Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Giuliani, Abortion and a Test of Character

Reason takes a quick look at Giuliani’s nuanced abortion stance. In a matter as complex as abortion, you’d expect most serious thinkers to have nuances of opinion. But in our cultural environment, politicians tend to be steadfastly for or against.

So, while it may be politically risky for Giuliani to offer an intricate stance, I find it refreshing to hear someone say, as the mayor has, that abortion should be legal but that Roe v. Wade was improperly decided. Some may call that an attempt to split the difference and appeal to both sides. But I think it’s more indicative of an all-too-rare ability to separate personal policy preferences from legal philosophy.

Yet, abortion and other social matters are a test for Giuliani. I support honestly nuanced opinions. I would not support nuance as a political scheme – a rhetorical trick that might allow the mayor to slowly slide to the right in an attempt to woo social conservatives.

What Giuliani lacks in national government experience he makes up for in character. Social issues will test that character. Would he rather lose the nomination than turn his back on his convictions? Or will he sacrifice his beliefs to win the support of the Republican’s religious base?

We’ll see.

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