I once volunteered for a mainstream conservative candidate being hammered as an “extremist.” Cornering him at an event, I urged him to turn the label around on his opponent.
The other candidate held truly “extreme” positions: abandoning the state’s marriage amendment. Far-out gun and environmental policies. And late, late-term abortion.
But my guy worried about further highlighting the term’s use against him, and lost narrowly.
Which brings us to the current abortion debate among conservatives. Some accept the “extreme” charge hung on recent “heartbeat” bills and Alabama’s even more restrictive enactment, and suggest incrementalism.
Listen up and repeat after me: Protecting human life, at any stage and under any circumstance, is not “extreme.” It’s normal. Natural. And sane.
Wanna know what’s extreme, unnatural and insane? Here’s a reminder: 330,000 lives snuffed out last year alone by Planned Parenthood, which gorged on almost $570 million in taxpayer funding. New York progressives rabidly celebrating legislation allowing virtually unrestricted abortion. A Virginia Democratic legislator admitting her bill would sanction abortion during labor. Her governor suggesting it would enable infanticide.
Extremism that just months ago had the abortion industry and its enablers on the run.
But now, they’re doubling down. Denouncing recent bills as “women-hating” and a “war on women” (and “trans men”) by the “white patriarchy.” (Don’tcha know, white men passed the Alabama bill – except for the woman governor who signed it).
As legislators harass peaceful protesters. Celebrities bizarrely declare “sex strikes” and demand mandatory vasectomies. Planned Parenthood races to court. Local protests spontaneously “erupt” (with screaming, swearing women conveniently brandishing preprinted “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” signs). And naturally, wall-to-wall references sprout to the dystopic “Handmaid’s Tale.”
But we’re already in a real-life dystopia – and it doesn’t just involve the nearly one in five pregnancies ending in the child’s annihilation. It’s also fertility plummeting to record lows and barely a third of adults under 35 married, a once nearly universal state. A gay married candidate lecturing evangelicals on Christianity.
Men declared women beating the bejeebers out of actual women in mixed martial arts, and women declared men while still having periods and getting pregnant. The mere act of being male labeled “toxic masculinity” (and “white privilege”), and men flailing in every area from work, education and raising families to health — and sperm counts.
If anything, progressive radicalism is accelerating, and Democrats are demanding direct taxpayer funding of abortions.
In short, these are radical times. And radical times — when crazy becomes commonplace and normal becomes criminal — call for radical countermeasures.
Conservatives must take that “extremism” sign and just as doggedly hang it around progressives’ necks. And match them measure-for-measure.
That means no longer just salami-slicing Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but going all out to reverse them.
But won’t courts just slap down restrictive measures over “precedent?” Well, “precedent” on same-sex marriage was Baker v. Nelson, which the Supreme Court “dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.” Until, overnight, district courts nationwide said it wasn’t. Pro-life legislatures should insist that lower courts treat wrongly decided abortion precedents with equal disdain. An appellate judge’s assertion that Indiana’s recently overturned sex-selection law “begs for the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe and Casey” and the “super-right” they create offers hope that repeated state efforts will embolden a future jurist to take the next step.
And while conservative states are at it, why not adopt the left’s full-court press and drive to reverse course on radicalism everywhere? Reinstate marriage amendments? Ban affirmative action? Revive bathroom bills? Refuse entry and services to illegal immigrants? Why shouldn’t congressional conservatives propose, as Rand Paul did upon his arrival in the Senate, half a trillion dollars in spending cuts in one year, and keep pushing to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood?
Only equally bold rhetoric and action will rebalance the “conversations” — read “manifestos” — on these issues liberals claim to love. And buck up the courage of citizens, legislators and jurists pursuing the right to normalcy: Getting married (where only 4 percent of pregnancies end in abortion). Raising kids without having insanity and immorality shoved down their throats. Living their faith, pursuing careers and running businesses free of progressive and government thumbs on the scale.
Progressives claim they’re on the “right side of history.” But conservatives are on the right side of truth. It’s time to act like it.
Bob Maistros is president of RPM Executive Communications, Inc., which provides high-level message development, communications strategy and crisis support to firms ranging from the Fortune 500 to tech startups, and he is of counsel at the Alexandria, Va.-based Strategic Action Public Affairs. He was chief writer for the 1984 Reagan re-election campaign and also wrote for Sens. Charles Grassley and Orrin Hatch.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.