I’ve never met Mike Kopp, one of the Republican candidates for governor of Colorado, but I like him. I like his resume, I like his service to our country, and I like his values and positions…except one.
Yesterday he posted on Facebook and Twitter that he will “NEVER, EVER abandon my position on this matter of life and death” with an ultrasound photo of a fetus. He has announced that he is “100% committed to life at all stages”.
While this stance is fine for him personally and I respect his right to have his views, as a male Republican candidate for high elected office, it is reckless and irresponsible for him to announce a position like this.
As I have written elsewhere, I personally dislike abortion, but I support women’s rights to manage their own healthcare and reproductive decisions.
However, GOP candidates for office, particularly male candidates are giving the opposition “free ammunition” to undermine their viability as a candidate, allow the opponents to frame the debate, and scare off thousands or millions or women who might otherwise vote for the candidate, but rightly fear for their healthcare and reproductive freedoms. I believe it is largely due to this that Barack Obama was re-elected President.
Taking a stance like this merely displays that Kopp is disregarding the largest and most important demographic in Colorado politics – women.
Recent events have shown Governor John Hickenlooper to be increasingly out of touch with everyday people in Colorado. His disastrous “apology” to the elected Sheriffs about gun control, his consistent wrong positions on Nathan Dunlap, legal marijuana, gun control, and several other issues have raised serious doubts in the minds of many Coloradans. While he is likeable personally, the viability of his continued governance is in jeopardy.
Because of this, a GOP candidate should be able to win the race. But taking this stand on abortion puts Mike Kopp’s candidacy in a very bad place. If he comes out against gay marriage or civil unions, it is all but dead.
I cannot adequately express my frustration with the Republican Party for their “stuck on stupid” stands on these two social issues. To quote from another one of my blog posts:
“Meanwhile, the United States has entered a period of “post-constitutional soft tyranny” as Mark Levin calls it. The federal government is out of control, the national debt is already unsustainable and grows more so every day, the progressives and liberals are working very hard to make government the largest force in the everyday lives of all Americans, our foreign policy is in shambles, our president believes he can “rule” by executive order and decreeing illegal changes to the Constitution and already enacted laws, Americans overseas are killed by terrorists and the administration lies about it and covers it up afterward. The government spies on its citizens while soldiers continue to die in Afghanistan in a forgotten war whose military and strategic necessity at this point is questionable at best.
This country is divided as it has not been since the mid-1800s. The difference of opinion over the size, scope and proper role of government in our lives has never been more prominent. The divide between libertarians like me and progressives is deep and vast. There are so many issues facing this state and country that fighting losing battles over abortion and gay rights is not only futile, it is reckless.”
My message to the Colorado Republican Party is this: STOP FIGHTING THESE TWO BATTLES. YOU WILL LOSE. WHILE YOU ARE LOSING THEM, THE COUNTRY GOES FURTHER DOWN THE PROGRESSIVE PATH TO RUIN.
By Richard D. Turnquist
June 18, 2014