Presidential Election Thoughts from a Catholic Priest

by Fr Richard Heilman | May 7, 2016 1:14 PM

Judges Matter

I saw this startling “dose of reality” floating around the Internet[1]. Think about this:

Justice Scalia’s seat is vacant. Ginsberg is 82 years old, Kennedy is 79, Breyer is 77, and Thomas is 67. Nowadays, the data shows that the average age of a Supreme Court retirement or death occurs after 75.

 

These leave 5 vacancies that will likely come up over the next 4-8 years. The next President will have the power to potentially create a 7-2 Supreme Court skewed in their ideology.

 

Think about that … 7-2. If the next President appoints 5 young justices, it will guarantee control of the Supreme Court for an entire generation. And 7-2 decisions will hold up much more over time than 5-4 decisions, which are seemed to be lacking in mandate.

Because Jesus Christ was not running against Obama (he said cynically 😉 ) in the last two elections, many conservatives stayed home and did not vote … so, this is what we got in the past eight years (just in judicial appointments alone) …

As of April 28, 2016, the total number of Obama Article III judgeship nominees to be confirmed by the United States Senate is 324, including two justices to the Supreme Court of the United States, 55 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, 265 judges to the United States district courts, and two judges to the United States Court of International Trade. The number of nominations currently awaiting Senate action is 57. There is currently 1 vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States, 9 vacancies on the United States Courts of Appeals, 65 vacancies on the United States district courts, 4 vacancies on the United States Court of International Trade and 13 announced federal judicial vacancies that will occur before the end of Obama’s second term. (Wikipedia)

 

What’s at Stake?

Here are just a few of the key issues in which both candidates have openly stated they have opposing stances …

Abortion is a woman’s unrestricted right … Hillary for, Trump against

For the redefinition of marriage (Same-sex, etc.) … Hillary for, Trump against

Against keeping God in the public square … Hillary for, Trump against

Restrict individual rights to keep and bear arms … Hillary for, Trump against

Stricter punishment does not reduce crime … Hillary for, Trump against

Against vouchers for school choice … Hillary for, Trump against

Expand ObamaCare … Hillary for, Trump against

Make voter regulations even easier … Hillary for, Trump against

Prioritize green energy … Hillary for, Trump against

EPA regulations are not restrictive … Hillary for, Trump against

Legally require hiring women & minorities … Hillary for, Trump against

Does not believe marijuana is a gateway drug … Hillary for, Trump against

 

Enemy Occupied Territory

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Enemy-occupied territory — that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”

That’s correct … we live, in essence, in “enemy occupied territory,” as there are “many” who do NOT subscribe to Godly principals in our country … things such as the defense of life from conception to natural death, or traditional – one man, one woman – marriage. As a result, politicians – in order to become elected – need to campaign on some “middle ground.” In other words, if you can’t get elected (or remain in office), you can’t move the needle toward conservative values.

Many conservatives complain that candidates “aren’t conservative enough” and, therefore, won’t vote for them. This is in complete ignorance of “what it takes” to gain office and remain in office in “enemy occupied territory.” They want their whole conservative “bucket list” accomplished “NOW.” Also, they are quick to blame the Republican Party for not satiating their need for “immediate gratification.” Republican leadership is demonized as liberal wolves in conservative sheep’s clothing.

I don’t see it that way. Marshaling such Gifts of the Holy Spirit as Prudence, Wisdom and Temperance, we try to take the “long view,” given the “present moral condition” of our country. If you want to know who to blame for where we are now … blame us. The reality is that religious leadership has been, by and large, asleep at the wheel for the past 50 years. So, here we are. This is not going to change overnight. In the meantime, we need to “reclaim surrendered ground” wherever we can, while we do all we can to protect the next generation from the most horrendous kinds of evil. The late Cardinal O’Connor explained that it is not so much a consideration of voting for a lesser evil, as it is a greater evil isn’t given more ground; and that the vote for the candidate of the lesser platform of evil advances the cause of life.

Others believe we should assist the demise of our country … a belief that something akin to the Great Depression may be just the “wake up call” we all need. Again, this points to our modern-day addiction to immediate gratification, and releases anyone from the “hard work” of turning this around.

 

Do we “Really” Know?

For the most part, in the list above of the “for and against” of Hillary and Trump, one could replace their names with the words, “Democrat and Republican,” as these are the stances of each party. The question remains … “What will Donald Trump do?” He “says” he plans to uphold “Conservative values.” Many doubt that, given his “liberal past.”

However, I once asked a very wise man (his identity will remain nameless) what he thought about Donald Trump. His reply was stirring and unexpected, coming from him. He said, “While we cannot predict the future, my instincts tell me that, because Trump has such an impressive ego, could that mean he will want to be the best President the United States has ever had?”

No matter what anyone claims, they cannot know for sure. Yes, they can predict, based on Trump’s past stances, but it still remains an unknown whether he may pour himself into knocking off every one of the items on the conservatives’ bucket list. With Hillary, there is no doubt whatsoever, as virtually all of her stances are emblazoned into the Democratic Party platform.

Much could change between now and November 8 but, if this is the only choice we are left with, it remains necessary to protect our country from the “known evil” … and an entire generation plagued with every Godless liberal item from their bucket list.

To not vote for a viable candidate who can defeat Hillary is to let go of an opportunity to negate a vote for Hillary. I could not live with that, just because her opponent “might” not be conservative enough for me.

In the meantime, we must pray, fast and call upon God to intervene to give us some other option than the one, it appears, we have now. Or, we must ask God to make Trump the constitutional conservative President we have always longed for. Trump says he is … let’s ask God to keep him to his word.

 

Endnotes:
  1. floating around the Internet: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207385118723635&set=a.3571035952022.2141885.1156685676&type=3&theater

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