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The Unrepentant Traditionalist
January 20, 2010

Replacing the Political Parties: A Pro-life Manifesto: Part II
by Frank Creel

ARLINGTON, VA — Most pro-lifers, leaders and followers, are politically naïve. Our obvious lack of success is the only proof of what we need.

Our 45 million Hispanic Americans exercise almost decisive influence over the shape of immigration law. Our 40 million African Americans define the parameters of our national conversation about race and helped elect one of their own as president. Our 40 million senior Americans have made social security the third rail of American politics — no one dares touch it. Fewer than six million Jewish Americans (with a huge assist, to be sure, from millions of Evangelical Christians) have made unwavering support of Israel almost a precondition of capturing and holding public office in the United States.

Yet, the 75 to 100 million Americans who consider themselves pro-life were almost irrelevant in last year’s presidential contest. Nor can they point to a strong caucus in the Congress. The national media will label anyone as extremist anyone who opposes abortion in cases of rape or incest.

The naivete has taken a number of concrete forms.

1. Perhaps most damaging was the initial preoccupation with a Human Life Amendment. It was a logical response because Roe v. Wade was the fruit of brazen fiddling with the Constitution by the court established to protect it. Still, anyone with an ounce of political sense would have known that constitutional amendments can be achieved only with overwhelming popular support. Roe v. Wade can be overturned by a bare, but determined, majority. The Human Life Amendment was a huge waste of money and political energy.

2. The second worst mistake was to hitch the pro-life wagon to the fortunes of the Republican Party. This seemed logical, too, because pro-abortion passion is the very sap of the Democratic tree. The Republican Party, didn’t you know, has had a pro-life plank in its platform since 1940.

In 2002, this writer ran as an independent against pro-abortion Republican Congressman Tom Davis in Virginia. The Democrats had not fielded a candidate, so I was Davis’ only opponent. During the campaign, I went out to distribute campaign materials to people attending a pro-life demonstration. One gentleman holding a fervently pro-life placard asked me if I was a Republican; when I replied no, he refused to take my materials.

I still wonder if the guy yet understands how the Republican Party has consistently played pro-lifers for suckers. It will be able to do so indefinitely so long as pro-lifers validate the Republican premise that they have no where else to go by voting, in every election, for the “lesser of two evils.”

3. The third mistake flowed from the second: We pinned our hopes on a change, by Republican presidents, in the composition of the Supreme Court. The futility of this approach should have been evident at the outset. Roe v. Wade was decided by a 7-2 majority. Five members of the majority were appointed by Republican presidents (Eisenhower and Nixon); one of the dissenters was appointed by Kennedy.

The pattern continues today. Republican appointees O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter all became reliable votes to uphold Roe v. Wade. Anyone who believes John McCain would have appointed someone willing to overturn the monstrosity… well, sell that poor soul some moon cheese.

I will be the first to admit that it will be extremely difficult to bring about a course correction now. The two-party system is deeply ingrained in our national political culture. Nor do I expect that to change. Additionally, every voter is understandably reluctant to “waste” his vote. If Democratic and Republican candidates are on the ballot, voting for a Constitution Party, Libertarian, or Green candidate cannot be seen as anything more than a protest vote.

All of this, I believe, leads to an inescapable conclusion. A new party must emerge to replace either the Republican or the Democratic Party. Without this, widespread abortion will never be eliminated from American life. Because the Republicans are the ones who have been playing us for fools, I nominate them as the party to be replaced.

The barriers appear formidable, but they are largely psychological. If all Americans who are serious about removing this scandalous stain on our history were to accept this inescapable conclusion and agree that the Republican Party must go the way of the Whigs, things could actually develop fairly rapidly.

We have formidable numbers. If we agree on goals and act in concert, we will gain momentum and quickly become a force that neither the parties nor their media allies can ignore.

Let the pro-life revolution begin with the following resolution: We will never again vote for the lesser of two evils — for that is always to vote for evil. We will never again vote for a Democratic or Republican candidate — for both of those parties are party to the culture of death.

If there are pro-life Republicans who think they deserve our vote, let them abandon the Republican label and come to us, to build together with us a genuine party of life. Firm adherence to this resolution will get the ball rolling — but it still will not be sufficient to bring victory. We will discuss what else is needed in coming columns.

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The Unrepentant Traditionalist is copyright © 2009 by Frank Creel and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Frank Creel, Ph.D., a columnist and author, was an English teacher in the Peace Corps in Turkey. He is fluent in the Turkish language and in Arabic script.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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