Politics of Hypocrisy

The Republican Party’s platform Committee has adopted a plank that that calls for legislation recognizing the rights of unborn children under the 14th Amendment and states that an “unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed.” Yet at the same time, a wide range of Republican leaders and national politicians have pressured Representative Todd Akin of Missouri to abandon his campaign for a Senate seat because he said that he was opposed to abortion even in the cases of rape or incest and claimed that women who were truly raped could not become pregnant.  Exactly what is going on here?  Party leaders don’t want a candidate who is following the GOP platform?  Or is it that they don’t want national attention called to their stance on abortion?

I have more than a little trouble with the Republican agenda these days, as some may have noticed, but what amazes me is that more people don’t have the same problem.  Let’s look at some basics.  On the issue of abortion, what the Republican agenda states, quite clearly, is that the government controls a woman’s body if she ever gets pregnant.  It doesn’t matter if she was forced or raped; she will have that child if Republicans get their way.  Now, some women with resources may, with luck, find a doctor who will provide an abortion… maybe, if the pro-life vigilantes haven’t terrorized the medical community to the point where very few doctors will provide abortions. Republicans continually rail against big government and big brother, but their stance on abortion is a perfect example of big government – government will decide, not the woman.  Another example of hypocrisy, perhaps?

Compare the Republican position on abortion and women with the positions regarding big business.  Republicans trumpet the need for less regulation and more freedom, but with regard to women, and their bodies, they want more regulation.  Let me get this straight.  The Republicans trust the people who created the biggest financial mess in the last half century more than they trust women?

Now…the Republican stance is disguised by a lot of rhetoric about being pro-life, but the problem with this rhetoric is that it’s only empty words, because the rest of the agenda wants to cut program after program for disadvantaged children.  Or are the Republicans only pro-life until a child is born… and after that the child, no matter how disadvantaged or poor, is on his or her own?  Not only that, but the Republicans have also mounted a campaign against using federal funds for family planning and birth control… which is bound to result in more unplanned children… and who’s going to pay for them?

If they’re not raised properly and educated, we all will, with unproductive adults in 16-20 years or more criminals or more welfare recipients or more social unrest… or all three.  And if we want to avoid that, we’ll need to spend more money… which Republicans don’t want to do, either.  The vaunted private sector is not going to step up and provide that support and education, and it certainly isn’t going to provide jobs for uneducated or undereducated adults.  So merely saying no to abortion and family planning doesn’t exactly address the problem.

Ah… but human life is sacred, or so the rhetoric goes.  Really?  When deity after deity at some point in history demanded human sacrifices [and that includes the Old Testament Christian God]?  When there are more than six billion human beings on the planet and maybe a thousand tigers left?  According to the god of economics worshipped by the Republicans, scarcity determines value – and that means the remaining tigers are more valuable than people.  And so, by the way, by that token, are the endangered Utah prairie dogs.

Economics doesn’t apply to people, then?  Or maybe it does.  Maybe the whole idea is to increase a workforce that already doesn’t have enough jobs to go around so that employers and big business can keep wages in the already low-paying service industries even lower… and that means that all those employees will have to limit their purchases to WalMart… and their entertainment to pirated movies and ebooks… no… not ebooks, because most of them won’t have the time to read, not holding down three part-time minimum wage jobs to make ends meet.

That really couldn’t be… could it?

16 thoughts on “Politics of Hypocrisy”

  1. Jason says:

    Sadly, and as incredibly ugly as it is, I believe you have hit the nail on the head with the your last paragraph on economics being the cause of many of their political stances.

    I think Republicans do aim to create a large, uneducated workforce that they can easily control. They are desperate to destroy public education. Why? To make it so the large majority of people remain ignorant.

    They want as many babies being born as possible, but then do nothing to make their lives better. Why? To create a desperate, easily manipulated workforce.

    They want to deregulate businesses in order to be able to make as much profit without any regard or protections for the workers and the consumers.

    The idea that they would try to limit a woman’s choices concerning her own body as an economic tool is a perfectly reasonable assumption when put into the context of the republican party’s overall goals and actions.

    It is horrific and may seem paranoid of me to think this way, but not much else seems to fit all the facts.

