I'm Motivated to Vote

 

Fr. Frank Pavone

 
  10/20/2008
   Election Day is right around the corner, 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 it’s a fact nonetheless. Curiously, those who don’t seem to understand this tend to be the least willing to hear the descriptions of abortion or look at the pictures.

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 of the person who will do the least damage, or permit the fewer numbers of abortions. And to choose to limit evil is a good.

I’m motivated, because we’ve made progress. We have two 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. The next President and Senate will move the Court in one direction or another.

We have also gained many 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. Let’s help the people who may need a ride to the polls. Let’s get our churches to send out reminders to vote.

Let’s also donate to and volunteer for the candidate of our choice, and let our lawn signs and bumperstickers be seen. Let’s hand out literature, make phone calls, send emails, and put links on our websites to urge people to vote the right way.

And remember, polls don’t determine elections; the people who show up at the polling places do. Let’s bring them out!