Americans are still ‘values’ voters Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 -- 12:00 AM

After almost two years of campaigning, the 2008 presidential election is finally over. A clear majority of voters selected Barack Obama as our 44th president, the first African American to hold our nation’s highest office.

Editor's View
Mary C. Uhler

Supporters of Senator John McCain and many Republicans who lost in state elections may be concerned about the future. But as McCain himself pointed out in his gracious concession speech, Obama is “my president.” 

Obama is our president and we must all offer prayers, as Pope Benedict XVI did, that “the blessing of God would sustain him and the American people so that with all people of good will they could build a world of peace, solidarity, and justice.”

I think we can be assured that Americans are still “values” voters. However, this year the economy overshadowed many other concerns. People in our country are coping with unemployment, high costs for food and fuel, failing mortages, and falling investments.

In the midst of this economic uncertainty, voters wanted leaders with a fresh perspective. Now it remains to be seen if our new president and members of Congress can bring about positive change.

Voters did uphold traditional values in passing state constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman in Arizona, California, and Florida. There are now 30 states (including Wisconsin) that have passed amendments upholding that definition of marriage.

A late shift by Catholics in California is credited with the win of Proposition 8 (the marriage amendment) in that state. Catholics make up 30 percent of the electorate in California and 64 percent of them voted “yes” on Proposition 8 — a 20 percent shift in one week before the election. 

A pollster said Catholics and other churchgoers were influenced by messages heard in churches the weekend before Election Day that convinced them to vote for Proposition 8.

Catholics do vote their values. We must continue to educate Catholics about Catholic teaching and convince them to put their faith into action as they interact with our government leaders in the years ahead.