Reaffirming that his opinions are nothing if not malleable, the latest iteration of Charlie Crist has declared himself to be simultaneously on both sides of an issue that offers no principled middle ground.
Having contorted himself into an ungainly, unappetizing pretzel, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat candidate for Florida’s governor says, regarding abortion, that he is personally pro-life, but operationally pro-choice, and always has been.
Leaving aside as irrelevant – except for comic relief – Crist’s side-splitting claim of consistency, the problem with this two-positions-in-one declaration is not its uniqueness. Indeed, it is anything but. Lots of politicians who are, in fact, pro-abortion, attempt to curry favor with less radical voters by claiming they personally root for the unborn. But who are they — who are we? — to invade the intensely intimate relationship between inconveniently pregnant women and their abortionists?
This is obvious nonsense, as demonstrated below. Still, reasonable people nod their heads, allowing themselves to be sucked into the world of cognitive dissonance, to put it mildly. The positions aren’t just mildly irreconcilable; they’re at war.
No one who is personally pro-life can be operationally pro-“choice” unless they have failed to think honestly about what each philosophy means. To be truly pro-life is to acknowledge that what has formed and is growing within a pregnant woman is a unique human individual, and thus has indisputable claims on certain unalienable rights.
This individuality, achieved early in gestation, is the chief reason the pro-abortion crowd fights ultrasound procedures mandated by statute. The only way logically to endorse “choice” is to deny the humanity of the voiceless lump floating in amniotic fluid.
This, then, is the question Crist must answer: What is the nature of what grows within the womb? A politician who says it’s human cannot in the next breath render it subject to the whim of another, more powerful human. (We waged a civil war over the rightness of that concept.) A politician who says it’s nothing but undifferentiated tissue denies science.
And a politician who tries to establish a foothold in both worlds has a foundation in neither.