The US Right Overestimates Itself

In practical terms, many moderate Republicans fear that the emphasis on anti-abortion actions will backfire

The idea of victories so costly that they can be tantamount to defeat is as old as civilization, but it hardly prevents social groups or political parties from making the same mistake.

And in the wake of their political successes, especially eliminating abortion, the Republican Party and the U.S. right face the possibility that those victories, and the excesses they encouraged, will ultimately cost them far more than they earned.

Last year, the U.S. “pro-life” movement won a stunning victory when a Supreme Court dominated by ideologically conservative justices ruled to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision recognizing the right to abortion.

The issue became a catalyst for other conservative causes with religious roots and led to overestimating its strength, excesses and even abuses that are believed to have a negative political impact.

From the banning of books with content that could be construed as sexual to the sublime ridiculousness of the limitation of showing the statue of David by the Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo because it is a nude, and was, therefore, “pornographic” for children of 10 or 12 years of age, it has all occurred within a framework of measures sponsored by like-minded groups, or, in the case of abortion, in the shadows of victory.

For now, in practical terms, many moderate Republicans fear that the emphasis on anti-abortion actions — from the banning of abortion pills to the offering of medical services — will ultimately backfire.

In fact, some believe they are causes that more reflect the interests of militants than those of a population that mostly favors abortion, with varying degrees of limitation, but not prohibition.

“[A]nti-abortion politics is a major vote loser for the GOP, and current polls rank this as their biggest weak spot. In effect, abortion fundamentalism is likely to damage Republican chances at state and federal levels, perhaps fatally,” noted Eric Kaufmann in the online publication UnHerd.

The first wake-up call was the 2022 congressional election, which promised to be a Republican landslide and ended up being a problem: Not only did they fail to wrestle the Senate from the Democrats, but they also won a rickety five-seat majority in the lower house.

The judicial accusations against former President Donald Trump dramatize the dilemma. After all, it was Trump, with his egomania, who became the leader of a conservative movement that was more than willing to ignore his shortcomings in exchange for harnessing his charisma and power: Trump delivered a judiciary heavily tilted to the right.

The repeal of abortion rights was a success, but the excesses promoted by Republicans were a cause for millions of voters who feel they have gone too far.

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About Stephen Routledge 141 Articles
Stephen is the Head of a Portfolio Management Office (PMO) in a public sector organisation. He has over twenty years experience in project, programme and portfolio management, leading various major organisational change initiatives. He has been invited to share his knowledge, skills and experience at various national events. Stephen has a BA Honours Degree in History & English and a Masters in Human Resource Management (HRM). He has studied a BSc Language Studies Degree (French & Spanish) and is currently completing a Masters in Translation (Spanish to English). He has been translating for more than ten years for various organisations and individuals, with a particular interest in science and technology, poetry and literature, and current affairs.

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