Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mike Huckabee: ABORT!

Mike Huckabee was trolling for, well, whatever on Meet the Press Sunday. When asked by Tim Russert whether he agreed with conservative commentators that John McCain isn’t conservative enough to be the Republican candidate (the whole winning of Republican primaries thing is neither here nor there), he sidetracked into something I thought was very interesting, by starting off on the opposite side of an issue I support (pro-choice) and yet somehow reaching the same overarching conclusion I hold. Here’s the quote:

I do think that there are issues where he [McCain] takes sharp contrast with the mainstream of conservative thought, sometimes economically, sometimes on the social issues. And those are real sensitive issues for many of us. The life issue is a very sensitive issue for me, Tim. I think that that's a defining issue for me personally, and I think it is for many conservatives. Because we think that if you are wrong on the life question, it reflects a misunderstanding of the nature of our nation and the equality of human beings, that there is intrinsic worth and value in each of us, that the individual power and freedom that our founding fathers so believed in that they put their lives on the line for it, begins to deteriorate at the point when you start saying some lives are worth more than others.

If I felt like being sarcastic right now, this would be the point where I’d say: Ah! So anti-choice is actually PRO-freedom!

I thought this was an interesting argument for Huckabee to lay out, particularly for someone who’s fighting to be raised as the standard-bearer for a group of people who believe, among other things…

1. Certain individuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
2. Not everyone deserves health care.
3. The brown people belong back over the border.
4. We should, without any semblance of due process, round people up and stick them in Gitmo.

But I understand there’s more complexity and nuance to those positions than I just gave them. And that Huckabee doesn’t conform to his party on all those issues. So I’m willing to admit I don’t hold to anything I just said with any sort of real conviction.

What I disliked about his statement was that it started with a presumption, which unerringly inhibits the ultimately validity of his argument. Is a fetus an actual life, deserving of the same legal and moral protection as those of us who don’t get our meals through a cord? That’s the question, isn’t it?

NO, IT ISN'T. This issue has nothing to do with whether it’s a child or not. It’s about who gets to make that decision, particularly when we lack a clear consensus. Shouldn’t a society in the name of its own freedom empower the individual to make that decision for him- or herself, rather than having it dictated to them by their government? Isn’t that what America is really about? In a country born on a will to be free, what could be more fundamental than that?

1 Comments:

Blogger Lighter than Muki, but darker than Kris said...

True story son, true story.

4:52 PM  

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