Joseph Cotto, 9/16/2014 [Archive]

A Rational (and Conservative) View of Abortion

By Joseph Cotto

If you think that abortion should be legal, but lean right on other issues, do you deserve a voice in the conservative movement?

The answer should be an enthusiastic "Yes!". This isn't because the pro-choice perspective is morally superior and therefore impervious to criticism. Not by a country mile. It is because movement conservatives have fewer and fewer friends these days. Demographics are changing, and new voters don't much care for Reaganomics or W. Bush-style "family values".

Unfortunately, no small number of righties seem unconcerned.

Most Americans have probably heard about the influential political blog DailyKos. A haven for leftish activists, the website has played a pivotal role in restructuring the Democratic Party. Should one wish to discover how the Democratic Leadership Council and centrist liberals lost control over their Party's future, DailyKos is a fantastic place to start.

The blog's opposite number is RedState. While RedState never attained the power of DailyKos, it is a formidable presence among rightist crusaders. RedState's chief editor is a fellow named Erick Erickson. Over the past few years, he has commentated on cable news and served as councilman in Macon. His attendance record was less than inspiring and he stepped down before his term ended to pursue a talk radio career.

While in office, Erickson called for city police to disband as some officers wanted to unionize. He also called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter a "goat ****ing child molester". This was not in some private conversation, but on Twitter for all to see.

Needless to mention, Erickson is pro-life. He is so against abortion rights that anyone who believes in them is forbidden from contributing to the front page of RedState. According to the outspoken Christian, who is now training to become a minister, this is the core principle on which his website rests. Should said principle be violated, he and others will abandon the blog.

That declaration, issued shortly after Independence Day, has generated little controversy among movement rightists. Quite the opposite, in fact. Erickson appears popular as ever.

Such a situation raises red flags on too many levels to count. At the forefront are American conservatism's post-Roe v. Wade electoral victories. The National Right to Life Committee claims that 54,559,615 abortions have been performed following 1973. It's clear that those seeking out abortions do so because they are in dire situations. If they were to become parents, our society would have far more dysfunctional families.

We must remember that — irrespective of race, ethnicity, or religion — those born into desperate settings often lead desperate lives. Social mobility doesn't go nearly so far as it should.

Inconvenient as it is to admit, especially in our supposedly classless nation, this is how generational poverty develops and perpetuates. One can hardly imagine that 50 million-plus individuals born into unfortunate circumstances would have made America better.

Economists Steven Levitt and John Donohue did some interesting research several years back. They ultimately found that America's drastic crime drop since the 1990s is due to Roe v. Wade. The reasoning is simple: Women who didn't want children didn't have them. If they did, though, their kids would've been prime candidates for criminal activity.

All of this should make it clear that if not for Roe v. Wade, we'd be part of the third world. Fiscal responsibility, let alone the Republican Party, would be fodder for history books. The welfare state would have reached its current level years before, and by now grown to communistic proportions. Violent crime would make medieval English forests look like gated communities built around golf courses.

That's only for starters.

To think that Erickson and his fellow travelers call themselves "conservative" is pure tragicomedy. It's tragic since American conservatism is continually deprived of clear thinkers, instead attracting theological zealots. It's comedic because there is nothing more radically leftist than giving one's nation away to those who, saying the least, are not stewards of their communities.

The leftists taking control of America's time-honored institutions must laugh themselves to sleep over these folks. Who can blame them?

——-

Copyright 2014 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at joseph.f.cotto@gmail.com.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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