Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Of True Love and False Promises: My Election Reflection

"She didn't consider the physical relationship with Michele - pleasing, for sure, and perhaps the better part of their love - from which the children would issue. Her Christian morals at present forbade that, and she would obey that in her docile way, realizing that her so splendid love was in no small way brought about by her faithful acceptance of the moral code. Without these morals as taught directly by God, even Michele's love for her would have been less, perhaps limping along, spent. So she thought of the children she would one day give to Michele. 'I'll bring new tender beings into the world, perpetuating his intelligence.' This seemed to her a lovely thought, fitting of a great writer's wife, and she felt happy inside."
- Alma, considering her upcoming marriage; from "The Red Horse"

"Are you there? Say a prayer for the Pretender who started out so young and strong only to surrender."
- Jackson Browne; "The Pretender"

The first quote, taken from the great Italian writer Eugenio Cortis' masterpiece, gives me hope, for it shows there is still a soul out there who knows the great love that I've been blessed with. The second quote, from Jackson Browne's signature song, summarizes yesterday's election; it not only demonstrates there are few candidates who have a clue about Christ's Golden Rule, but that even the one who seemed to understand gave in when the lure of wealth and power beckoned.

Our state's race for governor proved particularly appalling, for it featured two pro-death candidates. The incumbent Democrat, a man with the shifty eyes of a minor mobster, had established a four-year legacy where seemingly half of his cabinet had been jailed or was under investigation. The Republican challenger, a woman with flaming red hair as false as her promises, was the type of "broad" Ralph Kramden used to commonly call "a blabber-mouth." That the Democrat is pro-death is despicable, but when the Republican, a mother herself, also took the pro-abortion stance, it seemed diabolical, for as Isaiah prophesied, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born?" -(Isaiah 49:15)

Yet, the most disappointing facet of this election was actually the woman's running mate. Once a rising star in the Republican party, his pro-life stance seemed both outspoken and unshakable. Yet, instead of mounting a pro-life campaign of his own or with another anti-abortion candidate, he surrendered to the promises of the snake called Politics, joined her team, and became the sidekick of evil instead. I voted without joy for the Democrat (and eventual winner) for at least he provided free health care for the state's poor and raised the minimum wage past that of what could (barely) support a laboratory rat. But mostly, I will say a prayer for the young man who started out so young and strong, only to surrender.

But we often forget just how easy it is to surrender. I (like the writer in The Red Horse) am always struggling or broke or both, and to sell out for a guaranteed take sometimes seems almost logical. Furthermore, I sit here today dejected by the pro-death victory vote in South Dakota, wondering why Good was defeated. And yet, if I (who knows that the Spirit's pen is mightier than the Devil's sword) give up and refuse to write, who will? So say a prayer for this young man too that he continues to "write the good fight" and finishes the race for salvation.


Michael Hallman said...

Tom, this was an excellent post. The thing with salvation is, the victory is already won, it's just a matter of when will we claim it. I'd like to think we can start claiming it now, and start building up this kingdom of our Father. We will, indeed, we will. The defeats of these elections carried a certain sting, but for me it does not change the fact that I see the subtle shift in the swinging pendulum in the direction of faith. I see it on campus when people younger than I gather to max capacity at the three student Masses offered each Sunday evening. I see it when someone finds out that I am going to be a priest, and they tell me that they too are considering religious life. I see it when I go to our daily Mass in the small chapel at 12:05, and it is filled with young people who hunger and thirst for the Eucharist. I see the shifting winds, blowing ever so slightly, and that breeze across my face fills me with all the hope I need.

Tom O'Toole said...

Michael - Well said and very poetic. In fact, it reminds me of a poem I just posted about a generous soul like yourself who happens to be my brother - not my brother, the priest but another cool brother, nonetheless. - God's grace & Mary's prayers, Tom.