David French was at the top of his game as a socio-legal pundit Sunday. It’s hard to know what to excerpt, and you really should read it all.
But excerpt I feel I must.
After registering his concerns with the new Texas abortion law, he turns “meta”:
I don’t think most Americans appreciate how much the debate over abortion has changed in the last thirty years of American life. Two changes are particularly important. One is profoundly negative, and the other is extraordinarily positive.
First, the legal and political debate over abortion has become purely partisan at exactly the time when our nation’s profound polarization means that party affiliation is becoming central to millions of Americans’ personal identities.
Thirty years ago there was a robust pro-life wing of the Democratic Party. Even 15 years ago, when I moved back to Tennessee, my congressman was a proudly pro-life Democrat. My heavily Republican district voted him out in 2010. It preferred a “pro-life” candidate who faced evidence that he tried to pressure a girlfriend to abort their child and supported his ex-wife’s two abortions.
And now? Elected pro-life Democrats are very, very hard to find. Even worse, as the parties move away from each other on a host of important political issues—and as the GOP continues to embrace Donald Trump and his ethos and contains an ever-expanding coalition of cranks and radicals—it is increasingly difficult to ask Democrats to lend any aid and comfort to a party that they find unmoored from even basic decency, integrity, and truth itself.
Or, as I’ve heard so many believers from many faiths say: “I’m pro-life, and I want the law to protect the unborn. I welcome refugees. I want to address the contemporary reality and persistent legacy of racism. I want politicians to be people of good character and fundamental integrity. Where do I go? Where is my home?”
(Emphasis added) Abortion was not my personal breaking point with the GOP, but I spent at least a decade politically homeless, and my new home is a third party (and ipso facto quixotic).