Thursday, November 17, 2005

Defining Mainstream

For many years politicians would attempt to marginalize their opponents by claiming that they were out of the “mainstream.” If the press supported this view of the candidate or politician, the word would be used over and over again until the person was viewed as such. Terms like extremist, radical right, fundamentalist, were just a few words with a pre-set definition designed to allow people the luxury of not actually deciding for themselves whether the candidate’s views had merit.

In truth we all use these terms. Some are shortcuts to explain our view of the opponent’s position on various issues. For it has long been held in politics that whoever frames the question wins the debate and whoever defines his opponent wins the election.

The latest use of the term “mainstream” has been concerning Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently nominated to sit on the U. S. Supreme Court. Judge Alito has been an appeals judge of 15 years. The Senate confirmed him unanimously in 1990. He has the respect of his profession. The American Bar Association rated him ‘well qualified’ to sit as a judge. Prior to being a judge, he was a U.S. Attorney and held many positions as an attorney in public service. Yet the other day a few senators questioned whether he was “mainstream” enough to sit on the bench.

I suppose we could all dismiss the ranting and ravings of Senators Schumer and Kennedy as being part of the death rattle of the “radical left.” But it is a disservice to our fellow citizens to let such charges go unanswered, especially when it comes from persons of such dubious character.

One will notice that at the same time that a senator will pronounce some conservative person or idea as “out of the mainstream, ” the media will generally publish a poll of sorts supporting that particular view. It will not be clear to the public that the fix is in on the poll. After all, the senator is simply “commenting” on the poll results. This particular scenario is particularly common when the subject of abortion is raised.

Now the media, national and local, print and electronic, all hate to discuss the issue of abortion. Never in the 32 years since the Roe v. Wade decision has the media as a whole ever accurately described the decision. Never in the major media has there ever been an honest examination of what abortion actually does to the woman and the child. Never has the Associated Press or the New York Times accurately reported that an abortion kills a living human being. According to these media types that is just what we conservatives “believe.” Now aside from ignoring honest liberals who are pro-life and against the killing of unborn children, the media position is an effort to move the conversation away from the medical realities and into religious belief. One will notice that pro-lifers will have their religious background referenced in stories. Pro-life positions are generally referred to as religiously based in a subtle effort to imply that there is no scientific or factual basis for being against abortion.

Lately the effort by the media and certain politicians is to claim over and over again that being against Roe v. Wade puts one out of the “mainstream.” Being against abortion puts one out of the “mainstream.” Being against the killing of innocent human beings mains that one is out of the “mainstream.”

This is propaganda at its best. Tell the lie often enough and people will tend to believe it. Well it won’t work any more. Years ago when Walter Cronkite could claim “and that’s the way it is,” the American people had no way to know if he was telling the truth. Today it is different. Between talk radio and the Internet, people are becoming more aware of an alternative view of the news. Now there is still a lot to do and along way to go, but the notion of getting the truth out is now possible. Still it requires an educated and attentive populace,

So let us return to Alito and his known views. He has said that there is no constitutional right to abortion in the constitution. He is right. He is not alone in that view. Both conservative and liberal legal scholars agree that Roe was poorly reasoned, poorly decided and created “bad law.” These professors include some who support legal abortion. So holding that position is not extreme. It is a reasoned, articulate and fairly respected view (except perhaps on the present court).

What else? He believes that parents ought to know if their minor daughter was an abortion. Oh, that is so radical (please note sarcasm).

What else? He thinks that husbands ought to be notified (barring any legitimate reason why they should not) prior to the man’s wife killing his child, Sounds reasonable to most dads.

Like Roberts, he believes that court should act as umpires and referees and not be creating law out of whole cloth. Real radical thought.

The truth is that the vast majority of this country still thinks that abortion is a pretty disgusting procedure, that there are better ways to address the needs of an unwed mother or an unplanned pregnancy. Most people would support laws to make it easier to adopt children and to provide help and hope to women in need. Most people oppose late term abortions and want women to be properly
Informed of the risks of having an abortion. Most people understand abortion to be the taking of a life. And if asked most oppose the use of abortion as aback-up means to birth control.

So the next time you watch the news or read the paper, remember the spin and the motivation by those who want abortion legal. The abortion proponents have a vested monetary and political interest in keeping abortion legal. Should we expose the special interests and the profiteers, I contend the American people will reject them and their pro-death policies. If we can explain the devastating human cost of legal abortion in this nation, the nation will realize the need to embrace a culture of life. However, one cannot ignore the lies and the system that breeds this deadly misinformation. Only by an active and articulate response can we begin to restore sanity to the once noble press.


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