A few weeks back, I made an “offhand” remark on one of my Saturday links posts about “single-issue voting” where I suggested that voting solely on the basis of a political candidate’s stance on or willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade was a poor strategy, one that wouldn’t work. In the comments on that post, Dan Edelen took me to task, saying that a pro-life stance wasn’t single-issue voting, it was just establishing a baseline.
I felt some of Dan’s conclusions were a bit of a stretch, but he presents his case in a comment and a response to my reply. The ball was in my court for a response when I dropped it, so here I am raising the matter again. Normally abortion is not an issue I choose to get into here on the blog… not because it isn’t important or because I don’t have an opinion or that I need convincing on the moment at which life begins, but because it is such a volatile issue. To be honest, I’ve always been pro-life, but in the past year as I’ve re-evaluated a lot of the conclusions which once seemed obvious to me, I have found many of the “arguments” for them to be rather weak under scrutiny. Not that they are invalid, but that they aren’t that conclusive when presented to someone who doesn’t already share the same opinion.
All of that is a kind of rambling introduction to a post by Will Samson, Pro-Life and Pro-Obama. I enjoy Will’s posts on politics when he hits the topic on his blog — he’s consistently insightful, and this post is no different. In this particular post, Will outlines his own political “cred” as background to his thoughtful engagement of the question of how he reconciles his vote while holding some apparently contradictory values. He in fact does a much better job of presenting some of what I was getting at, and he takes it further as well.
So what do you think of Will’s case? Does his evaluative approach make sense, or is the pro-life/abortion question the end of the matter, the single determining factor? The question isn’t directly about the rightness/wrongness of abortion, but about whether or not it should be used as a simple litmus test. Being a polite and civil bunch, we rarely have any comment issues around here so I don’t need to issue any warnings about the nature of the comments.