Governor Northam and the Democrats’ Double Standard

Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, has been the subject of two major controversies lately. First, in commenting upon a proposed Virginia law which would expand the time in which a woman could obtain an abortion up to the time of birth in certain circumstances, a law which he supported, Northam commented that the law would permit a woman, with the approval of her doctor, to permit a baby born alive to be left alone to die. Second, he was assailed as a racist for pictures which appeared in his 1984 medical school yearbook on his homepage. These portrayed one man in blackface, standing next to another man clothed head to toe in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.

The reaction to his comments on the proposed abortion law was almost universally negative, particularly among the public at large. The comments were widely seen as condoning infanticide. Conspicuously, however, the overwhelming majority of Democratic politicians went silent on this controversy. Indeed, Democratic politicians across the country have been supporting legislation which, like New York’s recent enactment, permit abortion up to the moment of birth. Support for abortion has become not only a litmus test for Democratic candidates but indeed almost a sacrament in their secular theology. Professor Peter Kreeft has observed that the pro-abortion slogan “This is my body,” mimics the Eucharistic prayer of consecration in the Catholic Church.

By contrast, Democratic politicians across the country, including his own state, Virginia, have called for Northam to resign based upon the racist photographs in his medical school yearbook placed on his specific page. Support for abortion expansion is encouraged and expected for Democratic politicians, but any perception of racism is fatal for both for candidates and incumbents. What the calls for the governor’s resignation fail to consider is how he has conducted his public and private life in the nearly 35 years since his medical school graduation. This should be the relevant inquiry. While Christianity and most other religions recognize the ability of the sinner to repent, to turn his or her life around, and to be readmitted to the community, the secular religion of Democrats takes a different stance. Democrats are modern day Donatists, adherents to an early Christian heresy which taught that Christians who had renounced their religion under Roman persecution could not be readmitted to the sacraments.

If this rigorous template persists, the Democratic Party is likely to be fractured. Consider, for example, that some 20 to 25 Democrats have either announced their candidacy for the presidency in 2020, or are considering doing so. If there is no political statute of limitations for condemned conduct happening many years before, it can be expected that many of these candidates will use opposition research to unearth positions taken by their primary opponents which may have been acceptable then, but are politically incorrect now in their orbit. Thus, statements against same-sex marriage, or transgenderism, or favorable comments about capitalism, Goldman Sachs, Republicans, or incarceration of criminals, will be wielded as axes to cut down candidates such as Joe Biden, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris, as well as others.

I am reminded of the old adage that the difference between Democrats and cannibals is that “cannibals don’t eat their own.”


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