Republicans use abortion debate to boost campaign, avoid issues

Columnist and Columnist

This is my inaugural piece for the BG News, and I want to talk to my fellow students about a topic that seems to have made its way into the paper very often lately: abortion.

First, a little about myself; I am a “nontraditional” student. I am a 41-year-old graduate student who is engaged, about to become a stepfather and I am politically liberal.

I see almost every topic through a political lens and abortion is no different. I also see abortion pragmatically — a way all too few Americans do.

Is abortion a sin? I have no idea.

Neither side can say they know that answer either. I do know that if it is a sin the Higher Power (if one believes in it) will sort it all out.

Leaving sin out of the equation then, pragmatism must come into play.

America purports itself to be the ‘Greatest Nation on Earth’ (lack of universal health coverage aside, but that is another column); therefore we must keep abortion safe and sterile as long as it is legal. We cannot claim moral superiority if our women are having back-alley abortions.

Make no mistake, back-alley abortions will be the norm once again if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Legal abortion means safe abortion.

Politically, abortion is the most abhorrently fake issue going on. It is a smokescreen, a diversion.

It is brought up every four years so the likes of Mitt Romney can pay less percentage in federal taxes than the vast majority of working Americans. It is classic Robin Hood in reverse; I call it Reagan Hood. It is the practice of keeping the Huddled Masses distracted while the rich and connected steal them blind.

The party who uses this tactic, the Republican Party, plays this card every election cycle and play it very well. Rick Santorum’s campaign is all about issues like abortion; issues that have nothing to do with how to run our nation.

At this point some of you may think this is just another liberal screed against the pro-life movement. You are probably thinking you have read this before.

What I am about to write about though is not written or discussed nearly enough in American political discourse.

It is the conservative’s dirty little secret: the Republican Party loves legal abortion.

They love legal abortion because they use it as a cudgel against Democrats every election. They use this because part of the American electorate keeps falling for it.

They know that if this nation goes back to illegal abortion, their party would get creamed in every election after. Women all over this nation would rise against them and rightfully so. They would lose what is left of an already shrinking demographic for them; women, especially educated women.

President Nixon was the innovator of this brand of diversionary politics with his “Southern Strategy.”

President Reagan perfected it by courting religious conservatives through “issues” like abortion and school prayer. Pay no mind that Reagan himself was not religious and that his wife was an ardent believer in astrology, a biblical no-no.

The current Republican Party went to school running on such phony “issues” and the biggest of the group is abortion.

Wedge issues like abortion unfortunately work and I, for one, am sickened by it. It is dishonest and does nothing to help our nation.

The Republican Party controls the majority of federal judgeships in the United States. It controls the Supreme Court also. It could overturn legal abortion tomorrow. That would take guts though; something that side displays little of.

So all I ask of the Republican Party and the anti-abortion movement is this: put up or shut up. Speak now by banning abortion or forever hold your peace.

Respond Paul McKenzie at

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