The evolution of principle Reply

By Tom Quiner

What is a principle?

It is an essential truth upon which other truths are based.

Former U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, embraced a principle that human life begins at conception. He was clear and unequivocal:

Al Gore

“It is my deep personal conviction that abortion is wrong. I hope that some day we will see the current outrageously large number of abortions drop sharply.”

In 1987, he wrote to a constituent the following:

“During my 11 years in congress, I have consistently opposed federal funding for abortions. In my opinion, it is wrong to spend federal funds for what is arguably taking of a human life. Let me assure you that I share your belief that innocent human life must be protected, and I am committed to furthering this goal.”

Al Gore’s essential truth was clear: abortion kills a human being.

The late Senator Edward Kennedy was even more eloquent in his defense of human life at its earliest stages:

“While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is

Edward Kennedy

my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.”

What separates man from the animals? It is the ability to love. Senator Kennedy recognized that man is made in God’s image. What is God? Why God is an eternal exchange of love, says Pope Benedict XVI. Ted Kennedy acknowledged the right to life on the basis that every human being, from her or his conception, has the right to love. After all, God IS love.

Mr. Kennedy’s support for the rights of the preborn was grounded in the longstanding tradition of American liberalism to watch out for the little guy, as powerfully confirmed with these words of compassion:

“I share the confidence of those who feel that America is working to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society’s problems — an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens. When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.”

Mssrs. Gore and Kennedy were joined in their commitment to life by other stalwarts of the Democratic Party.

Former Congressman and presidential candidate, Richard Gephardt, was crystal clear in his support of the principle that human life begins at conception in these words from 1984:

Dick Gephardt

“Life is the division of human cells, a process that begins with conception…. The [Supreme Court’s abortion] ruling was unjust, and it is incumbent on the Congress to correct the injustice. I have always been supportive of pro-life legislation. I intend to remain steadfast on this issue…. I believe that the life of the unborn should be protected at all costs.”

The Reverend Jesse Jackson, a man of God and former Democratic candidate for president, compared abortion to slavery:

“There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of [a] higher order than the right to life … that was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned.”

Mr. Jackson’s point is compelling. With soaring rhetoric, he extrapolated that unchecked abortion rights could create a “hell right here on earth” …

“What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the

Jesse Jackson

life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually? It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind-set with regard to the nature and worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth.”

Even former President Bill Clinton, voiced his opposition to abortion in these remarks in 1986 when he was Governor of Arkansas:

Bill Clinton

“I am opposed to abortion and to government funding of abortions. We should not spend state funds on abortions because so many people believe abortion is wrong.”

Mr. Clinton’s remarks were revealing, though. You’ll notice that he wasn’t opposed to abortion based on an essential truth. Rather, he opposed it because enough voters thought it was wrong.

Mr. Clinton revealed the true principle of his party. They weren’t truly concerned with the little guy. They were concerned about votes. They wanted power. They had their finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing, and when it shifted direction, they abandoned their essential truth and embraced another. And so each of the men quoted above not only changed their mind on this subject, they became vocal supporters of unfettered abortion rights.

This wasn’t a little issue like, say, the minimum wage. This was a life and death issue. And one by one, the party of the little guy abandoned their essential principle to win votes from a powerful and growing constituency, liberal, anti life feminists.

For years, Democrats tried to straddle this issue in their Platform by calling for abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare.” But by 2008 and the arrival of Barack Obama, they dropped the charade. Their Platform, which expresses their current essential truths, is clear:

“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”

Not only do they view abortion as a fundamental right, they have set the stage for taxpayers to fund their newest essential truth, regardless of the religious sensibilities of the electorate.

The Democratic Party now says that the essential truth they so fervently embraced yesterday was wrong, that they have discovered a new essential truth in abortion.

Who knows what they will believe in tomorrow? Anything is possible for a party that believes Truth is fluid.

In the meantime, 54 million Americans are dead because of their abandonment of their principle and hell has come to earth.

[This essay was originally published on February 26, 2012.]


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