It’s hard not to recall the words from the famous Simon and Garfunkel song:
“Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.”
Barely three months since the August vote, Ohioans returned to the polls yesterday and handed the culture of death a big victory. Only this time it was far more consequential. Results in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky likewise disappointed.
Losses produce lots of hand-wringing, second-guessing, and discouragement. But also some needed clarity and straight talk.
Here’s our analysis and some thoughts:
The numbers: with 93k absentee/provisional ballots still outstanding, the final OH result looks likely to end up around a 14% point loss (57 – 43) – almost identical to the August results. This overall no-change happened despite an additional 800k-850k voters casting their ballots (that’s a 26-27% turnout increase).
No surprise, pro-abortion groups vastly outspent pro-life efforts. Our analysis shows that pro-abortion groups raised over $66 million, while pro-life efforts raised approximately $27 million. Big Abortion, the ACLU, and Soros helped lead the way, fueling a massive campaign of lies and misdirection. While polling showed most voters opposed unlimited abortion on demand along with the stripping of parental rights, voters were more swayed by stories of losing control of their “healthcare,” and stopping a “ban” on abortion.
Key takeaway: Abortion groups focused on threats to self-interest. Our side had the challenge of getting voters to care about someone other than themselves.
A Culture of Death
There’s a reason our Church calls the issue of life foundational and pre-eminent. Because abortion is never just about one thing. Wrapped up in a vote on abortion are questions about women, the sexual revolution, marriage, children, and culture. We aren’t just fighting the injustice of killing innocent children. We live in a culture drenched in pornography, selfishness, instant gratification, and sex without consequences or responsibility.
Abortion doesn’t happen in a vacuum. This is why efforts to stop pornography, uphold marriage, protect women, and promote families and children matter. Everything is connected.
Catholics (and the Church)
This one, in my opinion, is the most important.
We will be digging into the data in the coming weeks, but we know a substantial number of Catholics voted to enshrine abortion into Ohio law yesterday. This despite the fact that the bishops and priests of Ohio stepped up. They preached, promoted, and even helped fund the effort to stop this radical change to the Ohio constitution. Yesterday we even heard that one bishop was personally removing pro-abortion signs unlawfully placed on church property.
However, we have to be honest with ourselves. A three-month push can’t make up for three decades of (mostly) ignoring the issue.
From the failure to catechize, to the ignoring (or excusing) of pro-abortion politicians, to the pathetic equating of abortion with issues like climate change – all these factors have had a devastating impact. If Catholics can’t get their act together, how can we expect to persuade others of our belief in the sanctity of every human life?
Ask yourself this: how many cardinals or bishops outside of Ohio spoke out on this?
Put another way, if another state like Louisiana decided to put an amendment re-instituting segregation on the ballot, do you think anyone would have spoken up? You can be sure the calls of condemnation would have been heard across the country, including from the Vatican.
Why doesn’t it animate them more? The Sexual Revolution has completely upended almost every facet of our civilization these last six decades. But how often do we hear about it on Sunday? Pornography, contraception, and now a revolution over gender, marriage, and the family are destroying our entire way of life. We have millions of Catholics who are lost and confused… and I fear the Church isn’t protecting the sheep.
Now that Issue 1 has prevailed, tens of thousands more children will lose their lives through abortion. And those who survive can be taken from parents who love them enough to refuse to “transition” them.
It’s easy to blame Church leaders. I don’t mean to single them out while absolving ourselves.
We too have to do more. Much more.
I’ve never been more convinced of the need for CatholicVote.
There is no golden key that will magically fix the mess we are in. We have to double down, even triple down. More boldness. More commitment. More activism. More prayers. Starting with our fellow Catholics!
That’s why the work of our daily email The LOOP is so important. We are now reaching almost 600,000 Catholics with important articles on our faith as well as the latest developments in the news – from a Catholic perspective. We give Catholics the truth, and get them the tools they need to act.
HARD TRUTH: If you want to see change on Election Day, then we all need to make sure Catholics are educated and informed the other 364 days of the year.
That means we redouble our efforts, from top to bottom. More clear-headed reporting. More solid Catholic analysis. And yes, more holding Catholics to task through our investigative project, the Catholic Accountability Project.
If you don’t think this will make any difference, then maybe there’s no need for CatholicVote.
But if you think Catholics in the pews and in the pulpit could use more courage and truth, then join us in this noble fight.
Because we’re not going anywhere.
P.S. A holy priest and good friend of our work sent our team the message below this morning. I couldn’t say it any better:
“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.” [Mt. 10:14].
I know we all worked hard yesterday, and you may be feeling discouraged today. But the Lord reminds us not to dally and fret over our “losses” in proclaiming the Gospel. We get up, shake off the loss, and go on to the next task proclaiming the Gospel.
We always need to remember that we are not the savior, either individually, or as CV, or as the Church: that job belongs to Jesus alone. And he is King of Kings, and has already won the war, though the skirmishes with the Devil continue until He comes again in glory.
Our job is to proclaim the Gospel as best we can, live a holy life, love God and our neighbor, and hold tight to Jesus, the Trinity, Mary, and all the saints and angels. And to our Catholic faith, hope, and charity.
Discouragement does not come from God, but from our weakness or the Devil. Jesus is our hope.
So… let us pray for one another, for the folks around the country, especially Ohio and Virginia, especially for parents, children and the unborn. God bless you all.