What the Republican Party is good for

As I’ve said before

abortion will never be restricted in the United States in any serious way.  Never.  Not in a million years.  Americans would legalize cannibalism before they would restrict abortion.  They would elect Darth Vader president before they would restrict abortion…

Just because a movement is hopeless doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve a useful purpose, though.  The constant agitation of the pro-life movement has succeeded in getting the issue of abortion labeled as “controversial” in the public mind.  This is no small feat.  Compare what’s happened to other reactionary causes when they ceased to be thought controversial…Most of America, and all of the elite, would like to “settle” on abortion, too.  In this case, though, there’s a minority that’s large and vocal enough that they can’t convincingly do it.  Everybody knows that abortion is controversial.  If I want it outlawed, most people disagree with me, but they don’t regard me as a lone nut.

If the reason for the pro-life movement is to bear witness against an evil we can’t stop, and the best we can aim for is not to get pushed completely out of the Overton window (like all my other beliefs), this affects how we consider the movement’s association with the Republican Party.  It’s usual for pro-lifers to grumble about Republicans giving lip service to fetal rights to get our votes but then doing nothing for the cause once elected.  What we should remember is that our stated goal is something the citizenry would never tolerate–if the Republican Party were to seriously pursue it, it would just mean its destruction as a viable national party and unimaginable rage directed at us.  On the other hand, for the achievable goal of keeping opposition to abortion an opinion that doesn’t get one fired, ostracized, or committed, lip service is the best thing Republicans can do.

In fact, I’d say that this is the main service the Republican Party provides to its voters.  Of course, it doesn’t provide it very well, and it doesn’t provide this cover of respectability to many groups that deserve it, but it may be the best that can be done in this age of liberal ideological hegemony and SJW aggressiveness.

Here’s a claim I used to laugh at:  if gay marriage opponents play our cards right, we might end up being as successful as the pro-life movement.  The pro-life movement always seemed to me a picture of failure.  Then gay marriage came, and I realized that a belief can have it a lot worse than abortion opposition.  “Racists” have known this for a long time.

Each year, politics seems to be less focused on policy and more on policing thought and opinion.  I found it refreshing to hear that President Obama is pushing some policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; from what I’ve seen, the environmental movement as a whole seems more focused on stamping out “denial” and even “doubt”.  I myself don’t deny in particular anything climatologists say, but even I was scandalized when a speaker at a regional APS meeting explicitly said that we need to be working to push the “climate change” buzzword because it’s less falsifiable than “global warming”.

I don’t care much what happens to the Republican Party, but while it exists, my only interest is that its most visible face, its presidential candidate, never be pro-choice.  Once it seems that the Republican Party has dropped abortion opposition, abortion will cease to be a controversial subject.  It will be part of the national consensus, just as the Supreme Court intended.  And once pro-lifers are out of the Overton window, we needn’t hope that future Republicans will ever reach out to try to bring us back in.

11 Responses

  1. […] What the Republican Party is good for […]

  2. There is always the possibility that, if a Republican president is elected who is serious about ending abortion and if we get lucky on liberal Supreme Court justices passing away during his term, that we could get a friendly Court that would overturn Roe vs. Wade. Then at least some states could outlaw abortion.

  3. So Conservatism, Inc. isn’t so bad after all.
    The adults in the room know that standing across the course of history crying ‘stop’ is the best we can do. Going over the cliff at 60mph is ‘better’ than at 80, so our job, politically, is to try to slow the rate of travel on the road to perdition.
    Is there any concern that some might find this truth discouraging, if we speak about it candidly?

  4. […] from Bonald: What the Republican Party is good for. If even […]

  5. My understanding is “global warming” was a phrase general used by Members of the press and not by Climatologists.

  6. I have come to despise Conservatism in general. It may be useful for saving what few unborn lives we can from a tragic fate (particularly at the state level in the US for example), but ultimately, it prevents people from turning to a more radical right.


    The fact is this, all abortion doctors should be executed by firing squad. And this would be R party policy if they actually believed in what they preach, that is the abortion industry is a modern day holocaust.

  7. Respectfully disagree. It seems to me that the GOP primarily serves as a safety valve for advanced liberalism. If Joe Sixpack and Billy Bible-beater realized just how truly irrelevant their inputs are to the system, they might be open to more radical approaches to politics.

    This is not to say that Republicans never do any good at all, but that whatever good they do is unrelated to the real function of the Republican Party.

  8. Sam Francis understood the purpose of the Republican Party. To “provide a fake opposition against which the rest of the left can shadowbox and thereby perpetuate its own political and cultural hegemony unchallenged by any authentic right.”

  9. I agree with Bruce and Salyer. The purpose of the Republican Party is to distract people who would otherwise be reactionary conservatives. It opposes abortion because it needs one conservative issue to hold on to to serve as such a distraction, and presumably they won’t come up with anything more horrifying to normal people than killing babies.

    What we reactionaries need to do is start presenting our own POV as a political position. Force it into the mainstream. I don’t have a plan to do this, but it’s what’s needed to save our society.

  10. Actually, the Republican Party holds onto the “pro-life” position because it very much believes in the “right” of existence granted to its very own would be “party killer.” The “pro-life” stance understood universally IS NOT a conservative stance, but a radically liberated one. The “universal pro-life” stance literally mandates the “right” for evil to come into existence. Evil being defined as that which desires to annihilate *you.* The “universal pro-lifer” stands for the existence of that evil who will annihilate him. “We” reject abortion because it is first and foremost an act of self-annihilation, ie., the female literally kills a part of her self. “We” also reject the absurd and perverted notion that our mothers possessed a “right” to kill us in utero. Again, “we” will not be complicit in the radical liberationist’s desire for self-annihilation and so “we” must oppose abortion in the most fundamentally intimate way while only extrapolating to the extent that “we” also reject female self-annihilation in general and will not argue for the “right” of evil to exist in particular.

  11. […] obvious reason being that we’re not republicans. But there’s also the fact that, as Bonald points out, they don’t even advance their own ideology well, all they serve to do is keep one […]

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