Has the In$titutionalized Pro-Life Been a Manifest Failure Through Steadfast Repubnik Loyalty? September 20, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disconcerting, error, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, rank stupidity, sadness, scandals, self-serving, Society.
So says Leon H. Wolf in a piece at RedState, which, it must be said, tries to tie what I agree is a general trend towards failure by the institutionalized pro-life movement into an anti-Trump screed. I’ve read few sites that have been more reliably Never Trump, so keep that in mind.
I’ll cut and paste a bit of the article below, but while I think the author has a major point, I think he also errs substantially in 1) trying to parlay the “Republicans have always abused you” argument into “You’re a sucker if you vote for Trump” and 2) his general bashing of the pro-life movement for being steadfast Republican homers. For instance, was the same author just as exercised against pro-life orgs support for Mitt Romney, who had just as inconsistent record on abortion as Trump? If not, why not? Secondly, where else were pro-lifers supposed to go over the past 40 years, even as the Repubniks did, admittedly, repeatedly screw them over?
Ergo, I think this piece is a lot more about hating on Trump than really having something to say regarding the pro-life movement. YMMV.
Having said that, if you want to bash the in$$titutionalized pro-life movement for being ineffective and probably more concerned with keeping fundraising going than really ending abortion, you’ll get little argument from me. As for the rest, see what you think:
Personally, I have reached the point that I am fed up with these organizations. They have been, by and large, total failures in holding politicians accountable. When is the last time you can recall that a pro-life group claimed the scalp of any of the dozens if not hundreds of Republicans who have betrayed the pro-life cause over the years? It has not happened and it does not happen. [Well, is that the point of being a pro-life group, to claim Republican scalps? They’ve claimed a number of democrats, which is not unimportant. I agree most pro-life groups far too slavishly tote the mainstream Republican line, but what mainstream conservative commentators have ever called for a mass pro-life turning against Republican politicians who have somehow betrayed the cause? That is, until the Republican nominee somehow threatened the interests of these same mainstream commentators. I follow pro-life events quite closely, and I can’t remember more than a handful of such calls, all at the state or local level, never national.Why now?]
………These orgs are all carrot, no stick. They are happy to go out and encourage people to elect more Republicans, elect more Republicans, vote Republican for President in particular. Meanwhile, 7 of the 9 judges who decided Roe v. Wade were appointed by Republicans. Roe v. Wade would not have survived throughout all these years without Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter – all nominated by Republicans and confirmed with the unanimous consent of Senate Republicans. At no point has anyone ever paid a political price for this. So pro-life orgs set their sights on a series of incremental legislative changes to the abortion regime at the state level, which have systematically been thrown out by judges who were appointed and confirmed by Republicans – and again, no one has paid a political price for any of this. You could hardly ask for a more useful set of stooges for the RNC. [Again, who has been advocating for this? I think it’s a good idea, and if this is to be a start of a movement to get the pro-life movement to hold Republicans far more accountable for their lack of support for pro-life matters, I’m all for it, but as an argument simply to not support Trump, because now’s the time to start punishing R’s for lack of pro-life commitment? I don’t get it. Why not start with some of the most egregious House and Senate members, and go from there? How about we try to get a turncoat like Lindsay Graham driven from office, rather than start at the highest office? Or was this all just about self-justification? Which, if so, fine, but say so, don’t try to cloak it in some supposed larger-than-self virtue]
………I don’t know what it is about these groups that makes them totally unable to state the obvious: that pro-lifers are being played for suckers by the GOP, which has no intention of ever allowing Roe v. Wade to be overturned. [I thought Trump was an insurrection against the establishment GOP and largely despised by people like the author? So how does supporting him make people suckers for the GOPe?] After all, if it were, how would they scare the evangelicals into voting for the Donald Trumps of the future? [Well, I do wonder if there still isn’t some massive play going on, where, just as conservative were lured to vote for the non-conservative Romney in 2012 (after which many said never again), they are somehow being lured to vote for the non-conservative Trump in 2016. That all depends, I suppose, on how much sincerity one think Trump has.] The professional pro-life orgs are too scared to say this, and to admit that everything they have done for the last 40 years to this point has been an abject failure, because doing so might cause their donor money to dry up. So they continue to play the willing sucker again and again and at no point has it been more evident than their embrace of Trump this year. [I think this guy is getting a bit carried away in fervor to make his point. I don’t think the pro-life movement has been an abject, meaning total, failure over the past 40 years. Successes have been small, and too rare, but they have occurred. What awesome, unique cultural forces has the pro-life movement faced, that, say, someone supporting tighter immigration controls hasn’t faced, like, virtually all Americans defining their lives around the use of contraception? Have those had an effect?]
