The speeches that placed the name of Ellen McCormick in nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention make it clear that the Republican who has the best chance to defeat Jimmy Carter is Ronald Reagan.
The long string of successes by the Democratic Party since 1932 has been based on a coalition of southern Democrats, Northern urban Catholics, ethnic groups, big labor, and the blacks – first glued together by the personality of Franklin D. Roosevelt. This working coalition enabled the Democrats to win seven presidential elections and control of Congress for 40 out of 44 years.
This coalition has now been deliberately fractured by Jimmy Carter. Those opposed to abortion feel frozen out of the Democratic Party and are searching for a new home. They accuse Carter of deliberate deceit in getting the support of pro-life volunteers in the crucial Iowa primary, and then of repudiating his promises to those who helped him win his first northern victory.
The Ellen McCormick speakers accuse Carter of the arbitrary exercise of power in personally forcing members of the Platform Committee to include a pro-abortion plank, in refusing to permit the issue to be debated by the full Convention, and even in denying the McCormick supporters space for one card table for literature in the Convention hall.
They point out that the Democratic Platform carefully avoided offending those on both sides of other emotional issues, such as busing and the environment, but included a pro-abortion plank more radical even than the McGovern Platform of four years ago.
The 1976 Democratic Party Platform says that “it is undesirable to attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court decision” on abortion. In 1857 the Democrat took a similar position in regard to the Dred Scott decision which held that a slave was the property of his owner.
Bad as that decision was, it did not kill anyone. The Supreme Court decision of January 1973 was worse because it gave a mother the right to kill her unborn. baby. The decision of June 1976 compounded this evil by denying all rights to the baby’s father, holding, in effect, that the unborn baby is the property of the mother only.
Just as the Supreme Court decision on Dred Scott made our country face the moral issue of slavery, so the Supreme Court and the Democratic Platform make us face the moral issue involved in the killing of a million innocent babies a year.
Jimmy Carter has thus cast out of the Democratic Party the millions of anti-abortion Democrats, including their influential clergy and articulate lay leaders such as the brilliant and beautiful black Protestant head of the Right to Life, movement, Dr. Mildred Jefferson. The question is, which Republican candidate can gather the harvest of all those votes?
Gerald Ford is hopelessly precluded from reaping the benefit of these disaffected Democrats because he, like Carter, opposes the Human Life Amendment, and Mrs. Ford has said that the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion was “the best thing in the world… a great, great decision.”
Only Ronald Reagan, who stands against abortion and for the Human Life Amendment, can attract the support of the Democrats who have been morally offended and politically insulted by Jimmy Carter. If the Republicans nominate Reagan, they have the opportunity to put together a coalition that can win in November.