Several of the Democrats who won their congressional elections
yesterday are moderates or social conservatives. And Sen. Obama won by
campaigning towards center, and benefitting from an uncontrollable
economic crisis. He did not win on his liberalism.

The American public has still not embraced many aspects of liberalism.

President-Elect Barack Obama’s record and positions put
him well to the left of any president in the last four decades. But to
judge from his campaign, he is a man who wants to cut taxes, defend an
individual right to own guns, take a hard line on terrorists in
Pakistan, reduce the abortion rate, allow people to keep their
health-care plans, and keep trade free. The polls suggest that he was
wise to run in this fashion: They show that the public remains as
skeptical about federal activism and social liberalism as they have
been for years.

The Democratic leadership are planning around that, now that power has been seized.

But they may only enjoy it until the next mid-term election if
federal activism and social liberalism run as rampant as they threaten
to already.

Exit polling from yesterday shows a majority of Americans identifying themselves as independent, moderate or conservative.

In our first editorial of the year, we wrote:
“Conservatives believe that American interests and values are
threatened by familial instability, runaway government, and weakness
and confusion in foreign policy. Those convictions will retain serious
political strength for as long as they are rooted in reality.” The
contemporary conservative vocation, we added, was to breathe new life
into those convictions. We stand by that judgment.

McCain lost, some analysts’ contend, by running as a moderate and
abandoning some of his conservative base. He came as close as he did in
no small measure because of the tremendous energy Sarah Palin and Joe
the Plumber brought to his campaign (and back to that base). Both of
them were unafraid of talking boldly about conservative values, and
unapologetic about the merit of those values for social growth and
human dignity.

Such defeat of a value system is bracing, evident today in the pro-life world.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for
Life…asserts that the pro-life movement will grow in strength and that
the President-elect has already “failed miserably” a key test for
public office.

“Americans have made a grave mistake in electing Barack Obama to the
presidency,” Fr. Pavone wrote. “He said during the campaign that he
does not know when a human being starts to have human rights. How can
one govern from that starting point of ignorance? Governing is about
protecting human rights; to do it successfully, you have to know where
they come from, and when they begin. The President-elect has already
failed that test miserably.”

Fr. Pavone sounds a note of defiant confidence, declaring that the
pro-life movement is winning in the culture and that “a new chapter of
the pro-life movement has just begun.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....