Inevitably, we come to the big tent talk.
Here’s the thing: Republicans shouldn’t have to transition to liberal ideology to attract specific demographics. The concept of limited government and personal responsibility should appeal to everyone.
Conservative ideals should appeal to everyone, but for some reason, people get more caught up in free birth control than in freedom from an oppressive government. It’s like people have forgotten that a government big enough to provide you with everything is big enough to take it all away.
Anyway. No matter who pays for your contraceptives, it’s clear that Republicans have some thinking to do regarding how they treat social issues.
I read this interesting article in the Wall Street Journal from a Republican female college student talking about the trajectory of the GOP. She argued (in one of my favorite lines I’ve read this week), “The GOP is like a supermodel who has been doing photo shoots under fluorescent bulbs without any makeup.”
The author pointed out that Republicans are losing votes because young voters view them as “social bigots.” She said, “As a member of this all-important demographic, I know that neither I nor (almost) anybody else coming of age today supports the Republican social agenda. That's the way the country is moving -- so just deal with it. Modernize and prioritize.”
I agree with her -- to a point, at least. There are many ways I believe the GOP can embrace a more socially liberal model while retaining its core value of limited government intervention. For example: Gay marriage. Of course a person can believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and also not care if the state legally binds a gay couple together. It’s called freedom of choice, people.
One thing I cannot get behind in this shift to the New GOP is the issue of abortion. I know that young people want their right to clear their uteruses of the “products of conception,” but once upon a time, people wanted their right to own slaves. Don’t impose your morality on me, they’d cry.
Here’s the thing about morality and other people: Your rights end when another person’s begin. Abortion isn’t about morality -- it’s about science. Like it or not, that’s a baby in there, complete with its very own DNA.
I’m all for pro-choice politics, but let’s be honest: The choice comes in at the sex part. If having a baby is such an awful, terrible idea, I suggest you religiously use both hormonal birth control and condoms. Or, you know, don’t have sex. It’s not like we’re animals and controlled by base urges.
Ok, fine. Let’s talk about rape. I believe this is the kind of thing one might call a compromise. How about we don’t outlaw abortion for rape or incest? The only lunatic talking along these lines is Todd Akin, and he does NOT speak for the majority of Republican women. Dude is an idiot, and no one is trying to outlaw abortion in the case of rape or incest.
Since we’re talking about what the vast majority of Republicans believe regarding reproductive rights, let me reiterate:
No one is trying to outlaw birth control.
No one is forcing pregnancy upon women.
No one is trying to put a federal ban on abortion.
Hopefully someday, no one will stand on his or her “moral” high ground talk about the right to kill an unborn child at its mother’s discretion just because she decides she doesn’t want to be pregnant anymore.
I will not stop fighting for the right to life for the unborn just because it’s the popular thing to do with young voters. Abortion isn’t a social issue; it’s a liberty issue. Babies are people too.
And hey, you know what’s great about the GOP? We won’t kick you out for disagreeing with one of our tenants. Because really ... the right to end the life of an unborn child shouldn’t trump the right to raise the ones we keep without tens of thousands of dollars in government debt on their heads.
Image via Elvert Barnes/Flickr