Monday, May 2, 2011

Election Season is Nigh

We're entering the start of the presidential election season. With that comes talk of a whole host of issues, including everyone's favorite political topic - abortion! It's always interesting to read the opinions of candidates. They are trying to be conservative but not too conservative or progressive but not too progressive. This has to make you have to wonder how these candidates really feel about the issues they are taking a stand on.

Let's take abortion as an example. It's unusual for a Democrat to be anti-abortion, but I think it's even more unusual for a Republican to be pro-choice. Generally for a Republican or Democrat to even win their primaries, they need to have their respective anti-choice, pro-choice views. There are of course some exceptions, but the norm is the norm for a reason. These candidates need to reflect the views of their constituents, so it makes me wonder how many of them actually have these views or are just saying this to gain support.

As I was doing some googling tonight, trying to figure out what I wanted to write about, I kept finding articles about Donald Trump's views on abortion. If you weren't aware, Donald Trump is in fact an unofficial candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. I found an article on Life Site News (no I won't link to it) that stated Donald Trump had written a book in 2000 proclaiming he was pro-choice, although he was still uncomfortable with the procedure. Now he's coming out as anti-choice saying that he changed his views a few years ago. He cites a story about a friend's wife who was contemplating an abortion, ultimately kept the pregnancy, and now this child fills this man with unrelenting joy (he fails to note if the woman in this scenario is equally happy). In another interview he was asked about whether we have a right to privacy under the Constitution - he said yes. But then had no idea how that connected to his views on abortion (right to privacy was the basis for the Roe v. Wade decision) - maybe he hasn't thought this one through very well. I wonder if Trump believes what he saying now, if he believed what he said back then, or will just say anything to get people to like him and give him attention.

Not sure how I got on a Donald Trump tangent, but my point is that candidates will say anything to get us to vote for them. We have to think critically and try to figure out if they are saying what they believe or just what we want to hear. We have to make sure they are challenged and asked difficult questions that cause them to really think about what they are saying. Don't allow them to speak in sound bites but make sure they have thought through what they are saying, otherwise how do you know they are telling you the truth?

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This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.