Associated Press/Photo by Elaine Thompson

Principle, pragmatism, and pandering on abortion


It will be educational to see how The New York Times covers Roe v Wade remembrances this month. Let’s assume that a politician might vote on principle, might vote on a pragmatic basis (getting the best deal he can), and may pander, doing what he knows is wrong just to satisfy some lobbyists or mean-spirited voters. Which do you think Democrats generally do, according to the NYT? How about Republicans?

If you were to guess that the NYT sees Democrats as sometimes principled and sometimes pragmatic, and Republicans as sometimes pragmatic but often pandering, you’d be right.

My favorite headline of the year was “G.O.P. Pushes New Abortion Limits to Appease Vocal Base.” Could it be that some care about the lives of tiny humans? No, the story explained how Republican leaders passed a bill “to satisfy vocal elements of their base who have renewed a push for greater restrictions on reproductive rights.”

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(That’s how Republicans think, you know. They wake up in the morning, stretch, and say, “I’m for greater restrictions on reproductive rights. That will satisfy the vocal elements.”)

The article did praise the pragmatism of northeastern Republicans like Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who said about abortion legislation, “It’s a stupid idea to bring this up. The economy is on everybody’s minds.” Yup, it was a stupid idea to bring up racism in the 1950s and the 1960s, when the Cold War was the issue on most minds.

But what if God really is the ruler of the universe and sovereign over it? Given how God clearly wants us to admire and protect what He has so fearfully and wonderfully made, how can we think that God will bless this nation if we continue to kill more than 1 million unborn children each year?

Since God is in charge of our lives, following His commands is both principled and pragmatic. Since He raises up and smashes kings, His vote is more important than all the others put together. Trawling for contributions from abortion lobbies is the ultimate in pandering, and it’s also pragmatically dumb, because no one succeeds by going against God.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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