Last Tuesday night I watched in disbelief as a slim majority of Americans voted to give Barack Hussein Obama a second term as president, but in the clear light of morning it is clear how this debacle happened—and what the pro-life movement needs to focus on now.
I do not mean to make light of the devastating hurricane that hit the northeast coast the week before the election, but it was a pure gift for the Democrat candidate. Americans tend to come together in crisis, and Sandy galvanized the undecided to vote for Obama in large numbers. For five whole days Romney disappeared from the news, while Obama postured as president.
Another gift came from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who talked about what a great relief effort Obama was overseeing and even gave him a hug as they walked together along the Jersey shore. To have one of the leading lights of the Republican Party to appear to endorse him on the eve of the election could only have boosted Obama’s chances.
The result of this double whammy was that what had been a several point Romney lead evaporated in the days leading up to the election.
Of course, if all Catholics had voted following the tenets of their Faith, Romney would have won in a landslide. Instead, self-identified Catholics split 50-48 in favor of Obama. It turns out that a half-century of neglecting to teach Humanae Vitae cannot be remedied by a few vague pronouncements from the pulpit.
I realize that some courageous priests and a couple of brave bishops talked openly about the need to defeat the most pro-abortion president in history. Most of our shepherds, however, relied upon code words, speaking about the need to “defend Life” and oppose the “HHS mandate.”
We pro-lifers understood what they meant, but many Catholics, especially our Hispanic brothers and sisters, simply didn’t get it. Instead of carefully worded pronouncements, they need to hear blunt words about the need to turn politicians who attack the Church and support abortion out of office. They didn’t, and Hispanic Catholics voted two-to-one for Obama.
Enough about what might have been. What do we do now facing four more years of the most pro-abortion president in American history?
First, we have to remember that that the president and other elected officials reflect the culture. They do not determine it. We need to continue to build strong families and speak out for Life on the local level. It is said that all politics is local. So is all pro-life work.
Second, we should take heart in the fact that the House of Representatives still has a strong pro-life majority. Nancy Pelosi had designs to recapture the House and reinstall herself as Speaker, but was badly defeated at the polls. We need to encourage our congressmen to continue to fight for a true and just cause: The rights of the unborn.
It is to the House of Representatives that we must now look to hold back Barack Obama’s aggressive assault on unborn babies and their parents. We must also work closely with the House to blunt the deadly rationing of life-saving medical services that will occur under Obamacare.
We at PRI knew at the outset of this race that we faced a difficult political landscape. History shows that sitting American Presidents generally win re-election. The advantages of incumbency are considerable. A number of Senate races, too, did not go our way.
But many pro-life congressmen ran strong campaigns and prevailed in a very difficult environment, significantly out-performing the GOP ticket. And a number of pro-life governors were elected, such as Mike Pence in Indiana, who will make a difference at the state level.
Though we are disappointed at the outcome of the election, we at PRI will remain faithful to our mission and committed to our cause. The night may be upon us, but our faith teaches us that this is only prelude to the dawn. Carry on bravely!