Thursday, December 20, 2007

New post on new blog: Why Democrats should be pro-life.

I've been invited to blog over at The Council of Fifty, a new blog about politics and Mormons (the name was my idea).

The original Council of Fifty was organized by Joseph Smith just prior to his death. The idea was that it would be a sort of political wing of God's Kingdom, while the church was the spiritual wing. The wikipedia article on it is pretty good. Two articles published in BYU Studies in 1980 give a more complete historical treatment. The first, by Michael Quinn, lays out the basic chronology and purposes. The second, by Andrew Ehat, attempts to answer some of the questions that Quinn raised and gets more into the theological background and purposes of the council.

This Council of Fifty is about discussing politics as it relates to Mormonism. My first post is about why the Democrats should be more open to running pro-lifers, especially for the Presidency. Here's a summary of my line of thought:

A less militantly pro-choice Democratic party would diffuse the potency of the abortion card. This would be good for the Democratic party, good for Mormons, and good for the Republican party as well. It would be good for Democrats because they could expand their base. It would be good for Mormons because it could help bring balance to the one-sidedness of political affiliation among Mormons. This in turn may give Republicans more incentive to attract Mormons, or at least to stop tolerating the anti-Mormon rhetoric from the fundamentalist wing of the party.

Of course, this is all speculative. But that’s what makes it fun.

So, really this post comes down to a few observations and a conclusion: (1) the Democrats are trying to ride a wave of populist discontent with the Bush administration and its blunders, (2) populist movements are only successful if they represent what is popular, (3) a hard-line pro-choice stance is out of line with what is popular, and (4) a hard-line pro-choice stance is not crucial to the party’s most important goals and ideals, especially not in presidential politics. Therefore, it makes sense for the party to moderate bit more on the abortion issue.

Read the entire post here. Leave comments about the argument there, comments about other stuff here. I don't want to poach the discussion.


apyknowzitall said...

Excellent post. For a long time I would vote strictly Republican because of the generalized pro-life stance. I finally realized that even though I am pro-life, I needed to look at more important issues and be more open.

On a side note, I just came out of my political closet to my mom who is a self proclaimed staunchy Republican and honestly thinks there is something wrong with the water up here. Oh and Rush Limbaugh isn't biased and is a good source for news. Gotta love her

JKC said...

Sounds like a lot of my extended family. I usually just don't talk politics with them.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, wouldn't it be "good" for the Republicans to stop making contempt for science and the earth, oppression of gays, and the denial of equality to women a litmus test for the presidency?

It is so sad to watch the Republican presidential candidates grovel before the same sanctimonious right-wing crowd that cursed our great nation with the worst president in its history.