Sometimes I dislike people who focus on one single issue to decide if they will vote for a particular candidate. For example some friends of mine refused to vote for President Obama in 2012 because he used drones in the ‘war on terror’ that occasionally hurt innocent people. In 2016, some friends wouldn’t vote for Hillary because of mutual support from bankers on Wall Street (among other single issues others used). Civil rights aren’t just a policy issue or something to overlook in a candidate for the ‘greater good’. If you call yourself progressive, you either support civil rights or you don’t and if you don’t I won’t vote for you.
If a political candidate, claiming to be progressive, said she didn’t think black people should have equal rights, that person most likely wouldn’t get elected. That’s how I feel we should treat a candidate who doesn’t think women should have reproductive rights.
“[Bernie] Sanders’s definition of what constitutes a progressive became even murkier when he suggested that the election of Heath Mello, who’s running for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska — and who as a state senator sponsored a 20-week abortion ban and mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking abortions — would represent a “shot across the board, that in a state like Nebraska a progressive Democrat can win.” Not to be outdone, Perez amplified the message that reproductive rights are negotiable for the Democratic Party. “If you demand fealty on every single issue,” Perez said, “then it’s a challenge. The Democratic Party platform acknowledges that we’re pro-choice, but there are communities, like some in Kansas, where people have a different position.”
Sanders is wrong that reproductive rights (or gay rights, for that matter) are separate from economic issues. The ability to control reproduction is central to women’s social, professional, and economic stability, and the women most likely to require abortion services and to be negatively affected by restrictions on access to reproductive health care are poor and low-income women, disproportionately women of color.”
It seems the Democrats answer, when losing an election, is to try and copy the GOP. It hasn’t worked yet and we get stuck with “Blue Dogs”, conservative Democrats who do things like vote for more abortion restrictions or laws that punish poor people.
I may waver on a candidate if we differ on tax cuts for the middle class or if the idea to build a high speed train makes economic sense but where I draw the line is if you call yourself a progressive and want my vote, there is NO debate on civil rights. If you want my vote you must support civil rights including reproductive rights.
Period. End of story…
Also published on Medium.