Being Pro-life and Democrat
by Jerome Armstrong, Wed May 25, 2005 at 03:34:35 AM EDT
It reminds me of the quandry that Republicans were in over environmental issues in the early 90's. As the pro-business party, Republicans are against regulation of business as a rule. Standing against the enviromental laws being put forward by the Democrats, Republicans were losing the debate because caring about the environment, being a steward of the earth, is a winner. So, Frank Luntz told the Republicans to say that they too were for the environment, that they too were environmentalists. The Democrats snickered, but it worked, and has served to nuetralized that issue ever since. The Democrats said, no you are not. And the Republicans replied, yes I am, I just don't want the government to stifle economic growth through regulation.
Boom. The debate was immediately re-framed over the issue of government intrusion, and Democrats were left holding the bag-- arguing that governmental regulation of the environment doesn't deter capitalism.
In dealing with the issue of abortion, more and more, it seems that "pro-choice" is a slogan that has out-lived its usefulness. It doesn't work any longer as a frame, because the Republicans are not playing by it, and the press, not wanting to choose sides, gravitates toward the issue, making Democrats the pro-abortion party and Republicans the anti-abortion party. Even though we win handily on the issue of abortion rights, we lose a lot of votes because we've lost the battle of slogans. Choice means choosing, Republicans choose life, and where does that leave the Democrat?
We have to strip that language advantage over the issue of abortion away from the Republicans. That is, we can stay where we are, winning handily on the issue of pro-choice but losing over the issue of regulating abortion, or we can totally take the issue away from the Republicans, and put them on the defensive.
Stripping away the slogans will get people to pay attention to the debate over the legislative action taken on the issue of abortion. Politicians get paid to do this, it can be done quickly, and the reporters always follow. Very few people are pro-abortion, and neither is the Democratic Party pro-abortion. We value life just as much as Republicans do, and we value our freedom and privacy from governmental intrusion even more.
So if a politician says I am pro-life and Democrat, lets hear them out. The Republicans will snicker and respond, no you aren't. And if the politician responds by saying yes I am, I do not like to see abortions, but will not legislate or have the government intruding into this private decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor. That's a politician that belongs in the Democratic Party. And boom, this is a politician that's going to put the Republicans on the defensive.