Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pro-Life in This Election

I got a long political comment on yesterday's blog post, which I'm going to respond to today.

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary election, and Jill Stein in the general election, because those candidates are the ones who are closest to me, in terms of social views. I've done political analysis on myself, and I'm heavily progressive in terms of social issues, while I'm moderate conservative in terms of pretty much everything else (taxes, economics). So I'm in the fun "trapped in the middle" position, where neither political party likes me very much.

The major exception is pro-life issues. I am pro-life, and most progressive candidates are not.

When I look at this election in terms of pro-life issues, I don't see much to be optimistic about. Both Clinton and Trump support the death penalty. Right off the bat, that's a huge pro-life issue where there is no choice. Neither candidate wants to end the government-sponsored murder of criminals. A vote for either candidate is an anti-life choice, at least for that issue.

As for abortion...I'm going to be honest. Donald Trump says he's pro-life, but I don't believe him. I think the only reason he says that is because he's the Republican candidate for President, and he knows he'd alienate his base if he said anything else. He's been solidly pro-choice for decades before this election, and there's even video footage of him supporting partial birth abortion in the past. Not to mention, he changed his position on abortion multiple times in late March this year, if you remember that huge kerfuffle.

That aside, the major reason I don't think he's pro-life is the way he talks about pro-life issues. He doesn't sound sincere. Compare the way he talks about them to the way other pro-life people do, like Carly Fiorina in the primaries or Mike Pence in the VP debate. They sound much more informed, sincere and passionate about abortion. In comparison, Trump sounds more like he's doing a parody of pro-life arguments that he doesn't understand or want to understand.

If Mike Pence was the Presidential candidate, not Donald Trump, then I would be much more likely to vote along the pro-life line. But the way I see it, neither candidate is offering a truly pro-life option. Anyone voting just to support pro-life issues is going to have to settle for the lesser of two evils in this election. And

As for ancillary pro-life issues, again, I don't see much to be optimistic about. Clinton and Trump talk a lot about changing laws, but the President doesn't write laws. Congress does. The President has a lot of powers, but directly writing laws is not one of them. This takes a lot of pro-life issues off the table. Who decides if Planned Parenthood gets funded? Congress. Who decides to uphold the Hyde Amendment? Congress. Who appoints Supreme Court justices? Congress. None of those are things that the President has direct power or control over.

Yes, the President can influence those things, but I'm not sure that Trump would. His specialty is negotiation. If he picked a Supreme Court Justice, I'm fairly certain he'd go with a consensus candidate, rather than a justice who is as firmly pro-life as the justice that is being replaced. I'm told that Trump's list of 40 possible replacements contains some pro-choice judges.


Anonymous said...

If you were in a swing state, would you have voted still voted Stein?

Michael Gray said...

That is a very good question. I'm not sure!