Well, it only took 43 years and some 60 million abortions, but pro-lifers in 2016 stopped drinking the Kool-Aid that came from decades of fruitless support for Republican establishment politicians who earnestly spouted banalities about “respecting life” while doing nothing of substance to stop the deaths of unborn children. They backed an authentic change candidate who didn’t fit the perfect pro-life profile. They were warned repeatedly that if they did so, the world would end. But Donald Trump has been president for two full years now, and abortion opponents have every reason to be ecstatic with his performance to date.
Erick Erickson was a fervent professional conservative NeverTrump stalwart in 2016. In a transparent ploy to maintain control over a voting bloc that the GOP establishment had taken for granted for decades, Erickson wrote during the Republican primary season, “I have become convinced that Donald Trump’s pro-life conversion is a conversion of convenience. Life is the foremost cause in how I vote. Therefore I will not be voting for Donald Trump at all. Ever.”
More repulsive were the efforts of Katie Packer Gage, who served as Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager in 2012. As part of an anti-Trump PAC she headed in 2016, Gage focused on abortion as a way to highlight supposedly liberal Trump positions that would outrage conservative voters. Candidate Trump had said Planned Parenthood “does a really good job” in certain areas even as he promised to defund the organization “as long as they’re doing abortions.”
Addressing pro-life Republicans as if they were children, Gage used the words “conservative” or “conservatism” four times in two sentences in denouncing Trump.
“This is NOT the ideology of a conservative Republican candidate working to win the nomination of the conservative Republican Party. His beliefs are rooted in a conservatism of convenience in which he ignores his long history of supporting every liberal position over his entire adult life, and now purports to be conservative because it suits his needs.”
Here’s the kicker: Gage herself is a supporter of Planned Parenthood, saying of the abortion retail giant: “Planned Parenthood isn’t this evil thing, but turning it into the bogey man is trying to create a bogey man out of something a lot of women turn to for something good.”
This is the kind of shameless manipulation the Republican establishment got away with for years because good Americans horrified by the unspeakable crime of abortion understandably chose to focus on it as the single most important issue determining their vote. Unfortunately, in the world of soulless swamp politics, this is known as making yourself “an easy mark.”
“I’m totally eating my words,”…
For an elitist “two-party” professional establishment had successfully cornered the political market in this nation. For decades pro-lifers had only the false choice of voting for the party that declared murder to be a civil right or the party that in our hearts we always knew was totally insincere when it told us it cared as much as we did about ending the butchery.
But this is what elites do. They pander to the masses come election time to preserve the fiction of representative democracy, so they can then continue to completely ignore the wishes of the citizenry once they secure office.
Breaking the Con
Clearly, operating within the current “system” was not working. And so, in direct response to this ugly state of affairs, along came a candidate who said to the corrupt buffoons comfortably ensconced within this phony construct that they were out. Toast. Your way of doing things is over. Forever. The American people rallied to him, and he captured the White House.
And how has this turned out for pro-lifers so far? “Today I have signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto,” Trump told the March for Life on Jan. 18. “And we have the support to uphold those vetoes.”
Trump has nominated two Supreme Court justices now seated expected to be solid jurists on life issues. His Health and Human Services Department has allowed religious groups and certain other employers to opt out of mandatory contraceptive coverage under Obamacare. His administration is pushing changes to the Title X federal family planning program that will defund organizations that perform abortions — like Planned Parenthood.
“He has really fulfilled his campaign promises, and it’s been very refreshing to see that. I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made,” gushed pro-life Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) to Politico. “These are actions by the executive branch, something that former pro-life presidents like George W. Bush did not do as it relates to the Title X funding.”
“I’m totally eating my words,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, who vociferously opposed Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries, said. “It’s the happiest wrong I’ve ever been.”
There is a lesson here for pro-lifers and other single-issue voters, be they gun-rights advocates or even blacks who voted for Barack Obama simply because of his race. When professional politicians have lied to you for decades about their deep concern for your cause, the most ridiculous thing to do is to go on participating in their charade. Trump is not a career politician. He made certain campaign promises during his race for the presidency, and he is now keeping them. Professional politicians do not do this.
When a system is rotten to the core, that system must be smashed. When it’s all said and done, bulldozing the machinery that powered the two-party shell game of abortion as a political football, to drum up naïve base support every two and four years, will turn out to be the greatest service Trump will have provided to the pro-life cause.