Wednesday, July 27, 2016

While we're waiting...

While we're waiting for the Democratic National Dog-and-Pony Show to play out, I'd like to continue the train of thought I started in the last post regarding hypocrisy.

Specifically, here's one of the issues that I have to think about long and hard when determining where to put my support: Abortion.

I'm unabashedly pro Life. In my view, it's very simple, and it's summed up very well by Matt Walsh in a recent post of his: "abortion is the murder of a human being, and it’s always wrong to murder human beings." You can argue that abortion is not murder; but I believe that neither morality nor science support that view.

Furthermore, I think that my stance is the most politically Libertarian one. Libertarians are guided by the non-aggression principle, eschewing the use of force except in defense of self or others who are incapable of self-defense. There is no one more defenseless than a child in the womb. I should not have to explain it more than that, so I won't.

Despite my position, I support Gary Johnson, who does not share it. How can that be, and isn't it hypocritical of me to do that?

Well, I don't think so. But maybe.

In order to practice tolerance in any capacity, you have to be able to not just acknowledge disagreements, but move past them. It's a matter of picking battles. Abortion is legal today. If either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump were elected, abortion would still be legal. The fact is that there is no choice among candidates on this issue, so it is impossible to be picky on the matter. I therefore choose my battles, setting this one aside for a later date in favor of the more solvable concern of reducing government overreach. Also, I find that Gary Johnson is at least honest in the expression his opinion even though we disagree. He feels that abortion should not be publicly funded, and it shouldn't be a Federal issue. He is unlikely to push either for the expansion of abortion, nor is he likely to object if individual States restrict it. I feel that his Supreme Court picks would be those in favor of leaving abortion laws with the States, just as we now do with other forms of homicide. In short, he will not make the problem worse.

Hillary Clinton's views are probably as good as you can expect from a Democratic politician and are reasonably self-consistent. "Keep abortion safe, legal, and rare." We can certainly agree on promoting adoption and foster care. I would expand that to include promoting moral behavior (and failing that, the use of contraceptives) so that fewer unwanted pregnancies occur. You don't have to abort a child who was never conceived. Hillary spoils it a bit by couching it as an argument against big government. She's never been against big government in any other context, so it comes across as disingenuous. Her Supreme Court picks would assuredly reinforce a Federal role in this issue. And as I have previously mentioned on this blog, she's not fit for the Presidency in any event, making the examination of her views a rhetorical exercise.

Donald Trump's views are anybody's guess. He has taken every possible stance on the issue. My spider-sense tingles when I notice that his expressed opinions almost entirely revolve around the funding of Planned Parenthood. That is, he's taking a populist approach, and I don't know whether or not his stated opposition is sincere or strategic. I think two things are terribly clear, though... First: all of his views are negotiable. When he needs support for something more central to his interests, he will change his opinion on anything, including this. He already has. Second: we don't know what he really means about anything. Even his "Border Wall" has already gone from being a physical barrier to being a metaphor. Don't expect him to be the one to tell the voters that, though. The problem is, he's so unpredictable on so many issues that his saying "I'm pro-Life" is neither reassuring nor certain. It surely isn't a tipping point.


This country was founded on certain high-minded ideals that were not practiced universally, even among the people who founded it. While by "all Men are created equal", they meant all humankind, in practice this did not apply to slaves nor to female suffrage.

Nevertheless, they meant what they said. As they plainly stated in the preamble of the Constitution, they didn't set out to create a "perfect union", but a "more perfect" one. Imperfect, but capable of being built upon and improved. Thus, the Constitution was written so that the slave trade had a limited life. By allowing it for a limited period of time the more pressing task of building this nation could be undertaken without the distraction of that divisive issue. The men in office then abolished the trade at the earliest possible date of 1808. To abolish slavery itself required more than that. It required a change of public opinion, followed by armed conflict. But it did, in fact, occur. Women's suffrage required only the changing of public opinion. Desegregation required the changing of public opinion as well, and though it sometimes came to blows, it didn't require a war. But public opinion had to change before the laws could. Likewise, abortion is an issue that, in my opinion, is not likely to be solved by law alone. Rather, it's a problem that can only be solved by people who are privately convinced to reject the practice as the barbarism that it is.

Big problems aren't solved with ultimatums. They are solved by taking steps in the right direction. A shift to Libertarianism is one of those steps.

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