Things are busy, but I thought it important to put out at least one last post on the election:
What must one do? As the Bishops have made clear (in Faithful Citizenship):
When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.
Obama and McCain both support using existing embryonic stem cells for research. This is an intrinsic evil.
There is a candidate who does not support an intrinsic evil: Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.
But in light of the fact that third-party candidates have no hope for success, and because of the ignoring of them by the media a protest vote does not get much press, my opinion is that a vote for McCain is defensible (mainly for reasons of abortion; I find him seriously problematic in many other areas).
Still, there is the other option mentioned by the Bishops, the MacIntyre
When offered a choice between two politically intolerable alternatives, it is important to choose neither. And when that choice is presented in rival arguments and debates that exclude from public consideration any other set of possibilities, it becomes a duty to withdraw from those arguments and debates, so as to resist the imposition of this false choice by those who have arrogated to themselves the power of framing the alternatives.
In light of all the statements by so many bishops, and the clear positions of Catholic Social Teaching, it seems clear that a vote for Obama is indefensible, because of his vigorous support for abortion policies and legislation (as I have outlined in posts earlier). The most common canard offered by those Catholics who argue voting for Obama for proportional reasons--that by helping poor mothers with affordable health care and social programs, he will reduce abortions--ignores the imperative that we must oppose the legal status of the right to abortion. It also ignores the fact that many abortions, if not an equal amount, occur not just because of poverty, but are committed by women who are not poor but do not want any more children, or any, because of the inconvenience children bring.
Nonetheless I want to add: I am confidant Obama will win. But I do not think it is the end. I doubt Congress will agree to pass FOCA
. I doubt that both Ginsberg and Stevens will die or step down in the next four years (and I doubt that McCain would have picked the right justices, regardless). And I think the next four years of an Obama presidency will prove to be an enormous disillusionment for many Americans (not the hard left or party hacks, of course). In four years, I predict (for the little it's worth) Obama will have a very tough time getting reelected, and I hope that conservatives will get their act together by then, in time for a opportunity to effect some important change. (Although, being a pessimist, I think the GOP will continue to be dominated by neoconservatives, and orthodox Catholics will be left even more in the wilderness; but this may not be a bad thing, as far as the life of the Church is concerned. Strangers and sojourners