A friend of mine, who is Catholic and politically liberal, mentioned to me the other day that he would be voting for Barack Obama should he win the democratic primary. Obama, is NOT pro-life. I asked him how that squared with voting pro-life and he said he would not be made a "one-issue" voter. I didn't have the time to tell him he had been had, but that's what blogs are for.
I think there is one basic problem (and all politicians/political parties tend to do this), that is to discuss things in terms of "issues" and forget the fact that they're discussing real people. This leads to an easy breakdown of any objective moral value. Case in point, abortion and the right to life becomes a single "issue" right alongside talking about taxes or military base closures. Its easy to then quantify instead of qualify. You can say "I won't be made a single-issue voter" instead of "I care more about welfare programs and the war in Iraq than the tens-of-thousands of children murdered every day due to abortion." Sounds much better right?
If "issues" are about people, then we need to be discussing issues in terms of 1)their potentiality for good and evil, and 2) the moral weight of the potential evil which could be done. While tax law A has the potentiality to do good or bad, abortion has only the potentiality for evil. The fact that a tax law could potentially have good or bad effects makes it somewhat negotiable compared with a law which can only bring evil. Next, what would be the moral weight of these issues? A tax law which turns out to hurt the economy can force us to lose some money, maybe some jobs, but no lives are taken (as a direct effect anyway) and so the moral weight could again be considered negotiable. On the other hand, legallized abortion is murdering a baby. Murder, is obviously a very serious and evil crime and therefore it is non-negotiable in nature as far as whether it should be condemned.
Weigh the consequenses of whatever you like and the result turns out to be the same. Even, the Iraq war has its potentiallity for good (even those ardently against it must admit the potential good) while abortion is never allowable. US war deaths have been numbered at 3,431 since the war started in March of 2003. The number of deaths due to abortion in the US each day is about 3,700. That leaves the total number of US abortion deaths since 2003 at around 5.5 million. You do the moral math.
I realize that the "Hannity argument" is compare something, anything, to Nazi Germany and you win, but this comparison really does work- If you lived in Nazi Germany and the "issues" surrounding your next election (imagining you get one) are taxes, the military build-up, the invasion of Poland and the Jewish Holocaust, which issue would be more important to you?
We do live in a country, and a world where there is a holocaust going on. What should we choose?