Your Excellency,

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for this campaign season to be as dead as Scrooge’s doornail.  For the last month, political commercials have crowded television screens and websites, interrupting even Mayberry reruns and the latest scoop on Paris Hilton.  Despite their promises to avoid negative campaigns, all candidates have by now thoroughly execrated one another.  (Positive campaigning would put everyone to sleep, including the candidates.  For entertainment purposes, give me the candidate who goes for the jugular instead of the mind any day of the week.)

The conclusion of past elections has usually induced sighs of relief among voters eager to recommence their lives.  This election, however, presents some particular difficulties.  If the Democrats lose the presidential race, some political observers predict that all hell will break lose, that blacks will riot in the streets, and that feminists who long ago burned their bras will kick down the barn doors and burn anything wearing a penis.  If the Republicans lose the election, other pundits fear that battalions of despairing evangelicals may turn for solace to alcohol and loose women, costing our country billions in lost work hours and thereby increasing our national deficit.

These possibilities present the Church with a unique opportunity.

Several million fervent Democrats suffer from Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS).  Roger Kimball first described this disease in his essay “The Kael Syndrome Returns: Why Democrats are in for a Big Surprise Come November.”  Kimball recommends reading Lyle Rossiter’s The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.  “In his determination to control the world,” writes Rossiter, the liberal

constantly defends himself against what Karen Horney aptly described as the most basic of human factors: being alone and helpless in a dangerous, indifferent world, the nightmare of the abandoned terrified child.

If the Democrats lose, many of those afflicted by PDS will feel even more alone and helpless than they normally do, and will doubtless require counseling.  Here is where Holy Mother Church in her great compassion might prove invaluable.  We should open our parish halls and offer solace to those poor souls who voted for The Prophet and The Plagiarist.  Teams of counselors might man the tables, ready with advice, boxes of Kleenex, fair-trade coffee, and organic bran muffins to restore these “abandoned, terrified children” to the world.  This therapy may prove expensive—I priced those muffins at EarthFare this morning, and they ain’t cheap—but such a show of compassion will certainly gain converts to our Faith.

And what if the McCain-Palin fighter jet nosedives onto the beach?  To their followers we must tender a different sort of compassion.  Instead of tissues and soothing words, we’ll offer the defeated Republicans a Happy Hour—martinis, wine, hors d’oeuvres—followed by a supper of moose stew.  The Church could make priests available to hear the confessions of those who took the Lord’s name in vain when the election results rolled across their television screens. (I advise sending our liberal priests on a two-week vacation.  Some parishioners may decide that Father’s advocacy of immigration and higher taxes deserves its own small riot.)

As for me, Your Excellency, all will be well.  I have few illusions regarding the diminished grandeur of our republic.  What does interest me, however, is how you and your fellow bishops will react, should the Democrats take the White House, to a Catholic vice president who has so staunchly advocated abortion.  Do the faithful idly watch for four years while our pro-abortion vice president weekly receives Holy Communion?  Should the thousands of pro-life marchers sit silently each January while cardinals and archbishops, bishops and priests, file into Washington’s Basilica of the Immaculate Conception to preach against abortion even as smug Joe Biden wallows in mortal sin?  If you bishops turn a blind eye to Pro-Abort Joe, does this mean that we sinners in the pews can also expect leniency?  Some assurance here would comfort me, as I sometimes drink too much, indulge in gossip, and occasionally look at women half my age with “lust in my heart.”  (Oh, how innocent the Jimmy Carter of 1976 seems now.)  If you could extend to me the same blindness that the Church offers Jo-Jo, you would spare me the dual burdens of lost time and self-humiliation currently associated with my confessions.

Finally, I see that you and your brother bishops are to gather six days after the election to discuss how to handle politicians who promote abortion.  How convenient that you will wait to deliberate this matter of killing babies until after the ballots have been cast.  This course allows you to encourage votes for the Obama ticket while appearing to extend compassion toward the unborn.  Is this what is known as thinking with the Church?  If so, please let me hear from you, as I am clearly not thinking hard enough.

With all good wishes for you as we enter the penitential season of Advent,

Joe Ecclesia