By Jean Garton
Editor’s note. In December 2016, Jean Garton, my friend of more than 30 years and a phenomenal pro-life author and speaker, passed away. Periodically I re-run one of her great, great columns. This ran the month before she died in the November edition of National Right to Life News.
Columnists and late-night comedians are having a field day with the way political candidates bob and weave on issues. A popular cartoon strip even featured one candidate in the shape of a waffle.
Yet many Americans themselves are inconsistent and “waffle” on issues. Some of them, for instance, who hold a pro-life view, repeatedly vote against that conviction.
When asked why the dichotomy between who they say they are and how they vote, they give a variety of reasons. “Out of party loyalty,” say some or because they agree with a pro-choice candidate on other issues. “I don’t believe in being a single-issue voter,” state many.
Sorry, but that won’t pass the “smell” test, and it’s no excuse for having misplaced priorities. Certainly abortion is just one issue, but it is a fundamental issue, an essential issue, a life and death issue.
Would we vote for someone who is “good” on issues like crime but who also condones child abuse? Isn’t that what abortion is –the first and worst abuse any child can suffer at the hands of an adult?
Would we vote for someone who is “good” on issues like job creation but who also affirms the “job” of being an abortionist? How pro-life is that?
A current TV commercial includes pictures with captions that read: “If you say you’re a cook, but don’t cook, you’re not a cook.” “If you say you’re a fire-fighter, but don’t fight fires, you’re not a fire-fighter.” “If you say you’re a coach, but don’t coach, then you’re not a coach.”
What if the next photo featured a line of people holding pro-life signs, but the caption says: “If you say you’re pro-life, but don’t vote pro-life, you’re not pro-life.” Is it even possible to be pro-life in name only?
Candidates who are pro-life have a respect and compassion for the most defenseless in our midst. Whatever other political and social issues they might embrace, they have the reasoning ability to cut through deceptive rhetoric that hides what abortion is and does.
Pro-life candidates at all levels are concerned with the future rather than with a quick fix to difficult problems. They are willing to stand for what is right rather than for what is politically expedient or politically correct.
How can a candidate who condones the violent, painful destruction of helpless unborn children be trusted to protect our rights and interests when it comes to other issues?
“I’m pro-life, but I’m not a single issue voter?” That just doesn’t pass the “smell test.” It doesn’t even pass the “straight-face” test.