November 6, 2000
volume 11, no. 223


Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW for Monday, November 6, 2000

How your vote will change the face of America for better or for worse

    With the election tomorrow, I felt I should address it. Before I go on, let me explain that we all vote on election day. Let me say that again, we all vote on election day. I know, I know, there are some of you out there saying "HA! I don't like either candidate! I'm not voting for either one of them." Well, in a sense then, you just did. Bill Clinton owes his Presidency as much, maybe more so, to those who stayed home than those who voted for him. In the two previous elections, every non-vote was essentially a vote for Bill. You're actually accepting whatever someone else wants. I recall talking to someone and we were griping about Clinton and his 'policies' (?). I said, "I voted for him once, but not a second time. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!" To which my friend said, "I didn't vote." Now how can he gripe about Bill if he didn't vote? He got the government he essentially asked for!

    Ah, but there are those who a) vote for a third party candidate or b) write in their vote. Let's look at the write in. My wife wrote in Colin Powell in the last election. Did he have a snow ball's chance of winning? No. Was there any indication that he had a snow ball's chance? No. So, essentially she threw her vote away which is no better than our friend above. At least she did vote, I can say that, but come on! Which leads into the first alternative above, voting for a third candidate, or in this case, candidates…..Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan. Again, we have to look realistically at this. Do either one have a chance? No. They're considered to be on the extremes and the majority of Americans won't come anywhere near an extremist candidate. What may be different this year is they will cancel each other out. That is, Ralph Nader is seen as drawing away the votes of those who would generally have voted for Gore whereas Buchanan will draw votes away from those who generally might have voted for Bush. An example of this is the Reagan/ Carter elections. The third party candidate here was Anderson. In the Republican primaries, he came in dead last with hardly enough votes to even register in the statistics. Yet he decided to run as a third party candidate? His only function would be to draw disenchanted voters away from Carter since he would do little damage to Reagan.

    That being said, let me tell you how I'll vote and why. This is my position alone, not necessarily the policy of the publication in which it appears. I do not want this to be seen as an admonition of how you should vote, I'd prefer you just vote.

    Of all the candidates out there, my two favorites aren't there. Keyes and McCain. I could write one of them in, or not vote at all as a sort of 'protest' but all that would do is help assure the victory of Al Gore. Nader and Buchanan? I never liked Nader as a consumer advocate, as a President I could see us driving in 5-wheeled, armored bicycles (for safety and environmental responsibility). Buchanan should have remained a reporter to bring attention to the things he's opposed to. As a candidate, he's seen as the opposite end of Nader. He doesn't even have the consensus of his party!!!! That leaves George W. Bush and Al Gore, and there is no way I'm voting for Al Gore.

    Reason #1: He's pro-choice, pro-abortion, anti-life, and, for all practical purposes, anti-Catholic (I'll elaborate later) Early in his political career (I guess when he thought it was fashionable) he said that life begins at conception and every means should be taken to protect it. Then something happened to change his stance. Tim Russett of NBC news asked him about this. "What changed your mind? When do you think life begins now?"

    "Well Tim, I have always supported Roe v. Wade, and…."

    "Yeah, but when do think life begins now?"

        "Well Tim, after speaking to a lot of women, I was taught that they have the right to choose, and I have always supported Roe v. Wade."

    "Fine, but….." ad infinitum.

    This non-answer typifies Al Gore. For all we know he still feels that life begins at conception, but political expediency demands he drop that. i.e. anything for a vote. That the majority of Americans support abortion in limited cases (i.e. rape and incest) is a fact. That the majority of Americans support abortion on demand is false. This is how he and Clinton got elected in the first place. In their first election it was Al Gore who said that abortion was the law of the land but that they needed to be better controlled, not as easy to attain. Now that sounded like a start. Did we get it? Heck no. We now have abortion right up to three inches from birth! How long will it be before, "Officially" okay to 'abort' the child after it's born? (Just don't care for the new born and they'll die a 'natural' death. After all, maybe life doesn't begin until the child becomes self aware?) His support and endorsement by groups which have worked to get the Vatican out of the UN and get the UN to make abortion a 'universal right' is well known. Planned Parenthood and 'catholics' For a Free Choice are working diligently to get Al Gore elected. Gore makes the accusation that having Bush as president means the NRA will be working out of the Oval Office, but doesn't a Gore presidency mean Planned Parenthood and NARAL will continue to be working out of the Oval Office? (More on that later)