………If you believe that Trump has actual pro-life principles or that he will honor any sort of pledge to only appoint pro-life justices, then you have to be one of the most monumental suckers who has ever lived…… [Again, this is really inconsistent. Somehow he is tarring Trump the outsider as being part of the GOPe that has so failed pro-lifers. But Trump could actually be perceived as the very reaction this guy seeks, though not in the way he seeks it, agreeing with his preferences. That is to say, many pro-lifers, agreeing that the GOPe has used and abused them for decades, are now willing to take a flyer on the extremely dubious Trump, who is at least better than the same old same old that has betrayed them over and over. Again, did this guy advocate the pro-lifers finally punish the GOPe who gave us the pro-abort Romney in 2012? If not, then it’s not serious, it’s more NeverTrumpism]
………..Will there ever come a point – and I do mean, literally ever, where the professional pro-life orgs throw up their hands and say, “You know what? We are sick of being played for fools by the Republican Party. They must be actually opposed until they change their ways.” And if that day is ever supposed to come, why not now? If the Trump Farce isn’t enough to make them say “no mas,” then what will be?
The more I read this piece, the more unnerved I became. At the end, I no longer took it seriously as cri d’couer to the pro-life movement, but just another NeverTrumper seeking to justify his refusal to vote for Trump, and using some pretty ugly psychology on pro-lifers to try to sway them away from Trump, basically ending with calling pro-lifers stupid inbred mouth-breathing flyover dolts who don’t know what’s good for them when we tell them!
Which kind of smug superiority explains at least half of Trump’s support among conservatives in a nutshell. They are sick of being betrayed, they are sick of being lied to, they feel they have nothing to lose at this point, and so, why not give a total outsider, even one like Trump, a shot? At least he kneecaps cultural marxism on an almost daily basis, and seems to have a near Reaganesque quality to deflect all the media’s attempts to destroy him. Historically, how would the pro-life movement been better off if it had abandoned Republicans for…..what? What alternative was there? Even the examples he cites in his piece for successful “punishments” of Republican politicians who fell afoul of this special interest in the conservative base or that were only individual House members, never the presidential candidate, let alone an abandonment of an entire party! I think the author may have tipped his hand as to what he plans to do should Trump win……..
Telling these folks what stupid idiots they are for supporting Trump smells a lot more like sour grapes and deep fear of diminishing influence than it does anything else.
Look, I never have liked Trump. But I have no alternative but to vote for him at this point, because he is the best of a damnably weak field (at least in my state). I see no point in attacking him. He’s the nominee, he’s not going to give us an out by dropping out of the race (it was never going to happen), and it looks like he’s going to be quite competitive. I cannot understand, then, what purpose attacking him or those who support him serves, at this point, at least outside individual self-interest.
Which is a shame, because I think the original point of the piece, that the institutional pro-life movement, especially at the national level, has sold out, is dead on.
What do you think?
h/t reader good ‘ol MFG, who sends so many thought-provoking pieces
PS – At this point, I find any “pro-lifer” who isn’t also completely, totally anti-contraception to be unworthy of the name.