The Left is having a field day with this interview, so I felt compelled to throw it up here so you can see it for yourself. I came across it for the first time over at Mediaite where the headline read “Herman Cain Tells Piers Morgan That He Is Anti-Abortion, Yet Pro-Choice?” I think you can probably see why I found it compelling.
In the video clip posted below, Cain and Morgan discuss homosexuality/Gay Marriage and abortion. I’ll leave to you whether his stated position on abortion really squares with the headline above. We will get to my thoughts on that matter in a moment; but first the subject of Cain’s view of homosexuality, because I think it sheds some light on the abortion position as well.
In the interview and in previous interviews and speeches along the campaign trail, Cain has been steadfast on his position that homosexuality is a “choice.” He reaffirms that position to Morgan who then tries to turn it back on Mr. Cain by making the ridiculous argument that “gay people” might say “being black” is also a choice. It was on that point that I thought Herman should have hammered Morgan. Science has proven definitively that “being black” is anything but a choice. Whether “being gay” has been equally proven may be up for debate, but I do believe one can see with their own two eyes that a baby is black at birth. I’m not sure that “gayness” is quite so conclusive in the birthing room.
Morgan’s problem with Cain’s position is that he says it is based solely upon “gut instinct.” Clearly, Morgan thinks Cain’s “gut” is wrong. Not surprisingly, Morgan thinks his “gut” is right. The debate – if you can even call it that – was really rather elementary, but it does reflect the divide on this issue. Where I think Mr. Cain was effective was in making the case that government has no role in making those determinations. He makes clear that his views are just that – his views. He also makes clear that his views will not necessarily impact the way he governs or his agenda.
What baffled me here was how Morgan seemed to take offense to that. He even calls it a vast departure from conventional politics. I don’t know about you, but I thought a Republican willing to approach politics in such a manner was precisely what “open-minded” people like Morgan have been wanting and calling for all along? No? Isn’t that part of why they loved their current president? He said “marriage” was between a man and a woman, but had no intention of allowing government to interfere with the rights of homosexual Americans. Isn’t that something close to what Cain was advocating here?
If it is, that raises an entirely different set of problems for Mr. Cain – not from the Left, but from the Right. Because Herman is hard to nail down on issues such as this, it’s hard for me to say definitively that I “agree” with him on an issue like this, but I think I do – if I’m interpreting his comments correctly. HotAir’s Tina Korbe thinks she’s got him pegged…
“If you put all the pieces together, at best it seems Cain believes abortion is wrong “in all cases,” should be illegal in most cases and should be a choice in some cases.”
I am of the camp that believes “government” has no role in defining “marriage” – gay or otherwise. Perusing the text of the Constitution, I find no language therein that says the federal government was intended to have any role in such things. I happen to believe the Founders believed “marriage” to be something so sacred that no government should be in the business of giving or denying them. And if there was a “government” granted that power, it was certainly not the federal government that was intended. Regardless of where my personal beliefs may lead me on the issue, I wholeheartedly believe the federal government has just about as much authority to weigh in on such things as I might writing from my desk chair.
That said, I am not the cookie-cutter Right-Winger. Cain will surely face some blowback from his opponents and socons for this interview. Opposition to gay marriage has not only become a popular position on the Right, it has been added to the litmus test of Republican presidential credentials of late. Here, Cain will be viewed as trying to split the difference. He opposes it “personally”; but says he will do nothing to act on those views if he is elected president. I think it’s safe to assume that position will not sit well with some.
And then there’s the matter of abortion. It seems to me that Cain is once again making the distinction between his personal beliefs and his potential approach to governance. Personally, he believes abortion is wrong – without exception. Politically, he believes it is not the role of government to make those decisions for individuals. Pro-Choice? Pro-Life? Something different? (Here I advocated for something similar).
I’m not one to flesh out arguments for candidates where they fail to do so for themselves, but I do believe Herman Cain may have stumbled into a place where I can truly support his candidacy. Accordingly, I’ll attempt to do that which I try not to do for the sake of clarity.
For those new to Republican Redefined, part of that whole “conservatism uncompromised” thing is rooted in the belief that there is a difference between being conservative politically and conservative in one’s personal life. I believe that the two can mirror one another top-to-bottom, but I also believe that there must be a recognition of a clear delineation between the two. Without that, personal views become compulsory requirements. Values, Morals, and Social Mores become doctrine; and a “religious” view becomes required rather than “preferred.” Conservatism uncompromised is simply a manifestation of an attempt to make political arguments from a perspective that respects the First Amendment rather than simply paying lip service to it with situation expediency.
If I’m reading Mr. Cain correctly here, he has just made the case for that kind of governance. Accordingly, he may have earned a supporter in this humble blogger. It is just one interview, so I will hardly view it as conclusive evidence; but it is a good sign by my calculation.
It has always been my belief that “Republicans” get too bogged down in trying to prove rather than demonstrate their “conservatism” by making definitive statements that they will “take action” on social issues upon taking office. While I certainly believe there are situations and issues where “action” is required, I care more about knowing a candidate’s true beliefs on the issues and his/her understanding of our nation’s Constitution. I am by all accounts an “Originalist” through and through. I believe the Constitution – more specifically the Bill of Rights – was intended to be a “check” on our side as much as it was the Left. Just like the Left would like to impose its personal views on our People, the Right is no more righteous in that pursuit… just because it says it is.
What I look for in a candidate is an understanding of those two “worlds” – the personal and the political. I want a candidate steadfast in his personal beliefs; because without that quality, how can we have any confidence he will act in a manner that mirrors his political campaign? Where I draw the line is when a candidate assumes too much – when he/she assumes that just because God-fearing Americans want to elect a man of equal Faith that they want him to govern with Faith at the top of his list of objectives. I believe Faith gives us the strength, the courage, and the conviction to make the hard decisions; the difficult choices; the will to do the People’s work. I believe it allows a candidate to understand that our Nation was founded in the spirit of Inalienable Rights Endowed by Our Creator; but still have the confidence in his/her own beliefs equal and necessary to still protect the “Rights” of those who may share a conflicting view.
Essentially, it is my belief that the best conservative candidate is one who is a genuine conservative in his “personal life”, but understands through conservatism as an ideology that our Constitution affords citizens of this great land to be as “liberal” as they so desire in their own personal lives; and that it is not “government’s” role to change them.
Again, I’m not one to put words in a candidate’s mouth. I do not know if that was precisely the point Mr. Cain was making here or not. If it is, he has just found a supporter in this conservative. And if he can successfully articulate that message with a sense of equal clarity on other issues, he will most certainly have my vote.