Pro-life voters are often dismissed or caricatured as one issue voters who need to grow up and get over their fixation about refusing to vote for a candidate if he/she is not pro-life and therefore against abortion because there is more at stake than just that one issue.
While I agree that there is always more than one issue at stake, and that being merely a one issue voter is immature myopia at best; I categorically disagree that recognizing that some issues rise to the level of disqualifying a candidate from consideration makes one a pesky one-issue voter. The truth is that some positions are so inherently evil that they disqualify a person from holding the sacred trust of the people.
For many, including me, the sacredness of all human life from the time of conception is one of those issues. If a candidate is strong on defense, which I support, but for allowing the extermination of our weakest members of society, his/her promises of a safer America seem rather Nietzschean.
“Both major political parties in America have embraced language about ‘empowering the powerless’ and having compassion on the needy in society. But such commitments are little more than empty platitudes if the principle cannot be extended to defenseless, unborn infants. The confessed concern for ‘the children’ in our culture is laughable when pockets of resistance to a ban on partial-birth abortion still exist in American culture. We live in an age when leaders desire the image of Jesus while practicing the ethics of Nietzsche. They cannot, however, have both.”1
When Rudy Giuliani emerged as the frontrunner in the Republican primaries, pro-lifers, evangelicals and social conservatives were advised to vote for him because the democratic candidates were more liberal, he could win, he is a fiscal conservative and he is a hawk on terror. In other words, don’t get hung up on one issue, i.e. abortion.
First, just for the record, it was not just one issue; along with his lack of support for the sacredness of all human life and marital infidelities, were other objectionable positions like his view that homosexuality is socially and morally acceptable. This should remind us that, “pro-choice” candidates will rarely if ever be consistently right with regard to other moral issues. For example, on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, all of the Democratic candidates made statements in support of Roe v. Wade, while all of the Republican candidates, with the exception of Giuliani, made statements opposing Roe v. Wade.
Second, I am not so blind, calloused, or biblically illiterate to see “winning” as the quintessential quest of politics. For the Christian, righteousness is the quest of life, which includes politics. I am not looking for the perfect candidate, but some issues are of such consequence, that to vote for a person in spite of their position on it, e.g. abortion is reprehensible and does in fact minimize its intrinsic significance. Some favor voting for a “pro-choice” candidate if he/she promises to protect them, give tax relief, raise the minimum wage, or protect the snail darter; however, this is pandemic narcissism and inane moral equivalence. I, for one, have not yet descended into the cesspool of such moral and spiritual anarchy, and by the grace of God I shall not.
Think about denigrating a person as a one-issue candidate because he refuses to support a candidate who promises to protect the right of every family member to kill his or her grandparents, children, etc. If candidates spoke of treating their house pets as flippantly as they do the preborn, they would be flayed by the verbal stilettos of animal rights activists who would be in turn extolled for their commitment to and compassion for these domesticates.
Often, the designation “one-issue voter” is a jaundiced demagogical rhetorical tool that seeks to wheedle voters to extol what those who use the term glorify; moreover, the real question is not one-issue voters’ verses many-issue voters, but rather whether there are any positions that a voter may justifiably find unconscionable to support. This genre of voter believes that righteousness trumps expediency, winning is important but not paramount, and that if a party, or both parties, favor such unconscionable positions they do so without their support.
Regardless of a politician’s messianic persona and utopian promises, I for one cannot support candidates who support killing innocent people for the advancement of the state whether we are talking about Nero, Hitler, Stalin or…. “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”(Matthew 25:40)