Is Ted Cruz’s Position on Abortion the Least Bad Since Barry Goldwater? - The Objective Standard

Radical capitalists long for a U.S. presidential candidate who understands that rights are observation-based moral principles that apply only to individuated human beings in a social context—the very context in which historically the principle of rights was formed to apply. (Note that John Locke and the American Founders were not wondering: “How can we protect fetuses?” They were wondering: “Given that people and especially governments can use force against individuals and thereby stop them from acting on their judgment, how can we stop this from happening?”)

Such a candidate would see that a woman has a right to life and liberty because she is an individual who needs freedom to think and act on her judgment so that she can live. He would see that this right includes a woman’s moral prerogative to act as she sees fit regarding the contents of her body. Accordingly, he would see that neither the federal government nor a state government can have a moral right to outlaw abortion. And he would seek to uphold these truths in office.

Unfortunately, no candidate of either party today holds such a position.

The leftist Democrats (but I repeat myself) do not hold that a woman has rights. Leftists deny the very existence of rights, which is why they call for the state to control practically every aspect of people’s lives. The fact that leftists claim to be for a woman’s “choice” regarding abortion has nothing to do with rights. It has to do with (a) moral subjectivism and political pragmatism, which together constitute the essence of the leftist creed—and (b) the power leftists seek to gain and wield by employing those means.

As for the viable Republican presidential candidates today, Cruz’s position on abortion is, all things considered, the least bad of the alternatives. In fact, his position on this subject is one of the least bad since Barry Goldwater.

Consider the positions of the following candidates and presidents in relation to Cruz on this matter:

Ted Cruz believes, on religious grounds, that rights begin at conception and thus that abortion should be illegal. At the political level, however, he opposes a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion. Instead, he advocates leaving the legality of abortion up to each state to decide.*

Barry Goldwater held that “a woman has a right to an abortion”; that this is “a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right”; and thus that abortion should be legal nationwide. . . .

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