    1. Steve says:

      Your ideas are paranoid and idiotic

  2. Joe says:

    Yes. It makes no sense if you take it at face value. It makes much more sense if you think of it as a platform to satisfy different interest groups.

    One interest group believes that if it believes passionately enough in Christianity, things will work out. To gain the vote of such people, Newt Gingrich says, if you care about the so-called unborn the only moral vote is for Ryan/Romney. It’s hard to begrudge people who have lost out to outsourcing any hope, even if it comes in the form of fundamentalist beliefs, but voting against their interests is self-defeating.

    Another interest group believes young people will steal their medicare/medicaid. To such retired people the lie is propagated that welfare will now be given out to the undeserving and lazy, taking away from those who worked their entire life. Little do they seem to understand that it is the young people who are paying for their social security, and that they have saved nothing, only paid for their own parents’ retirements.

    And the financial crooks who stole from us, now have a lot of money. For the support of such people, the Republicans have promises of less regulation.

    The incoherence of the platform may be because a large demographic block (conservative whites) is dying off. This block formed the support base of the Republican party. Young and non white folk tend to be less conservative. So we may be witnessing the last hurrah of the Republicans as we know them. Were the GOP to be taken over by Ron Paul supporters, it might become consistent again: freedom is a powerful ideal.

  3. Jack says:

    If my understanding of the law is correct, a pregnant woman is killed in a robbery. Her killer can be charged with two counts of murder. How is the life of that child more valuable than that of a pregnant woman who aborts her child deliberately?

  4. (1) Because the law says so, and (2)because she chose to have the child. Roe v. Wade essentially sets out a demarcation point when abortion becomes murder, although it’s not quite phrased that way, and that gives women some choice. If anyone insists that a woman must have a child as the result of rape or incest… or if it could cost that woman her life, then you’re saying that men’s right to force children on women is legally absolute. Tell me that’s right.

  5. Steve says:

    Mr. Modesitt, your essay ignores the crux of the abortion argument; when does life begin? Your exasperation seems artificial as I cannot believe that you do not understand that if there are two lives involved then it is not simply a matter of choice. Even if I believe that an infant who is not self aware nor has agency, speech or symbol recognition is not human and therefore has no human rights, I can understand that another might feel that humanity begins with conception.

  6. My exasperation is anything but artificial, and my questions are just as basic. The whole question of right to life is presupposed on the idea that from the moment of conception a fetus is special. If that is so, then why aren’t we all vegetarians, because if one form of life is special, so are all forms of life at all stages. Unless, of course, one believes that some deity has declared that we are the only special ones. But then, science has determined that we are not special in “kind,” but in degree. Other creatures feel, and some even think in the same way we do, if to a lesser degree. We kill each other in war. We kill each other in traffic accidents, and we don’t even think much about 30,000 deaths a year for the freedom to drive, or 13,000 deaths annually for the freedom to bear arms. So why can’t women make a choice not to have a child imposed on them by force? I’m not talking about abortion as birth control here. The entire argument about “two lives” is as hypocritical as they come, given the accompanying beliefs of all too many of those who espouse “right-to-life, especially when, as I’ve pointed out, they don’t seem to want to do very much for those unwanted children once they’re born.

    Then, too, there’s the question of the mother’s right to life. Absolute right-to-lifers believe that, even in the case where the mother’s life is threatened, abortion isn’t justified. What about self-defense? That’s permitted in the case of full-grown human beings.

    1. Steve says:

      I understand that you don’t agree with their position but that does not mean that their position is illogical.

      Humanity, and its potential, is special because God declared it so, or man declared it so as a more advanced/powerful species. Humanity by this arguement is not equated with other forms of life.

      It is argued that not all killing is murder. There may even be just killing and acceptable death and destruction for a greater good. Killing a fetus may be just based on your beliefs. But if you believe that life begins at conception or that an important potential exists, then killing that life or ending that potential may be unjust or immoral. It may be murder. Whether or not it is murder depends on if there is a God, or the belief of society. If there is a God that has declared that life sacrosant, then it is murder. If there is no god, but society declares the fetus living, then it is murder.

