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Santorum Analogy is No Gaffe

The most remarkable thing about Rick Santorum’s comparison of abortion and slavery is the mainstream media’s initial reaction treating it as a gaffe. That reaction reflects the intellectual smugness that has made “mainstream media” a bad word in much of America.

The analogy between the slavery debate in the 19th century and the abortion debate in modern times is a solid one because both centered on 1) who to include in the definition of “human,” and 2) whether the ultimate moral decision should be legislated or left to individuals. Despite the similarities, well-meaning people are free to reject the abortion-slavery analogy given that there is no longer any disagreement that slavery was a moral outrage.

However, to refuse to see the similarities and, instead, view the analogy as ignorant is to contemptuously dismiss the half of America that considers abortion to be the taking of a human life and a moral outrage. You don’t have to share the moral judgment of pro-life Americans, but to dismiss their values as unworthy of serious consideration is the very definition of smugness.

Cross-posted at Politico.

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