I’m frustrated by the way in which the Republican leadership has largely suppressed debate about moral and cultural issues in this electoral cycle. Yes, the economic situation is very important. But in the long run a productive economy requires a healthy culture. I wish Karl Rove would put a post-it note on his computer screen: “It’s the culture, stupid.”

But the question of abortion came up yesterday. Romney said he had no anti-abortion legislation in mind (how could he in light of Roe v. Wade ?), but would reinstate the Mexico City policy that forbids U.S. aid that goes to funding abortions. Basically, since Reagan this has been the Republican position when the party has controlled the White House.

No news, but what caught my attention was the statement by the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund: “Mitt Romney’s views on women’s health are far outside of the mainstream, and that’s why he’s trying to hide them in the last weeks until the election.”

“Women’s health.” That’s now the standard euphemism for abortion, which can’t be anything other than encouraging to those of us eager to defend the unborn. You know you’re winning when the other side does everything it can to avoid saying the word “abortion.”

“Out of the mainstream.” That’s another rhetorical device that suggests weakness. Pro-lifers aren’t people one argues with on the merits. No, they’re “extremists” who are “out of the mainstream.” I guess the Catholic Church is out of the mainstream, and so are Evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews. And then there’s the rising percentage of Americans who find our abortion regime morally troubling, a cohort now in the majority. I suppose they’re “out of the mainstream” as well.

When liberals talk about views being “out of the mainstream,” it’s sign that they are on the defensive, retreating behind the barricades of the Establishment.

Articles by R. R. Reno

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