(a.k.a. “Ed Whelan Is a Twat”)
“Insofar as sensible political labels might be applied to these three positions, it would seem plain that the first (pro-abortion) position would be labeled liberal (with the Roe version of that position being radical), the second (pro-life) would be labeled conservative, and the third (neutral) would be labeled moderate.”
Ed Whelan, of the National Review
Before I get to the meat of this, I’d like to address the terminology used. There are EXTREMELY FEW PEOPLE in this world who are ALL GUNG-HO AND CHEERY about HAVING AN ABORTION. It’s not the abortion itself of which people are supportive, it’s the option. Just because you can’t see in anything but black and white extremes doesn’t mean that all things are somehow opposites of each other. The opposite of not wanting anyone to get an abortion would be wanting everyone to get an abortion. And the only people who support that concept are either insane, or dipshits who think the best solution to all of the world’s problems is the xenosuicide of humanity, leaving all the other forms of life to deal with problems we’ve created. (How noble!)
If we’re going to make these kinds of extrapolations–of claiming that the opposing perspective is in fact literally opposite–, then anyone who isn’t pro-choice is pro-fascism. They want some authoritative entity to make every single choice for every single individual. In fact, their idea of a perfect society would be one in which nobody ever made a decision. Think that’s a fair description, jackass?
Do you honestly think, Ed, that there’s this large movement of people who go in to hospitals and tell pregnant women who want their children that they really ought to get abortions? (I’m not going to claim it never happens–see “crazies”, above–but that if it does, it’s rare and in no way representative or illustrative of the non-”pro-life” perspective as a whole.) Do you really believe that there are women who go out and get pregnant just so they can drop several hundred dollars to induce miscarriage? “BOY OH BOY, I just CAN’T WAIT to HAVE A DOCTOR PROBE AROUND IN MY VAGINA so I can HAVE A BLOODY EXPULSION THAT MAKES MENSTRUATION LOOK LIKE A PAPER CUT.” Yeah, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they make that a ride at Six Flags.
What we support is the RIGHT to have it, not the actual act itself. In fact, I’m sure there are a good number of people who are pro-choice because of rights issues, but against abortion because of personal reasons. (“While I don’t agree with what you say, sir, I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.”)
Now, for the rest of this idiocy. As clearly illustrated, every thought this guy–and his ilk, it seems, in general–has is oversimplified into “left”, “right”, and “center”. You’re either WITH us, AGAINST us, or NEUTRAL. While this is in itself extremely flawed–this “opposites filter” way of thinking–, there’s a more profound problem with this that seems to often go overlooked.
In these kinds of discussions–and this is true for both the right and the left–it seems that the issue or argument itself is often judged not by content, but by origin. “Pro-choice” is a “liberal” thing. “Pro-life” is a “conservative” thing. Where this seems to appear the most is in conservatives’ claims of “liberal bias” in the media. The actual truth itself doesn’t matter as much as whatever “side” reported the story. What scares me is that the “truth” is becoming–mostly for the right, at least, though I’m sure it happens on the left as well–more about how what is reported coincides with a particular viewpoint or preconception than about how what is reported coincides with what actually happened. It’s not “right or wrong”, it’s “right or left”.
Everything is politicized, and in doing so, we keep ourselves distracted from what the real arguments should be by the wrestling match of politics. Instead of figuring out whether an idea would or wouldn’t work, or would be beneficial or harmful, we just keep arguing about liberalism vs. conservatism. It ends up being not about whether, say, a bill about mercury pollution would be helpful or harmful in and of itself, but about how greedy and business-favoring the conservatives are, or how tree-hugging and sissy the liberals are. Which ultimately makes everything remain a discussion about which “side” is right: liberals or conservatives. It becomes a competition over who can win in the Pass a Bill game. There may as well be a betting pool on which bills will pass or be rejected.
In short, let’s start focusing on the utility, and not the origin. Oh, and Ed Whelan can fornicate himself with an unsanded broom handle.