In the September 6th edition of The Flat Hat, a letter to the editor was published denouncing the Democratic nominee for Vice President and Senator from Virginia, Mr. Timothy Kaine, as “an accomplice in the abortion holocaust” among other things. As a Roman Catholic who is opposed to abortion, I will admit I have some disagreements with Mr. Kaine’s position. But as an American, I am more concerned that the mindset presented in the previous piece is harmful to the debate around abortion today.
Abortion is a very divisive issue in America. Such division is partly due to the inflammatory rhetoric coming from both sides of the abortion debate. Condemning someone as “an accomplice in the abortion holocaust” for simply opposing anti-abortion legislation is a damning accusation. It is concerning to see cases where people have so much hate for someone they have never met simply because of political differences. And I know that many other Americans share this sentiment, as there is a difference between being strong in your beliefs and being provocative and rude. For the latter will only push the debate further to the extremes and reduces the chance that progress can be made on this issue.
If we are to make any progress on abortion, there needs to be consensus in the political community. We do not build consensus by describing those in our own church as the enemy. If anything, a Catholic like Mr. Kaine ought to be one of the more sympathetic people in the Democratic Party in regards to the anti-abortion position. As such, both sides of the abortion debate must turn down their heated rhetoric. For, by ending this vitriol, it will be easier for both sides to stop demonizing the other and instead come together to make actual progress.
Robert O’Gara, ‘18