Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What Is Sensible Conservatism?

Ask any liberal who has pulled their hair out arguing with a conservative and they'd saying a sensible conservative is an oxymoron. Frankly, even I, as a conservative, have a difficult time conversing with some conservatives. Of course those same conservatives are probably pulling their hair out trying to argue with liberals or even conversing with me.

"Sensible Conservatism" is the attempt by reasonable people, with conservative views, to discuss those views and the means by which they have come to hold those views. The fundamental benefits of Sensible Conservatism are that is affords civil discussion. It allows the conservative to acknowledge that people with whom they disagree are not necessarily completely wrong in their stance and perhaps a source of an evolving understanding of an issue.

Sensible Conservatives understand that issues of the world are inherently complex and we, as humans, can only hope to understand them by reason and a willingness to step past the emotions of the issues into the heart of what drives them.

Permit an example. Abortion. As a Sensible Conservative, the first thing I would wish to do when discussing this issue with either conservatives or liberals is to, at least temporarily, acknowledge the reasonableness of allowing abortion for rape victims and women who's life is at risk. This is not to say that I actually agree with the premise that a decision by a woman to abort an unborn child as the result of rape or incest or when her life is at risk. But I do agree that such a premise is reasonable. Once we can both, at least temporarily, accept that statement, we can move on to the heart of the disagreement.

In this case, as a Sensible Conservative, I do NOT believe that the central issue about abortion is CHOICE. Do women have the right to make such a choice about their unborn child? Well, in order to step past the emotions of the issue of choice, even conservatives must acknowledge that we all have the right to make choices. So, therefore, of course a woman has the right to make a choice as to whether to end her pregnancy.

By agreeing with my liberal counterparts that women have this choice, I am now free to bring up what I believe IS the central point of this issue...whether the decision to end a pregnancy is a right choice or a wrong one. Central to this is whether or not that which is growing in a woman's womb is human or not. But, frankly, this point in the argument is little more than miss-direction. Those who would typically be identified as Pro-Choice prove this by nothing less than pure contradiction. When a woman wants to keep the child, the Pro-Choicers are quick to identify the child in human terms (i.e. - "baby"). But when the woman wishes to end the pregnancy, suddenly it is no longer a "baby" but a "zygote" or "embryo".

What changed? What part of the equation changed? Only one thing changed...the woman's want, wish or desire. This is where the issue becomes clouded. Since when is considered a correct judgment to justify something purely because someone WANTED it? So let's call it what it is, hedonism. Yes, there is it. I am no one to tell someone they haven't the right to make any choice. But our society is full of consequential decisions. You choose, there are consequences.

What the Pro-Choicers wish to achieve is freedom from consequences. Its not wrong so there should be no consequences. But since when have we accepted the premise that something is right simply because we want it? When did that mindset become okay? I certainly wouldn't allow my children to think that way.

So let's take this a step further. If a mother, or for that matter a father, were put into situation where they had to make a choice between them being killed or their son or daughter being killed, who would choose to live and allow their child to die? I mean, seriously, if a psychopath put a gun to your head and told you that either you or your child would die and you get to choose which one, who would ever choose to let their child die? Almost no one would look at that parent with anything but contempt and disdain. And yet, by de-humanizing the baby in a mother's womb, Pro-Choicers have succeeded in allowing a mother to make a choice of her life over the child's by making her believe, at some level, that it ISN'T a child, but a "zygote" or "embryo".

It doesn't matter what the reason for choosing the abortion route, or the reason the baby was conceived in the first place, the choice to end that child's life is putting the mother above a helpless child. To me, that is essentially, and unequivacably hedonism at its worst. Even aborting a child that is the byproduct of rape or incest can be labeled that way. For who would dare label as acceptable any adult being criminally violated and responding by killing someone else, anyone else, let alone an innocent child?

So what do we do? Am I advocating putting women who have an abortion in prison? Of course not. Abortions, as they have evolved into today, are a consequence of an ever-evolving hedonistic, consequence-free mindset in society. I am not about to advocate putting a bandaid over the problem by punishing the women who are making these choices. But I AM advocating a truly profound change in the way we as a society view abortion and consequently provide a greater means by which "unwanted pregnancies" are reduced, adoption becomes more accessible to average Americans and certain typed of abortions are banned (i.e. - D&X, third trimester and so on).

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