By Dave Andrusko
Last week many mainstream pundits gave the stirring remarks of pro-life Republican Senator Marco Rubio a B-, at best. Other pro-life Hispanic speakers, such as New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Texas senatorial candidate Ted Cruz, were essentially ignored or not-so-subtly dismissed.
So, when I read that San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro would speak Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, although I knew nothing about him, I also knew that he would receive rave reviews from the same people who found the charismatic Sen. Rubio uninspiring. And so it was.
To be fair (as I said in a tweet), when you heard the beginnings of his remarks, you’d have thought he had made a wrong turn; he should have been at the Republican National Committee. But then again, Hispanics are very, very family-oriented.
However after a very promising start, Mayor Castro’s remarks quickly downshifted into the ad hominem attacks which were the coin of the realm last night. And, naturally, although Hispanics are very pro-life, Castro unloaded the pro-forma denunciation of pro-life Mitt Romney. “When it comes to respecting women’s rights,” Romney says no, Castro said.
And although the meaning was not what he intended, Castro made a revealing observation. “Of all the fictions we heard last week in Tampa, the one I find most troubling is this,” he said. “If we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. Because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead.”
Of course, Republicans said nothing of the sort (they didn’t say virtually anything that was attributed to them last night), but that is not our concern as single-issue pro-lifers. It is Castro’s idea of the threads that bind us as a family and as Americans that jumped out at me last night.
For fifty plus years, pro-lifers have argued exactly that: that there is no bond more crucial to the human experience than that between a mother and her unborn child. And when that “thread” is broken, there are catastrophic consequences—not just for the poor baby, but for the mother, the father, indeed the whole web of people of whom these three are an inextricable part.
I mentioned earlier that Mr. Castro’s beginning remarks were not what you expect from a convention running over with pro-abortionists, whose platform gives Planned Parenthood and NARAL all it wants at the same time it consciously excluded the name of God.
Along with his twin brother, Castro grew up with his mother Rosie and grandmother Victoria, who had had to leave her home in Mexico. He told us that Victoria, an orphan, barely scraped by, “working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life, so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one.” He told the convention
“As my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her grandchildren. She prayed to God for just one grandbaby before she died. You can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered—twice over. She was so excited that the day before Joaquin and I were born she entered a menudo cook-off, and she won $300! That’s how she paid our hospital bill.
“By the time my brother and I came along, this incredible woman had taught herself to read and write in both Spanish and English. I can still see her in the room that Joaquin and I shared with her, reading her Agatha Christie novels late into the night. And I can still remember her, every morning as Joaquin and I walked out the door to school, making the sign of the cross behind us, saying, ‘Que dios los bendiga’ ‘May God bless you.’”
I know nothing about Mr. Castro, other than what I heard last night. But for me, his grandmother’s love of life, her willingness to sacrifice everything for her only child (and later twin grandsons) represented a stinging rebuke to the planned and the perfect crowd that hooped and hollered every time Romney was denounced for saying “no” to a woman’s “right” to take the life of her unborn baby.