Kaufman: St. Thomas professor urges pro-lifers to vote against Trump

Paulsen advises committed anti-abortion advocates to not “sell one’s soul,” but instead follow his lead and vote against Trump.

Professor Michael Paulsen (C-Span screenshot)

Professor Michael Stokes Paulsen, co-director of the Pro-Life Advocacy Center at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis, devoted nearly 3,000 words Thursday morning to demanding pro-life Americans support Joe Biden for president.

Writing in the Bulwark, a website founded two years ago by disgruntled conservatives and libertarians to intensely oppose President Donald Trump’s reelection, Paulsen advises committed anti-abortion advocates to not “sell one’s soul,” but instead follow his lead and vote against Trump.

Throughout his treatise, Paulsen tries to self-soothe his conscience by talking about “deals with devils.”

At one point, he claims:

“Donald Trump is extraordinarily bad — a dagger pointed at the heart of American democracy, American integrity, and American unity. He is dishonest and corrupt to the core, incompetent, and reckless. He is a true threat to the American order, even if his policy preferences align with yours. Joe Biden is not. Biden’s politics and policies are largely contrary to my own. He is hugely unsound on abortion. But I have voted for him in order to save the republic.”

Biden has “largely contrary” policies to Paulsen, and is “hugely unsound” on a crucial issue. Talk about a “deal with the devil.”

Raised among the pro-choice crowd, I married well and have been committed to the pro-life position since my mid 20s. And if ever there were an issue worth selling one’s soul for, it’s abortion — literally. Saving the lives of millions of human beings seems worthwhile.

I won’t tell pro-lifers (or pro-choicers) how to vote. It’s not my job.

But I subscribe to Robert George’s view that Biden lost his chance to earn my vote when, under pressure from the radical pro-abortion wing shortly after he announced his candidacy, he caved and promised to repeal the Hyde Amendment — which saves around 60,000 unborn lives annually. He then chose an execrable running mate, who is a fanatical abortion supporter.

Paulsen makes no mention of the Hyde Amendment or what the consequences of its repeal would be.

He also doesn’t mention the Mexico City policy, which stops U.S. tax dollars from helping promote or perform abortions abroad. It, of course, has been repealed by every Democrat president. So a vote for Biden is conceivably a vote for federal money toward extinguishing nascent life abroad.

Paulsen then calls any judicial gains under Republicans or Trump “short-term, ephemeral, and largely illusory.”

This is not cogent. In fact, it sounds like giving up. Working toward societal, moral and political goals is not “hoping for a judicial silver bullet” as he claims; would Paulsen, as a purported pro-life American, rather Roe and Casey’s framework remain in place and see the lives of millions more crushed?

I’d argue pro-lifers should be leery to dismiss the importance of political power for the movement’s future prospects, as well as for those we seek to protect.

Consider me unconvinced overall, professor.