Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Commentary: 'The Conservative Case for Abortion Rights' by Joseph Ford Cotto

If you think that abortion should be legal, but lean right on other issues, do you deserve a voice in the conservative movement?

The answer should be an enthusiastic "Yes!". This is not because the pro-choice perspective is morally superior and therefore impervious to criticism. Not by a country mile. It is because movement conservatives have fewer and fewer friends these days. Demographics are changing, and new voters don't much care for Reaganomics or W. Bush-style "family values".

Unfortunately, no small number of righties seem unconcerned.

Most Americans have probably heard about the influential political blog Daily Kos. A haven for leftish activists, the website has played a pivotal role in restructuring the Democratic Party. Should one wish to discover how the Democratic Leadership Council and centrist liberals lost control over their Party's future, Daily Kos is a fantastic place to start.

The blog's opposite number is Red State. While Red State never attained the power of Daily Kos, it is a formidable presence among rightist crusaders. Red State's former chief editor is a fellow named Erick Erickson. Over the past few years, he has commentated on cable news and served as councilman in Macon. His attendance record was less than inspiring and he stepped down before his term ended to pursue a talk radio career.

While in office, Erickson called for city police to disband as some officers wanted to unionize. He also called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter a "goat ****ing child molester". This was not in some private conversation, but on Twitter for all to see.

Needless to mention, Erickson is 'pro-life'. He is so against abortion rights that he forbade anyone who believed in them from contributing to the front page of Red State. According to the outspoken Christian, who eventually trained to become a minister, this was the core principle on which his website rested. Should said principle be violated, he and others would abandon the blog.

That declaration, issued shortly after Independence Day in 2014, generated little controversy among movement rightists. Quite the opposite, in fact. Erickson gained popularity until losing no small measure of it for opposing Donald Trump's candidacy.

Such a situation — pertaining to abortion, not Trump — raises red flags on too many levels to count. At the forefront are American conservatism's post-Roe v. Wade electoral victories. The National Right to Life Committee claims that over 58 million abortions have been performed following 1973. It is clear that those seeking out abortions do so because they are in dire situations. If they were to become parents, our society would have far more dysfunctional families.

We must remember that — irrespective of race, ethnicity, or religion — those born into desperate settings often lead desperate lives. Social mobility doesn't go nearly so far as it should.

Inconvenient as it is to admit, especially in our supposedly classless nation, this is how generational poverty develops and perpetuates. One can hardly imagine that nearly 60 million individuals born into unfortunate circumstances would have made America better.

Economists Steven Levitt and John Donohue did some interesting research several years back. They ultimately found that America's drastic crime drop since the 1990s is due to Roe v. Wade. The reasoning is simple: Women who didn't want children didn't have them. If they did, though, their kids would've been prime candidates for criminal activity.

All of this should make it clear that if not for Roe v. Wade, we'd be part of the third world. Fiscal responsibility, let alone the Republican Party, would be fodder for history books. The welfare state would have reached its current level years before, and by now grown to communistic proportions. Violent crime would make medieval English forests look like gated communities built around golf courses.

That' is only for starters.

To think that Erickson and his fellow travelers call themselves "conservative" is pure tragicomedy. It's tragic since American conservatism is continually deprived of clear thinkers, instead attracting theological zealots. It is comedic because there is nothing more radically leftist than giving one's nation away to those who, saying the least, are not stewards of their communities.

The leftists taking control of America's time-honored institutions must laugh themselves to sleep over these folks. Who can blame them?

Joseph Ford Cotto, 1st Baron Cotto, GCCCR is the editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Review of Books. In the past, he covered current events and style for The Washington Times's Communities section, where he interviewed personalities ranging from Fmr. Ambassador John Bolton to Dionne Warwick. Cotto was also a writer for Blogcritics Magazine and Yahoo's contributor network, among other publications. In 2014, H.M. King Kigeli V of Rwanda bestowed a hereditary knighthood upon him, which was followed by a barony the next year.

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