#498 Ireland, Democrats, Blind Spots February 14, 2020
Elections in Ireland Years ago, Ireland passed the 8th amendment to its constitution, banning abortion. But two years ago, a “Repeal the 8th” vote succeeded. Maria Horan offers updates on the recent Irish general election: Sinn Féin had shocking success, coming in second. Voters 18-35 years old were the highest supporters, and least likely to remember the party’s blood-soaked past. The voting in droves by 18-24-year-olds both for Sinn Féin and for abortion two years ago are connected. Those over 65 were the least likely to vote for Sinn Féin, just as they were the least likely to vote for abortion legalization. More positively, many vocal supporters of “Repeal the 8th” have lost their seats. All 15 pro-life TDs who stood their ground two years ago have kept theirs, including former Sinn Féin members Carol Nolan (now Independent), and current Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín. Aontú is a recently-formed pro-life economic justice party.
Democrats Retain their Blind Spot The February 7 Democratic U.S. presidential candidates had healthy discussion of countering racism and poverty, and also war in conventional ways. On abortion, they all agreed – vehemently, and even more extreme than past Democrats. All would apply a litmus test about supporting Roe v. Wade for Supreme Court nominees, which they used to deny doing. All want a Congressional bill to codify Roe. None have learned the lesson of past elections.
Photo from Democrats for Life
Connections: Deliberate Blind Spots The Trump administration’s recent “Mideast Peace Plan” offers a “land swap” that takes fertile land away from current Palestinian territory, and instead gives them areas of desert. Having failed to consult with the Palestinians themselves, this plan shares features with the pro-abortion rhetoric, plus talk of unity, in the Democratic debates:
Assertions of “peace” and “unity” cover only the viewpoint of those doing the asserting. Alternative viewpoints are entirely ignored, to the point of acting as if they don’t’ even exist; and therefore,
“Peace” or “unity” is really just a nice-sounding way of saying that everyone ought to agree with them.
This is one major reason that assertions of “peace” are often expanded to “peace and justice.” When dictators, segregationists, schoolyard bullies, and other domineering people talk of peace, they really mean that anyone who disagrees with them is breaking the peace. Only when people consider the viewpoints of all involved in the situations can discussions of peace or unity make any sense.
Our Latest Blog Post
Lisa Stiller recounts her Fifty Years of Protesting for Peace, leading up to the current dangers of a war with Iran.
Charles Camosy The Democratic Party is Telling Millions of Pro-lifers to Get Out New York Post, February 6, 2020 Until recently, I spent much of my time working hard to elect Democrats to public office — but the early presidential campaigning pushed me away from the party . . . For someone who is progressive on most issues, this decision doesn’t come easy. Like most Democrats, I believe government has an energetic role to play to support women, families and children. I support paid family leave, help with unaffordable child care, labor-union rights, the Affordable Care Act, child and adoption tax credits and much else of the kind. I’m worried about climate change. I’m an outspoken vegetarian. I believe in welcoming refugees and immigrants. I oppose needless wars. But the party gave me no choice. Anything even hinting that abortion is less than good now violates party orthodoxy. Note: Camosy mentions he resigned from Democrats for Life and instead joined the American Solidarity Party; both are member groups, but we're a non-partisan organization.