A common tactic of politicians – and worse, their followers– is fear. Instead of providing good reasons to vote for their candidate, they tell me why I should be afraid of the opponent. Both sides do it, and it is quite effective. It helps all politicians to avoid actually having to work for their points, but gets their most ardent and extreme followers to do the work for them.
So it is no surprise that having expressed that we might vote for a Democratic candidate, my wife and I are often assailed with the accusatory question, "So you're going to vote for the baby killer?" This is intended to fill me with fear and revulsion, because of course no one wants to see babies killed, or even think about babies being destroyed. I see this as a common tactic of the right to employee against people like myself who, though being Christian, lean politically to the left, where presumably all of us believe in a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. Remember that to most Republicans, to vote Democratic, in any way, is to vote for the devil.
And I must admit, the question does put me into a moral and philosophical quandary. Because I actually am one of those people, in a very small minority, who still believe that at the moment of conception a human being is formed. However, I believe that the question demonstrates that most people have actually missed the point. And in this case I believe it is Republicans who have grossly oversimplified the question in order to mask the horrible, inhuman, ideologies which many Republicans espouse.
Here’s the thing: I believe that to be pro-life, one must be pro living.
To take the argument where it really needs to go, conservatives have to understand that the babies they want to come into the world need food and shelter and clothing, and most conservatives are not willing to provide that. In fact, most conservatives have chosen to vilify and demonize anyone in need. Further, because of a number of inconsistent and baffling, and frankly made up moral ideals, most conservatives also have worked to block any sort of birth control that would keep pregnancy from occurring in the first place. Thus, it is Republicans who create more abortions.
The word innocent, as in "innocent babies being murdered" to use the phrase of fear mongers, implies a level of deservedness. So, supposedly an unborn child deserves to be born, even though that person has actually done nothing wrong or right to deserve death or life. But let us say, for the sake of argument, the conservatives are right and that by having done nothing wrong, an unborn child does not deserve to be destroyed. Then why is it that a born child does not deserve food and shelter and clothing on the basis of what his or her parents may or may not have done? If conservatives -- who use the Bible as a weapon to try to claim that unborn children deserve life -- are honest, then they have to understand that Christianity is based not on what people deserve. If this vision of the Bible is correct, then no one deserves anything. The psalmist states, “[God] does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10). Paul writes, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23-24, emphasis mine). Therefore, the whole argument about what is right and wrong concerning or based on whether someone deserves something is invalid.
Four years ago, conservatives touted their candidate, Mitt Romney, as a "job creator." Now many of them are willing to put their vote behind a man whose bankruptcies have cost other people thousands of jobs, and yet he has not had to pay the price for his business failures. This is a man who is willing to see other people out of work as long as he keeps his own britches. This is a man who does not pay his bills. And when someone tries to sue him in order to get what they are owed, he uses his lawyers to put those people out of business. It seems reasonable to me to expect those who supposedly value human life to be on the side of those whose lives are irreparably damaged by this person.
I had to accept years ago that it really does not matter who is president when it comes to abortion. The legality of abortion is never going to change. Whether Clinton or Trump are occupying the White House, it will still be legal for women to terminate a pregnancy under particular circumstances, and under very strict guidelines (which Trump claims, but cannot prove, are frequently circumvented). Abortion as a topic is just something that gets everybody all excited and angry and afraid. Call me fatalistic, but barring Trump’s implied rebellion and a paramilitary takeover of this country, the legality of abortion procedures is not going to change.
I frankly do not like Mrs. Clinton. And I don't believe she is going to be a great president. I do believe that she will be able to help protect the access to birth control that will prevent more unwanted pregnancies, and therefore more abortions. It may well be that Hillary Clinton is very interested in herself, and her personal agendas. But those agendas may well be what protects more human life than the lie that comes from Mr. Trump. To Donald Trump, a man who has been captured in war is not a hero. To Donald Trump a poor person is not deserving of any benefit, but a “loser.” To Donald Trump a disabled person is fodder for jokes, and that women should be judged on their physical attractiveness to him and their willingness to have sex with him. Donald Trump believes that America will be great only when he is in charge of it. This man is a child. And I don't understand why we would vote for an adolescent whose libido is the driving force of his decisions.
So yes, I am voting for the supposed baby killer. And the reason is I value human life.