What would that common ground look like? The left and the right view incremental policy maneuvers on these issues as steps toward the total illegality of abortions or firearms. respectively.
I have considered voting for Democrats, but as much as try to imagine how I could do that, I just can’t. I find the philosophical arguments for the pro-life position too compelling to vote for a party that is committed to abortion laws that are more lax than virtually every other country in the world. And, in my experience, attempts to engage philosophical arguments on this subject are met with social censure, verbal abuse, or worse. It’s the same anti-intellectual anger that animates the right on firearms, where policy positions are tribal, and the denial of any central ideological marker becomes a reflexive slur used to signal out group status. (Maybe politics has always been this way. I don’t know. I just know I don’t like it.)
I am also wary of a party that allies itself with people who would like to see my religious friends pushed out of the public square and punished — both socially and legally — for private beliefs. I have friends who are either supportive or agnostic toward gay marriage yet are still told they are bigots who should be fired, removed from office, fined, and, in some cases, jailed, if they quietly believe the ideal expression of sexuality is in a monogamous, heterosexual marriage. These people believe we must choose between practicing traditional Christianity and participating in the public square. I’m willing to accept the hard consequences of choosing my deepest convictions over meaningful participation in the public square, but I’m hardly going to vote for a party that quietly enables it.
I didn’t vote for Trump, and I don’t plan on voting for politicians who support him, especially when it comes to supporting evil attitudes about refugees and the poor. But I can’t in good conscience pull the lever for the Democrats — at least at the national level.