Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Personal vs. Political

Yesterday, Ross Douthat, the new conservative voice on the Times Op-ed page wrote an article about Obama's positions on gay marriage and abortion. Part of his thesis is that demographic trends favor gay marriage so if Obama waits long enough, it won't be hard to legalize gay marriage and he contrasts this with polling trends that suggest that more young Americans (under 35) call themselves pro-life rather than pro-choice.

The trouble, I think, is that young Americans (under 35) are dumb. Or rather, they don't seem to know the difference between policy and personal choice. Case in point: Meghan McCain. Here's a recent article she wrote about GOP platforms. In it, she claims to be pro-life (presumably because she would never choose to have an abortion) but insistst that if she became pregnant she and her family should be allowed to make that choice. I have a feeling that many people feel the same way: I should have the choice to be "pro-life;" this is a pro-choice position.

(And ultimately what they mean is, "I can't imagine, right now, a situation in which I would have an abortion." However, imaginations are limited.)

If polling matters (and it does for politicians), the pro-choice groups should create advertising that clarifies this position.

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