Michael Montagano’s latest commercial is calling attention to the notion of a “typical” Democrat. So I got to thinking – just what is a typical Democrat? He notes that he is being called a typical Democrat but then states he is “pro-life”, “pro-gun”, “pro-farm”, and “pro-prayer.”
Somehow I get the feeling he is trying to distance himself from the “typical” Democrat who is, according to the commercial’s implications, “anti-life”, “anti-gun”, “anti-farm”, and “anti-prayer.” Well, let me see, where do I – as a typical Democrat – fall in the scheme of things.
Let’s start with pro-life. Just exactly what is “pro-life?” In its simplest and most widely understood meaning, the term has been co-opted by the Right to mean anti-abortion – a very narrow view of “pro-life.” Those who are not anti-abortion are, of course, pro-death. But pro-life should mean more than simply opposing abortion; it should include positions about life after the birth of a child. But strangely, that is where the pro-lifers smack into a wall. They aren’t much interested in being pro-life after the child is born.
Typically, it is those same individuals who want to cut social programs that would help benefit an unwed mother who decided to keep her child.
And pro-life should mean opposing the death penalty, but I can almost guarantee you that many pro-lifers favor the death penalty. At least the Catholic Church is consistent and opposes the death penalty as well as abortion.
The next category is “pro-gun.” Again, what does pro-gun actually mean? I support the right to own a gun. I just don’t believe weapons should go unregulated. The recent Supreme Court decision in Heller found an individual right to own and possess guns, but it also held that restrictions on gun ownership were perfectly acceptable. I wonder how many “typical” Democrats have no problem with gun ownership as long as restrictions are put in place?
The next one, pro-farm, puzzles me. How have “typical” Democrats acted in an anti-farm way? We have a Democrat running for governor who grew up on a family farm. Indiana’s economy relies heavily on farms. I know of no one who is anti-farm – unless of course we are talking about the industrial sized confined animal feeding operations. But those aren’t farms; they are operations. Calling these operations “farms” is a slap in the face to true farmers and their hard work.
Finally, pro-prayer. Heavens sake, pray all you want. I am pro prayer. People are free to pray any time and any where they want. Just don’t mix it with government or force it into the schools by establishing a set time to pray. I am always amused by those who argue that prayer has been taken out of the schools. Or who become fanatical about not having a prayer in state legislatures. Just pray. You are free do so any time you want to.
This type of commercial does great harm to the unity of the party and raises concerns among Democrats themselves. I consider myself a typical Democrat. I am pro-life but that doesn’t mean I think I should impose my views on a pregnant mother so, instead of being considered pro-life, I get slapped with a pro-choice or pro-abortion label. I am pro-gun but that doesn’t mean I support the unfettered right of the individual to own a gun. I am pro-prayer but that doesn’t mean shoving formal prayers into the schools or into state run entities. And finally, I am absolutely pro-farm but that doesn’t mean I support every form of farming that exists, for example, CAFOs.
So I disagree with Montagano’s most recent commercial. It seems to imply that the typical Democrat is anti-everything. And that simply isn’t true.