The GOP Is Going to Flip: Donald Trump Thinks He Can Strike a ‘Deal’ on Abortion

One of the things that makes Trump distinct from his contemporaries is that Donald Trump gets away with criticizing his own party.

Most politicians adhere to the common wisdom, that demeaning the party in public is bad for the party and in effect bad for the individual politician who belongs to that party.

Or, that criticizing the party could negatively effect one’s standing within the party. 

Trump doesn’t adhere to the common wisdom, and counterintuitively, that’s party of why he is so successful; he has flipped the script, and instead of being beholden to the Republican Party, the Republican Party is beholden to Trump.

Trump, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with new host Kristen Welker, criticized the GOP for speaking inarticulately about abortion.

Abortion, of course, has been at the forefront of the US political conversation ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, forcing candidates to take a stance.

Donald Trump on Abortion

Abortion is one of the most contentious issues in modern political discourse.

Why? Because abortion is framed as a moral issue (to an extent other issues, even immigration or foreign aid or criminal justice, are not). The evangelical right has spent decades crusading against abortion, which they feel is a sin akin to murder.

The left has spent decades attempting to preserve abortion access as a constitutional right, and indeed a higher right – bodily autonomy.

For many, abortion is framed in zero-sum terms. All or nothing, with no compromise. Because compromise would mean murder. Or compromise would mean an infringement upon bodily autonomy.

Still, the GOP has managed to inject nuance into the abortion debate. At how many weeks should abortion be banned? Should the states decide abortion? Or the federal government? Trump, cleverly, did not commit to a position, but did say Republicans “speak very inarticulately” about abortion. And Trump did criticize those who believe abortion should be banned wholesale, without exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the mother.

Donald Trump Thinks He Can Craft a Deal on Abortion

“Other than certain parts of the country, you can’t — you’re not going to win on this issue,” Trump said. “But you will win on this issue when you come up with the right number of weeks.” Trump declined to say how many weeks was the right number of weeks.

“Trump predicted that both sides would eventually come together on the issue,” The Guardian reported.

“For the first time in…years, you’ll have an issue that we can put behind us,” Trump said.

That’s an optimistic take. Perhaps compromise is possible; Republican politicians are beginning to recognize that total bans on abortion are not popular – even in deep-red states like Kansas.

That’s not to say that a portion of the population is not stridently advocating for total abortion bans in deep-red states like Kansas (Thomas Frank detailed the power of pro-choice voters to push middle American places like Kansas to the right, even at their own economic peril) but the issue is becoming a harder sell to the mainstream voter who has spent the last few decades comfortable with the idea that if they need an abortion, they can get an abortion.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.  

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