Monday, August 22, 2011

The most important issue in the 2012 presidential race

"Why should it matter whether the 2012 candidates for president are pro-life," asks Notre Dame law professor O. Carter Snead in a new essay at Public Discourse, "especially given the vast array of other pressing issues facing the United States, including (though certainly not limited to) crushing national debt, widespread unemployment, existential fiscal strains on the social safety net, multiple wars, and the continuing menace of terrorism? Aren't the American people tired of the intractable bickering of a handful of extremist combatants in what seems to be an endless culture war? Unless you're a radical leftist or a right-wing Christian, why should any serious person in the public square waste time on these issues when there are so many real matters at stake at this moment in our nation's history?"

"These questions reflect an attitude that seems to be widely shared in certain circles of our polity," Snead continues. "But I would respectfully submit that such questions reflect a badly misguided and inadequate understanding of the moral, cultural, legal, and political dispute of which the pro-life movement is a part."

Snead articulates the pro-life position (i.e., the equal dignity of all human beings), explains how those current matters in which human equality is rejected (particularly abortion and embryo-destructive research) are intrinsically of greater moral significance than the other political issues of our day, discusses the power of the presidency to affect these issues (contrasting President Obama's abortion-expanding record with the pro-life accomplishments of his predecessor), and lays out a pro-life game plan by which the next president can save lives and guide society closer to the requirements of basic justice.

Snead's essay is excellent and well worth reading. I may highlight sections from it in future posts, for as Snead concludes, "Literally millions of lives hang in the balance."