Abortion is an even better litmus test than I had first imagined. Pro-choice and anti-abortion activists agree that they want the abortion issue to be used as a litmus test when confirming Supreme Court justices, voting for politicians, and in any interview conducted by Monica Goodling. But the abortion issue is also a great way to lure the crazy side of a politician out into the open.
Republican presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul is a perfect example of this. Listening to his views on the Iraq War, I cautiously thought Congressman Paul sounded almost reasonable. Then, I heard him speak about abortion at the Iowa Straw Poll where he began his speech by stating his belief that stopping abortion is an integral part of defending liberty, saying, "As an OB doctor who has studied history and economic policy and politics for a long time, I can assure you that life begins at conception." Hmmm. How fast would you run out of the exam room if your doctor referred to economic and political policy when explaining your medical condition?
The great thing about the abortion issue, though, is that it seems to embolden candidates to share even more outlandish viewpoints. For example, Mr. Paul followed up his abortion statement by explaining that "9/11 could have been prevented if we'd had a lot more respect for the 2nd Amendment." Apparently, respecting life is only his agenda for the unborn. See? Abortion is a great litmus test because people who want to overturn Roe v. Wade turn out to have no comprehensive reasoning skills concerning other issues, as well. Consider Mitt Romney. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and he thinks he'll get his own planet when he dies.
Ironically, litmus, a lichen whose colorful reactive properties have been used since 1803, can actually identify Republicans and Democrats. Note the definition in the American Heritage Dictionary: A water-soluble blue powder derived from certain lichens that changes to red with increasing acidity and to blue with increasing basicity. Is it only a coincidence that a true litmus test begins with blue lichen that, when contaminated, turns red? Another odd fact: look at the signs in the picture to the left. I can almost guarantee that the Democrat is holding the blue sign, and the Republican is holding the red sign. When it comes to passing a litmus test, it's clear that blue is the color God chose, and anything red is an aberration.