News Anchor: Senator, you’ve stated your view on abortion on many occasions; would you mind restating it for our viewers?
Senator: I’d be honored to do so. As I’ve indicated, time and again, I support the right to life and oppose abortion because I believe that human life is sacrosanct, that we have a sacred duty to protect all human life, regardless of the stage of human development.
News Anchor: When you say “stage of human development,” Senator, you are including fetuses?
Senator: Of course. I believe life begins at conception.
News Anchor: And your strong belief in the sanctity of life is founded in your Christian faith?
News Anchor: Is it fair to say, given your belief that life begins with conception, there are many stages of development in the life of a human?
News Anchor: You would agree, for example, that a six-year-old child is a stage in the ladder of human development?
Senator: I’m not sure where this is going, but yes, childhood is a stage in the development of a human’s life. Adolescence, young adulthood, the elderly, are all stages in the development of human life.
News Anchor: Thank you for clarifying that. I’d like you to clarify something else. It is a matter of public record that you have voted on numerous occasions to support military action in Iraq and Afghanistan…
Senator: I’m one of this country’s strongest advocates for using our military power to stand up for democracy and freedom around the world!
News Anchor: I think our viewers would concur with that assertion.
Senator: Thank you.
News Anchor: Given your strong understanding of the military, I’m sure you know that in every war or other military action, including the ones you have publicly supported with your words and votes, hundreds, even thousands, of innocent noncombatants—who, I might note, represent all developmental stages in human life—die as the direct or indirect result of the actions you have supported.
Senator: Collateral damage is one of the unfortunate consequences of war.
News Anchor: You’ve just stated that human life is sacrosanct, that we have a sacred duty to protect all life regardless of the stage of human development. Are the lives of innocents killed by actions that you have supported not sacrosanct?
Senator: I’ve never said that. Those lives are sacred, but there are times, unfortunate as they may be, when people die in the defense of democracy and freedom.
News Anchor: So are you saying that we have a sacred duty to protect the life of a fetus, but we do not have a sacred duty to protect the lives of innocents caught in the crossfire of war?
Senator: It’s an entirely different issue.
News Anchor: Let’s clarify that. There was no ambiguity when you said we have a sacred duty to protect all human life. Are you saying that a fetus within the womb of an American woman is more important than the life of an Iraqi six-year-old, who is killed by an American airstrike that you supported with your votes and words?
Senator: Again, I’ve never said that.
News Anchor: All right, let’s change the subject slightly. When you were governor, you were an outspoken supporter of capital punishment. Is the life of a convicted murderer less sacrosanct than that of a fetus?
Senator: I would say so, yes. Absolutely. Someone who takes another’s life deserves to feel the wrath of the State.
News Anchor: You’ve also stated that you’re proud to have never voted for anything at the state or federal level that supports a welfare state, including, as you’ve stated many times, support for the Affordable Care Act.
Senator: I’m very proud of my votes in the Senate and vetoes while Governor. Obamacare and welfare are lynchpins of the Entitlement Nation that Liberals have created. Most Americans work hard for what they earn, and it’s time we stopped asking those hard-working Americans to support those who don’t seem willing to pull their fair share of the load.
News Anchor: Let’s focus on those Americans who you, I assume, would characterize as not pulling their fair share of the load.
News Anchor: Is it fair to say that we’re referring to those people generally characterized as being poor?
Senator: Well, not all poor folks fail to contribute their fair share.
News Anchor: But most do?
Senator: A significant number.
News Anchor: Are you aware that the life expectancy of an American child living in poverty is appreciably less than that of a middle class American child?
Senator: I am.
News Anchor: But you oppose providing support that would possibly add years to the lives of not just poor children but to any person who is financially unable to access the quality of health care available to the majority of Americans.
Senator: I’m opposed to placing that responsibility on the backs of hard-working Americans.
News Anchor: On whose backs would you place that responsibility?
Senator: It’s the responsibility of every American to take care of their own needs without holding out their hand and asking others to do what they should be doing for themselves. The problem with the poor is, they just need to decide not to be poor.
News Anchor: (Looks at camera for a beat and then back to the Senator) When you say that all life deserves protection, aren’t you equivocating?
Senator: My views are clear and defensible.
News Anchor: But aren’t you asserting that under certain circumstances—war, capital punishment, and poverty being three—every human’s life is not worth protecting.
Senator: I’ve never said that.
News Anchor: But your support of military action and capital punishment, your opposition to the welfare state, support outcomes that you clearly know will not fully protect human life. Doesn’t that indicate you believe not all humans’ lives are sacrosanct, that influential persons—perhaps yourself being one—have the ability to determine the types of lives that we can be less concerned about protecting?
Senator: You’re totally distorting what I’m saying. You began by asking me about abortion. My views about abortion are clear, and most of your viewers understand that abortion is totally different from the other situations you’ve brought up because a human fetus is defenseless and needs our protection.
News Anchor: Isn’t a six-year-old Iraqi child confronted by an errant, thousand-pound bomb, or a very sick child whose parents cannot afford life-saving health care, just as defenseless as a fetus?
Senator: Frankly, I don’t intend to respond any further to this line of questioning, which seems to me to be nothing more than badgering from someone who is clearly attempting to make some kind of misguided, Liberal-leaning point.
News Anchor: (Looks away from Senator for a beat and then turns back to him) I’m being told that we have to go to break, so thank you, Senator, for taking the time today to make your views on the sanctity of human life quite clear. (Turns toward camera) And now, let’s take a look at today’s weather across the nation…
(This post is based upon an original post in Jeff Lee’s now defunct Education Follies blog)