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Explaining "Roe v. Wade" in the Age of Stupid
Roe v. Wade is not about abortion ..., it is about the government’s right to enter the bodies of tax paying citizens and control the results.
Now that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring from the highest court in the land after three decades there is the very real possibility that the president's choice Brett Kavanaugh will be vehemently anti-abortion and therefore nearly every case some of the less-enlightened states have been trying to push up to the Supreme Court will find a sympathetic ear, making it harder for women to have control over their reproductive rights and even put into jeopardy the 1973 Court ruling of Roe v. Wade that is at the heart of the Religious Right movement and a precious resource for those who happen to own the equipment the government will then be allowed to control, namely women, which is why I am always baffled when women vote Republican, but that is a subject for another column.
This is about the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade and where it stands in the pantheon of decisions based on that little document which keep lunatics like Donald Trump from turning this whole shebang into his personal Atlantic City mob quest.
Speaking of our game show president, it will be his (gulp!) decision to replace Justice Kennedy for the next generation. And, to be kind, Trump’s choices of personnel have been woefully subpar. If we’re honest, which we have consistently tried to be here for two decades, his choices have been horrifyingly abysmal. Have you seen Donald Trump’s closest confident and lawyer lately? In custody. His campaign manager? In jail. His choice for the man to run the EPA had to finally quit after some 14 investigations, the head of Education is uneducated, there is a surgeon running HUD, the Secretary of State ran EXXON, and then there is Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci, so you get the point. There is a very good chance if Trump is involved in making personnel decisions they will definitely be awful. Supreme Court? He’s already sent one ideologue there.
But take El Douche’s failings aside, and let’s concentrate on the wider religious conservative movement in this country since the 1980s – you could go back to Nixon’s Silent Majority and Southern Strategy, but I think that is under-cutting the influence of the Religious Right on the Reagan Administration and the puritanical return to dumbness which percolated during that decade – and what that has done to the political direction of the Right since then and its concentration on Roe v. Wade.
This has always been a major sticking point for what began this sort of mangled quasi-Christian thing called Evangelicals in the 1980s that made shitloads of cash for insipid mouth breathers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and their ilk, who for some weird reason (First Amendment mostly) were allowed to bring their voodoo shit into the vox populi, or the dumbing down of political discourse. Their witch-doctor influence was paramount in creating a mutated wing of the Republican Party that before was filled with mostly multi-issued economic voters. The legalization of abortion was to many of these people the culmination of the eroding of the nation’s moral center the minute they allowed Elvis Presley to shake his ass on network television in 1956.
The 1960s broke these people and by the 70s the Culture Wars were in full swing. The attempt to return the culture back to pre-Elvis-ass-shaking days fell to Ronald Reagan, who believed the Viet Nam War was a success and all the Shiny City on the Hill stuff that was co-opted by the mobilization of the Religious Right to stop things like the Equal Rights Amendment, convincing women that they would have to share bathrooms and work on a shipping dock if passed. And, of course, right smack in the middle of all this drug-addled, sexually depravity came Legal Abortion!
How these frightened shut-ins mostly see abortion, and it turns out they are partly correct, is that it is a form of infanticide. And I get it, as I have family members and good friends who are (and I hate this word, because some of these people are hunters, pro-war and pro death penalty, so as a word-man I find these semantics foul) Pro-Life. However, despite my libertine bent (I believe all vices should be legal, as it is the bedrock of liberty promised by our little document and a key part of this human experiment called America) I feel for this argument. I am vehemently Pro-Choice, what Pro-Lifers like to call Pro-Abortion, but that is like saying someone who is all about the Second Amendment is Pro-Murder. It’s silly and falls into the category of stupid, and since we are smack in the middle of the Age of Stupid it is important to explain why I support the Roe v. Wade decision and why it is important to the foundation of our liberty and is the correct and sound decision by the Court and what many in the country (a majority of which support Roe v Wade – roughly six out of ten) believe.
Roe v. Wade is not about abortion, although it is the key result of the decision, it is about the government’s right to enter the bodies of tax paying citizens and control the results. God forbid you’re a victim of rape, you then have to carry the child of your rapist? What if your life is in danger, you roll the dice? This is the problem with asking, “What about the rights of the fetus?” That is not a thing, a fetus does not have rights. You know who does have rights? The woman carrying the fetus.
Forget abortion. What if the government decides that the pancreas is negatively affecting the national health? It can then, with no Roe v Wade president, order a national removal of the pancreas. This is not science fiction, it can happen. What if the government decides that there are too many people on this continent? National crisis! You know how many liberties we’ve surrendered because of those two words? The food supplies are low, like in China back when they instituted its draconian law of one child per family, which resulted in forced abortions and the murder of thousands of female babies because, shit we need a boy to keep the family name going. The government will then have the right to make a law that forces people to have only one child and that through the eradication of Roe v. Wade ironically gives it the right to command forced abortions. Again, it is possible, because Roe v. Wade is not about abortion, it is about the government controlling the human body.
Nobody, no matter what political stance you support, thinks this is a good idea. I have found no one who thinks the government should control your liver, brain, heart, stomach, so why the uterus?
This is what happens when you allow people to use the Bible to control our laws. My favorite is the Ten Commandments, which states that merely coveting things is a sin, thus illegal (religious crazy people’s interpretation). It is not the basis of law. It is religion, and it should be separated from the state as the founders intended. The law should protect the citizen, whose rights are provided by the Constitution, not a religious document. This is why there is no slavery or women vote, because some enterprising soul chucked the Bible nonsense and went with citizen rights. Roe v. Wade protects citizen rights. Period. I am for that, not abortions or the rest of it. Rights. Citizens.
