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Claim DRAB - Demo/Repo abortion plank flip

Category: Politics:US Politics JUDGED at 0
Judge:97, Loophole
due date:2000/12/01

The Claim

1. The Democratic party of the United States adopts a party plank stating that it is against the practice of abortion.

2. The Republican party of the United States removes its party plank stating that it is against the practice of abortion.

The claim is YES only if both occur Background:
George McKenna has written an oped piece in the September 1995 Atlantic Monthly entitled ``How Lincoln Might have Dealt With Abortion -- A Pro -Choice Anti-Abortion Approach.'' He argues through an analogical analysis that, by rights, the Democratic party is the proper home for opposition to abortion. His vehicle is the debate surrounding slavery leading up to the Civil War and in particular, Lincoln's position statements and most importantly his changes in position as the war progressed.

McKenna argues that focus of the two American parties has flipped since the Civil War. In that era the Democratic party was the home of unbridled individualism (with the ultimate property right being the right to own other humans) while the Republicans sought to control and moderate individual's rights and set a moral tone (and in particular to remove the right to own other human beings).

Today the situation is different, it is the Republican party which is home of individualist thinking while the Democratic party is characterized by the desire to use government to better society and set a moral tone. He argues that if you substitute the word ``racism'' in any given anti-abortion position of the Republican party you will recognize a liberal Democratic position. By analogy therefore the right to kill one's (unborn) children is the ultimate individual choice and therefore the Republican party is the natural home for the pro-life position. In contrast the Democratic party of today is characterized by interventionist ideas which are used for the betterment of society's material and moral well being.

He says in conclusion,

In this debate I have made my own position clear. It is a pro-life position (thought it may not please all pro- lifers), and its mode is Lincoln's position on slavery from 1854 until well into the Civil War: tolerate. restrict, discourage. Like Lincoln's, its touchstone is the common good of the nation, not the soverign self. Like Lincoln's position, it accepts the legality but not hte moral legitimacy of the institution that it seeks to contain. It invites argument and negotiation: it is a gambit not a gauntlet.

Judge's Statement

I will judge based on the wording of the claim unless it is found to be ambiguous. Such ambiguities will be resolved based on my perception of the author's intent.

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