GTers, what would you recommend for a long time friend of mine who has always considered herself a republican, but is actually more of a progressive?
Some background: “Jess” and I have been friends for over 20 years. We are best friends, despite the fact that she has always been religious, and I have never really believed in god. She is one of those rare good christians- who cares about actually helping the poor and refugees, is pro-life (while supporting real sex ed and access to birth control), believes in equal rights for LGBT individuals, is pro-science and education, etc. She is supportive of my life choices even though they absolutely don’t fit in with her beliefs.
She has lived her whole life in blue states, first California, and most recently Hawaii (though in December 2016 moved to a red state to be close to her in-laws, so she could have help raising her now-one month old baby). So while she voted third party in the 2016 presidential election, I was not very angry with her about this fact becuase her state’s electoral votes went to Hillary. Naturally, she also benefits from white privilege (half white and half Chinese. Chinese enough that her dad was disowned for marrying a white woman, but looks white enough that she isn’t discriminated against for being a WOC).
After her baby was born in January, I’ve taken it upon myself to educate her about the travesty that is the republican-controlled congress and Trump administration. I know that with a newborn, she’s not able to keep up with the deluge of information that is political news these days. It’s gone very well. She is horrified by what the republicans are doing to our country.
Yesterday, I finally decided it was time to ask why she considers herself a conservative, when I know she is a good person who actually falls on the left for most issues. From what I can tell, the only thing she is actually conservative about politically is abortion*. I would call her a pro-life democrat, but I don’t think that actually exits. A woman’s autonomy over her body is pretty entrenched as part of the democratic platform (and rightly so, in my opinion!).
So here’s where I need help. How does someone like Jess fit in the resistance? How can I help her move away permanently from the republican party? She’s accepted that the current republican party does not represent her beliefs, but what about in the future? I want to win her over to the left. Is there such a thing as pro-life democrats?
I really appreciate any insight that you guys might have!
My email to Jess:
*When the time is right, I will work on convincing her that she should be anti-abortion, but pro-choice. I think I’ll be successful. But for now, I accept that she is truly pro-life (anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, pro-measures that lower abortion rates).