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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pro-Life, No Exceptions, Revisited

I was talking politics with an older, more liberal friend last night, and he said he thought Sen. Rubio not believing in abortion exceptions for rape and incest would hurt him. I remember thinking I didn't care, because he's right on the issue, if indeed he believes this. Indeed, as I have said, it's the most principled position to take, if a pre-born child is a person.

Sen. Goldwater had said that extremism in pursuit of liberty is no vice, and if we say "virtue" in place of "liberty," he's right. The game of politics is about persuasion as much as anything, though, and that's why winning is about not seeming to be extreme, even if you are. More interesting still, when discussions about principles and policy degenerate, the game of politics becomes about convincing the people one's opponent is "extreme," an outlier in relation to some mythical middle that you and your travelers occupy. "Extreme" is the postmodern secular way of saying "immoral," in the language of people who have convinced themselves that they are relativists, and that only crazy zealots believe in absolutes.

Nuance is the currency of compromise and cooperation, though. The tricky part is to not be an operator when principles are at issue, at least for an honest person, and to not mobilize the people who fundamentally disagree against you. That is, as much as possible. Still, it should be noted that bad politicians inspire frothy hate from opponents, and manage to demoralize supporters in the process.

I will not support, defend, or otherwise permit exceptions for rape and incest in any future abortion bans. If I do, it is with the explicit intention of working gradually toward its absolute abolition. This is at the level of fundamental principle, and it's no time for nuance or shading. I believe abortion is the gravest evil we have faced since chattel slavery, and I will oppose it at every opportunity.

There are those who will listen to nothing I say besides because of this; that is their right. It is also tragic that some will conclude that I favor rape or incest because of my position. On the contrary; I refuse to trade one person's life for another. It's that simple.

I will work via all morally licit ways to limit abortion, and with those who do not share my conviction. I am happy to do that whenever possible. If we can make that "choice" less likely, and less seemingly necessary, I'm in.

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