An Illusory Intertwingling of Reason and Response

Philosophy: I wax philosophical, and many times violently politico-philosophical. If you can stand the heat, here’s the kitchen: enjoy your stay . . .

Tafel :: philosophy :: political

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Abortion Non-Issue

If you plan to vote for a major-party presidential candidate in the upcoming election, abortion is a non-issue.

I'm a member, generally, of what the press condescendingly refers to as the "values voter republican base". It the (albeit few) years I've been able to vote, I've only once not voted Republican, and that was for a state office (I voted Libertarian, by the way, not Democrat, so don't start getting ideas).

I believe that public policy is "values", and thus values are the only reasonable basis for a vote. Some of the values I've voted on are educational freedom, civil liberties, the right to life, and respect for the Constitution. The right to life, particularly, has been a bellwether issue: I've never voted for a pro-abortion candidate.

There are currently two presidential nominees that have any chance whatsoever of taking office: Barack Obama and John McCain. Obama is very outspoken in his pro-abortion stance, which has led most of my fellow "values voters" to assume what the Republican party is desperately attempting to promulgate: that McCain is in some sense anti-abortion.

Don't you believe it.

1999 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle

But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.

May 3, 2007 GOP Presidential Debate

I believe that we need to fund [embryonic stem cell research].

Those are just two of many public demonstrations of McCain's true stance on abortion: I'll not bore you with the litany, but you will find numerous examples in three or four pages of search engine hits.

Honestly, he and Obama probably agree quite a bit on most of the "values" questions: as demagogues, they probably don't hold a personal conviction either way, and simply take the public stance they feel will garner them the most votes. Anyone who can believe

If you're voting for a major-party ticket in the upcoming presidential election, you're in luck. Abortion is a non-issue. Neither candidate is pro-life, so you can scratch one more issue from your list of "important considerations".

Me? I have a candidate in mind who's on my side as far as the abortion issue goes, among agreeing with me on the vast majority of other issues.

Yes, I realize you think I'm throwing my vote away. You may even think I'm de facto supporting Obama by not supporting his ostensible rival. Don't you see, though, that, far from Republican and Democrat being the two votes available, "major-party" and "third-party" are really what's at issue.

If my vote for a third-party candidate can convince anyone else to vote by conscience rather than by some imagined expediency, it will have done more good for our country than thousands of votes for either major-party candidate. I'm young, yes. But even I've been able to catch on to the Washington tag-team game, each party playing paper tiger for the other while taking its turn in power, entirely solidifying support for major-party politics whatever happens.

I'm not convinced.

I know better.

I'm voting Barr.