SINGLE ISSUE POLITICS: WHEN ONE ISSUE IS PARAMOUNT

by David Sisler

If you drive out of Oakland, Maryland on Route 219, heading south towards Red House, you will first come to Gortner. Turn east at this small community onto Mason School Road, drive past Pleasant Valley Road, turn onto Yoder Road, and you will be in the general vicinity of where my Great Uncle Wood lived.

I never met Uncle Wood (he died before I was born), but one story about him is a family legend. Every election year, he would walk to the polling place in Oakland, accompanied by his neighbor. When they reached the voting machines, Uncle Wood would vote a straight Republican ticket, his neighbor would vote straight Democratic, and they would walk home together, having completed their civic duty, and a 14 mile hike.

It did not matter to them that their votes effectively cancelled each other out. What did matter was that they had honored their franchise and cast their ballots. This in marked contrast to the American presidential elections of 1996 when 78 percent of all Americans were eligible to vote, but less than 50 percent actually went to the polls (and of those who were registered to vote, only 66 percent did so). Bill Clinton received the majority vote of those who went to the polls, but the true majority stayed home. Fewer than 25 percent of voting age Americans cast ballots in favor of Mr. Clinton.

Compared with voters around the world, our national disregard of our voting privilege is magnified to garish proportions. The election of Vladimir Putin in Russia was supported by 69 percent of registered voters. In Israel 79 percent of registered voters participated in bringing Ehud Barak to power.

Almost 81 percent of the registered voters in Argentina supported their last national election. In Peru, 83 percent of registered voters voted. Ninety-one percent of the registered voters in Belgium went to the polls. In Equatorial Guinea 95 percent of the registered voters exercised their franchise.

In fact, of 60 countries holding national elections since Bill Clinton's reelection, only 22 had a lower percentage of registered voters going to the polls than did the United States. Those 60 countries averaged 71.23 percent of registered voters casting their ballots.

At the Republican National Convention in 1968, Barry Goldwater, endorsing Richard Nixon and urging conservatives to support the party's candidate, said, "This country in its majesty is too great for any man, be he conservative or liberal, to stay home and not work [for the election], just because he doesn't agree." With our national election just three days away, Goldwater's words ring true once more. The stakes are too high for registered voters to stay home. As much as with any election in recent years, we have the chance to vote for a return to the rule of law, to vote for a return to morality.

Writing about "Single Issue Politics," for World magazine, John Piper, senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, said that a pro-life candidate may do a poor job once he wins an elected office. And there are definitely single issues which should immediately disqualify a candidate support of dishonesty and corporate fraud, or support of racial discrimination, to name just two. Some would argue that an election campaign is more than one single issue, but after all factors have been considered, a candidate who supports the murder of unborn children will never receive my vote, no matter what other issues he or she supports.

It is a "fetus," the pro-abortion crowd argues, and by refusing to call an unborn child a "baby" they attempt to deprive her of her humanity. If the baby is aborted after the first month of her development, a beating heart is stopped (it begins to beat at the 25th day).

By the second month, all of the major body organs and systems are formed, but not completely developed. Brain waves are present. She will suck her thumb and respond to pain stimulation. This is what will be destroyed by an abortion.

During the third month of her growth, her parents can actually hear her heart beat. She moves, kicks, swallows and can hear her mother's voice by four months. She becomes more active during the fifth month, moving from side to side and sometimes, head over heels. She sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. This is the person an abortion will kill.

If she is born during the sixth month, she can live, with proper medical treatment, but a partial-birth abortion will end her life.

John Piper said, "I will never vote for a person who endorses such an evil even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation." How can we trust a candidate to courageously serve all of his constituents if he supports and promotes the deliberate murder of the weakest among us?

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Published in The Augusta Chronicle 11/04/2000

Copyright 2000 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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