    Now, to be fair, many are reluctant to vote for Bush because they feel he's not as pro-life as we'd like. But let's be fair here. No pro-life President is going to be able to change anything unless he has a pro-life Congress to work with! Can he stop partial birth abortions? Probably (unless the make up of Congress changes between now and then), since the only thing stopping the ban before was a Presidential veto which couldn't be overridden. Consider that no President can get a Justice on the Supreme Court without Senate confirmation. Judge Bork was a strong pro-life advocate and Constitutional scholar and saw no Constitutional right for abortions. He was imminently qualified as a Supreme Court Justice, but he couldn't get past the pro-abortion 'litmus test'. Clarence Thomas was not as visible as a pro-life judge, so they tried to trash his character. Accusing him of sexual harassment (interesting that the same standards applied to Thomas weren't applied to President Clinton). They even had the then black Governor of Virginia say that they needed to give Thomas a loyalty test because he was taught by Catholic nuns.

    When the Catholic Register interviewed VP Gore, they asked him if his pro-abortion stance would hurt him in the polls with Catholics. He replied that he wasn't worried since he was confident that Catholic voters weren't one issue voters. Well, first, pro-abortion voters are single issue voters. Every candidate gets the abortion litmus test. If they are pro-life, the abortionists will go into overdrive to make sure they are not elected, or appointed. Earlier in the campaign, Bush held a surprising lead over Gore, especially among women. But when a State ban on partial birth abortions was narrowly defeated, the warning bell went off around the nation. Suddenly Gore catches up? Especially with women? Again, we saw a marked increase in NARAL 'public service' announcements that we were in danger of losing our fundamental right to choose. (It's a fundamental right for a mother to choose to kill her child?) That today we're free but under Bush we won't be? One single issue changed the political landscape almost overnight. If that isn't an indication of single issue voters, I don't know what is. But to be fair to Mr. Gore, abortion, though a big issue with me, is not the only reason I'm not voting for him.

    The issues of education, the economy, etc, all play a part. According to Gore, he's going to make sure there are more teachers to increase the quality of public education, vouchers are definitely out. Well, there are all sorts of problems with this, in some cases the issue isn't the number of teachers, it's the quality of the teachers. Some teachers just don't have it, many are teaching in subjects they were never trained in! Then there is the problem of discipline. In Cleveland we saw an entire school's teaching staff walk out because the kids were threatening the teachers, and the teachers couldn't do anything about it! What was done? Nothing, the teachers were docked pay for absenting themselves and law suits were threatened against them. Is it any wonder it's getting harder to get teachers to go into these sort of schools? Then we have the problem of how to pay for these new teachers? If Gore promises to send a Federal subsidy to pay for these new teachers (right now teacher's salaries generally come from the community's taxes) then wouldn't that mean the school district will lose their autonomy? If you don't do such and such (teach tolerance for homosexual activity, pro-abortion, etc) you'll lose the Federal subsidy. Either that, or he plans on Federalizing the public education system and making teachers Federal employees. Either way, the community loses it's autonomy and taxes increase to pay for it.

    On the economy I see real problems. Recently President Clinton opened the Strategic Oil Reserve to give the appearance that they're doing their part to ease the energy crisis we're now facing. The thing is, no one in the Administration is doing anything about it. No new oil fields are being explored, no new refineries are being built. This makes the environmentalists happy, but in the mean time our fuel bills go sky high, and with an apparent cold winter on the way…well. In their first debate, Al Gore made it very clear what he intends to try and do, attack the problem primarily on the consumer ends. That's you and me. Since gasoline is so high we see the effect in the cost of natural gas, oil, food, and other goods. What does he propose? Getting rid of cars? Stopping us from mowing our lawns? Buy electric! Oops! Whereas electric power is cleaner of in and of itself, the process to get it isn't. Hydro-electric dams damage the environment, many electric power plants use fuel (oil and/or wood) to heat water to produce the steam to turn the turbines. In short, it pollutes as well. Where are we heading? Riding bicycles to work and having goats eat the lawn grass? And forget television and the computer. We then hear about the high cost of pharmaceuticals, doctors visits, etc. Come on people!!!! We got HMO's because the Democrats said it was a great way to keep medical costs under control!! We had doctors charging excessive amounts for tests and procedures that were found to be unnecessary. NOW we're being told that we have to go back to that? In short, I don't see Gore doing anything for the economy. I see costs skyrocketing to pay for his 'more compassionate' stance. Not only in the cost of items, but in taxes as well.

