Perverse Optimism

As things get crazier and crazier in Washington D.C., I find myself more and more compelled toward the libertarian optimism I discussed here. Admittedly, yes, it’s partly because the alternative is grim.

But the level of debt our President has just thrust upon us is unsustainable. We can’t pay it off. Can’t. Without confiscatory tax rates. (I give the Founding Fathers a lot of credit for what they knew could happen; I somehow wonder if it occurred to them that our leaders would simply destroy the economy to get what they wanted.) I think–I hope–it’s too big a bite. I think we will rebel.

So, in that sense, the election of BHO is a good thing: We were complacently sliding into socialism, with just a few hiccups here and there. If this forces us to look it in the face and strike it down for real, our progeny benefit. If we this means the ship is upset for a few decades or more, it will be worth it.

That’s also why things like this “Abortion is a blessing!” thing makes me optimistic. The Anchoress writes eloquently on this topic, and is always worth reading. I’m less concerned about abortion’s legality than its social acceptability. I would like the laws (here, as everywhere) to be largely irrelevant.

But I’m convinced that abortion’s acceptability has a lot to do with obfuscation. While most of the support for pro-choice comes, I believe, from a basically libertarian impulse, more than anyone wants to admit comes from a anti-human impulse.

I often say the impulse to be liberal can come from a genuine belief that government is the best solution, or the belief that people are too stupid to take care of themselves. Just as being a conservative can come from a faith in the individual, or a self lack of concern for others. The media determine which narrative is revealed, so they try not to show the ugly stuff of whatever’s on their side.

And the thing about abortion is that it is really, really ugly. If you believe it’s necessary sometimes or not, there’s still no way it isn’t a tragedy. And, actually, I think that’s how most people view it. I think a small majority of people are uncomfortably pro-choice.

Information about abortion makes them more uncomfortable. Until recently, for example, I did not know that an abortion involved cutting up the fetus and then reassembling it ex utero to make sure you got all the parts.

I mean, look: Every day we see colonscopies, and hernia surgeries and whatever other medical procedures on the various educational channels. Why not abortions? Is it because–and I pause to chuckle here–right wing fundamentalists would protest?

Now, I am pro-choice to this degree: If a fertilized embryo is entitled to full legal protection, every woman’s womb is a potential crime scene. That’s the one extreme, of course. The other extreme is that fully viable babies are delivered and then murdered. And–let’s get really uncomfortable now–that’s where we are.

I’m perfectly fine that the abortion debate isn’t settled; it shouldn’t be. It’s much like torture, in the sense that we have to balance two unethical situations (inflicting pain perhaps for no reason vs. allowing innocent lives to be lost). In this case, we have to balance what might colloquially be called murder against the power of the state to intrude into every person’s most private life. (And I trust at this point in time, even the staunchest of pro-lifers can see that the government ultimately respects no limits to its power.)

I respect democracy in these areas, if only for lack of a better authority. Democracy can say, with stupid arbitariness that 20 weeks is a baby, where 19 weeks and 6 days is not. Injustices will occur.

What I object to, however, is the one-sidedness of the speech currently given exposure. It’s important to realize that all these poor, non-white people having abortions was pretty much what the eugenicists wanted. (And what a sleight-of-hand to get their cooperation!) It’s important to know what an abortion actually is. (I forced myself to look at a few pictures while writing this, something I’d always previously avoided.)

I object to those who wish to keep information away from women considering an abortion, if that information might tilt them away from having one.

So I applaud those who come out and say that it’s a blessing. Or, for the more secularly inclined, that it’s no big deal. Women should have more of them. And so on.

It wasn’t long ago that we were inundated with stories about the crazies bombing abortion clinics–the anti-choice crowd you might call them; now let’s get some stories about those who feel they should be allowed to completely shield a woman from any possible negative consequences of an abortion.

We can call them the anti-life crowd.

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