Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why Abortion is the New Slavery

There is a pervasive myth that undergirds the practice of abortion, the foundation on which it rests and without which it couldn't continue to exist as a widely accepted activity. That myth is that unborn children are not human beings.

The same kind of myth undergirded the practice of slavery in America: that blacks and those of Afrcian descent were not human beings. Without belief in that myth, the institution of slavery crumbled, because there's no way to deny the evil involved in stealing the freedom of another human being or treating a human being as property instead of as a person.

Abortion is vulnerable to the same demise. Hence the massive pushback from the Left against the videos of Planned Parenthood workers mutilating and dissecting the bodies of dead babies in order to harvest their body parts for money.

Jayme Metzgar over at The Federalist has made a compelling case for drawing a straight line between the evil of abortion and the evil of slavery.
The Planned Parenthood videos—and the surrounding debate over the use of fetal tissue—have revealed just how closely abortion parallels the last great moral evil enshrined in American law: slavery. And like that immoral institution, very few of us have clean hands. It’s easy to demonize those directly involved in the practice, but if we refuse to acknowledge the reality of what these videos show us about ourselves, we have no right to condemn our 19th century forebears.
Metzger identifies three ways in which our attitudes and behavior towards abortion are almost exactly like our attitudes and behavior towards slavery.

1. Abortion deepens our hypocrisy about the humanity of the unborn.
Abortion requires us to pretend that an unborn child is just a collection of tissue -- unless the mother wants to keep her baby. In that case, we're allowed to believe that the unborn child is a precious little person growing inside of her. This parallels the nonsensical slave state/free state treatment of blacks under slavery, in which the same black man who was non-human property in Alabama magically became a human being with rights in Vermont.

2. It reveals the inherent violence and cruelty of abortion.
Most people don't think too deeply about abortion because they understand, even if only on an unconscious level, that it's the ending of a unique human life. It makes them uncomfortable, so they don't think about it too much. Pro-choice folks used to acknowledge that in slogans like "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare," or by calling abortion "a necessary evil." That's how slavery was discussed and treated in America through the 1830s or so. But beginning in the 1840s, pro-slavery folks pushed back and insisted that slavery was a positive, not a negative, practice. They unashamedly promoted it, and insisted that anyone who disagreed with them was a zealot who hated property rights. That's where most pro-choicers are today: pushing back against reluctant defenses of abortion, proclaiming that abortion is a good thing that shouldn't ever be restricted. Today their slogan is "Abortion on demand, and without apology!"

3. It ingrains a need for abortion in our way of life.
American life in the late 1850s depended a great deal on slavery. Southern society completely depended on it, but most northern states depended on it more than they wanted to admit. Southern cotton kept the mills in New England running. Foreign markets for Southern cotton and tobacco created an appetite for American goods that kept helped keep northern merchants in business and built the portfolios of the northern banks that lent to them. This vision of economic sectors completely dependent on a horribly inhuman practice is what Metzgar sees potentially developing in the R&D departments of biotech firms and giant academic research centers that use dead babies' organs and body parts for research. The biotech industry has a huge appetite for fetal organs and tissue -- for legitimate, highly valuable research. Just like northern mill owners had a huge appetite for southern cotton that created legitimate, highly valuable jobs raised millions of immigrants out of poverty. That need blinded people to the clear necessity to end the awful practice used to meet it. So it may be here.

It's an excellent article and I didn't convey half of it. You should read the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2016 Primary Season: The Democrats' Reckoning

Donald Trump is currently pointed to as an example of the fundamentally dysfunctional nature of today's GOP. There's a lot of truth to that point, but it's ultimately made less relevant by the fundamentally strong and enduring nature of the GOP's current position nationally (26 governorships, control of 30 state legislatures, a 58-seat majority in the House of Representatives, and control of the US Senate) as exhibited by the wealth of other major candidates for President.

That wealth is conspicuously lacking among Democrats. Under Obama's tenure, the Democrats' cupboard is bear. As a result, there are very limited ways for the increasingly frustrated components of the Dems' ruling coalition to find expression and influence.

Jonah Goldberg has a great new column laying this out.
The trouble for [Hillary] Clinton and the Democrats generally is that while Barack Obama was able to unite the factions of the left to get himself elected, it's not clear anyone else can.

Obama wanted to be a Reagan of the left, a "transformative" president who moved the magnetic poles of American politics leftward. The jury is out on that project, but he did succeed in at least one sense. Reagan united foreign policy hawks, social conservatives and economic conservatives — the famous three legs to the stool of the conservative movement.

Obama did something very similar on the left. He united the civil rights or identity politics wing, the economic or egalitarian wing and the more elitist technocratic wing. Obviously, these movements overlap — just as the different factions of the Reagan coalition overlapped — but each has its own priorities and passions.

Aided by his experience as a former community organizer and his historic status as the first black president, Obama held the coalition together through force of personality.

The Democratic Party has always had internal conflicts. Franklin D. Roosevelt's coalition contained socialist Jews and blacks and Southern segregationists. That coalition held for 20 years after his presidency. But the Obama coalition seems to be fraying while he's still in office, and none of his presumptive heirs have the charisma or skills to repair or sustain the coalition.
He concludes by saying, "The GOP's Trump problem will eventually melt away. I suspect the Democrats' troubles are far more durable."

I couldn't agree more. People talk about the demographic wave about to overtake the GOP, but the future belongs to those who show up. The irony here is that, while taking their triumph-by-demography for granted, Democrats have put themselves at real risk of becoming marginalized as a viable national party for a generation or so.

Gay vs. Trans: The Revolution Eats Its Own

The Stonewall Riots, which started on June 29, 1969, are generally considered to mark the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement -- and, by extension, of the LGBT movement.

Regardless of one's convictions or feelings about homosexuality, it seems clear to me that the way gays and lesbians were treated in those days was unbecoming a civilized society. (LGBT folks may have appropriated and twisted the word "tolerance" to mean "outright acceptance and affirmation", but that doesn't mean that the rest of us must follow suit. Gays and lesbians deserve to be tolerated in a pluralistic society -- i.e., not affirmed but otherwise allowed to live as they see fit, assuming their actions don't directly infringe the rights of other citizens.)

Now Roland Emerich has made a movie commemorating the Stonewall Riots, and it's being savaged as horrible and controversial ... by the LGBT movement.

That's right. LGBT folks now consider the history of Stonewall to be anti-transgendered because it places the lion's share of the credit for the riots with the vast majority of people who were there: young, white gay men. Because Emerich's film apparently retells that widely accepted history, it is also being tarred as anti-trans.

Revolutions, man. Outside of the American Revolution, they just about always eat their own.