Will Pro-Life Voters Follow Dobson Into the Political Abyss?

October 4, 2007

Over at Northstarwriters.com, writer Dan Calabrese states in his own persuasive way the same points we have been making here a SoConsForRudy.com, that while social conservatives should agree with the public policy ends we seek, there are different means toward that end, and we should not become absolutist about the means. In other words, pro-life goals may just be advanced through the judicial philosophy of a President Giuliani, but will never be advanced by a President Hillary.

Calabrese’s article is worth reading in total, but here’s an extended excerpt that gets to the point:

Rudy Giuliani, who has an excellent shot at the GOP nod, does not toe the Dobson line, and refreshingly declines to pretend he does. Giuliani does not view the issue as a high priority in his presidential campaign. Nor should he. The only thing a president can do to impact the abortion issue is appoint Supreme Court justices who may or may not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade when considering a case that may or may not come before the Court. And when a president appoints a new justice, he should not do so on the basis of how that person may vote on a specific, hypothetical case that may never even come up.

In other words, if you want to end abortion, it is hard to think of a bigger waste of your time than to try electing a president of the United States who agrees with you. Having the pro-life George W. Bush in the White House has not prevented a single abortion. Electing Rudy Giuliani would not cause a single abortion – although, if he stays true to his word and nominates a justice along the lines of John Roberts or Samuel Alito, Giuliani could, without seeking to, go down in history as the president who toppled Roe v. Wade.

But none of this matters to James Dobson. After a meeting last week with a few of his fellow travelers, Dobson and crew decided to issue a statement that, if Giuliani is nominated, they will “consider” running a third-party candidate. Why merely consider it? Probably because they haven’t yet thought of anyone they can talk into doing it, although it’s just as likely they are crying wolf to try to influence the primary process.

Either way, they are giving Hillary Clinton the gift that will keep on giving. Dobson himself has declared that he would “waste” his vote on a fringe candidate or sit out the election entirely before he would vote for Giuliani. Fine. Free country, buddy. But if many others follow his lead, it could be enough to put Ohio or Missouri into the Clinton camp, and that could be enough to put her in the White House. If Dobson finds a third-party candidate with any viability whatsoever, it would almost guarantee that Clinton wins the presidency.

First, it is indeed a free country, and anyone can decide to throw away their vote on some kamikaze candidate if that’s their choice. But this isn’t the attitude that supposed “leaders” are to have. Dobson aspires to influence people in their political views and expressions, and yet the leadership example he’s providing is to stomp off in a childish snit and cut your own wrists.

Secondly, if Dobson does this, and Ohio and Missouri, at least, end up in Hillary’s camp, we will have James Dobson to blame for the Hillary Presidency, and all the damage she will do to this nation. How does this scenario help the pro-life position?

Greg Alterton

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