Ignorance of what was behind the Roe v Wade decision is what should disturb clear-thinking Americans who cherish liberty. But ignorance is kind of in now, and this is why so many Evangelicals continue to support easily the most immoral fucker we’ve elected president since the Civil War.
But this space is about fighting ignorance, so there’s that.
READERS RESPONSES 15/7/18
Your piece on the 50th anniversary of The Graduate was truly welcomed here. (THE GRADUATE at 50 – Issue: 4/4/18) As an aging Baby Boomer and one that has not been too proud of my generation lately, I have fond memories of the film in the sense that there was always a questioning of the former generation on how they viewed the world as something to accept without question and how to fit into that world without equivocation. And how Benjamin Braddock, a flawed, confused and spoiled young man for sure, would suddenly awaken from this conveyor belt existence and realize it was all in front of him and if he didn’t change it, shake it up, make his own way, he would be as doomed as Mrs. Robinson and the rest.
I look forward to reading Beverly Gray’s book, because from some of the quotes in your piece she appears to be of the same mind and generation and sees the film renewed through different eyes as the decades pass. This is what truly great art can do, as you rightly point out.
I also must compliment you on some of the subjects covered in this “space”, as they are never rote, and I never feel as though I am being preached to like other columnists or merely entertained. I learn something new and find your take to be original and not the usual ideological talking-points you get from those who live on the right or the left of our political and social environment. This column and you, Mr. Campion, appear to cherish the idea of free expression and you use your gift to share the care weekly. It is a fine calling and I am glad and better for it. Thanx you.
I have never, I mean NEVER understood the ending of The Graduate. I have seen it several times, many times over the last few years, and it irks me, challenges me, even causes me to ask others what the hell just happened? Then I read Reality Check this week and was blown away! Both you and Ms. Gray put into deep perspective what it means to love films such as The Graduate, seeped as it is in such symbolism with an undercurrent of radical thought, taking us out of our comfort zone. Added to that is the film-making itself, so revolutionary. In a way it is intellectually and physically radical and that is what keeps it relevant, as you point out, today. This is why it is one of the great American films during the modern golden age of Hollywood, or really in film-making in general.
Bravo to those who went out on a limb to not give us a trite and tacked-on, feel-good, ribbon-tying ending. Bravo for artists that allow us, the viewers, to do some of the work and let us leave the film with conflicting thoughts and opinions. It is a rare, but rarer today that such a film can be as popular, celebrated and ballsy.
Very good piece. You've captured the essence not only of the film and what it was trying to say but the impact it has had throughout the years. Well done, I enjoyed very much and, I might add I also enjoyed The Graduate very much then and would still get the same amount of enjoyment today.
I have never loved The Graduate, and I am still not a huge fan, but after your article I watched it again with a new interest and I now understand its import and its place in 1960s American culture and how important that film would be for that generation. I do not see it translating as smoothly as you and the author of the book on it believe. I think some of those issues are not as prevalent to my generation. The Millennials? (I hate that) are not of the mind to be individual in our pursuits, but to do so as an entity, as a movement, which I guess is part of the 60s edict, but fails to come through in this movie. I believe, and I think you agree, since you have these sensibilities, or display them in your writing, that the film is myopic or individualist, even selfish and I think overtly radical in an individual way. The characters, especially its main character Benjamin, is self-possessed and has a singular outside the box attitude that he must live by but may be antithetical to the world at large. He is also crazy inconsistent. I do not see an ideology in his thinking, much like your writing. I see his choices as anything but heroic. He is FOR himself and chooses, sometimes stupidly, everything based on THAT.
I think you relate to the film because your view of the world is that it cannot necessarily be changed but you can change within it whether it is good for the overall good of mankind or not. I do not think that is crazy or anything, it just does not translate to what I believe or what I think my generation believes.
Dude, do you make this shit up as you go along? (EXIT STAGE RYAN – ISSUE: 4/11/18) Paul Ryan has always been one of the biggest anti-Trumpers in Washington. Proof, you ask? How about Mueller is getting to go buck wild on Trump because Ryan and McConnell are allowing it. Ryan is paying Trump back for daring to win the Presidency and crash the gates of their exclusive private club. Ryan is leaving because he failed. He failed to politically assassinate Trump and as we get closer to the mid-terms and Trump is still in office, Ryan looks more and more ineffective.
Oh yeah, Ryan stood smiling next to Trump but that was only because he had to as Trump remains popular outside of D.C and the I-95 Corridor.
Ryan is learning a lesson once uttered by The Wire’s Omar Little, “Yo, you come at the King, you best not miss.” Ryan missed.
“Thirty-eight House Republicans, including Ryan, have decided to not run for re-election this year, and twenty-five of them are through with the whole concept of politics as a viable vocation for people who thought Jesus had something to do with the founding of this nation built on free labor and land grabs.”
Go ahead and say "slave labor" (more provocative, and accurate, than "free labor")
Man, the Republicans are so fucked this November. Do they still tar and feather? Cause that may be what is awaiting the Game Show President! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
It is a shame an actual Republican has to run scared from this new form of racist stupidity and it will break my heart to vote Democrat this year, but holy crap this thing has gone so far off the rails I fear for my children.
© James Campion July 14th 2018
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, "Midnight For Cinderella" and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.
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