Senator Samuel Brownback
The Economist, March 11, 2006, p. 30 ("Lexington" column).
Anyone who saw Brownback aggressively question Roe v. Wade during the televised Supreme Court confirmation hearings knows that he is highly intelligent and articulate. He is poised and in command of the facts. In addition, he does not fit the biased stereotype of the Christian right that the mainstream media loves. The magazine column describes the difference. Brownback is quite concerned with human rights abuses and poverty overseas, whether in North Korea or the Sudan, whether involving fighting HIV or fighting sex trafficking. He is concerned with prison reform here at home. He is one of the sponsors of a new African-American history museum to be built in D.C. and "now wants an apology for Native Americans." That's enough to make the liberal media spin in dread because Brownback is more than a match for anyone else on the political scene. Most of all, the American people will like him. Compare all of that with the power-obsessed, pessimism of the stalwarts of the Democratic Party; and it's easy to see which type of politician is more appealing now and in 2008.
William Wilberforce (1759-1833) was a British politician who also had a conversion experience as an adult. He was an evangelical Protestant social reformer whose efforts were crucial in the elimination of slavery in the British Empire one month after his death in 1833 (see Encyclopedia Americana under "Wilberforce"). Like Wilberforce, Brownback is a leading force in dismantling the Culture of Death. For Wilberforce, the Culture of Death was exemplified by the dehumanization of legal slavery. For Brownback, the Culture of Death in its current form is found most blatantly in the dehumanization of legal abortion. One remained an evangelical Protestant, the other became an evangelical Catholic. Both are what history needed at a crucial moment.