Top 10 Public Controversies that Don’t Cost 825,000 Innocent Lives Per Year


Some of my sophisticated progressive Christian friends are rather fond of mocking simple folks like myself as “single-issue voters.”  I know I’m only a caveman lawyer, and this complex world frightens and confuses me, but after scratching my noggin and using the Google for a bit, I came up with a list of 10 progressive policy controversies that don’t cost 825,000 innocent lives per year.

1. The Romney/Ryan Medicare Plan;

2. The Bush tax cuts;

3. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision;

4. The war in Afghanistan;

5. Repealing Obamacare;

6. Fracking;

7. Cap and Trade;

8. Gay marriage;

9. Welfare reform; and

10. Revising Dodd-Frank

Curiously, the only other issue I could think of with a potential human toll approaching the actual toll of abortion was permitting a genocidal Iranian dictatorship to develop a nuclear arsenal.  Sadly, most of the progressive Christians I know are on the wrong side of that issue also.

While I think “single-issue voting” is generally unwise (the world is somewhat complex, after all), it does ultimately depend on what that single issue is.  In other words, we have to maintain a sense of proportion.  In fact, maintaining a sense of proportion is one of the central challenges of our political era — when minor kerfuffles dominate news cycles, slight changes in cost curves are met with apocalyptic arguments, and we constantly fall for the politics of distraction and division.

Of course the issues listed above matter.  They matter a great deal.  But we’ll never make true headway for life if we allow less important considerations to dominate our thinking.  In short, demand that your elected representatives be pro-life as an absolute pre-condition for your support.  Vow to never vote for a pro-abortion politician.  Then let’s argue about the other issues.  Believe me, we’ll still disagree, but at least our country will have abandoned its most barbaric practice.

  • Kellie “Red”

    Amen to this! Thank you David for highlighting the most important “issue” in this and all elections. Without the right to life we have nothing.

    • jatheist

      Red wrote: “Without the right to life we have nothing.”
      How absurd… we all have the right to life in this country – you’re engaging in hyperbole. Giving women autonomy over their bodies is an important part of their rights – trying to control women by forcing unwanted pregnancies to continue to term certainly violates the pregnant woman’s right to ~her~ life.

      • Kellie “Red”

        Unborn babies do not have the right to life in this country. The don’t even have the right to life just days before their birth. Baby girls have no “autonomy” over their body. The right to live must come before other rights. An “unwanted pregnancy” is still a life. “Unwanted children” are still human. It isn’t their fault that they happen to live in their mother’s womb, and it does a woman no favors to have her help kill her own child. The interests of a woman and her child are always intertwined.

  • Jesus Morales

    Good post David and a great argument. Keep up the good work.

  • tdp

    4. The war in Afghanistan;
    I feel confident the war has cost many hundreds of thousands of lives. The servicemen and women who are killed. The ones who are injured and will commit suicide. The ones who are injured and will not have children. The ones who have post traumatic stress and will not be emotionally available to their children who will then grow into dysfunctional adults turning to drugs, alcohol and death after they lose hope.
    5. Repealing Obamacare;
    This will cost hundreds of thousands of lives as people lose their coverage or cannot get coverage and watch their children die from the flu, allergic reaction, and other preventable and treatable disease.
    6. Fracking;
    This will cost hundreds of thousands of lives after the damage to the mantle accumulates and manifests as an earthquake or a poisoned water supply.

    These existing and potential lives are just as important as a fetus not yet viable. The children who are in the world now are the ones who need help. Women must retain the ability to control their body, even to the detriment of a fetus, because if you can dictate to a woman and remove her control of her body then you can dictate to a man with cancer who has a drinking problem to deny his treatment, you can deny a heart patient access to cigarettes, you let the state dictate and remove all semblance of personal liberty. You cannot part the two and say they are different. They are not. If you remove personal liberty you have opened the door to removal of all personal liberty and left the state to determine your life outcome.