Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, is as “pro-life as any candidate can be,” Fox News reports. However, as Diana Hsieh and I have pointed out, the allegedly “pro-life” position, which would grant full legal rights to fertilized eggs for reasons of religious faith, is in fact profoundly anti-life. I didn’t need any additional reasons not to vote for McCain, but his selection of Palin reaffirms some of the reasons I’ve already given.
The religious right is ecstatic, as The New York Times reports:
Social conservatives were relieved and highly pleased.
“They’re beyond ecstatic,” said Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition. “This is a home run. She is a reformer governor who is solidly pro-life and a person of deep Christian faith. And she is really one of the bright shining new stars in the Republican firmament.”
Ms. Palin is known to conservatives for choosing not to have an abortion after learning two years ago that she was carrying a child with Down’s syndrome. “It is almost impossible to exaggerate how important that is to the conservative faith community,” Mr. Reed said.
Obviously, a Down’s baby is precious to his mother and has the same legal rights as anyone else. The choice properly belongs to the woman whether to bring a fetus with Down’s to term. However, given the severe problems associated with the disease, and the possibility of detecting it early in a pregnancy with modern medicine, certainly it is perfectly moral for a woman to get an abortion under such tragic circumstances. But apparently the religious right grants Palin some sort of special moral status for having a Down’s baby, as though tragedy and suffering itself were the mark of goodness and political competence.
I don’t think McCain’s pick is going to do what he hopes it will do. If anything, it will drive Hillary’s supporters to more loyal support of Obama. And it will only further alienate independents and secularist Republicans, who are growing increasingly weary of faith-based politics.
4 thoughts on “"Pro-Life As Any Candidate Can Be"”
“But apparently the religious right grants Palin some sort of special moral status for having a Down’s baby, as though tragedy and suffering itself were the mark of goodness and political competence.”
Ari has hit on something here that got me thinking about the multiculturalists-egalitarians. Their most radical adherents believe that to try to correct a handicapped person’s problems, say, a child who is deaf, is an affront. The multiculturalists-egalitarians see nothing wrong with being handicap; in fact, they celebrate it and condemn those who try to correct it. To them, a handicap child should be regarded as different then a perfectly healthy child. Despite the suffering the deaf child would endure, they believe it is horrible to try to correct that suffering.
Similarly, the anti-abortionists see nothing wrong with a woman who, rather than abort a fetus because it has Down’s syndrome, gives birth to it instead. Here, too, they celebrate the accompanying suffering of the child, who must endure life unable to function healthily, as well as the mother who gives birth to such a child.
Both cases are examples of the worship of a deficiency and of suffering, and the denial of anyone who would want to correct these. These is another example in which people on the political left and right are united.
I’m not sure about Hillary voters being turned off by Palin’s selection. At least the initial reaction at hillaryclintonforum.com was very positive towards Palin. My sense is that a lot of Hillary voters are more interested in voting for a woman for president than anything else. Another thing to keep in mind is Palin has a powerful sense of life impact. Her bio is inspiring and her husband worked 2 jobs to help sustain the family and is now the primary caregiver for the children. Some women are going to find that enormously appealing.
The choice of Palin really sealed the deal against McCain for me. I had been considering the idea of voting for him as a way to oppose Obama’s fascism, while voting for Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate and Congress so the vote would not be interpreted as an endorsement of conservatism. If McCain had chosen a pro-choice running mate, as he was supposedly contemplating, I would have considered it very seriously. Now that idea is out the window.
“Another thing to keep in mind is Palin has a powerful sense of life impact. Her bio is inspiring and her husband worked 2 jobs to help sustain the family and is now the primary caregiver for the children. Some women are going to find that enormously appealing.”
My sister — who like me was raised to be a liberal Democrat, but unlike me generally remains one — finds Palin and her life story very appealing. While she never would vote for a Republican, she finds Obama to be a fraud, an American-hating empty suit, and actually has considered, ever so hesitantly, voting for Palin-McCain (note the order).
Sept. 11 changed my sister — in fact, it was the bombing of the USS Cole when her liberal worldview really began to change. I don’t think that would have been possible without my (Objectivist) influence for several years before these events. I’ve at least got my sister to recognize what Obama is and isn’t. While I’m not voting for either Obama or McCain, I’m glad to see that I’ve influenced her enough to at least get her to consider other options, rather that voting Democrat no matter who is on the ticket.
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