Over a year ago, this site issued a rather disturbing statement in favor of legal abortion:
This means that we are dealing with a symbolic issue. The Right wants to con its voters into thinking that the Right is winning; the Left wants to con its voters into getting out to vote, since the Left only wins elections when it mobilizes “the base” (al-Qaeda) or the useful idiots.
As usual, the Right has been outfoxed by the Left who above all else are tactical thinkers. They are blind to long-term strategy such as is required to make a functional society, but they are really good at manipulating bureaucracies and electorates.
Conservatives traditionally boot elections over an issue like abortion because it lets them achieve a symbolic victory without rocking the boat.
This followed after the only sensible abortion policy advanced by any political writer or party:
If I had to write policy regarding abortion, it would be to make it a matter solely between the patient and her general practitioner (or “regular doctor”). There would be no abortion clinics, nor would there be laws against it. Doctors would realize that making themselves abortion clearinghouses would constitute their exile from polite society, and only the drunks and incompetents would do it.
We also pointed out that, as in the case of White Nationalism, trying to whip up a group and unify it on a transient detail is bound to fail, but “seems like” wisdom to our educated political class:
Conservative “experts” have been trying to win on issues that pander to the “Christian libertarian” base that they define as conservative. They have done this for decades. It always backfires because outside of the churches, banning abortion is not taken seriously.
Unconventional wisdom says that people vote conservative to metaphorically make the trains run on time. We are the order and function party that the voters turn to after the Left makes a mess of things, but banning abortion is contra-functional.
Slowly, slowly the normies are catching up. Bill King was once a Republican but now has opted for a third party because he is basically a liberal who hopes that by using accounting audits he can keep diversity voting from stealing everything.
He points out the obvious, namely that banning abortion loses elections:
Yet, Republicans in state legislatures across the country are pushing abortion restrictions that are clearly out of step with the nation’s mood. Why? Because typically only about 10% of voters show up for the Republican primaries, and virtually all of the 10-15% of Americans who believe abortion should be illegal in any circumstance vote in the Republican primaries. And because gerrymandering has made most November general elections irrelevant, Republican legislators must toe the line or face angry primary voters.
It is a dilemma for which the Republican Party has no solution and which is unlikely to be resolved anytime in the foreseeable future. For most Americans who believe a fetus at the time of conception has all the rights of a person, their belief is a fervent religious belief, which means that they are not persuadable to moderate their view and they cannot compromise on the issue. And because the Republican agenda includes this and other positions that are largely out of step with the majority of the American people, it is unlikely that the party is going to be able to expand its primary voting base to dilute the fervent anti-abortion voters.
In other words, the GOP is held hostage by a special interest group with high participation, therefore it has become a swing vote just like other special interests, including diversity, which require any party that wants to win to cater to their interests at the expense of social order.
As others note, this means that the GOP will continue down the path of “losing gracefully” and then moralizing about the decay of America, rather than opposing it, because it is held hostage by religious fanatics who hope they are doomed anyway:
Turnout among Ohioans for last week’s vote was massive — almost twice as large as it was for last year’s primaries for governor and legislative races. And instead of neutralizing the push to codify abortion rights, the GOP measure emboldened it by forging a coalition of liberal Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans who believe in a woman’s right to choose.
Now Republicans may see Ohio join California, Michigan and Vermont as states that have amended their constitutions to protect abortion rights. In 10 other states, pro-abortion rights advocates are trying to get abortion protection amendments added to state constitutions.
The only politically-savvy and functional candidate on the Right in America, Donald Trump, weighed in with his own assessment of the abortion issue from a “middle path” look toward a functional balance:
“We’re in a position now — and I’m going to be leading the charge — we’re in the position now where we can get something that the whole country can agree with, and that’s only because I got us out of the Roe v. Wade where the pro-life people had absolutely nothing to say,” he said.
The Right wins when it makes institutions functional, streets safer, the economy healthier, and otherwise enhances social order. It loses when it becomes yet another party of special interests, mainly because this has never been its mandate, and gives voters no reason to support it.
For years, we have watched the GOP punt on issues that it could win on, like opposing immigrations, unions, or entitlements, in favor of going all-in on symbolic winners that are vote losers like flag burning, prayer in school, and abortion.
It may be time for the agnostic front to recapture the conservative movement from the theocrats, and to pursue function instead of symbolism, since realism is the core of the Right much as individualism is the center of the Left, and people support us for realistic improvement but not token issues.