Given multiple national polls showing that people do not support abortion, it remains an issue, and it remains an issue that the GOP does not handle well.
I remember watching the VP debate between Biden and Ryan, and being hugely disappointed in how Ryan handled the abortion question. If I may paraphrase Ryan’s answer in general terms, he stressed how important his faith was in coming to his pro-life position. Biden then rambled on about how much he supports a woman’s right to choose. The net result is that Biden generally came across as a rational, compassionate, caring sort; which is not what he is at all, while the impression of Ryan that the underinformed voters ultimately got was that he would be the sort of person who might just be capable of supporting any position informed by his religious views.
Of course, senate candidates Akin and Mourdock also had cringe-worthy comments on the abortion issue as well. Arguably, poor handling of women’s issues cost the GOP two senate seats and possibly the presidency. So what’s the problem? Why does the GOP insist upon conveying the most important message of civilized society, the message that every life is valuable, in such consistently inarticulate fashion? What kind of an approach would serve to neutralize the issue at the voting booth, and bring election results in line with national polls on the matter?
Well, as to why the GOP is so incompetent at communicating the value of life, I’m not really sure. They certainly know it’s an issue that will be raised by Democratic candidates and the progressive, state-run media. They certainly have the time and resources to prepare for it. Honestly, I have no idea why the GOP can’t positively deliver the pro-life message, but I do know what their message should be.
The GOP message should be, “The abortion issue has nothing to do with religion. Mine or anyone else’s. The senseless and societally counterproductive promotion of abortion as an acceptable solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancy has led to a culture where the value of a life can be quantified, and that’s wrong. Abortion is a human rights issue, and a civilized society has several undeniable obligations. Primary among them is the right to life. This is not an opinion informed by my religious beliefs. This is an opinion informed by common sense. Every life has value, and a civilized society protects life. It’s that simple.”
The GOP needs to stop hinging their abortion discussions on religion, and their public policy positions on faith. Frankly, it makes the pro-life position look fanatical, when it is anything but. The GOP needs to have confidence that their position is informed by reality, and by the conviction that a society is judged, ultimately, by how they treat the least among them. And most Americans support candidates who promote the future of our nation and stand up for using our government programs in the manner they were intended: to protect and provide for those who cannot protect or provide for themselves.
If they were smart, the GOP would position themselves to call out the pro-abortion Democrats for the hypocritical simultaneous support of their contradicting positions on human rights. Real concern for human rights and promotion of abortion can’t exist together. That’s not fanatical. That’s Realville, USA.