Op-Ed: “The Unspoken Political Motivator” by Mike Buettell, San Juan Island

September 26, 2015 by islandersvoice1

victory (1)Ask any adult, young or old, black or white, rich or poor, educated or not, traveled or not, from any state in the union, his/her view on “Abortion.” If he/she answers “Pro Life”, I can guarantee you with 99% certainty that they will vote Republican. On the other hand, if your person answers with words such as “women’s right to choose,” this person, while possibly not even a Democrat, will vote Democratic.

As I listen to my Republican friends and read Republican blogs (something I encourage Dems to do), I’m actually frightened by their fervor and actual hatred toward Planned Parenthood. The fact that PP basically exists to support women’s health issues is TOTALLY overshadowed by the abortion controversy. Simply Google Carly Fiorina’s tirade during the second Republican debate for a perfect example.

I find this somewhat amazing considering the serious issues facing our country today. The United States is number one in the world in per-capita gun ownership (88.1 guns per 100 residents). We’re also number one in incarceration of our own citizens and military spending. We have serious debt issues, and Medicare and Social Security spending need attention. Immigration, poverty, education, and foreign policy issues are ongoing challenges, yet despite the critical nature of those topics, abortion is the unspoken driving force of virtually any election. It really doesn’t matter if it is a non-partisan election for the local hospital board or a presidential election, abortion is, and will continue to be, the “Hot Button” topic.

The challenge with the abortion issue, unlike spending, foreign policy, immigration, and even gun-control is there seems to be no middle ground. I’m optimistic enough to visualize Republicans and Democrats sitting down and hammering out Social Security reform. It won’t be pretty, but it could be done. The same is true with trade issues. But, try and picture a big table with Evangelical Republicans on one side and even moderate Democrats on the other side and the topic being “An Abortion Compromise”. Not gonna happen.

In conclusion, I don’t foresee this issue going away any time soon. However, I do have a suggestion: Leave any and all issues regarding women’s reproductive health up to women and their doctors. Women are smart. They can get this one right. Men, especially old men like me or the ones in Washington DC, need to get out of this discussion. Women don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with my reproductive system. Why should I or any other man dictate to them what they can and can’t do?

Note from Editor: The above op-ed represents the opinions of the author. It does not necessarily represent the views of Islanders’ Voice or of the San Juan County Democrats.