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The Right Resistance: Did Trump do the right thing by taking abortion off the negotiating table?

“Take it off the table.”


Anyone who’s ever been part of a tension-filled negotiation session understands that the

impasse between two sides often boils down to differences over one or two key issues, the so-called deal-breakers for each side, the resolution of which will determine the success or failure of the meeting itself.


2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump understands the “take it off the table” concept having authored his own book on making deals and the former president was oft heard talking up his vaunted skills in getting what he wanted out of face-to-face meetings as a principal reason to choose him to lead the country as commander-in-chief in 2016. Politicians barter over other people’s money and issues that they have no personal control over, but Trump recognized that one of the parties to every negotiation was the country itself, not the self-interested pols doing the grandstanding.


That being said, the former president decided to take the abortion issue off the table last week, announcing publicly that from now on, his official position would be to have individual states decide the matter in a manner consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, the fateful ruling that sent the awfully reasoned Roe v. Wade to the dustbin of history two years ago.


As would be expected, liberals criticized Trump for essentially giving tacit approval to certain states to enact abortion-rights-squelching legislation. Not so welcome, perhaps, was seeing conservative pro-lifers expressing disappointment in the Republican candidate for failing to specify a “ban” point for his campaign.


One way or another, in one single move, Trump eliminated – or sharply curtailed – the abortion issue as a leading 2024 bone-of-contention, one which both sides, to some extent, hoped would occupy a major segment of the voters’ attention spans. Was Trump’s merely a strategic election move? Time will tell.


In an article titled “Rejecting a federal abortion limit, Trump blunts Democrats’ most powerful weapon for November”, Susan Ferrechio reported at The Washington Times shortly after Trump’s news release:


“In a four-minute address posted to Truth Social, the former president positioned himself and the Republican Party as pro-family and touted his role in helping to overturn the Roe decision, which he said took abortion limits ‘out of federal hands and brought it into the hearts, minds and vote of the people in each state.’


“Aligning himself with President Reagan on the issue, Mr. Trump said he is strongly in favor of exceptions for rape, incest and the woman’s life, and delivered the message, indirectly, that his position is the most politically feasible.


“’You must follow your heart on this issue but remember, you must also win elections to restore our culture and in fact, to save our country which is currently and very sadly, a nation in decline,’ Mr. Trump said.”


It’s been a week since Trump spoke on abortion, supposedly sufficient time for some of the hotter heads to have cooled off a bit, and while the issue won’t completely go away – now or ever – at least there’s been time to possibly conduct a conversation or civil “negotiation” about what actually transpired from his statement.


To those eternally suspicious of Trump’s motives on abortion or any other culturally controversial topic, what did the candidate say that wasn’t correct? An individual could easily take issue with Trump’s position one way or another, but even the most ardent of Trump bashers should concede that he spoke the truth.


And regardless of the political reaction, one thing is for sure: Donald Trump is to the right of senile Joe Biden and the Democrats’ position on abortion. Trump’s “let the states decide” viewpoint still permits room for him to speak out against the Democrats’ radical up-until-the-moment-of-birth belief, which is not supported by an American public that favors reasonable limits on late term abortions.


Highlighting the Democrats’ lack of clarity on the issue will win “moderate” votes on the topic. Taking abortion off the table could therefore do some good and actually hurt Biden’s reelection effort based on the latter’s lies, half-truths, corruption, distortions and outright deceptions.


By kicking the can down the road, so to speak, Trump likely realized that an abortion “ban” of any length was one of those semi-impossible deal-breaker negotiating stances that is basically a lose-lose situation for any Republican presidential candidate in 2024.


In other words, if Trump took a solidly conservative pro-life view that life begins at conception and there’s no such thing as an abortion “exception” where a developing baby is concerned, he would’ve locked himself into a politically sealed box and also would’ve faced unrelenting questions from the Democrat-controlled swamp establishment media that wouldn’t allow him to talk about anything else but “bans” during the entire campaign.


