Political Homelessness is Better than a Wrong Political Home
Note: As with all political commentaries, this post reflects the viewpoint of the author, who chooses to use a pen name. We encourage and publish a wide diversity of views.
by Ms. Boomer-ang
People with a consistent life philosophy should be wary about efforts to recruit us into conservative movements. Rejection by liberals is not a sufficient reason for embracing conservatism. If leaving what one does not love means leaving all existing political homes, it is okay to have no political home. One can either accept that homeless status or urge the building of a new political home where one does belong.
Many conservatives campaign on pro-life slogans, but once elected focus on attacking public services, discriminating against non-conformists, promoting environmental degradation, cruel law and order policies, and military aggression. Conservatives’ non-negotiable policies include such things consistent life movements should either be open-tent about or outright reject. Of course, correspondingly, many liberals campaign on environmental protection and immigrant-welcoming slogans, but once elected focus on promoting abortion, death-hastening, and incentives to submit to them.
What spurred this essay were Carol Crossed’s review of Defending the Unborn on this blog (April 2016), and a fall 2016 article in a local pro-life newsletter urging readers to vote for “pro-life candidate Donald Trump.”
In the 2016 election, from a pro-life viewpoint, Hillary Clinton was a known “evil.” But the pro-life newsletter presented Trump as a known “good.” Actually, from a pro-life viewpoint, he was and is an unknown. To vote for an unknown over a known evil is understandable. But the newsletter portrayed him as a known good-guy, as if to shame everyone who did not vote for him, and that is inaccurate. Not voting for either candidate was a valid action in that election. (I took that action.)
A later edition of that same newsletter praised Republicans for not only accepting pro-lifers but also trying to lower property taxes. Reducing property taxes can threaten some public services, and the pro-life movement should be open-tent about that issue.
It is simplistic to call Trump pro-life. For most of his life, he was proudly pro-abortion. Maybe he felt he had to stop antagonizing pro-life people, in order to run for president as a Republican. But he still gloried in the sexual exploitation of women, which is one source of unwanted pregnancies. (In fact, were not some of the reasons Hugh Hefner and his male-condoners promoted abortion to allow a man to exploit a woman sexually with fewer unwanted consequences and to reduce a woman’s society-accepted justifications for rejecting sexual advances?) Candidate Trump also mocked handicapped people.
And with President Trump, what do we get? Eliminating child deduction from income taxes! Proclaiming that what John McCain said during his last year doesn’t count, “because he’s dying.” (As if one should hope he would die speedily.) Putting people with alleged histories of having fun sexually exploiting women into high positions. (Though if a Democrat had nominated someone like Brett Kavanagh, at least before the #MeToo movement, would people who objected to him be mocked as “religious right”?) Separating refugee children from their parents and confining them in bad conditions. Calling for parades showing off our big weapons. (Around the time of the 1976 Bicentennial, a newspaper letter noted approvingly that our parades, unlike those in other countries, did not show off big military weapons. This was American exceptionalism; this was one reason why America was great.)
Carol Crossed’s review provides us with examples of conservatives and Republicans promoting abortion and, before Roe, liberals and Democrats opposing it. One example was “a liberal Democrat whose statement for unborn protection was coupled with opposition to the Viet Nam War and the death penalty.”
Post-Roe, I personally have had acquaintances whose support of abortion and euthanasia is part of their military hawkishness and support of the death penalty. Now the media acknowledges the existence of pro-abortion conservatives and Republicans, but almost never mentions pro-life people who are “liberal” on just about every other issue. An exception was the Village Voice—both in its willingness to print Nat Hentoff columns and its printing this century of a letter from someone else who said her (I think it was a her) opposition to abortion and opposition to the death penalty were part of the same philosophy.
Several conservative policies and goals pressure people to believe they have “no choice” but to submit to abortion and death-hastening. These include welfare family caps, the repeal of tax exemptions for children, pushing private schools (which increase the cost of raising children), and allowing health insurance premiums to rise drastically while cutting coverage (along with promoting discount plans that do not cover life-accepting treatments for the severely ill and disabled).
Wanting to belong to something is very real. Parties too small to win elections can still have influence and provide political homes for their adherents. For consistent-lifers uncomfortable with both the Democratic and Republican parties, a post on this blog (December, 2017, by Monica Sohler) recommended the American Solidarity Party. This Party’s platform has many admirable points, and for consistent lifers who are religious Christians it could be the right thing. But I’m looking for something whose tent is open to non-Christians, pagans, atheists, and agnostics (and as something more than conversion-material), as well as devout Christians. Something which holds that certain principles are right, whether or not God ordered them.
For posts on similar topics, see:
For posts on conservatives in the consistent life ethic, see:
Nukes and the Pro-Life Christian: A Conservative Takes a Second Look at the Morality of Nuclear Weapons