      A person’s hyprocrisy changes the condition of murder not at all.

      Self defense is logical.

      The response to Todd Akin was consistent in that most would not argue the biology of conception as being different in a rape. Also his words were unforgivably politically incorrect.

      1. Joe says:

        If pro-lifers really cared about preventing abortions, they would study why Western Europe has half the abortion rate of the USA despite abortion being provided free by European public health care systems, despite the lack of stigma around abortion, and despite the low number of Europeans who are practicing Christians. But that would requiring giving up other cherished Republican beliefs.

        Supporting the death penalty, advocating eliminating food stamps and other forms of welfare when 1 child of 4 goes hungry in this country, and supporting soldiers (professional killers) all contradict any belief in the sacredness of human life. You can’t have it both ways.

  7. Therman says:

    Can’t say I disagree much with the issues Mr. Modessit has raised and that several others have agreed with. Personally, I don’t think abortion is right and certainly that it shouldn’t be an option taken lightly. However, none of us know whether a woman’s decision to have an abortion is right or not. A fetus is potential, for good or ill and though I agree with many of the conservative positions of the Republican party, this is an area where I think the hypocrisy (as Mr. Modessit points out) is too blatant for any reasonable person to ignore.

    1. Derek says:

      Potential of life does not equate in value to life, potential human life has potential rights, but the living and breathing woman carrying that potential life DOES have rights, and they must be respected.

      1. Therman Campbell says:

        Derek, That was exactly the point I was trying make. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

  8. Alan says:

    Joe (And everyone else),
    I think that your last statement really sums up what LEM is getting at. The whole arrangement is hypocrisy. The political platform being used has no solid factual base and will continue to provide no ground for the politicians to stand on. Provided you are an individual who is capable of thinking for themselves.
    More over, the topic of abortion is a complete discussion all on it’s own. Depending on how rabid a right to life or right to choose sort you are. Unfortunately there is very little moderation involved in it. As has been previously noted in discussions here, moderates can seldom exist long in the political arena. Even though this is likely the closest to a ‘right’ answer that would ultimately satisfy the majority of people, the most. Instead you have polarized groups, resulting in one extreme or the other holding sway at any given time. Pushing through their belief with an absolute fanaticism.
    My belief (here’s my two cents on the second topic), is that a woman should have the right to choose what happens with her body. Government should have no say at all. More over, as LEM remarked, there are several cases where rape has resulted in a child that will kill the mother. There was a noted case in Ireland a few years ago, a twelve year old girl was raped. The church was very publicly moving to prevent the abortion, delaying her on the theory that she would have the child if they could simply keep her in Ireland long enough. Numerous doctors, including church sanctioned ones, agreed that she was not physically capable of carrying the child to term, let alone giving birth. Additionally it was the majority opinion that the child would not survive to a point where a C-section could be performed, given the mothers physical maturity. Ultimately she was smuggled out of the country by loving relatives.
    So given the situation above, I would pose the following question to you: Why should you (or anyone else), have the right to tell that twelve year old girl that she must die to potentially give birth to a baby that she did not want, had no hand in the creation of and cannot care for? Where is the moral imperative to kill one or both?
    I would suggest the choice is a poor one from any approach, but that taking away a woman’s right to do with her body as she chooses is just as immoral. This does not mean I advocate abortion as a form of birth control.

  9. Thomas R. says:

    I am a 77 year old, white male, and I am scared of where the Republican platform takes us. Haiti, anyone? Or, “Let them eat cake”. These so-called followers of Jesus, worship money, not the God they proclaim!

  10. Jon Sprunk says:

    Excellent post, sir. I concur with every line of it.

    Thank you for speaking out.

  11. Jason says:

    Steve, just because I am paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get me. 🙂

    Concerning idiotic things, your assertion that Akin’s words were “unforgivably politically incorrect” tells me exactly the type of person you are.

    His words were horrendously and unforgivably insulting and demeaning to women. The use of the term “politically incorrect” hides the immensity of his vile words and thoughts. Only someone who agrees with his sentiments would try to sanitize their ugliness.

    So, with that in mind, I will take your comments about my comments being paranoid and idiotic as a compliment.

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