    Trying to sound compassionate, (I heard one person say that he was voting for Gore because he was for the people) Gore is doing nothing more than promoting class warfare! Listen to his speeches. It's the nice environmentalists v. the evil polluters; it's the freedom loving abortionists v. the tyrannical pro-lifers; it's the poor consumer v. the wealthy business'. He's doing all he can to create an Us v. Them mentality in this country. And is he really for the people? Well, with all his rhetoric about sympathy for the plight of the elderly, it was VP Al Gore who cast the deciding vote to increase the tax on their Social Security paychecks. Clinton Gore policies have all but forced many companies to seek greener pastures overseas. In Cleveland, the cost of doing business was too high for a Mr. Coffee plant which employed those who needed the jobs, welfare mothers, the homeless, etc. But because they couldn't maintain this, they were forced t move to Mexico (thank you NAFTA) in order to stay in business. Now, instead of working for a paycheck, those people are back on welfare. Oops! Maybe not, as of October 1 many were forced off the rolls, whether they are needy or not, whether there were jobs or not. In short, it sounds nice, but in reality, is he really 'for the people'? More and more it appears that he's actually in favor of politically correct special interest groups.

    With all of these proposed programs to 'help the common man' are we really going to see a tax cut from him? If so, how does he plan to pay for it? With the surplus? Well, first of all, we don't have that surplus yet, secondly, the cost of these programs he's proposing are going to cost more than the projected surplus. See any real chance for a tax cut? More than likely, a tax increase, or an increase in Federal taxes on gasoline, fees, etc. (An indirect, unseen tax) You may get a few more pennies from Gore's tax cut, but we'll be paying more for things to make up for it. (Economic experts have even acknowledged that Bush's tax cut plan will put more money back in the pockets of the middle class than Gore's. And let's face it, it's the middle class that pays the Government's bills. Not the 1% on either end of the economic spectrum)

    Gore is simply a hypocrite. Gore's campaign headquarters let it be known that Bush had a 'secret meeting' with Fundamentalist leaders, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. After the meeting, according to the Gore people, they patted Bush on the back, smiling and saying that they heard what they wanted to hear. Terrible, George Bush is in the pocket of the right wing fundamentalists!!!! But then Gore had a 'private' get together with Rev. Al Sharpton. This was portrayed as a sort of social call. Well, couldn't the Bush, Falwell, Robertson meeting also been a social call? How often in the past has either Gore or Sharpton dropped in for a spot of tea? He appoints Lieberman as his running mate because of his tolerance for religious liberty and etc. But just prior to that, at an L.A. Democratic fund raiser honoring President Clinton, he 'joked' that .."The last time anyone ever listened to a burning bush, they wandered around lost for forty years." Ha, ha, ha. Funny that whereas jokes about gays, women or blacks is a no no, but we can diss Christians and Jews. He said that Bush was in the NRA's pocket and so was their pawn. But wait, isn't that the same relationship, essentially, he has with the pro-abortionists and militant gay groups? If he's accusing Bush of being in their back pocket, isn't he in theirs? And considering the tons of money he got from the Hollywood moguls, do we really expect him to do anything about what's coming from there? Hollywood doesn't. One Hollywood big wig said that Gore's 'condemnation' was nothing more than political rhetoric.

    Gore also shows his hypocrisy indirectly. Whereas he says that he won't launch personal attacks on Bush, he has no problem with others doing it for him. Martin Sheen goes on TV (with what appears to be a grass roots web site) trying to imply that a vote for Bush means allowing guns into our schools and churches. Or another 'grass roots' organization implying that a vote for Bush is a vote to allow industry to dump their toxic waste into our water and air, or strip mine Alaska and other places to get at the oil and/or coal. Come on, who are they fooling? (Evidently, about 45% of the polled voters)

    When militant homosexual groups purposely chose Rome as the site of their gay pride parade, to disrupt the Jubilee celebrations and World Youth Day 2000, Gore sent them his support. When asked to withdraw it due to the obvious attempt to attack the Church, Gore refused saying that he supported the good things the Church did for the poor, but opposed their stance on homosexuality. This was open hostility! And couple that with his speech before NARAL, his animosity toward the Catholic Church is very evident. What might we expect from a President such as Al Gore? Catholic teaching declared a hate crime? Removal of the Vatican from even observer status at the UN? Removal of the Church's tax exemption unless we 'get with the program'?

    Vote for Al Gore, either directly or indirectly by voting for a third party or not at all? We may not get all we want or feel is necessary under Bush, however, we do know what we'll get under Gore. Pray on it and vote according to your conscience. You know now where I stand.

Pax Christi,


November 6, 2000
volume 11, no. 223

Return to Front Page of Current Issue