Jakubczyk on Common Sense

Applying faith and reason to ideas, issues and events in today's world

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John J. Jakubczyk has been active in the Pro-Life Movement since 1975.  He served as President of Arizona Right to Life, Arizona's largest, oldest and strongest pro-life organization.  He was on the board of AzRTL for many years and now acts as the Arizona delegate to the National Right to Life Committee.  As the founder and president of Southwest Life & Law Center, he continues to use his legal skills to assist in advising, counseling and defending women, children, pro-life activists, organizations, as well as victims of abortion. A national speaker, motivator and adviser since the 1980s, he is very familiar with the history of the movement at the national level.   A founder and past president of Ville de Marie Academy, he served as a trustee for 15 years.  He has been an attorney in private practice for 35 years, is active in his church, married, the father of 11 children, and a proud grandfather.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Post election thoughts

It has been two weeks since the elections and there has been a great deal of commentary by pundits and experts and those who are neither. I have specifically avoided writing down my thoughts as the days have gone by for a couple of reasons which I will now share. The first is that many who wrote as to why McCain lost the election stated the obvious. Everyone knew that he was going up against a series of inevitables and one need not repeat what was common understanding. Yet despite the stacked deck, there were some who believed that McCain could have won had he emphasized certain positions and stayed on message. Of course the timing of Paulson’s announcement of a financial crisis had many wondering about the October surprise that came early in September. Even had McCain followed these ideas, who really can say how the frustrated and confused American people would have reacted.
The media made Barack Obama and having made him had to insure his victory. He was given a total pass on issues, areas of his past, and pronouncements that should have drawn strict scrutiny from an independent press. But the press is not independent and now finally everyone knows the truth. We in the pro-life movement have long known of the inherent bias and prejudice in the media in their coverage of the abortion issue.
McCain and his campaign did not successfully connect Obama to the failed policies of liberalism. Because Obama is such a smooth talker and can extract himself verbally out of any difficulty, the McCain campaign should have connected him to his advisers, Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson in every speech and at every turn. But they did not. They should have tied him to the Pelosi/Reid Congress. But they did not. They tried to address the energy crisis and did show some traction in that regard. But the drop in gas prices at the pump put that issue to bed. Indeed the very strength McCain held in foreign policy matters and concerning the Iraq surge served to be his undoing. The war was not an issue.
Many had hoped that McCain would oppose the bailout. He did not and so he failed to distinguish himself from Obama. But the area where John McCain failed to take advantage of the clearest and starkest difference between the two candidates was on the social issues of abortion, marriage, and school choice in education.
Except for the time surrounding his appearance at Saddleback Church where he clearly won the exchange of ideas and garnered support from the majority of those watching, McCain did not talk about marriage and the family. He rarely mentioned education. In failing to do so, he missed an opportunity to give people a clear understanding between the two candidates on these issues.
Now many will say that his failure to make them centerpieces means that the public did not consider them. Given the attention paid by the media to the economic slowdown and the negative inferences to the Republicans for causing the situation, one must agree. But it seems to me that the problems with the family, the economy and the life issues all somehow connect.
When people believe in themselves and have a positive attitude about life, they are inclined to take chances and try new things. When they are afraid, they close up and repress any ideas that may involve risk. When people are self centered, they care not for others and therefore do not act in the public or common interest. When people are concerned about their fellow human beings, good things happen and all benefit.
Apply that to marriage and the family. Apply that to economics and natural resources. Apply the same concept to the idea that people are our greatest natural resource. Mother Teresa once told a group of us that the greatest gift you as a parent could give to your child was a brother or a sister. In other words when it is all settled, what is important in life are the relationships we have with other human beings.
When we as a culture say no to life, we begin the process of slowly killing ourselves. We need to have growth in order to live. We need children in order for there to be a future. Supporting life, promoting life, respecting life is the means of saying that we really care about our fellow human beings. After all, think – who will be there to run the trains, push the gurneys, buy the cars, make the stoves, if we do not have children. And who will power this great complicated economic machine if there are less people.
When a people chose life, good things will happen for children are a good and their being helps us realize that life is a wonderful gift. But if the society does not chose life, what then?
All of this should help us to keep things in perspective over the next four years. The country may be in for some tough times. We may have to multiply our prayers and sacrifices to help protect the unborn and the elderly. But we cannot give up. We cannot abandon our duty to stand up for life. Our commitment to life must be as strong now as it ever has been. Only then can we look our children in the eye and ask them to continue in the great cause for life.