Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Abortion rate goes up during Bush administration

Lord knows the last thing I want to do on this blog is start a debate about abortion - far from it. But something that's been interesting me lately is why people vote the way they do and what their greater issues are.

Now, arguably this would be a great opportunity to discuss Thomas Franks' What's the Matter with Kansas? - a terrific book and a must-read for anyone scratching their heads about this matter. But it's getting late and I don't really feel like taking this whole issue on right now, so I'm going to leave it like this:

Some of the right's strongest support comes from Christians who see it as a moral or religious imperative to follow candidates who talk a good game about wanting a "culture of life." I can respect this - even agree with it - except that my personal vision of what a "culture of life" might be is quite different from theirs. But to vote for a candidate who pledges respect for all living things? Sure, I'm down with that (although again, technically, my vision of what "all living things" is differs from the traditional right/Christian view).

But the problem with one-note voting (voting solely on something like the legality of abortion) is that it ignores the environment that created the issue to begin with. It's become all to common in our culture to recognize a problem and then quickly spit out a solution, when in reality nothing comes that easy. So, you're opposed to abortion? Easy - vote for the candidate that's also opposed; that'll fix it. Right?

But, of course, life is more delicate, more complicated, and more nuanced than that. The above linked article is written by a "pro-life" Christian and a journalist, and they write:

Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, insurance, jobs, child care and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need a president who will do something about jobs, health insurance and support for mothers.

...which is about the best thing I've heard in weeks.


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