Abortion and the American civil wars, past and future

As a nation we owe Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia for just one thing — bringing into perspective the absolute evils of abortion and race hatred.

Northam slid into ignominy earlier this week when he suggested, as a former pediatrician, that it would be OK to him to have a baby delivered at full-term and then “have a conversation” about what to do with that child — presumably whether to allow it to die in a kind of post-partum abortion. Conservatives were outraged, but Democrats for the most part rallied around their governor and suggested that somehow his words, which were spoken on camera, had been taken out of context.

Oddly enough, in some kind of instant karma/divine justice moment, Northam suddenly found himself vilified by both the right and left when it was discovered that his medical school yearbook page featured a picture of a person in black face and another person in a Ku Klux Klan costume. Northam first apologized for appearing in the picture and then said it wasn’t him in the picture after all. Doesn’t matter at this point. Northam is a dead governor walking. He just doesn’t know it yet.

What is particularly interesting is the way Northam conjoined in the public conscience the issues of abortion and the Jim Crow South, which was the hateful reminder of the wicked institution of slavery that stained our nation’s past. I wrote yesterday that I was not optimistic the scourge of abortion could be ended soon in part because the moral compass of people can be so broken that in the last two centuries they have allowed slavery, genocide and other atrocities. I said that “To get most Americans to now see abortion as murder would take a moment of self-realization so horrifying that I don’t think it will happen short of some national trauma.”

Today I woke up and read a brilliant history lesson by Kyle Sammin in the Federalist about what he calls the turning point in the war against slavery. Interestingly, he wrote the piece before the latest Northam scandal but it ties all the elements together perfectly — race, human rights, morality and shameful self-interest.

In “New York’s New Law Is Abortion’s John C. Calhoun Moment,” Sammin lays out the gradual progression of thought that first allowed slavery to exist in a nation founded on equality and then made it unthinkable. He uses New York Gov. Cuomo’s celebration of late-term abortion as a signal that finally the pro-abortion lobby has gone too far. He doesn’t pretend that victory over the moral error will come easily or quickly, but at least he finds hope in the opening of the American mind to the great evil of slavery as a harbinger of what may still come in the abortion fight. He doesn’t predict another Civil War, but he doesn’t rule one out either. As he says, “Sadly, the course of the 19th century’s great debate does not foreshadow a simple end to our current dispute”:

Does this mean an armed conflict is inevitable? No, but it does mean that now that the two sides are aiming at different goals, and now that erstwhile moderates are being force to think through their positions and join a side, the idea of a negotiated compromise is unlikely.

While war is unlikely, it is also hard to see how we can remain a nation that is half life and half death any more than we could be half free and half slave.

I recommend Sammin’s essay highly.

Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To see more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Also please considering leaving a review in support of my conservative commentary on one or all of my book pages at Amazon! Thanks!

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