Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Donald Trump wants to punish women who have abortions. No, it's not going to hurt him in the polls.

I see people suggesting -- hoping -- that Trump's comments about punishing women who have abortions will hurt him. I disagree that that will happen (as nice as it would be). 

First, Wanna-be-Jesus (Ted Cruz)'s camp has been hitting Trump as soft on abortion because of his former pro-choice stances. This proves that he's not -- and it takes a play from his tried and true handbook of saying what Republicans are thinking, but too afraid to say out loud.

Because, let's be honest, that is the end goal, after all. We've already seen bills proposed in this country that would put abortion doctors behind bars. There have been sneaky attempts to do the same to women. But we've also seen laws -- often pushed under the guise of helping pregnant women -- criminalizing pregnancy when the fetus is imperiled -- that is, without abortion even entering the picture. Republicans in this country are already putting women behind bars for harm to their fetuses -- and abortion is still legal here. And elsewhere, in so-called "pro-life" countries, abortion is a punishable crime. Not just for the doctor.
So let's not delude ourselves. Hurting women who have abortions is absolutely the goal of this. Not just punishing the doctors who provide reproductive care. It's what happens where abortion is illegal. It's what is already happening to pregnant women here, while abortion is still legal.
Sure, there are pro-lifers who may think -- at this point -- that this is a little too harsh, that the doctors are the real problem, and so on. But the movement isn't driven by the "moderates" who "only" want to strip women of their rights; its agenda isn't set by those people. It’s set by the fanatics, who call women who exercise their right to choice “murderers”, who promote outright lies about women’s health clinics trafficking human organs, who claim that birth control use leads to cancer, etc.

And you don't legally define something as "murder" and then let the person who authorizes and procures the "murder" walk away without punishment. It just doesn't work that way.

So will these comments hurt Trump? No, I don't think so. It plays up one of his biggest selling points -- that he's the tough, tell-it-like-it-is guy, not afraid to commit to goals that the "pussies" in his party like Ted “Call Me Jesus” Cruz won't. 

It may be a little hardcore for the moderate conservative who merely wants to strip women's rights, but deludes him or herself in the process that it's really the only kind or right thing to do; but Trump's bellicose style would already be extremely off putting to that voter. Along the same lines, Trump has already lost the votes of self-respecting women and men who respect women, due to his storied history of extreme misogyny. The only real danger is that this move may strike his savvier voters as impolitic -- the sort of thing that is understood, but not expressed openly. But, let's face it, Donald Trump's entire rise is due to saying what other Republicans have only hinted at before.

I’ll be surprised if using the same approach on abortion that his won him adoration on immigration, the rights of Muslim citizens and visitors, etc., will hurt him. On the contrary, these comments may well boost him — especially among those who ave heard from the Cruz camp that Trump isn’t anti-choice enough.

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