Years ago my friend and mentor Jack Wyman gave a speech entitled "Better Choices: A Post Roe Agenda." In the controversial article he argued for birth control, and diminished the importance of the legal fight over abortion. It was a move designed to appeal to moderates.
That was 18 years ago.
Today, Jack is somewhere in Texas and I continue to represent, in the best way I know how, social conservative values to many Mainers as leader of the Christian Civic League of Maine.
Recently I've been following the rhetoric of Maine politicians and the Maine Republican Party. Much is being made of the "moderate" political temperament of Maine people. These observations are offered by the existing leadership of the party, and those who aspire to leadership. I personally know most of these folks.
I believe they want what is best for Maine.
I am saddened by what is happening.
I ran as a Republican for the House of Representatives in 1992. I thought then that the Republican Party was a comfortable fit for my priorities. I still believe this is true. That is why I re-registered as a Republican earlier this year after abandoning the party in 2005. I was angry about the party's failure to confront the extreme agenda of homosexual activists in Maine.
The Maine GOP has now abandoned that issue, along with abortion, entirely. They allow their platform to reflect a tepid commitment to these important values, but they do nothing in the State House to advocate for them. Nor do they do anything during elections to bring hope and change to citizens who deserve clarity and reason instead of capitulation and confusion.
During my time as leader of the League I have watched many of the politicians I know abandon this fight.
Politicians have concluded that the critical social issues of abortion and homosexuality don't matter to Maine people. If they are right then Maine is not what I think it is, and the Republican Party is not what it has always been.
The political and moral soil of abolition is where the seed of the Republican Party germinated. The cause of slavery then was more divisive and controversial than abortion is now. The blood that soaked the ground of Gettysburg brought an end to the idea that skin color separates people. The party of Lincoln can never be for abandoning unborn people. It doesn't fit with her principles.
Maine's GOP has, however, abandoned family values. If the party doesn't change its direction it will continue to lose power in the Maine State House. As it is the Party controls nothing there, and social liberalism will gain more power this November.
I started this post mentioning my friend Jack Wyman. Jack took a political risk when he issued "Better Choices." I respect him for that. It won him public praise from liberals like Jim Brunelle and Ellen Goodman. Patient Christian conservatives mostly observed from the sidelines as Jack went on to run for Governor in 1994, hoping that his novel approach would prove helpful to the cause.
He lost his bid for Governor in the primary, and helped enrich the political fortunes of Susan Collins.
Is the future of Maine really pro-abortion and pro-homosexual? I don't think it is, but I could be wrong. The Maine GOP has obviously decided that our future is socially liberal.
Maybe I'm like Barack Obama on abortion and this whole matter is above my pay grade.
I sure hope not. I hate to think that Maine would settle for a "gay" pro-death polity.