Diary

Social Issues and Challenging the Left

The following are just a few ideas as regards some social issues.

Abortion

According to Gallup, American attitudes towards abortion fluctuate over time.  While the Republican Party should be a pro-life party, it should also move conservatively in this area.  The two main Supreme Court decisions that must be overcome are Roe and Casey.  With regards to Roe, despite the desire to overcome or over-rule that decision, let’s face reality: it is not happening.  There have been opportunities that have met with failure.  Anything short of a Constitutional amendment is not going to achieve that goal and there are not enough votes in either house of Congress, and even less of a chance when it gets to the states for ratification.

There is a possible winning argument on the pro-life side and that is fetal pain legislation.  The primary opposition to such legislation is a lack of scientific consensus.  Some say a fetus can feel and react to painful stimuli at 20 weeks while another group says not until 27 weeks.  The fact is that neither side can say for sure whether it is 20 or 27 weeks with absolute certainty.  Then why not split the difference and make it 24 weeks?

This time frame would place it at six months of gestation, or the dividing line between the second and third trimesters.  Even under Roe, such a prohibition- except in the case of serious risk to maternal physical health- satisfies a state’s increased interest in protecting developing human life.  If we place the Left’s rants closer to actual infanticide, we expose their disregard for human life despite the age of gestation.  Make them justify why killing this decidedly human looking “thing” (to them) that feels pain makes sense.  Expose them as a culture of death.

And if there are to be abortions in this country, we must insure that they are performed under the best and safest conditions necessary AND the federal government should not be involved in funding Planned Parenthood OR any other private entity that provides women’s health services of any kind.  If they are “private,” let private actors and donors fund them.  Just cut funding to ALL private entities.  Incidentally, that goes for privately run adoption agencies also.

Contraception

This often goes hand-in-hand, along with abortion, in the “war against women” meme.  Regarding oral contraceptives, we are told they are safe and effective.  Great!  Adopting a mantra of a pregnancy prevented is one less potential pregnancy terminated, we should drop endorse oral contraceptives.  But, if they are truly safe and effective, then make them over-the-counter drugs.  This was actually proposed and the Left went nuts saying it would drive up prices and cause all sort of problems.  If women are in such need of oral contraceptives, wouldn’t it make more sense to give them greater access to them rather than requiring a prescription (and the government subsidizing the cost)?

As for morning after pills and the like, of course they should be administered by a doctor or clinic since the risk for complications are greater.  And since that risk increases given the presence of potential complications, it adds greater weight to the Right’s view that such interventions are, in fact, not contraceptives, but abortificents.

Capital Punishment

Except for a small handful of states, executions never take place even though 31 states have the death penalty option in the law.  Of those 31 states, four have state-mandated moratoriums.  Furthermore, the Black Lives Matter movement seems to believe that African-Americans are sentenced to death at a greater rate than whites.  The actual numbers compiled by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund shows that whites have been the most executed demographic since 1976 to the present.  Of the current death row inmates, 42.5% are white, 41.7% black, 13% Latino and the remainder classified as “other.”

Opponents also state that for a civilized country, capital punishment should be a thing of the past.  Let’s leave the relativism for the Left and meet them halfway.  Since the death penalty is rarely carried out anyway, let’s abolish it except in three instances and let the Left justify why these three exceptions should also be exempted: (1) terrorists, (2) mass/serial killers, and (3) law enforcement officers.

Gay Marriage

This will be a tough one thanks to the Supreme Court.  Except for some fringe groups on the Right, the correct opposition to gay marriage was not some animus against gay couples wishing to marry.    Naturally, there are some who have heart-felt and sincere religious reasons for opposing gay marriage.

Instead, to this writer the problem was the process; namely, the LGBT community using the courts to get their way.  It was an undemocratic process to redefine what had been since our Founding and before.  The only way around the Obergfell decision is a Constitutional amendment.  But, when doing this, let’s avoid the vitriolic rhetoric of fire and brimstone and concentrate on the democratic process.

Marriage or marital status became a major topic for the federal government only because of civil concerns like estates, contracts and taxes.  Traditionally, the definition of marriage, and who could marry who, was left exclusively to the states.  So let’s propose the following: a Constitutional amendment allowing states to decide the issue.  Then, give the amendment to the states and slap a 6-8 year limit on ratification.  If it does not get the requisite number of states to ratify, we are where we are now.  If it gets the requisite number of states, then it is what is: a decision that came about through an orderly democratic manner.

By concentrating on the democratic process to “decide” the issue, it may paint the Left into a corner.  Are they afraid of the democratic process?  After all, until the 6-8 year window closes, Obergfell  is still in effect and gays can marry.  Perhaps that 67% of Americans that approve of gay marriage according to pollsters is not really 67%.

Marijuana Legalization

This one is rather easy.  Most of the reform of marijuana laws lies in the states, but the federal government is involved because it is a Schedule I drug.  Hence, some states may be reticent about passing reforms or legalization.  To be a Schedule I drug, three conditions must be met:

  1. a high potential for abuse;
  2. no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and
  3. there is lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.

Except for perhaps (1) where the jury is still out although many call it a gateway drug, there should be no problem removing cannabis from the list of Schedule I drugs.  Let the states determine whether to legalize, decriminalize, or just leave their laws alone when it comes to marijuana.  States, by design through federalism, are supposed to be the great laboratories of democracy.

Gun Control

Everything the Left proposes, other than outright bans, is a solution in search of a problem.  They are usually reactions to some mass killing where the perpetrator followed the law and legally purchased the weapon.  Perhaps better enforcement of existing laws is required before we go half-cocked with knee-jerk, emotionally-driven new laws.  For example, I read where federal prosecutors in Northern Illinois- which includes Chicago, a city with a high gun homicide rate- ceased pursuing straw purchase violations because “they are hard to prove.”  Perhaps they are, but a few high profile prosecutions and examples may send a better message than throwing one’s hands in the air.

Instead, let’s adopt a pro-technology approach when it comes to guns.  How about endorsing so-called “smart guns” for manufacture from this point onward?  Of course, the technology would have to be foolproof so that the owner can use it defensively as needed.  It would also have to be tamper-proof and smart guns are likely to engender a new cottage industry of technology hackers.  The foolproof nature, however, would have to apply mainly to handguns which are the most used for self-defense.  Face it- very few people use/purchase automatic weapons for defensive purposes, although they admittedly do serve a defensive purpose at times.

By endorsing the idea, we can at least defuse the more radical anti-gun elements.  It may even create good-paying jobs.  Naturally, this would have to go hand-in-hand with needed reforms in the background check process which may very well involve reforming the HPPA laws in the case of mentally unstable individuals.  And in the interim, the existing guns in the population would be off-limits.  Eventually those in the hands of criminals will be taken out of circulation (it may take decades).

Finally, we should encourage gun owners to join gun clubs and sporting associations so that fellow members can keep an eye on potential weirdos in possession of a gun.  And mandatory safety classes for all new gun owners.  The government cannot keep track of every gun owner in the United States, but fellow gun owners can.

Anyway…these are just some out-of-the-box solutions and some in the box that could lead to something of value and help defuse the rhetoric and, in some cases, turn the arguments back on the Left and gain new converts to a new GOP without sacrificing core principles.

It would remain realistically pro-life, defuse the war-on-women theme, appeal to Libertarians and younger voters, force the radicals on the Left to justify their solutions/beliefs, and be pro-Second Amendment.