Opposition to Abortion is Not a Losing Argument for Republicans As Some Would Have You Believe
By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Roe v. Wade turned 40 on Tuesday, Save Jerseyans, coinciding with the second inaugural ceremony of the most pro-abortion president in United States history.
Rough stuff, no doubt. In the shadow of such auspicious events, you’d think Pro-Life Americans wouldn’t have much to celebrate as tens of thousands of them gather this morning in the bone-chilling bitter January weather of Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual March for Life.
But they do! And they must. Because the universally-applicable cause of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is critically important at this coarse, perilous juncture in American history. Contrary to popular belief, it’s also a verified winning issue for Republican candidates.
Any freshman political science major knows that you can make a poll say anything, but the full body of reputable public polling over the past 15-20 years demonstrates a clear trend among voters towards the Pro-Life position. Even more remarkably, young voters are trending against abortion, too, despite their not-so-socially conservative positions on a variety of other issues.
Better technology is certainly playing a major role. Modern Americans have access to imaging technologies capable of providing an awesomely detailed window into a woman’s womb at very early stages of fetal development; when you see a little heart beating, it’s a whole hell of a lot harder to rationalize attempts to stop it. That’s just human nature. In the end, however, young people trust science more so than any preceding generation (even though they don’t do very well in it when compared to students abroad). We live in an age of many wonders… and iphones. Technology is comfortable and perceived as being the most honest tool for exploring one’s own universe.
Young people don’t trust religion nearly as much. In 2012, only 36% of young voters told pollsters that they attend weekly religious services. So when Pro-Lifers like Rick Santorum monopolize the issue in national campaigns and cast the debate in largely theological terms, a generation skeptical of organized anything gets the hebejebes and reflexively votes Democrat. Not because they’re fond of liberal economics. Millennials are just more afraid of having a cross stapled to their foreheads. Can you blame them? They weren’t raised with crucifixes and, therefore, don’t know that they’re fairly safe to keep around the house.
Smartly framing the issue is key. When Republicans talk about abortion as a human rights issue, discuss the scientific evidence in support of our position and positively articulate the critical need to protect the Constitutionally-enshrined rights of ALL citizens, we usually win a fair fight. Piece of cake. But when Republicans stray from those rhetorical guideposts, it’s all-too-easy for predatory liberal pols and their MSM allies to cast GOP candidates as fanatics who want to steal voters’ condoms, burn their rock ‘n’ roll records and sew their legs closed (an argument I repeated many times throughout the painful 2012 GOP Primary). Morons like Akin and Mourdock don’t help matters.
I’m telling you all of this on March for Life Day to throw a little more cold water on the baseless “we need to abandon abortion” impulse with which some Republicans grapple after every tough loss.
There’s no strategic rationale for it; the Pro-Life cause is a winning issue when handled with charity, humility, eloquence and pragmatism. As a bludgeon? Not so much. But let’s be brutally honest with each other for a moment, elephant to elephant: if the Party of Lincoln doesn’t stand for the natural rights of every American, then what principle won’t we, as Republicans in the 21st Century, gladly compromise-away in pursuit of short term political gain? Or a few approving words from reporters and cultural figures who are never going to vote for us anyway?
Wise up, my friends. Avoidance isn’t a real strategy. Whenever conservatives cede an issue to the Left, it’s always ground that’s never recovered. Never, ever, ever accept a bad liberal premise lying down. This is good ground to make our stand, Save Jerseyans. Dig deep. Hang tough. Work hard. Pray often. Vote life! Now and forever.