progress. We have two solid new Justices on the Supreme Court who don’t believe in inventing new rights from “penumbras” – and just like in 2004, the Supreme Court is at stake again. If there’s a vacancy in the next two years, the President needs a Senate that will confirm good Justices. We have lots of other new federal judges, who understand the limits of judicial authority. And we have new laws that bring us closer to the protection of the unborn, like the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the first ban on an abortion procedure since Roe vs. Wade, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
So now it’s a numbers game. We have to spend our time and energy not convincing the one stubborn person, but reminding the many who will listen, if we simply nudge them a little and tell them who the best candidates are. We should go for the “low-hanging fruit,” those easiest to mobilize. And we should vote early. Many states allow voting before Election Day. Let’s get others to vote early, so that unforeseen circumstances don’t stop them from voting later.
The polls don’t determine elections; the people who show up at the polling places do. Let’s bring them out!