In today’s modern world of politics, having complex thoughts or ideas is often, unfortunately, frowned upon. Unless your answers to questions can fit on a bumper sticker, or you can get a catchy hashtag trending, odds are you’re going to struggle to get people onboard with your message. It really is rather disheartening that in a world that’s often incredibly complex, many people seem to want “solutions” to be simplified down to fit in one sentence or less.
That’s why I found VP candidate Tim Kaine’s views on abortion fascinating. While he’s pro-choice, he’s actually a devout Catholic who personally opposes abortion.
In other words, he doesn’t “toe the liberal line” when it comes to the typical “all or nothing” pro-life approach taken by many Democrats. He’s even publicly said he disagrees with Hillary Clinton about repealing the Hyde Amendment, which would allow federal money to be used for abortion services. He’s also opposed partial birth abortions and supports doctors informing women of potential health risks of abortions — two stances that go against what many Democrats support.
Now, I’m not saying I agree with Kaine’s views on abortion. What “won me over” about the VP candidate was his ability to personally oppose abortion, while understanding it’s none of his business what women do with their own bodies.
That’s what politics should be about.
I have the utmost respect for anyone who can tell me that they personally don’t believe/support something, but realize that it’s not their right to tell others what they should or shouldn’t believe/support. Not everyone has the ability — especially when it comes to politics.
The fact that he’s willing to be a man of deep faith who understands that it’s not his job, nor his right, to force that faith upon others is, in my opinion, a trademark of true leadership. It’s the small-minded who feel the constant need to force their views on others — which is exactly what Republicans do.
This is what we should want from all of our politicians. The ability to get outside of themselves to understand that, even if they personally disagree with something, that doesn’t give them the right to tell others that they have to disagree with it too. In a country like the United States where we’re given the amazing freedoms we have, a big part of the “responsibility of freedom” is understanding that our personal views are simply that — our personal views.
But for Kaine to have the beliefs and positions he has on such a highly controversial issue such as abortion showed me that he’s the type of person I’m glad Hillary Clinton chose as her running mate. While he might not have been everyone’s first choice, or the most exciting, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t the right choice. He’s far from flawless, but I can respect someone who has the ability to understand that the world is bigger than themselves, their faith or their personal views on any particular issue.
And the fact that Tim Kaine has shown me he has that ability is what won me over and made me even more enthusiastic about Clinton/Kaine 2016.
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