Sixth District and the Abortion Question
There is no point belaboring the issue, so in an effort to save time: Ms. Amie Hoeber has a problem with her abortion stance. The important thing to consider is not her stance on the matter of abortion, but rather, her lack of taking any forceful stance at all. As Brian Griffiths pointed out the other day, Ms. Hoeber was again confronted with the issue of abortion, and again she seemingly punted the ball downfield. Nevertheless, Marylanders need to address this issue of abortion without getting carried away by our passions.
Interestingly enough, anyone who is trying to better understand the leanings of his or her fellow Americans regarding the topic of abortion might have a difficult time doing so. In May of last year, Gallup announced that a majority of Americans were “Pro-Choice” for the first time in seven years. The breakdown is as follows in the chart below, and naturally Gallup fails to untangle the shades of gray dwelling in that unfortunate “Legal in Only a Few Circumstances” demographic… which of course, is comprised of the majority of respondents. I’m not a purveyor of InfoWars-esque conspiracy theories, but situations like this help me understand why so many folks think the media is out to manipulate facts or opinions.
The trend for the mid-Atlantic states over the past decade (and then some) actually shows that those who describe themselves as “Pro-Life” has increased while those who describe themselves as “Pro Choice” decreased… albeit slightly. On top of that, the percentage of people who self-describe as “Pro Choice” has fallen in every region of the United States except for New England, and has stayed the same on the Pacific Coast.
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Furthermore, while those in the news agencies like to talk about the unpopularity of the “Pro Life” bills coming out of states like Texas, the fact of the matter remains: people are voting for the legislators and governors who are passing those bills, and increasingly so during the past eight years.
After having taken that into consideration, one of the most important topics of discussion during this 2016 election is how to expand the Republican tent. Interestingly, Hispanic Catholics and Black Protestants outnumber White Catholics in believing that abortion is immoral. Many people have advocated that the Republican Party, even the Conservative element of the Republican Party, abandon “culture war” issues like abortion in order to win. The fact of the matter is this is not the way to win, because the white mainstream protestants, and white Catholics, are both shrinking demographics; while minorities continue to grow as a proportion of the population.
I’m perturbed by anyone who takes a stance on an important issue such as abortion, based on political expediency. If you’re for it, then say you are for it and why. But I don’t think anything sheds supporters faster than a person who fails to take a stand on a divisive issue, even if it is unpopular. People can disagree with one plank of a candidate’s platform, and respect a candidate. It’s hard to respect a candidate standing on a platform, replacing planks depending on who they are speaking to at that moment.