March for Life: Trump’s ‘big deal’ support
Donald Trump just became “the first president to speak in person at the March for Life in Washington,” said Terry Schilling in CNN.com. “This is a really big deal.” Every year, the event draws huge crowds to Capitol Hill around Jan. 22, or the day the Supreme Court “wrongly decided” Roe v. Wade in 1973. This year, Trump implored attendees to “protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.” The crowd, many red-clad in “Make America Great Again” merchandise, roared “Four more years!” “It’s hard to overstate how important this development is,” said Marc Thiessen in The Washington Post. For decades, we pro-life conservatives were “the black sheep” of the GOP, and the party’s establishment “not-so-secretly loathed” us. But the iconoclastic Trump has embraced pro-lifers “without shame or hesitation” and become a “pro-life hero” by stocking the federal bench and Supreme Court with conservative judges who could overturn Roe.
Let’s not pretend Trump’s appearance was anything other than a political calculation, said Anna North in Vox.com. In years past, Trump addressed the march “remotely, by phone or satellite link,” just as other Republican presidents had before him. Now, facing an impeachment trial and with the 2020 election approaching, he suddenly found time to attend—and remind this key political constituency “of all he’s done for them and all he could do in the future.” Actually, Trump gave pro-lifers “two gifts,” said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. Hours before the march, the federal Department of Health and Human Services ordered California to stop requiring private insurers to cover abortions; otherwise, it will cut off tens of millions in federal funding. The case will go to court, but “that’s no small threat.”
It’s worth noting that Trump once said he was “pro-choice in every respect,” said Jonathan Last in TheBulwark.com. While “I trust that this conversion is utterly sincere,” I wonder if it’s wise for pro-lifers to align their movement with “the most unpopular and polarizing figure in modern American politics.” Trump has boasted of infidelity and sexually assaulting women, and he deliberately chose to separate children from their parents at the border. “Trumpism has corrupted every ideology and institution it has come into contact with. There is no reason to think that the pro-life movement will be excepted.” ■