It could be the result of the visceral emotive response they continue experiencing, but watching the left's ongoing reaction to the leaked Supreme Court Dobbs opinion overturning Roe v Wade, I'm struck by how very little progressives seem to understand about the heart of conservatives on this life issue.
Commentator Erick Erickson expressed this very sentiment recently:
More than a few people have addressed what could be the most obvious explanation for it.
I think there's definitely something to that. The left's working knowledge of the pro-life position appears to be the caricature of the pro-life position concocted by the left's own media allies. As science and technology have gradually undermined the moral, philosophical, legal, and constitutional ground upon which the pro-legal abortion crowd has chosen to stand, they have become increasingly reductive in the formal presentation of their position.
The left has developed a two-pronged approach for abortion advocacy. First, rely heavily on euphemistic and oblique terminology (see, "reproductive justice") that sounds consequential but conveys no meaning. Second, engage only strawmen representations of the opposition.
This understanding of the left's abortion dynamic would explain why conservatives have complained for years that they can't get progressives to actually debate the merits of Roe, or the morality of feticide. The consequence was always easy to predict: an entire pro-abortion movement utterly oblivious to the realities of what conservatives actually believe.
Remember when a Democrat lawmaker in Oklahoma thought he was scoring a bit gotcha victory when he drafted a bill declaring that a father had financial responsibility for his baby beginning at conception? Why would Representative Forrest Bennett truly believe that conservatives would not agree to such terms in exchange for the left's acceptance of the scientific reality that life begins at fertilization? Many pro-lifers have been arguing for such child support measures years before Bennett was ever elected.
He didn't anticipate it because he has no idea what pro-lifers actually believe. And he isn't alone:
That any progressive believes the pro-life right would have any kind of problem with such an arrangement is a testament to how breathtakingly uninformed they are of beliefs outside the large leftist media echo chamber.
Consider another common refrain surfacing in recent days:
If we are talking past each other this badly, no wonder we have gotten nowhere in this epic human rights crisis the last 50 years. The fundamental difference between the right to refuse a vaccination and the right to abort a child is the involvement of a third human being. It's true that both a vaccination and abortion are acts performed on your body by an outside force. But taking or not taking a vaccine does not directly determine whether another human being lives or dies. That's a monumental distinction between the two issues.
Former Super Bowl winning NFL coach Tony Dungy expressed it this way:
This is a point that most conservatives probably assume the left is at least peripherally familiar with, and yet time and again it's as though progressive minds are incapable of functioning outside a bubble that obsesses over coat hangers and rape babies.
Oh, and the obligatory attempt at a "gotcha" regarding limited government:
Roe v. Wade took the regulation of abortion law out of the hands of the people and placed it solely in the purview of the federal government's judicial oligarchy of black-robed lawyers. Overturning it decreases the power wielded by the federal government and increases the power wielded by the people and their elected representatives. How anyone fails to grasp why a "small-government conservative" would favor such a ruling is bizarre.
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