Thursday, January 31, 2019

Abortion, Socialism, and Howard Schultz

The Democrats are apparently trying to make a liar out of me. Last week I wrote that support for abortion, while abhorrent to me, didn’t necessarily mean that Democrats were bad people or unchristian. This week Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia said, “Hold my beer and watch this” before proceeding to make comments that come dangerously close to advocating infanticide.

While speaking to radio station WTOP about his third-trimester abortion bill, Gov. Northam said, “When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physicians, more than one physician, by the way. And it's done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that's non-viable. So, in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother. So, I think this was really blown out of proportion.”

Yes, you heard that right. Virginia’s Democratic governor spoke about the right of mothers to decide to kill their children after birth. This is a far cry from the old Democratic line that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. It should not only be difficult for Christians to support Northam’s bill, which would allow abortion up to the point of birth according to its sponsor, it should be difficult for any human being to support.

The recent outbreaks of open Democratic extremism in New York and Virginia are a symptom of a party that has given itself over to its fringes. Every day seems to bring a new story of Democratic insanity from Kamala Harris’ plan to eliminate private health insurance to Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s proposal for a 70 percent income tax rate. Giddy with the results of the 2018 blue wave and already tasting victory over Donald Trump in 2020, prominent Democrats seem to have gone completely off the deep end.

From stage left, enter Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who is familiar with Starbucks that Schultz is no conservative, but he could help to steer the Democratic Party back in a more conservative direction.

The Democratic left is screaming bloody murder, not about the proposed laws to allow the killing of full-term infants, but at the possibility that Schultz might split the liberal vote and help to re-elect Trump. But maybe the real problem is that Democrats are rallying behind candidates that are far out of the American political mainstream.

Schultz is an attractive candidate precisely because the Democratic leadership is catering to and chasing after the radical fringe. Polling shows that voters are alienated by both the Democrats and the Republicans and Schultz apparently believes as I do that there is an opportunity for a centrist party that can inhabit the middle of the political spectrum between the fringes of both major parties. With an unpopular Republican incumbent, Schultz could fill a niche similar to the blue dog Democrats who were socially moderate and fiscally conservative and possibly carry some states with a platform similar to that of Southern Democrats such as Sam Nunn, Zell Miller, and Bill Clinton circa 1996.

Schultz won’t win over much of the Republican base. His positions on gun control and abortion, although moderate compared to many Democrats, are still unpalatable to conservatives. Schultz’s ideas on fiscal policy, however, could appeal to many conservatives who are unhappy with President Trump’s trade war, spending, and hard line on immigration, but Schultz’s real target base is center-left Democrats who feel as left behind by Democratic extremism as many Republicans do by the Trumpist GOP.

I’m happy that he has called out Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Elizabeth Warren for their radical economic policies and I hope that he will speak similar truths to the Democratic powers that be on abortion. Even though he’s pro-choice, I haven’t seen any evidence that he is part of the radically pro-abortion movement that has made it a priority to be able to abort babies that have already been born.

Schultz might be able to accomplish his goal of steering the Democrats back toward the center without even mounting a real campaign. The very threat of a centrist insurgent taking votes from the Democratic nominee may be enough to influence Democratic primary voters to eschew the radicals in their party for moderates like Joe Biden, John Hickenlooper, or Amy Klobuchar. If a centrist Democrat wins the nomination, Schultz could quietly fade into the woodwork and back the party nominee.

Many Republicans won’t like a move back toward the center by the Democrats. The more extreme the Democratic candidate, the more likely President Trump is to be re-elected or so the theory goes. As a former Republican, I disagree and would welcome more moderation by both parties.

For most of my life, I’ve had the choice between what I considered to be a good candidate and a horrible one. That changed in 2016 when I was given the choice between two horrible candidates. For once, I would love to have a choice between two (or more) candidates who are good people who I believe would be good leaders, even if they don’t check every box on my list of policy preferences.

Besides, I’ve seen unelectable extremists get elected too many times to wish for another radical candidate from either side. Our last two presidents were both considered unelectable on the grounds of inexperience, radical policies, dishonesty, and divisive politics. There are plenty of unelectable people in Congress as well.

I’m not endorsing Howard Schultz and I don’t have any plans to vote him at this point, but I do wish him well. If he can help to bring the Democratic Party back toward the center, it will benefit the country as a whole.

Originally published on The Resurgent

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