December 18, 2017
Michael Gerson writes today in the Albany Times Union that the Republican Party will have to lose before it can recover from Trumpism. He looks forward to a day when the party can once again stand for its old principles. And he says: “The ultimate goal is not the victory of Democrats, who, in different ways, are mistaken and offensive (on economics, the role of government, entitlement reform, the protection of the unborn, and much else).”
Well. Let’s see. I think the current economy, which is due to the policies of the Obama Adminstration, is doing pretty well. I also believe the Democrats have it right on the role of government, which is “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, support the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. I also think entitlement reform is a euphemism for failing to promote the general welfare, which is a long-standing Republican principle. That party opposed Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act, and has sought at one time or another to destroy each of them despite the clear preference of the electorate for their preservation. This sorry record long precedes the rise of Trump.
As for protection of the unborn, studies have shown that 31% of conceptions end in miscarriage. So much for the sacred nature of the fertilized egg. Due to the facts of biology, there is a gray zone, called pregnancy, after fertilization and before birth. Somewhere along the way the embryo deserves to be treated as a person. It is up us to define what may or may not be done in this area, in the context of reasonable and legal modern medical care. It is for pregnant women to make the final decision about what is right for themselves under the law. The approach that says “My moral law, my religion, ought to determine the law of the state” is a clear violation of the First Amendment. Although many of us are religious, we are not a religious nation, and we never were. The law that governs us is our law, and it is the product of discussion, debate, and compromise, not dictation from the pulpit.
The Republican Party, long before the rise of Trump, became the party of the rich, and enlisted racism, prejudice, and fear in the service of a nefarious and divisive agenda that benefits only the powerful. So, Mr. Gerson, the Republican Party should lose – and should not return to power until it adheres to the real purposes of the Constitution, quoted above from its Preamble.