This campaign cycle has been inundated with abortion talk. Apparently, paid political consultants didn’t have enough time to do focus group studies after the Dobbs decision so they just sent out the memo to their stable of compliant candidates informing them that “Abortion, Abortion, Abortion” on TV, mail flyers, and billboards is the way to go. It has taken center stage in many campaigns in Arizona and I would guess the same is happening across the U.S. Candidates that are sliding in the polls don’t know where else to go so they double down on abortion and make the message stronger.
They were initially using euphemisms. First, it was a small bullet point down low on a list of issues that touted “reproductive rights” or “pregnancy care” or the old fashioned “pro-choice.” Then it somehow became “love for family” with images and videos of women surrounded by children and grandchildren saying, “I love my family and I don’t want my daughters growing up in a world where they aren’t respected.” The family circle image along with the abortion message was very odd and confusing.
But, the polls kept sliding for these candidates. Then, the consultant camp made the decision to jump past the euphemisms and out-of-context family imagery and go full-on truth. They must have thought: Maybe the voters don’t get it. Make it clear. ABORTION. Put it everywhere and front-and-center on your political material.
Now, instead of backing away from the abortion message, making it murkier, or relegating it to a footnote in the ads due to low polling numbers, they have doubled down, dropped the evasive language and made it the top-line message. My mailbox is now inundated with glossy poster-board flyers with Abortion Rights in large characters across the tops of ads.
Pro-abortion, described in no uncertain terms, is now the prominent message of many of this year’s political campaigns. What the political strategists don’t understand is that many non-political Democrat voters don’t want to wear the Abortion label proudly on their forehead; or be known to have voted for a vocal abortion-pushing candidate. Party officials mostly don’t mind the message, but the regular people are different. I don’t think this repulsion felt for the showy abortion circus will cause many Democrat voters to vote for Republicans, but it will likely cause them to be apathetic and to not participate in the election at all.
For example, the people in my area are primarily Catholic, Hispanic, and Democrat. They are soft-spoken and polite in conversation. They are very family-oriented and spend their free time going to events like birthday parties, barbecues, first communions, weddings, and quinceañeras—all centered around the extended family and / or the Catholic Church. In none of these circumstances would anyone proudly clamor for abortion. To the contrary, Spanish speaking families scold others with the word “cochino” if a conversation turns gross, ill-mannered, or reflects poor upbringing and lack of Christian morals. Maybe they haven’t caught on to the idea that the state consists of Rothbard’s “GANG OF THIEVES,” but they do weigh personal behavior and recognize things that are not praiseworthy when they see them. Advocating abortion would definitely be a cochino thing to do in these Democrat households. The “abortion, abortion, abortion” message from politicians is not something they want to be associated with. They tolerated it when it was a rarely stated “quiet” position of a candidate.
All the radio and TV outlets in my area are Spanish language stations. The studio of the main Spanish-speaking radio station that I use to talk to residents of my area is adorned heavily with images of Jesus on the Cross, statues of saints, and Rosary beads. They talk freely about God, Lent, Saint Days, and the Bible and have daily short Bible messages about personal morality. It is not a religious station, but it is typical of the God-infused framework of most traditional Spanish media.
They interview a lot of candidates and discuss politics, but the abortion concept would not be proudly championed in a media outlet like that. Generic “women’s rights” would likely be promoted, but not abortion. This feeling of shame associated with overt abortion advocacy also goes beyond the Hispanic and Catholic world. The “progressive” position of Democrat (and Republican) politics has often centered on supposed compassionate outcomes based on state action. A loud-and-proud pro-abortion stance doesn’t make it through that compassionate filter for a lot of voters.
The political advisors have guessed wrong by bringing this into the mainstream. Even women who have had abortions and the fathers of those children aren’t proud of their actions. Making it a mainstream feature of many political campaigns will turn out to be the downfall of many politicians.