September 21, 2008

The Moral Majority

For a long time, I could not conceive of voting for any other party but the Republican party. The logic goes something like this: From the theological perspective that I was raised with (and still believe in), abortion is murder because life begins at conception. If one holds to that theological vantage and one's logic begins with that premise, no other political issue* held the same weight as abortion, and thus voting for a non-ProLife candidate (relatively minor issues for rape and incest aside) was an impossibility.

Either as an artifice of maturing and becoming more educated or because of the current regime (but more likely owing to both), I have come upon a problematic series of counterarguments to my original stance. Namely: there are other issues of the sanctity of human life that have nothing to do with abortion that the current regime seems relatively willing to ignore at best.

A friend of mine sent me news a while back of a disturbing commentary by a presidential candidate on the recent SCOTUS decision regarding habeas corpus.

Allow me to quote an excerpt:

The United States Supreme Court yesterday rendered a decision which I think is one of the worst decisions in the history of this country. Sen. Graham and Sen. Lieberman and I had worked very hard to make sure that we didn't torture any prisoners, that we didn't mistreat them, that we abided by the Geneva Conventions, which applies to all prisoners. But we also made it perfectly clear, and I won't go through all the legislation we passed, and the prohibition against torture, but we made it very clear that these are enemy combatants, these are people who are not citizens, they do not and never have been given the rights that citizens of this country have. And my friends there are some bad people down there. There are some bad people. So now what are we going to do. We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called, quote, Habeas Corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material. And we are going to be bollixed up in a way that is terribly unfortunate, because we need to go ahead and adjudicate these cases. By the way, 30 of the people who have already been released from Guantanamo Bay have already tried to attack America again, one of them just a couple weeks ago, a suicide bomber in Iraq. Our first obligation is the safety and security of this nation, and the men and women who defend it. This decision will harm our ability to do that.

If there is ever a time where someone argues that the basic fundamental rights which all Americans are granted, such as the right to a speedy and fair trial by an impartial jury... if it is ever argued that those rights should not be extended to non-Americans and that those rights are too good for any subset of people, even suspects at Gitmo, I will have a very hard time voting for that person. Simply put, now I have to balance the lives of the accused against the lives of the unborn... and I would have thought that McCain in particular and the GOP in general wouldn't have surrendered the moral high ground so easily. And for so little reason.

*At this point, I should make apologies to those like Wheeler who have theological issues with the death penalty. While I respect that particular viewpoint, I am not (categorically) in opposition to the death penalty nor the modern American implementation thereof and thus this particular bit of politics is avoided here for the purpose of convenience. Actually, let me extend that caveat to Just War Theory for different reasons... namely that my personal convictions on that are nowhere near as solidified and that it's a wide-ranging debate that I really don't want to have at this precise moment in time.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at September 21, 2008 11:48 PM | TrackBack