Catholic Vote: “Voting Matters.” A Catholic Reflection on the 2018 Elections

Saint of the Day for November 10:  St. Leo the Great (d. Nov. 10, 461)
November 10, 2018
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November 10, 2018

“Voting Matters.” A Catholic Reflection on the 2018 Elections

By Joshua Charles, Catholic Vote, Nov. 8, 2018

Voting matters. In a free society, it’s a duty—not only to vote, but to be worthy of voting, by educating yourself.

Paragraph 2240 of the Catholic Catechism states, “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country…”

We now have the most pro-life Senate in history, with the possibility of two more Supreme Court vacancies coming up, and no longer held hostage to the Murkowskis and Collinses of the Senate.

No guarantees, but it’s about the best shot we’ve ever had to make real, tangible achievements.

True, the Republicans lost the House. But the Democrats have a thin margin (thinner than the Republicans just had), and while they do now have subpoena power and can investigate the administration, at the end of the day they can’t do much more than that.

Nonetheless, you still hear many (and I’ve heard way too many Catholics) say that voting doesn’t matter. On the most obstinately Libertarian side, you’ll hear that all it does is support a system that is inherently corrupt.

Addressing both points could take another article, but the question I always ask and have yet to get an answer to is: “As opposed to what?”

It is the easiest thing in the world to complain about the state of the world, particularly man-made systems. It is a very hard thing, however, to come up with ideas for building, creating, and maintaining good things—and in the United States, despite our many problems, we have a great deal of good things to maintain and build on.

Cowards stick to complaining, and feel zero need for proposing solutions. They prefer appearing profound with their criticism, when in reality they have absolutely nothing to say about what exactly they suggest we do instead.

Duties, including the duty to vote, don’t go away just because they may not pay off at any given time. That’s not why duties exist. Duties are moral rules of action that apply even when you may lose. Utility has nothing to do with it.

You perform your duties because if good people will not stand up for the common good, who will?

The moral obscenity of abortion still covers this nation—a sin that makes slavery look tame and mild.

If a few hours on Election Day is too much for you, you’re not serious.

As for the political outlook, I’ve told friends privately what I’ll say publicly now: I think a Democrat-controlled House works to Trump’s benefit, big time.

Two years of absolute hysteria, insane rhetoric, totally one-sided media coverage, and mobilization got the Democrats nothing but a totally normal switch of just one House of Congress with a relatively small margin—while the Republicans still gained in the Senate (much better than the historical norm).

Zero Blue Wave. The hype, once again, was wrong. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton did worse than Donald Trump in their first-term midterms, in both the House and the Senate. So did George W. Bush in 2006.

This was not a wave election, especially considering the governorships retained by the GOP as well. And a non-wave election proves one thing: the mainstream media is losing influence—fast. (Is a non-wave election remotely compatible with the sort of rhetoric you’ve been hearing from the media? No. That means their ability to effect reality is markedly decreased.)

You could see it on the faces of many a Left-wing commentator like Rachel Maddow and Van Jones. Maddow said the whole thing felt eerily like 2016, and Van Jones said it was “a tragedy.”

The Blue Wave, like most narratives coming out of the mainstream media these days, was a total fiction—disproved courtesy of the American people.

If the Democrats / media (I repeat myself) continue to behave as they have for the last two years while controlling the House, they will provide lots of fodder for Trump. In the meantime, the judiciary will continue to be transformed—a project no one who failed to vote contributed anything toward.

No doubt the election was good news for the Democrats. But there was a lot of good news for Republicans as well.

For those of you who didn’t vote—don’t worry, none of this is directed toward you.