If you talk to me or read many of my columns, you’ll know that I consider myself a strong Democrat. While I still feel this way, there has always been one part of the platform that bothered me: being pro-choice.
I understand that the party in power has little to do with the actual abortion rate, but allowing abortion as part of the platform doesn’t make sense, both ideologically and politically.
Democrats have always used the government to make the world a better place, even if that intrudes a bit on personal freedoms.
When it comes to poverty, healthcare, refugees or the death penalty, Democrats choose to take money from citizens, and therefore take some sense of freedom, in order to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Herein lies the contradiction: When a pregnancy is terminated, principles of limited government overrule principles of government intervention for the well-being of both the mother and child.
This is at odds with almost all other liberal stances.
Democrats work for the government to provide an economic and educational future for impoverished children, as they do for the safety of refugees. Even when accused of governmental overreach, they insist on healthcare for all.
When it comes to the unborn, though, many Democrats transform into Libertarians, insisting that the government has no right to determine what is or isn’t a life.
These situations allow for the most good in legislation to come through by protecting the innocent and supporting those in need.
This isn’t to say that Democrats should defund Planned Parenthood or leave mothers to care for children by themselves. To the contrary, liberal ideals advocate for the entire country to support the vulnerable, such as a newborn and its parents.
Changing this policy isn’t just about ironing out contradicting ideologies; it’s about winning elections.
Seventeen percent of registered voters say they will only vote for major candidates who share their views on abortion, according to a Gallup poll.
The religious right, though fading away with every election, is a powerful part of the electorate, and there are few issues that matter more to it than abortion legislation.
Donald Trump’s ability to win so much of the Christian vote reveals just how removed Republicans have become from Christian ideals while retaining the Christian vote. The single policy change of abortion could potentially lead to a migration of voters to the left.
Democrats are arguably in agreement with many Christian ideals, such as those about immigration or poverty. The main division between many religious people and voting for a Democrat is abortion.
Though the change in policy may have little to do with the actual rates of abortion in the United States, it could correct ideological contradictions and open an untapped portion of the electorate to future politicians.
Daniel Payne is a freshman integrated marketing communications major from Collierville, Tennessee.