Dan Proft Commentary: Trump the Tyrant Refuses to Dictate on Abortion

Dan Proft Commentary


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First, Trump left office after exhausting his appeals to the legislative and judicial branches.

Now, Trump is deferring to the will of the people of the several states as expressed through their duly elected state officials when it comes to the legal treatment of abortion in post-Roe America.

Trump is the strangest of all iterations of tyrants: one who believes in federalism as he acknowledged when he invoked the Bill of Rights (the 10th Amendment specifically) in response to criticisms from some pro-lifers. It is unusual for a dictator to concede limits to his power.

But Trump’s position on abortion is simply a political compromise in order advance his electoral chances in November, right? Perhaps. In other words, he is tailoring his view on abortion to secure the votes he needs from the people to win an election fairly. It is quite the reluctant dictator who seeks the consent of the governed.

In fact, Trump, America’s alleged autocrat in the offing, is turning out to be quite pragmatic and conventional, sort of like he was during his four years as President.

As to Trump’s positioning, I argued on this platform last year the astute play for Trump and Republicans was to acknowledge the differing realities of abortion at the state level and flip the script on the no-restrictions-no parents-taxpayer-funded-pro-abortion party.

In a swing state like Wisconsin, for example, abortion is going to be legal.

Recognize that reality and turn attention to safety and frequency.

Legal. Safe. Rare.

For the sane, abortion is not a happy event. Most in swing states–and even red states like Kansas and Ohio as we have seen—want it to be legal but safe and rare. Just ask them.

Ask the non-P-hat-wearing pro-choicer:

Should abortion providers be state regulated like any other enterprise that does invasive surgeries to ensure it is a safe place for women?

When they answer in the affirmative, ask, so why does Planned Parenthood and the no-restrictions-no-parents-taxpayer-funded-pro-abortion party oppose state inspections mandated on every other health care facility that performs invasive surgeries? Is that safe?

More questions:

Should abortion be used as a means of birth control? What do you say to the young women who has had multiple abortions?

Should abortion be used as a means of sex selection? Is it okay to abort a girl because mom or mom & dad wanted a boy?

Is it okay to abort a child because she has a detected disability? Do you know any families with a family member who has a disability? Would you tell them aborting that family member would have been better?

Does the concentration of abortion clinics in majority minority neighborhoods in big cities as opposed to densely populated, majority white suburbs concern you? Does it say something about who the no-restrictions-no-parents-taxpayer-funded-pro-abortion party is targeting for abortions?

Keep pressing questions in the direction of safe and rare so it is Planned Parenthood and the no-restriction-no-parents-taxpayer-funding-pro-abortion party that must spend their time answering questions for a change.

Meanwhile, accept the reality of intellectual impurity of the sentimental American voters feeling rather than thinking their way through life as they will be the ones who decide this election.

Just as many Americans in the middle will defend an individual’s right to protect themselves and simultaneously support restrictions on that right like a ban on certain sport rifles, so will many Americans say abortion should be legal but if it’s my minor daughter, I want to know about it and if it’s not, I don’t want to be forced to pay for it.

As to pro-lifers who are critical of Trump for not endorsing federal legislation on this topic, it is worth noting that those proposing federal bans after 6-weeks or 15-weeks are also staking out a compromise position. They, like me, would like to see a complete end to an abortion. What they are proposing is weaker than they would prefer but more politically feasible, they believe.

Thus, the question is not one of superior moral rectitude, but rather which approach best positions the life issue and its champions politically for an election seven months from now. This is a discussion for office use only.

The public conversation is the one Trump started. Now he needs those carrying his banner into political battle to arm their fellow Americans with the right questions.

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