Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia, deserves to be president of the United States.
Granted, he hasn’t won the electoral college or even nominated himself for the 2020 presidential contest. But Northam tapped into an even deeper tradition in national leadership: divine right.
Some leaders justify their rule not by winning wars or elections, but through miracles. The Dalai Lama supernaturally identified relics belonging to his holy predecessor. Kim Jong Il’s birth caused a double rainbow and astronomical star formation. Ralph Northam, on the other hand, spoke the truth about abortion and made a mockery of racial sensitivity. Holding public office after committing either of these sins — let alone both in the same week — is a miracle within the reality of American politics.
First, Northam — a pediatrician and neurologist — endorsed the legality of third-trimester abortion while describing its brutal reality: “The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire,” he said.
Killing an infant is, by definition, infanticide. Instead, you must call it a fetus. You cannot even call it a human being even though it is a being that is human. You cannot even call it a species-neutral “person” because that begs the question of whether it has moral or legal rights.
You cannot discuss keeping it comfortable. That implies it can experience comfort, and therefore pain. Even the most utilitarian logic considers pain avoidance to be a moral imperative.
You cannot discuss resuscitating it. That implies both that abortion is reversible and that reversing abortion saves lives. Neither of these is a convenient truth.
You cannot discuss “what the mother and the family desire.” If the woman is a mother then the fetus is a child. And if her family’s desires matter, then a fetus’s father or a pregnant teenager’s parents are stakeholders in the abortion choice.
Second, Northam refused to resign from public office after a photograph was published from his medical-school yearbook depicting him either in blackface or in a Ku Klux Klan uniform — thus providing context to the-man-from-Onancock’s nickname “Coonman” and his more recent refusal to shake hands with his black Republican opponent.
Northam admitted to “the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo.” Understandably, he wouldn’t say which character was him. And it’s hard to independently confirm, after all, since one man’s face is covered in shoe polish while the other man’s face is covered with a Klan hood. But then, one day later, Northam reversed himself. He now denies that he was either of these men. Instead, he admits to dressing in blackface to impersonate Michael Jackson at a dance contest. No such photographs have yet emerged, but let’s take the governor’s word for it.
Political correctness means nothing if it means that a white politician can freely admit to dancing in blackface as an excuse for his earlier admission to dressing as a Klansman. “I actually won the contest because I had learned how to do the moonwalk,” Northam added. The governor was even going to perform his award-winning moonwalk in front of news reporters — without makeup, unfortunately — but his wife stopped him.
If Ralph Northam continues to serve as governor after committing such blasphemies, he will have achieved the American political equivalent of immortality. He may as well then reach for the third rail and final frontier of American politics: Entitlement Reform.
Lew Olowski is an attorney and formerly a clerk to Radovan Karadzic, president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Lew served under Peter Robinson, who is among the world’s premiere international criminal trial lawyers litigating war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law School.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.