This was first published at Live Action News on March 26, 2014, and is reprinted with permission.
As another election cycle begins in earnest, some pro-life candidates are playing political games.
One common argument making the rounds is that campaigns are not “focused on social issues.” The all-important economy is the focus.
Where do a focus on the economy and a neglect of vital social issues get us? In the past, they’ve gotten us slavery and discrimination. They gave Germany the Holocaust. When moral people focus on the economy and put their blinders on for social issues, do we think our opposition ignores the social issues?
No. That’s why slavery continued and the Holocaust began. The opposition doesn’t let up. They don’t ignore social issues for the sake of the economy. They claim that their side of the social issues is imperative to the success of the economy. They use pro-lifers’ social-issue blindness to advance their own cause. They don’t hold up a white flag and say, “Sure, let’s all just forget about abortion for awhile.” Instead, they laugh at our folly and floor the gas pedal on their own advance.
Kinda, maybe, sorta pro-life candidates are emerging where true leaders once stood. Instead of finding a concise, courageous way to explain their convictions, they deny they ever had them.
“The voters have spoken…the question is settled.”
Whenever the voters “speak,” do you declare an issue “settled”? What about the fact that the voters have voted for the candidate you’re challenging? If the voters have spoken, why are you running at all? People want to elect leaders, not followers who are easily swayed. Candidates ought to stand for their true convictions, not bend with the current whim of the electorate.
Backing off on pro-life standards rarely seems genuine. The issue of life goes to the core of who a candidate is. It’s not an issue that one can easily “flip-flop” on. If a candidate truly believes that life begins at conception and that every life deserves equal protection under the law, his record will prove this – and his words ought not to contradict it.
It’s one thing to change strategy. Many good people do. It’s one thing to explain the details behind positions. Many genuine people do. But it’s another thing entirely to waver on a correct moral standard – like the one that says human life begins at the beginning. It’s another thing to swap out formerly dearly held pro-life positions with a “clarified” moderate stance – all without reiterating to the voters that you actually do stand for the accurate belief that life begins at conception.
The beginning of life is a scientific fact – not a “social issue” to be debated. The constitutional guarantee of the right to life for all is a basic American value – not a position to sweep under the rug. And the standard that every life deserves equal protection under the laws is a matter of basic human decency – not an opinion to flip-flop on.
Dear kinda, sorta, maybe pro-life candidates: here’s what I’d say to you. I believe thatyou truly are pro-life, in your heart of hearts. I believe that you do see the value of every human being, just as your voting records would indicate. I believe that you are allowing a desire to win or the lure of more power (and yes, power for conservatives is good!) or the voice of the establishment to cloud your vision. I would like to call out the noble in you.
You’ve stood for right in your not-so-distant past. You’ve strongly advocated for the right to life for the smallest and most innocent human beings. Don’t desert them now. You appear like an untrustworthy flip-flopper when you make your backtracking statements. You don’t appear genuine. But that’s not who you are.
Your voting record shows your true, core, right positions. If you need to change strategy on how to end abortion, by all means, do. If you need to clarify your beliefs, please do.
But please don’t say that social issues don’t matter. Please don’t say you won’t talk about abortion. Please don’t say that you’re disavowing your former support for pro-life issues without reiterating that you absolutely do believe that life begins at conception and that every human being does deserve equal protection.
Use these opportunities to speak boldly for the right to life.
Use these opportunities to call out your opposition for their manifold lies and deceptions of the public.
And beat them at their own game by standing like the truthful and courageous leaders you really are.