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The midterm elections were not seen as a victory for those
concerned about the sanctity of life or with broader concerns on
related issues, such as the definition of marriage or embryonic
stem-cell research. But if you dig underneath the surface of the
election results and its immediate aftermath, it’s possible to find
rays of hope in the fight for normalcy in America’s politics. The seeds
planted in this election may mean that 2006 will one day be seen as the
year we took one step backward for the sake of taking two steps ahead.

Referendums
defining marriage as between a man and a woman continued to pass with
resounding support. It passed in Virginia, a state that radical gay
activists thought they had a chance to win in. The lone exception was
in Arizona, where this ballot measure failed narrowly. But even here,
the extremist homosexual movement did not make progress of their
own—they were only able to temporarily halt the pro-marriage forces,
who are playing offense on this issue.

An abortion ban in South
Dakota was defeated. Why is this good news? Because this law was a
snare waiting to happen. If such a ban were passed right now, the votes
are not on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade. As we currently
stand, even laws aimed at the gruesome and inhumane practice
of partial-birth abortion are at best 50/50 propositions of being
upheld by the Court. Every time pro-life legislation is struck down, it
further strengthens Roe—keep in mind that even conservative justices do
place great value on the power of precedent. There's a time and place
for every initiative, and this was the wrong war fought on the wrong
front.

But the greatest long-term impact might be the
emergence of Democratic officeholders who are not beholden to the
party’s extreme leadership. The national Democratic Party has been
hijacked these past forty years by a radical cultural elite that has
acceptance of abnormal gay marriage its profession of faith, and
abortion-on-demand its principal sacrament. But commentators and
analysts have noted that the new Democratic majorities in the House
& Senate were keyed by a new class of candidates that were more
moderate on issues such as life and marriage. Six of the new House
Democrats are pro-life. The party took over the Senate on the strength
of pro-life Bob Casey Jr. winning in Pennsylvania. If the pro-life
label were broadened to include candidates who at least favored basic
restrictions on partial-birth, waiting periods, parental consent, etc—a
broadening the leadership of the movement has traditionally done for
Republican candidates—it would be interesting to see how much that
number would grow by.

Furthermore, there are clear signs that
the Democratic elite’s shunning of pro-life candidates is coming to an
end. Shortly after the election, the likely new Speaker of the House,
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) put her weight behind John Murtha (D-PA) to be the
new Majority Leader in the House. While the reasons are personal
loyalty and Murtha’s outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq, it’s
certainly worth noting that his pro-life voting record was not a
turnoff to the radically pro-abortion Pelosi. The new Majority Leader
in the Senate, Harry Reid (D-NV) also has a pro-life record. It’s still
a far cry from pro-life Democrats being able to seriously affect the
party platform or the fundamental direction of the party. But it’s also
a far cry from 1992 when Casey’s father—the unabashedly pro-life
governor of Pennsylvania and a loyal Democrat in all other ways—was
denied the chance to speak at his party’s convention and say even a few
words on behalf of the unborn.

None of the positive groundwork
being laid has happened because candidates suddenly awoke andNecessity Forces Democratic Change found a
conscience. Hard political realities have dictated it. Of the
twenty-nine key races that Democratic candidates in the House won, seventeen
were in districts that President Bush carried in 2004. And he won those
districts substantially, with all but a few being by nine points or
more. The Democrats won, not because entire districts had complete
makeovers in the last two years, but because they found candidates who
could appeal to people that are culturally traditional. And the
Democratic majority will not remain one if their elites consistently
push radical left-wing votes down the throats of the incoming new
members.

Even for those pro-lifers who are not Democrats on
domestic issues or national security, it is still vitally important to
make progress in the other party. The pro-life movement is not in a
sustainable position right now, being only a tolerated minority by
Republicans, and completely closed off by the Democrats. It places the
movement in a bind and leaves them susceptible to manipulation by GOP
strategists who may not share their goals. No movement survives unless
it has leverage. I won’t go so far as to say that the election results
have suddenly created new leverage. We’ll have to see what happens over
the next couple presidential cycles, and if any Democratic candidate
will dare challenge the abortion mills in the primaries. But it is a
start.

The Democratic Party—not long ago—was the home to ethnic
Catholics. The forty-years war against normalcy led by its elites, led
those of us who would have been the natural heirs to the heritage to
instead find hope in the vision of history’s greatest ex-Democrat–
Ronald Reagan. But November’s results give a little bit of hope to
those who hope the party's Leftist Revolution will soon
collapse, swiftly and suddenly. Unlikely you say? No more unlikely then
the swift and sudden collapse of the Berlin Wall seventeen years ago.




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