Monday, February 8, 2016

This pro-choice meme is beyond stupid

The people sharing this meme (and unfortunately I count some friends among them) are not nearly as clever as they think they are:

I've seen a few variations on this with other recently-terminated campaigns (mostly Santorum), usually concluding with a comment about how he's such a hypocrite and wouldn't it be great if he got a taste of his own medicine.

At the risk of sounding grumpy, this analogy is just stupid, and it only takes a few minutes' thought to come up with five reasons it doesn't work.
  1. Campaigns aren't alive. Duh.
  2. It follows that suspending a campaign doesn't kill anyone. But it does cost the jobs of staffers and interns, and lay waste to donations. If a pro-life candidate with a chance suddenly decided to quit, I would have a problem with that, actually—and I suspect the abortion supporters posting this meme would have a cow if Clinton/Sanders pulled such a stunt tomorrow. Which is why it's important to note that...
  3. The Huckabee and Santorum campaigns couldn't be "carried to full term." Huckabee got 1.8% of the vote in the Republican Iowa caucus. Santorum got 1%. Both were evangelicals running in a state that each had previously won on the strength of Iowa's evangelical vote. If you're really committed to the pregnancy analogy, it would be much more accurate to say that Huckabee and Santorum publicly announced their miscarriages.
  4. In fact, only one campaign will make it to full term. Unless I missed a really big announcement, there can only be one President of the United States at a time. People might feel differently about abortion if pregnancy were a bizarre dystopian zero-sum game requiring fetuses to fight each other to the death. (The Labor Games?)
  5. Be careful what you wish for, abortion advocates. Political campaigning, including the suspension of political campaigns, is subject to thorough federal regulation. Even with the many pro-life laws passed in recent years, the level of regulation of abortion doesn't come close. Campaign finance disclosures are required quarterly and made available to the public. Abortion facilities? Inspected once every two to three years if you're lucky. So if you really want abortion to be treated like politics, we'll take it.
In conclusion:

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