How to respond to: "I'm not a single-issue voter."

"I'm not a single-issue voter!"

It's inevitable.  If you engage somebody in a discussion about abortion during the upcoming election year, you'll hear the "single-issue voter" trope.

On one hand, it's a back-handed insult, implying that we're not sophisticated enough to consider a full range of other important issues.  On the other hand, it is true that our attention is riveted to the issue of abortion on demand, which we believe to be the single most important social justice issue of the day.

So how should we respond?

First, it simply isn't true that we pro-lifers don't care about any other issues.  In reality, most of us do want our politicians to involve themselves in promoting the common good by improving education, healthcare and efficient spending of our tax dollars.  If fact, pro-lifers probably disagree with each other on some of those issues.

So while we do prioritize the abortion issue, it simply isn't true that we don't care about anything else.  In reality, we believe that a candidate's position on abortion can be a disqualifying issue.  If he seeks supports the right to abortion on demand, we disqualify him as a candidate and choose another when we walk into the voting booth.

So a good response would be first to get our friends to see that we are not the only ones that consider an issue to be disqualifying.  For example, some people vote "straight ticket" along party lines, and do not vote for somebody in a particular party they disfavor.  That's a disqualifying issue for them.  Others will not vote for somebody who favors the repeal of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare").  Or for somebody who favors Obamacare.  Or for somebody who favors increasing military spending.  Or for somebody who favors decreasing such spending.  Those are each single issues that are commonly used by voters to disqualify candidates.

Next, remind our friends that other issues related to violence rise to the level of disqualifying issues.  They would most certainly disqualify a candidate who supported domestic abuse.  Or one who supported the violent overthrow of our government. 

A candidate's support for domestic violence or for a violent overthrow of the government are far-fetched examples, but support for abortion is not far-fetched.  It's the norm among our political elites, so for us, support for this form of violence disqualifies a candidate from receiving our support in the voting booth:



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