In an increasingly interesting and competitive U.S. Senate campaign in South Dakota, former Republican U.S. Senator Larry Pressler, now running as an Independent, is consistently portrayed by the news reporters as a “moderate.”
It’s ludicrous to characterize Pressler as a “moderate.” After all, his most recent votes in the U.S. Senate were 100% against women, teachers, students, gays and workers, he has voted for cuts in Social Security and Medicare, and he stilll speaks out about wanting to cut those programs even more in the future.
Pressler has also said in no uncertain terms during this current campaign that he would make abortion illegal.
Not regulated, mind you. Not scaled back. Illegal. He would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that has kept abortion a legal option since 1972.
After Pressler banned abortions, he would allow states to make abortion legal again if they choose, but we all know that many states would keep abortion illegal, and make millions of women into criminals and victims of botched back alley abortions.
Even in a red state like South Dakota, banning abortion is not a mainstream position. In the most recent polling I could find on this issue, a Sioux Falls Argus Leader survey, only 25% of South Dakotans say that abortion should be illegal.
Instead, an overwhelming 68% of South Dakotans want to keep abortion legal, either “legal and the decision to have an abortion should be made by the woman without government interference (34%),” or “legal but restricted to very specific circumstances, such as rape, incest or to save the life of the mother (34%).”
This idea that the news media mindlessly calls anyone who camouflages themselves with an “Independent” label a “moderate” shows just how shallow political reporting has gotten. Politicians who make abortion illegal, cut Social Security and Medicare and vote 100% against women, teachers gays, students and workers are hardly “moderate.” They are, by any reasonable definition, on the far right.