I’ve written but not published a variation of this post a number of times. Having contemplated offering elaborate reasons, I am resigned to offering just one: he is better than the other candidate, Senator McCain. Such will not be a sufficient enough of an explanation for a lot of people. The question has come down to which candidate will leave our country a better place four years hence. Many people, including some bishops, do not think that is an appropriate question. They think this election should be about an issue that was not mentioned in prime time at the GOP convention, was only within the past week included in a stump speech by a VP candidate, has not been entertained in three debates to date, and was mentioned in passing at the Democratic Convention by their nominee noting his desire to reduce it but keep it legal. For it being the most important issue facing this country, nobody bothered informing either campaign, the media, or the public at large. Yet at this site and others, this issue is the only one people seem to believe needs to be confronted. As Faithful Citizenship and others have noted, as Catholics we aren’t called upon to be one issue voters, just to have our priorities in check.
Those priorities seem to share nothing in common with what the rest of the country considers to be priorities. But we should be light in darkness or so people will claim to justify an aloofness to other issues facing society. We are in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. There are those that would tell me I’m not ethically serious to give significant if not predominant consideration to how this issue will be addressed. Since 1990, our military has sent troops to Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Afghanistan, and other places. During the present election, candidates have threatened troop engagements against Iran, Pakistan, and Russia (on behalf of Georgia). Both candidates have indicated an unwillingness to address Israel’s aggression in the Middle East. At various points, both candidates have been down right enthusiastic about putative Israeli actions, and both candidates were supportive of Israeli’s destruction of Lebanon, something the Vatican condemned. Yet again, this issue is not considered sufficient to warrant primary consideration. Over the past 8 years, we have seen inequality in this country move from already high levels to those approaching Mexico and China. We have seen health care become increasingly unaffordable with employers significantly reducing coverage if not getting rid of it altogether. We have seen HRAs implemented that are bankrupting the medical system. Yet these issues we are told do not rise to the level of the most important issue.