Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pro-life Party Politics

Seemingly in answer to a piece I posted last week, Pat Archibald (of the Creative Minority Report) has published a commentary over at the National Catholic Register concerning the two political Parties and the pro-life movement. Here's a sample:
"In a two-party system, legislative advances require activists to sometimes pick sides. Given that the Democrat party sold its soul years ago and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of big abortion, we are left with the Republicans. Pro-life advocates have for years tried to work with and through the mechanisms of the Republican Party. While they have had moderate successes on the local level, little has been accomplished on the federal level, but momentum is on their side."
He goes on to list specific accomplishments (especially at the state level) where the Republican Party has led the charge on pro-life issues. He later asks the question: 
"When was the last time a Democrat Governor defunded Planned Parenthood or a Democrat controlled legislature enacted a game-changing reform that might be the death blow to the abortion industry in that State? The answer is never.
"Being a broad-based political party, Republicans have and will often disappoint, but in order to win political victories you need to be involved in politics. In a two-party system, Republicans are all we have.  You don’t have to like it, but there is no avoiding it."
And yet we are faced with those on our side (the "armchair pro-life") who foolishly ignore the facts and cling to some glimmer of false hope that the other Party might rally to our cause. They verbally support the pro-life movement, but they refuse to join with the only Party that can actually affect real change:
"The battle lines have been drawn setting up the potential for one of the greatest pro-life victories ever, but the armchair pro-life have already given up. They are not calling their Congressman or Senator, they are preparing five thousand word missives to say, 'I told you the Republicans were no good' in case the effort fails.

"They sit idly by, preferring not to soil themselves by working with and for Republicans, smugly claiming some imaginary purist position. 'I don’t support either party,' they claim 'because neither party is as pure as me.' A pox on both their houses, they say. There is no difference between the parties, they contend."

Such political idealism is not only unrealistic (after all, when is there ever going to be a Party that agrees 100% with Catholic teaching, or that adopts your personal vision for America?), but such false idealism also sets us up for failure on the pro-life front. If we refuse to commit to the one Party that gives us the best hope for success, then we resign ourselves to no success at all. If we turn our backs on the one Party that has garnered the only pro-life achievements we have ever had, then we might as well pack up and go home.

Bottom line is...the Republican Party is the only political home for serious pro-lifers.

Read the whole piece here.

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