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The Unfashionable Issue

May 19, 2010

Last night I attended a U.S. representative candidate forum featuring two Republicans who will be running against one another in the upcoming primary.

As an aspiring activist-political-wonk, I took notes.

This is what I learned:

1) It is good to have clear principles–to take clear stands on the issues.

2) It is good to differentiate yourself from the other side–not being afraid to ruffle feathers when principles are at stake.

3) It is good, I learned, to have a ready answer to describe your passionate stance on the following issues:

  • Taxes
  • Health care
  • Global warming
  • Education
  • Arizona
  • The Federal Reserve
  • Energy
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • British Petroleum
  • China
  • Missile Defense
  • Favorite Movie
  • Elena Kagan
  • “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
  • Etc., etc., etc.

But I learned that there is one issue that is not like the others. This issue ought to be prefaced with phrases like:

 “This will not be my primary concern” or “such things only divide us” or “my personal belief is…”

 There is only one issue deserving of this caveat, and that issue is abortion.

It appears that the policy responsible for the greatest number of American deaths, the law that sanctions the killing of 1 out of 5 preborn children in the United States, is not quite fashionable enough to take a bold stand on.

But it is good to take an unequivocal stand on why the Federal Reserve needs to be eliminated. It is appropriate to articulate the reasons for keeping Guantanamo Bay open. It is helpful to describe the virtues of the Fair Tax. Just don’t get burdened down with the question of whether the unalienable right to life is, in fact, unalienable.

Those are the strategies that I learned matter most, from observing the forum between U.S. representative candidates Matthew Burke and James Watkins last night. But truly, this scene could have been repeated in any forum, in any city in America.

While Americans, and young Americans in particular, are becoming increasingly pro-life, and increasingly passionate about being pro-life, the political landscape seems to be caught in a time warp of  bashful apathy.

I will vote for one of these two men in November. Either one of them will be infinitely better than the incumbent, Jay Inslee, who, afterall, is personally and publically pro-choice, having his perpetual seat of honor within the NARAL kingdom.

I hope I am wrong about my impressions of Burke and Watkins as being laissez faire on this issue of life. But as it stands, I would be lying if I didn’t say I left the forum last night with a bitter taste in my mouth. 

My issue, it seems, is merely “personal”. My issue is “divisive”.

Seems I’m a little too unfashionable for this politics business.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 1:48 pm

    When I hear politicians preface their responses with phrases like “personally” or “on this divisive issue” I immediately recognize that they do not comprehend the gravity of abortion. If they truly grasped that abortion is not “an issue” but rather a human rights violation and a genocide, they would be singing a very different tune. This is why education is so essential, especially the use of ultrasound pictures, photos of the remains of aborted boys and girls and diagrams of the abortion “procedure”. Hearing testimonies from post-abortive women is also a powerful tool. It’s much harder to talk with such cold indifference once one has viewed the brutal reality of decriminalized womb lynching and witnessed the effect it has on women.

  2. May 19, 2010 7:13 pm

    Hold them to the fire, Terra. Hold them to the fire. I posted a link to this piece on Burke’s FB page in hopes they take the criticism/critique positively. I’m sort of rooting for him, as I know nothing of Watkins and Burke’s wife and I share some common friends from our times in college. I’d take more of an interest in this race, but I live in the 2nd district… hoping and praying that Larsen gets a pink slip.

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