Most of my blog posts have addressed ex-Republicans like myself, yet we received a reminder last week that pro-life Democrats are also among the politically homeless. CNN reported last week:
The group for state Democratic attorneys general issued a warning to potential candidates on Monday — back abortion rights, or we won’t back you.
The Democratic Attorneys General Association announced that it would only endorse candidates who support abortion access and publicly vow to defend reproductive rights, a requirement the group called “first-of-its-kind for any Democratic campaign committee.”cnn
Coming two days after pro-life Democrat John Bel Edwards was re-elected as the only Democratic governor in the deep South, it shows Democrats are out-of-touch regarding what it takes to win in many areas of the country.
More than that, it shows the Democrats’ decreasing lack of tolerance for pro-life viewpoints. The Democrats have long been the home for strident pro-abortion activism. It’s been pretty well-established if you want to become a national figure in the Democratic Party, you’d best dump pro-life views. In the 1970s-1990s, politicians like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Jesse Jackson abandoned pro-life positions for national political ambitions. This century, Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) did the same thing. However, there was a time where you could be a pro-life Democrat. There were pro-life Democrats like Rep. Tony Hall (D-OH) and Richard Stallings (D-ID) and Senator Howell Heflin (D-AL.) In the House, there was a Congressional pro-life caucus with dozens of Democrats and a Democratic Co-Chair. Believe it or not, the National Right to Life Committee used to get to elect their own Democratic Convention superdelegates.
Now pro-life Democrats are on the verge of extinction. Pro-abortion groups like Emily’s List are trying to eradicate the few that remain like Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) In addition in 2017, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has declared every Democrat must support abortion rights.
While Democrats for Life struggles on, their battle for the soul of the Democratic Party has been lost and Democrats who refuse to bow the knee on abortion risk losing their positions. Pro-life voters who vote for Democrats are voting for a party that not only disagrees with them but is hostile to their beliefs. However, most are not going to find a home in today’s Trumpified GOP.
Could Democrats who oppose abortion find common cause with ex-Republicans who reject the increasingly anti-immigrant, pro-war crimes stances of today’s GOP? I believe many very well could. It’s important that a new party doesn’t draw all of its members from one party, but from both major parties, as well as members of minor parties and those who belong to no party at all.