Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Out on a Limb


No issue within American Politics is able to elicit a more impassioned response or divide the electorate more than abortion. For many it has become the single most decisive issue regulating their voting patterns. In my own experience, particularly when in the company of Christians, when I tell others I hold a liberal political philosophy I am automatically asked how I feel about abortion and how I can reconcile that with my aggregate views.

Firstly, yes I do tend towards a pro-life stance. I place immense value and respect upon human life and it is my hope that this value transcends my entire life not just pocket issues. Yet I am frustrated. Frustrated because abortion has become such a powerful force within our system. A recent article by The Economist, which I believe I sent to many of you, evaluated abortion in the United States and how powerfully it works in favor for the GOP and is in turn so detrimental to the Democratic Party. Detrimental because it is the burden of Democrats to defend abortion and in favor of the GOP because by attacking it they can collect the religious right as a constituency but have to offer no true pragmatic solutions. It was The Economist's view and my own, that abortion will not be made illegal because the vast majority of the electorate wishes to see it in some form or another as a legal option. Thus, huge reserves of human resources and labor are being used to achieve nothing concrete other than a more bipartisan atmosphere.

Now I recognize and respect people's legal right to lobby for those issues deemed important by them. Further, I understand how abortion, since dealing with the lives of children, has become such a poignant issue and causes such distress on both sides. And finally I recognize the bias of this essay and how it may come to be viewed as nothing more than a way to strengthen the Democratic Party. However, my frustration lies not within hopes for the DNC but rather that there is such a multiplicity of issues out that, where resources are not being devoted, yet with a little effort very real and pragmatic solution's are within easy reach. I seek conclusion that is all. Let the people decide.


At 9:35 PM, Blogger That one guy said...

Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in American politics. Indeed, however, the issue is changing. The way the issue is viewed by the American public (and American politicians) is in the process of finding a new basis.

The New York Times (you know, my favorite newspaper) recently ran an op/ed piece on the topic of abortion, by William Saletan, (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/22/opinion/22saletan.html?_r=1) that caught my eye. He--and I've read a couple other op/eds on the topic--talks about how detrimential basing the pro-choice argument solely on Roe v. Wade is to the pro-choice argument.

I would agree, though, that abortion must be considered as a part of an aggregate belief, not as a single-issue. Anyway, thought you might like the article.


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