In response to my explanation of why Mitch Daniels cannot be rehabilitated in the eyes of strong pro-lifers, and why he should not be considered for 2012 after commenting that “the next president would need to call a truce on social issues” (and refusing to state whether he would re-instate the Mexico City policy) I was asked here what my list of priorities would be for the next Republican President, both generally and as applied to pro-life policy.
Of course any answer is bigger than a comment, or even a single diary, and takes more than the time I have to answer it. So here is my current summary of priorities for the next Republican President. It is mostly in order of importance, with importance as defined by a mixture of what things come first sequentially, what is most pressing in terms of need, and what is most pressing morally. But a majority of the items require constant and multidirectional attention from a Chief Executive, so that sequence is a little vauge. A president never has the luxury of sole focus on only 1 agenda item. For example, you can clearly see my major pro-life priority is bolded near the bottom. It is near the bottom, because 1) it should not be first if the economy is still reeling, 2) it cannot be accomplished without the groundwork being laid. But pro-life activity would be constant which I will touch on at the end.
1. Have a coherent conservative philosophy, goals and agenda.
2. Genuine transparency and honest dialogue with the people from the outset.
a. 1 and 2 should include a specific method for maintaining humility and avoiding the transformation lure of the Washington Culture
3. Fill the executive branch with competent individuals who support the philosophy, goals, and agenda, or at least understand their marching orders and are willing to carry them out.
4. Incentivize economic growth through tax, de-regulation, and other efforts consistent with free market principles.
5. Reduce the size, cost, and scope of all non-military government activity.
i. Simplistic in terms of exceptions. For example there may be other areas where reduction is not wise, and there may be areas of military spending that need to be cut. Eg. I would personally rather see an operational missile defense system than the maintence of so many troops overseas.
ii. Also simplistic in terms of specific deficit reduction. I don’t feel qualified to know what goals are really attainable, but also don’t mean to be soft on the issue. I would assume a balanced budget is feasible at some point during the next presidency, but I cannot cogently argue the point one way or the other.
iii. Another example would be drastic cuts in education funding, but at the same time a reasonable incentive to the states for school choice for a limited amount of time as a reasonable remediation for decades of propping up the public schools.
b. Subsection: Return responsibility to the states and the people whenever reasonably possible.
6. De-fund, shut down, or otherwise dismantle government activity in areas not consistent with conservative principles.
7. De-fund, shut down, or otherwise dismantle government participation in international organizations that promote policy not consistent with conservative principles.
8. Promote conservative principles in all areas by means that do not conflict with other conservative principles.
a. As an example, the federal government might promote abstinence only education in some ways, but it would not attempt to outlaw the teaching of contraception in contra to the State’s right to determine educational content.
9. Repeal health care bill in toto. If feasible, reform health care only in ways consistent with other conservative principles.
10. Reform Energy Policy opening all reasonable resource areas for exploration and extraction, elimination of any policy, cost, treaty, trip, tax, etc. that is justified by a concern for man made global warming except to the extent necessary to properly inform the public of the truth of global warming.
11. Seek to statutorily challenge the premise of Roe v. Wade and the legality of abortion, by making law which defines the term “person” as used in the 5th and 14th amendments due process clauses as including both born and unborn persons, from the moment of conception.
12. Secure our Southern borders / root out and deport on a national level all illegal immigrants with gang affiliation and/or who have committed a crime of violence while in the United States.
13. Reform Soc. Sec./Med. to make solvent or at least significant strides towards solvency.
So, besides the golden ring stated in # 11, pro-life activity would fit into the above in parts 1-9 by:
– Bully Pulpit: Being fearless and able to articulate pro-life principles as a part of a governing policy.
o The fear is the alienation of the average woman who may lean pro-choice, or who may have had an abortion, or known someone who has. The answer is that we don’t demonize these people. We don’t demonize anyone, but we do lay blame and seek to remove the influence of those who promote abortion, those who ignore the harm it causes to the women who have them, those who lie about what the unborn person experiences to convince people it are OK. We don’t avoid the issue, or cover it with a tacit half apologetic one liner to the effect that we are pro-life but certainly understand the differing views on the issue.
o The answer is also to remove govt. obstacles to adoption where possible and other policy/communication that ameliorates the burden of carrying a baby to term while at the same time exposing the lie that having an abortion is less of a burden than having a baby.
– Appointing pro-life individuals in all/most positions
– Removing all federal funding not only for abortions themselves, but organizations that provide abortions, and organizations that promote abortion, and organizations that donate to organizations that do the above.
– Remove affiliation or funding for international organizations that do the above.
– Reverse polices on stem cell research, etc.
Of course there is tons more, but the point is there is a lot to be done on the pro-life front that can be done concurrently with fixing the economy, or the deficit. Nothing, or very little can be done if there is a legitimate “truce” on social issues. As stated in the source diary, maintaining a truce, not talking about abortion, making it seem a third rail – is the left’s strategy. To call a truce is to surrender. Not to mention that a truce is not possible because a strategy based entirely on deception has no qualms about violating some politically expedient truce. Just like Obama had no qualms signing a meaningless oath not to fund abortion in the new health care law, while providing billions in funding for “family health services,” or whatever the line item was.