Charles C. Camosy at The Federalist asked a jarring and excellent question last Friday: “Are Democrats About To Reopen The Party To Pro-Lifers?” His speculation was prompted primarily by Bernie Sanders and DNC chair Tom Perez’s support of pro-life liberal candidate Heath Mello, who is running for mayor of Omaha. He also considered polling data indicating a modest shift toward pro-life positions among millennials in comparison to older generations, as well as the self-awareness of one James Thompson, a Democrat who ran in a special election this week in Kansas, who blamed his loss on the power of the national pro-life constituency.
No one would be happier than I if the Democratic Party became more pro-life. I just doubt it will happen anytime soon. Though his examples are not the only reason to think such a shift is possible — an op-ed in The New York Times from early this year written by a Catholic professor of theology apparently open to voting Democratic argued similarly to Camosy that the party must become more pro-life to win — there are plenty more examples of the party becoming more violent — even anti-life — on other issues.
In light of the following, the expectation that the party will open to pro-life voters is doubtful. First of all, it seems every speech — even action — that is not approved by the Left is protested violently, with destruction, thrown punches and rocks, and fires. The scheduled Ann Coulter event at Berkeley is only the latest. Speeches by Milo Yiannopoulos and Charles Murray were received in a similar way, as were the Dakota Access Pipeline and Trump’s inauguration.
Violence is the way the Left is increasingly attempting to solve its problems. Obviously it’s nothing new, as the film festival-award winning movie about the assassination of George W. Bush attests, but it’s egged on by authority figures in the lives of young liberals.
Take, for example, the painting by a professor at University of Alaska Anchorage depicting a nude Captain America decapitating President Trump. He “spent days just weeping” following the election, before deciding the best way to deal with his frustration was to draw a “disturbing” and “graphic” image of the president being killed and hang it in the college art gallery.
He isn’t the only professor fantasizing about having the president killed. Professor Lars Maischak of California State University, Fresno, said that Trump must “hang” in order to “save American democracy,” and “the sooner and the higher, the better.” Trump wasn’t his only target. He went on to explain that his idea of “[j]ustice” is “[t]he execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant.”
Then there is the Huffington Post blogger who wrote that Trump supporters deserve to die more than he (the blogger) does from a North Korean nuke. His comparative statement wasn’t enough, apparently, since he went on to state unequivocally that Trump voters “people deserve to have their towns annihilated.” HuffPo apparently has some standards and removed the post, but if you doubt me, read it in archive form.
There are Democrats who insist Republicans aren’t really pro-life, since their policies differ from liberals’ on welfare issues, but they are, (un)ironically, literally calling for people to be killed. My examples haven’t even left 2017 yet.
Bernie Sanders, who not only endorsed a pro-life candidate, but also condemned the threats made against Coulter, is one of the few bright spots on this question. Even DNC chair Tom Perez, after his endorsement of Mello, clarified that
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
So much for that, the increasingly irrelevant Nancy Pelosi’s objections notwithstanding. Perez backed a candidate who dissented from his non-negotiables. Either he won’t stand by his words or the burning wrath of the pro-choice crowd threatened to scald him and he backed off. The latter can be expected in response to any hints a Democratic Party leader might be open to making the party more pro-life.
Few Democrats or liberals make statements or take actions this radical, it’s true, but condemnation from others is hard to find. As the saying goes, qui tacet consentit. If the Democratic Party is to move in a pro-life direction, there must be a concerted push-back against the conceit that violence is the solution, without which its very culture of ideas is infertile ground for a pro-life germination. I’d like to think it will happen, but I have yet to see it.