By Dave Andrusko
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” — Mark Twain
If you are veteran of our Movement, 2010-2011 might seem like déjà vu all over again. What do I mean?
Whenever potential Republican presidential candidates gear up to run against a pro-abortion Democrat (in this case, President Barack Obama), they will be given a lot of advice, free of charge but carrying a steep price if accepted: an electoral disaster. Part of that counsel–which the media loudly publicizes–is shame on them if they are foolish enough to be pro-life. It’s like voluntarily attaching an anchor to their ankles.
This recycled message–“save the ship [and your candidacy], throw the kids overboard”—is new only in the packaging—let’s have a “truce” on the “social issues.” (Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is generally considered to be the author of that sentiment.)
There are a lot of ways of responding to this self-defeating suggestion. We took a first-run at it last week (http://www.nrlc.org/News_and_Views/March11/nv030411.html).
Many others have criticized what one Republican described as “unilateral disarmament” (because Democrats have no interest in shelving their full-bore support for abortion). Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, wrote a terrific piece last week for the Wall Street Journal under the headline, “Americans Don’t Want a ‘Truce’ on Social Issues: Gov. Mitch Daniels is misinterpreting the voting public.”
Rev. Land does an excellent job debunking the rationale for “jettison[ing], even temporarily,” a strong position on abortion (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703300904576178390519502436.html?mod=googlenews_wsj). Near the end, he invokes a passage from a great speech Ronald Reagan gave many years ago.
In defending an unapologetic defense of life and other “beliefs and principles that for 20 years the intelligentsia were telling us were hopelessly out of date,” Reagan said, “You spoke for the permanent against the merely prevalent, and ultimately you prevailed.”
Last night five potential Republican presidential candidates spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of 1,500 Evangelicals at a meeting of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition at Waukee church. None found a pro-life position a negative, none sounded the call for a “truce.” There will be many more such forums over the next year and I’ll do my best to pull out what is said about abortion.
At the risk of stating the obvious, no one has ever denied that the economy will likely be a major issue in 2012. No one says that international affairs will be a non-issue. No pro-lifer has ever said that abortion will be the only issue in the 2012 presidential election. So, please, don’t put words in our mouths.
What we do say is this. Those who keep asking pro-lifers to leave the room seem unaware (a) of how many people do make abortion either the decisive issue in how they vote or among the top tier of issues; and (b) of how while the importance of other issues waxes and wanes among voters, pro-lifers NEVER waver in their opposition to the killing of unborn babies. Never!
That’s why among single-issue abortion voters, the pro-life candidate virtually always gets more votes than the pro-abortion candidate, sometimes winning a net advantage of up to 4%. You will rarely hear this simple but profound truth: it is an advantage to be pro-life.
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