Time to blow the dust off this thing, since slashdot became interesting again with the politics.slashdot.org section.
Single-issue voters. God bless 'em. I listened to a woman call up NPR this morning (in Iowa, where I participated in this election), obviously a Dubya-supporter, and say, "We don't have slavery in this country because a bunch of Republicans put a stop to it!" She was completely oblivious to the fact that the party of Lincoln has since become the party of the Confederacy. She went on: "Yeah I voted my conscience. I've been voting my conscience for 35 years. It's about time people start voting their conscience rather than what's going to put food on their table or gas in their car."
So there you go. She knows she's getting screwed, and is okay with that. She - and probably a lot of others with similar views - feels that eliminating abortion, civil rights for homosexuals, and stem cell research is God's Work, and that if that calls for economic sacrifice because the Party representing that work is a bunch of crooks, so be it. She doesn't seem to question why she must sacrifice the food on her table to battle abortion, two seemingly-unrelated issues, but she's willing to. God tests us, God calls us to sacrifice, and she's answering the call.
What remains is some serious soul-searching by the rest of us. We know that abortions went down under Bill Clinton, who treated the causes of abortion, like poverty, rather than the symptom of legal abortions. I find anti-abortion single-issue voters to be hypocritical in their fervor of support for the life of the unborn, but not the life of the born. If having the baby would kill the mother, so be it. If outlawing abortions will kill teenaged-girls performing abortions with wire-coat hangars, so be it. Capital punishment, illegal war, shooting doctors who perform abortions, you name it, they're fer it. I have much more respect for those Christian evangelicals who are anti-abortion and also anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-capital punishment, anti-murder. Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine comes to mind. But I feel like these Christians who are consistent in their belief of the value of human life are a dying breed. Certainly their percentage of support for a pro-war, pro-poverty, pro-capital punishment, pro-extrajudical-killing President who happens to be anti-abortion is telling.
The rest of us, who might not agree that abortion should be illegal, must nevertheless find a way to bridge the gap, because these people are not going to come to us. We might not want abortion to be illegal, but very few people are actually pro-abortion. The desire to reduce the number of aborted pregnancies and increase the quality of life for both the living and the unborn could be our common ground. The grandparent is right; logic and reason have no bearing on this debate. The only appeals that can be made are to their larger sense of Christian "compassion" out of which the support for some of these causes stem.
Some of them are too far gone, like the rising numbers of Christian fascists who, like the Left Behind series "preaches", believe that the world will end with the Second Coming and Armaggedon within the next couple decades. It's hard to start a discussion on environmental issues, or deficit spending, or anything, with people who are convinced the world will end soon, and the only thing that matters is getting into Heaven when it does. The numbers of these Christian fanatics is rising, and some accounts peg them at 20 million Americans already. Very disturbing. But all evangelical Christians are not this irrational and dogmatic, and we can find common ground with them to marginalize the dangerously schizophrenic among them.
I just hope we can do it in four years.