For years elements within the Republican party have argued against politicians running on an aggressive socially conservative platform. They said that social issues were losing issues and that elections would be won and loss based on the economy and taxes. This line of thinking dismissed the reality that twice-elected Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush ran - and won - on socially conservative platforms. Specifically, neither president ever wavered in their support for pro-life issues.
In 2012, those elements got their wish: Mitt Romney. The socially ambiguous candidate was far from "scary" on abortion issues the way Bush and Reagan were (as deemed by the media and the left). For the most part, Romney would dismiss social issues as not being a part of his campaign. Instead, his plan was to focus mostly on economics, jobs, and repealing Obamacare. Romney clearly had the upper-hand in those areas. So what did President Obama do? He decided to run a campaign based on social issues. Republicans were going to "restrict access" to birth control, he would argue. He was suddenly for gay marriage. He became more aggressive in his "pro-choice" messaging. He didn't mind the term Obamacare because it showed "he cared." Obama ran a campaign on what many Republicans claimed were losing issues. And by the time the exit poll data rolled around, Obama destroyed Romney on the question of empathy. For the record, Romney won on the jobs and economic question. Needless to say, the end results showed which campaign worked better.
Conservatives Should Support Life Because it is what is RightThere is no greater social issue for conservatives than the fight for life. While issues like gay marriage may hit home with the governmental encroachment on religion, abortion actually takes a human life. In America alone, abortion takes over one million lives per year. The reality is the abortion issue is a 50-50 one in American opinion polls. That is without an aggressive conservative offensive to reveal the truth. But many politicians are fearful of talking about abortion. They are afraid of being called "anti-women" and find it easier to just focus on other issues. But if you truly believe that abortion takes a human life, there is no greater social issues to take a stand on and change people's minds. Because guess what, the pro-abortion side is taking their message to the American people. Abortion is often the answer on television programming like Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice - where creators and actors push a pro-abortion agenda and sit on the boards of abortion provider groups such as Planned Parentood. And liberal politicians are not afraid of supporting abortion, because pro-life politicians are not fighting back.
Reject the Media Narrative on AbortionThe Republican Party likely lost two easily-winnable US Senate seats in 2012 because they couldn't eloquently talk about life issues and wound up falling for easily-set media traps. But the political narrative needs to be aggressively rejected. During political campaigns, the only questions about abortion revolve around trying to see how much of a neanderthal the conservative candidate can be made out to seem. The liberal answer to abortion is always the same, tired cliche. Oh, shock, they want to make abortion "safe, legal, and rare." An interesting statement never actually backed by any policy. But that answer is always enough for the media. And if they are Catholic, they usually toss in a "well, I am personally opposed to abortion but my religion shouldn't be a factor in policy" to try to wrongly frame the abortion issues as a religious one.
Most of the questions are aimed at Republicans in order to discredit or trap them, and Republicans should reject the narrative. They will ask about "the life of the mother" and pregnancies due to "rape or incest," which are both lines of questioning aimed at diverting from the reality that most abortions are ones of convenience. Conservative politicians need to aggressively re-frame the issue and challenge both their opponents and the media.
Aggressively Reveal the Realities of AbortionMany people do not want to know the truth about abortion. Will moderately pro-choice people who choose not to know be repulsed when they find out the realities of abortion? Pro-life group Live Action is on the forefront of the pro-life battle, exposing what really happens in abortion clinics. Conservatives should no longer sit back and allow the pro-abortion movement to push their agenda without rebuttal. Conservatives cannot simply assume that people will look into the issue themselves because the really is people are afraid to do so. Ignorance is bliss. And conservative politicians should not be on the defensive when asked: "why do you hate women's rights"? One conservative activist boldly suggests that "the GOP answer to every abortion question should be: 'I oppose snipping the spines of babies. Next question.'" It's time that conservatives turn the tables and fight for life.
The Kermit Gosnell abortion trial offers a prime opportunity for conservatives to recharge the debate. Gosnell, a late-term abortion provider, is on trial for allegedly allowing babies to be fully born before killing them by snipping their spines after allowing them to first live for some time. While his actions have been indefensible even by abortion providers, on what grounds does the "pro-choice" argument stand that if the death had occurred moments earlier it would have been okay? Use ultrasounds and sonograms. Conservatives need to make people uncomfortable about what they support - especially because they might not know what they are supporting. Conservatives have the facts and science on their side, now they just need the guts to do something about it.