With multiple polls and surveys showing that his own conservative Republican base and a good number of independents listed illegal immigration and the awful situation at the southern border as one of their primary concerns – along with the economy – Trump would’ve needed to devote significant time during any press confrontation or conservative talk show appearance to explaining about abortion. Period.


Senile Joe Biden, or whomever the Democrats end up floating before the voters in November, would enjoy nothing more than attempting to make the 2024 presidential election a referendum on abortion positions. Democrats have long memories, and they certainly recall that they were able to turn a fairly unfriendly set of circumstances in 2022 to their supposed advantage. Weren’t Republicans destined to retake the House of Representatives by like a hundred seats (exaggerating, of course) or something that year?


Instead, there was senile Joe Biden and cackling Kamala Harris and “Chucky” Schumer and Nancy Pelosi out there crying and lamenting the Supreme Court’s decision to ditch Roe v. Wade as a precursor to the return of back-alley abortions and women being relegated to the stone age days of the fifties and sixties before the federal government (more specifically, the Supreme Court) declared that a “right” to kill unborn babies exists in the penumbras of the Constitution.


Trump sought to avoid all of that this year. By simply declaring that abortion is strictly within the purview of state legislatures, he in effect answered the thousands of questions about to come his way on the nuances of his position. If Trump had said, for example, that he liked the number 15 for the quantity of weeks for a federal “ban”, he still would’ve been greeted by nitpicky inquisitors who would ask, “Why 15? Why is this the magic number?” “What about the infant’s ability to feel pain?” “Why not 14 or 13 or 12, etc…?” “Studies show that x number of abortions happen before week y. Why not then?”


You get the picture. Now, candidate Trump can devote a minute or two to abortion during his standard stump speeches and move on to talking about subjects that only slightly rile up leftists and Democrats, where he’s got a clear advantage over senile Joe in the court of public opinion.


Again, I don’t necessarily like that Trump has ceded this issue, and I easily can see why a number of pro-life organizations and politicians (such as Mike Pence) were very upset by his announced position. As I’ve often stated, I’m in favor of a policy that saves the maximum number of unborn babies. I’m not sure that Trump’s compromise opinion accomplishes this, either.


But saving abortion for the states is also probably the best Trump could do in today’s political environment. As he’s repeatedly stated, he – or any Republican – can’t do a darn thing to further the pro-life cause if he’s sitting at Mar-a-Lago after the election working on another wave of legal lawfare cases brought against him starting in 2025 and beyond.


Yup. Just win baby in 2024. It’s not just for Nike and Tiger Woods anymore.


It could easily be argued that a whole new pro-life movement begins next January with a “new” President Donald Trump in the White House and hopefully healthier (non-RINO) conservative Republican representation in Congress. Any such mission to pass an abortion cutoff mark will originate in Congress, after all, since Trump would be very limited with what he could do from the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. While it’s possible to concoct executive orders that could conceivably apply to federal regulation of abortion, this is likely not an avenue that a conservative president would wish to take.


Similarly, the Supreme Court will, at some juncture, hear challenges to a state’s abortion policies, so there’s more opportunity to make inroads there, as well, though the subject has been thoroughly touched on and litigated over the years and the justices (who decide which cases they will hear) wouldn’t be keen to revisit the totality of abortion so soon after issuing the landmark Dobbs ruling.


In other words, the abortion ball is in the states’ court now. Literally. Trump can steer attitudes and hopefully generously use the bully pulpit as well as make appearances at the March for Life and other cultural conservative gatherings as president – such as the Family Research Council’s annual events and the National Prayer Breakfast.


For those who’ve devoted much of their lives and careers to furthering the pro-life cause, they realize that it will take time, money and much effort to move the proverbial ball forward on abortion. Hearts and minds need to be changed in a kneejerk American public that often thinks with its selfish heart rather than a clear mind as to the realities of the issue.


Donald Trump has been instrumental in helping pro-lifers, much more so than any Republican politician in recent memory. His “let the states decide” policy he announced last week should be regarded as another one of those one-step-at-a-time moves in the much longer “negotiation session” involving abortion and right-to-lifers. Removing abortion from the “table” could be the smartest thing Trump the politician ever did. Let’s hope so. Lives are at stake.

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