Many of my liberal friends expected me to be depressed about the election results, but aside from the awful fact that California did NOT pass Prop 85 (the parental notification for abortion), I am fairly upbeat.
1. Trimming the Extremes
Seventeen of the House Republicans who lost
were far right on immigration ("just build a fence and kick illegals
out"), and at least one of the Dems is a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat. I
hope that this means a move towards the center for both parties.
2. Marriage Protection
The media (other than Fox, thank God for them) has largely ignored the fact that 7 of the 8 states that had marriage protection amendments (a.k.a. Gay Marriage Bans)
to their state constitutions (defining marriage as between a man and a
woman) passed, bringing the total to 27 states with this type of
One big story is that the referendum on legislation
in South Dakota banning abortion in all cases except to save the
mother’s life was rejected – i.e. the public turned back the law
banning abortion. What’s really interesting about this story is that
the legislature actually passed the law previously, and conservatives
hoped that Planned Parenthood et al. would challenge it in court,
taking it up the Supreme Court in order to challenge Roe v. Wade.
However, PP instead collected enough signatures to get it on the
ballot, because in SD you can reject legislation with a a public
I have a few comments on this event.
First, it shows that many people who are probably
pro-life are not yet willing to extend that protection to children of
rape or incest. This is probably for a few reasons.
- Logic v. Emotion: Many people are pro life, NOT based on the logical argument that it is a child, but merely
on a more emotional feeling that it is wrong. So, when they
balance this against the "wrongness" of "forcing" a woman in these tough
situations to give birth, they are merely juggling two qualitative wrongs, and in
their minds, choosing the lesser of two evils.
- Abortion v. Adoption: Many believe that allowing the child to live will force MORE
trauma on the rape/incest victim, while allowing them to have an
abortion will help alleviate that trauma. However, I find this a poor
argument, for a few reasons. First, studies have shown that post-abortion syndrome, i.e. the
remorse and guilt over an abortion, can be worse trauma than giving
birth. Second, abortion does not cure the real problem which is emotional injury from being violated. Third, many (most?) women with unwanted pregnancies who have birthed their babies have experienced a redemption and joy in having the child, even if they had to give it up for adoption.
- Conscience v. Law: Many people, even liberals ;), find abortion a terrible choice to have to make, but don’t want to prevent people by law from getting one. Rather. they would like to leave it up to the conscience of the mother. And while that may sound respectable, if you really believe that the unborn child is a person who is being murdered, you look at it like infanticide. Should a mother have the right to kill her children? Not if you believe that the government has the obligation to protect the weak.
Liberals are really playing an "out of sight, out of mind trick" on themselves – that’s why they hate seeing pictures of the fetus at 12 weeks or later – while they say "you are appealing to emotions when you show those pictures", what they are really saying is "I’ve already used my own logic to convince myself that it is not a child, so don’t show me any contradictory evidence. It’s a blob of cells, dammit! Don’t show me reality, I want the picture that’s in my mind!"
I believe that we should push backwards from the third trimester until we get to about 4-6 weeks after pregnancy begins, and that will be good enough for the law. Before that, we can leave it to the conscience of the mother and father, because it is still much closer to being a "blob of cells that can not feel anything."
Second, the defeat of the South Dakota law may indicate that we need to approach abortion stepwise, not in an all or nothing gambit. Conservatives disagree on which approach is best, but I favor BOTH. However, some have argued well that passing a ban on partial birth abortion will be enough to ensure the overturn of abortion on demand as provided for by roe v. wade, and will pave room for further restrictions, which I totally agree with.
4. Legislative Balance
The Republican party has once again proved that "ultimate power corrupts ultimately." Many voters, including many Evangelicals, voted against Republicans who were involved in questionable dealings. Not only does this speak well for Evangelicals, who claim to act on principle, not just on power politics and party affiliation, but it speaks to the fact that Americans value honesty in public office.
I think the Conservatives, esp. those extreme ones who never question our policy in Iraq, or GWB’s spending habits, or legislative earmarks, or corruption due to lobbyists like Abramov, need a wake up call that such extremism is not welcome in politics. Hopefully, the far left is learning that as well. They haven’t been out of office for so long because they’ve been speaking for the people, and they didn’t get elected this time because people are more liberal – this was more of a rejection of far right control, abuse of power, republican corruption, and the poor handling of Iraq. If lefties like Pilosi don’t moderate some of their hard core left leanings, 2008 will sweep them right out of power again.
And as many have said, this loss, in the 6th year of a two term president, is typical, if not expected. And it may actually bode well for a Republican candidate in 2008, because people don’t want the opposite problem we’ve had – that is, a one party control of both Legislative and Executive branches. I can take two years of liberals in power in order to get another conservative president who can, among other things, appoint conservative judges.
5. Taxes and the Economy
My real concern is that Dems will not make the Bush tax cuts permanent, and thereby ruin the economy. They will probably try to reinstate the "marriage penalty tax," and who knows what else. As GWB has proved, lowering taxes in income actually creates MORE tax income because incomes for business go UP. If Dems, who believe in penalizing the rich through the graduated tax, and penalizing business via regulation and minimum wage hikes (which I think may be OK within reason) and higher taxes, we may be in for a foul economy.
Overall, I am glad that some balance is restored to our government, and I have high hopes for the near future. One with more cooperation, less spending (AND less taxes), a balanced budget, balanced foreign policy that is still aggressive against terrorism (not accommodating or blind to the evils of Islam), and pro-family and pro-life legislation.