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10/07/2004

Abortion: The Difference Between Liberal and Conservatives

The issue of Senator Tom Daschle's stand on abortion has once again sent the Religous Right up to the top of their mountain from which they look down on the rest of us and tell us how immoral we are. I listened yesterday to "Straigt Talk with Greg Belfrage" on Kelo Radio while he compared Daschle to Adolph Hitler. "Thank God the world didn't say to Adolph Hitler, 'well, personally I'm against killing Jews, but let him do what he's going to do.' Thank God the world was able to see evil back then, I think we have a lot harder time seeing evil today"

The abortion issue, it seems to me, more clearly than any other defines the difference between Conservative and Liberal thought. The Conservative mindset is best summed up by George W Bush when he says "Either your with us or your against us." Either you believe what they believe or you are wrong and immoral. The Liberal mindset, as so eloquently stated by Sen. Daschle, is not one of "Pro-Abortion" as Conservatives like to try to say, but rather one of Pro-Choice. I don't know anyone who thinks there should be more abortions in America. What Liberals recognize is that just because we personally feel a certain way, doesn't mean there aren't valid beliefs to the contrary. Liberals are willing to allow for the fact that our view of the world may not be the only valid view of the world. Often times that belief earns labels like "Blame America Firsters", "Unpatriotic", "Immoral", "Seditious" and "Anti-Christian", those are some of the nicer labels.

All too often Conservatives are more concerned with symbols as opposed to real solutions. This can be seen in the attempts by the right (led by John Thune) to amend the constitution to prohibit flag burning. Why? Are we going to throw flag burners in jail? Are people who would burn flags all of a sudden going to say "Gee, I guess now that flag burning is illegal, I don't have the feelings and beliefs that made me want to burn the flag in the first place"? Flag burning is a symptom of something else at play. People don't burn flags for no reason. The Conservatives currently in power in all branches of our government simply won't listen to any dissent or entertain any debate. Either you agree with them or you get labeled as one of the above mentioned. The only way to get them to pay attention is to do something that so horrifies them that have no choice but to pay attention. Whether it be pointing out the problems this administration has telling the truth or burning a flag. Those feelings of frustration are not going to just go away if flag burning is symbolically make illegal.

Similarly, I would assume that the goal of most people who call themselves Pro-Life, is to reduce the number of abortions that take place in America. This is a noble and worthwhile goal. Conservatives only plan to make this happen is to make it illegal. They don't want to do the work it will take to really solve the problem, they just want to have the symbol, the piece of paper saying it is illegal, and proclaim the problem is solved. Do we really think that making abortions illegal will stop them from happening? Sure, and if we make consumption of alcohol illegal that will stop people from drinking...right? We all wish there where fewer abortions in America, but making abortion illegal is not the answer. The answer is what Tom Daschle has been talking about. There must be education, there must be safe places for young women or girls to go and get help if they don't have an adequate support system in place at home. It takes a lot of hard work. Making abortion illegal is easy, but doesn't solve the problem, and Conservatives have no stomach to do the real work it will take. As we've already seen, just because a Conservative proclaims "Mission Accomplished", doesn't make it so.

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