Michael Gerson gets to the lurking problem for the Pro-Life movement and its embracing of and embrace by this President, what he terms “the Trumpification” of the movement. The danger happens when it wins, in the day after tomorrow.
But if the overturn or revision of Roe comes, it will almost certainly return greater flexibility to states regarding the regulation of abortion. This will kindle dozens of debates across the country and become a contest of persuasion and organization.
It is then that the Trumpification of the pro-life movement will exact a price. There is a serious cost when a movement that regards itself as pro-woman associates with misogyny. There is a serious cost when a movement that claims to be expanding the circle of social inclusion associates itself with nativism and racism. There is a serious cost when a movement that needs to be seen as charitable and reasonable associates itself with the politics of abuse and cruelty.
This turns out to be a particularly pure test of transactional, single-issue politics. Would you trade a major political gain for a large chunk of your moral reputation?
Gerson leaves untouched the present danger, that in this all-too partisan age, political antagonism reduces, evaporates the moral question. Principle is reduced to a kind of tactics, the means to win some political ground.
The only counter is to recognize that moral positions require moral lives, as well, seeing the other not as mere antagonist, but as one traveling the same road.