Friday, October 29, 2004

Michael Perry responds to the Russ Hittinger post I linked to below:

(Imagine that it is a long time ago, the issue is slavery, and there are two candidates for the presidency: Candidate A opposes slavery on moral grounds and will work to abolish it. Candidate B does not oppose slavery on moral grounds and will not work to abolish it. However, B's economic policies happen to be subversive, in the longer run, of the institution of slavery, while A's economic policies happen to be, in the longer run, not at all subversive of the institution of slavery. Assume too that there is good reason to believe that notwithstanding A's moral opposition to slavery, neither A nor anyone else will be able to achieve a legal ban on slavery. (A does not plan to start a civil war over slavery.) Assume further, however, that B's economic policies will very likely result, within a generation, in the withering away of the institution of slavery. In my judgment, a faithful Catholic could reasonably decide to vote for B, notwithstanding the fact that A is morally opposed to slavery and would try to abolish it and B is not morally opposed to slavery and would not work to abolish it, as a way of expressing "solidarity" with the victims of slavery.)

My answer: Imagine you are a slave in that situation. Whom whould you want to see elected? The one who has sworn not to change the law, or appoint anyone who would change the law, to free you from slavery, but whose economic policies might one day lead to end of slavery, or the candidate who will work to change the law to abolish slavery, but whose economic polcies may not lead to that end? For whom would a slave vote, if he could? My strong suspicion is that he'd vote for the person who would change the law to free him.

There moral value in having a president who believes slavery is wrong, and it's the government's business. Would we dream of voting for a president who favored legalized slavery today, reagardless of his inability to enact it, or whether his economic policies were subversive of slavery?

Bringing us back to the present time, how are Kerry's economin policies going to subvert abortion? Has he stated this as a policy goal? No, you know why not? Because if he did, NARAL and Planned Parenthood would freak out, and they are a big part of Kerry's coalition. Again, would we dream of supporting a presidential candidate backed by those wishing to bring slavery back?

This looks to me more like an excuse than real moral reasoning.
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