One-issue voting is a terrible way to vote, but unfortunately many people do it. It seems it is prevalent in the Catholic community where many people vote based solely on whom they believe is pro-life.
However, if you insist on voting based solely on whom you believe is pro-life, then look past the GOP. Also, I am not defending the Democratic Party as the pro-life party, because that would be nothing short of a lie.
Do not ever let anyone tell you for whom to vote. Do not let the conservative group on campus, the student politician or big-name politicians tell you for whom you should cast your vote, directly or indirectly. Otherwise your “I voted” sticker might as well say “I did what Young Americans for Freedom told me to do.” You should always cast your vote for whoever lines up with all, or most, of your ideas. Do not let groups of people play the Catholic or moral obligation guilt card, especially since voting Republican is not actually voting pro-life.
The pro-life movement extends beyond the womb of expectant mothers. Pro-life extends to euthanasia, death penalty, general welfare, war, and civilian casualties. It is safe to assume that most conservatives are anti-abortion. However, where do conservatives stand on the other issues?
Most big-name conservatives in recent history are generally only pro-life when it comes to abortion. Most of them favor abortion in cases of rape and incest anyway. Donald J. Trump has flipped his stance on abortion so many times in his life and in his campaign that it is difficult to tell where he actually stands on the issue. He never answered if he would actually try to overturn Roe v. Wade, but instead said legislation would be up to the states. Trump has called for bombing the Middle East, and is big on war, just as long as it does not get in the way of Russia.
Ted Cruz is similar. He paints himself to be the pro-life figure in Washington, but he advocated for carpet bombing the Middle East. He also advocated for arming the Kurdish during his campaign as a solution to the Syrian conflict. Marco Rubio and John Kasich similarly advocated for arming groups in the Middle East.
The problem with bombing or arming people anywhere is it always leads to civilian deaths and bigger problems, and all of these Republican candidates know it. How does Ted Cruz expect to carpet bomb only ISIS fighters? They fight in cities surrounded by civilians. You cannot carpet bomb selected buildings holding terrorists. It does not take a genius to know that carpet bombing will kill many innocent civilians.
Arming groups to fight nearly always leads to more terrorism and civilian deaths. After arming the Mujahideen, Al-Qaeda, the Contras, and rebels that turned into ISIS, and after all these groups slaughtering civilians, Republicans still believe arming other groups is a solution, much less pro-life.
The Kurds will not be different. They have a history of terrorizing and killing Assyrian Christians and Armenians and they cannot get along with the Shia Muslims. Kurds are Sunni and once they come into power with weapons given to them by the United States they will start slaughtering the Shia and Assyrians left and right. Arming the Kurds will result in more civilian deaths and these Republican politicians know this. This is not pro-life.
And it is not only the Republican presidential candidates from this year with ideas that are not pro-life. Ronald Reagan, often painted as the face of the GOP, has the blood of many civilians on his hands. Reagan was for capital punishment, and funded a group of rebels that he knew slaughtered civilians.
The contra rebels had a much easier time killing civilians with the weapons Reagan gave them. He did this behind everyone’s backs after a block was placed, too. This resulted in the Iran-contra affair. Reagan also aided Iran in the war against Iraq, while everyone knows, including Reagan, that war results in civilian deaths.
One of the most anti-life politicians in recent history is a Republican. George W. Bush started two illegal wars on the premise of what was proven to be a lie. The effects from the Middle Eastern invasion are still with us today.
Too many innocent souls have lost their lives in these wars that many Republicans keep favoring. We have to stop and ask ourselves: as Catholics, can we support this? The Republican Party has a history of being pro-capital punishment, pro-war, and arming groups that kill innocent civilians. I didn’t even mention how most Republicans feel about euthanasia, war refugees, and general welfare. If we as Catholics are truly pro-life, then can we support this?
If you want to vote for someone who is truly pro-life, look to a third party or write your own name on the ballot, if you can in your state. And congrats to Donald J. Trump on winning the election. It will be an interesting four years.