Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trump's accidental abortion commentary highlights the political impotence of the pro-life movement

Trump, the ultimate conversation starter, adds a couple more stories to the the yuge Overton Window he's building:



As the exchange makes clear, the logical progression that follows from a legal restriction on abortion isn't something he's given much thought to until now. Trump isn't naturally oriented towards the Culture War stuff. But his instinctive position, existing inside the parameters of the 21st century Western world, seems like the only one that doesn't make a mockery of itself.

If abortion is tantamount to--or, more precisely, is--murder, why would pro-lifers (outside of an 'extreme' 10th amendment aversion to federal laws prohibiting homicide) support anything less than incarceration for those who undergo the procedure?

Kasich and Cruz, both of whose priors are that a fetus is as much a human being as a toddler or a teenager are, lost no time haughtily dismissing Trump's response to the Matthews' question.

Kasich, after the standard exceptions-for-rape-and-incest qualifier, agreed with the characterization that abortion should otherwise be outlawed while simultaneously insisting that women shouldn't be punished for having them.

Cruz wrote the following in response:
On the important issue of the sanctity of life, what’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child; it’s also about the mother — and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life.

Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world.
When I employ the phrase "masturbatory values conservatism", this is exactly what I'm talking about. These reactions are as substantively devoid as they come. Granting that abortion is murder, which, when pressed, is what both Kasich and Cruz say they believe to be the case, how then is permitting a woman to have the procedure anything other than acquiescing to homicide?

If they don't believe there should be any legal repercussions for having an abortion, isn't their putative opposition to Roe v Wade--an opposition that is shared by nearly every congress critter with an R next to his name during election season--revealed to be totally hollow? What would an overturning of the ruling mean, then, in practice? Parenthetically, saying that it would return to the issue to the states doesn't ultimately answer the question, it just poses it on a smaller geographical scale.

Tangentially, my view is that abortion is the termination of a human life, but that not all life is of equal value, either objectively or subjectively. Who? Whom? looms large.

Objectively, terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester is less repulsive than doing so in the third trimester. Euthanizing an infant is less repulsive than euthanizing a twenty year-old, while euthanizing an octogenarian is less repulsive than destroying either of the fetuses, the baby, or the young adult. Subjectively, I care about abortion in Uganda about as much as I care about civil war in the Congo. Abortion inside my Dunbar Number, in contrast, is abhorrent, and in the case of my wife, unthinkable.

7 comments:

Herzog said...

Even assuming that all of what you say is correct normatively, was it not still a major tactical blunder by the Donald to respond the way he did?

This will be used against him endlessly, in the primaries but even more so, should he become the nominee, in the general. Hilary will come back to it relentlessly to get out the Democrat vote, especially the female one of course, and even win over females who might otherwise have abstained or voted Republican.

The Donald may consolidate the male vote, yes, but he still can't afford to lose to much of the female vote. From my distance (I'm German, but a close observer of the US, and have been pinning a lot of hopes on the ripples that the Donald might set, and already has set, into motion), it just looks like too toxic an issue at this point of the cultural process, regardless of whether he is objectively right. The collective female hindbrain won't accept it, overwhelmingly they want to retain their options and be shielded from any thought of guilt by the herd consensus enshrined into law, unethical as it may be.

Am I wrong in my assessment? I would hope so. Care to let me know where in your view my analysis is mistaken?

Frank Gappa said...

After having a few kids of my own you quickly realize that abortion is abhorrent and that you are indeed taking a life especially as 2nd and 3rd trimesters wear on. However, I am not allergic to abortion as a tool to cull inner city crime and violence. Is some life less important then others? Yes it is especially when it poses a threat to the society as a whole. This particular argument has always been effective for me against atheist Liberals that favor abortion. They will quietly admit to its effectiveness but for different reasons.

Marty Johnson said...

Bwahaha. An "accident." Now you are rationalizing like a girl. And treating Trump like most betaschlubbs treat women, as if they can't do anything stupid, it was only a "mistake." Don't throw the book at her judge, she's a woman, she made a "mistake." Your drooling and panting over Trump because he is so "alpha" is sickening. He really is that stupid. His mistake was in opening his mouth without thinking through an issue, something he does time and time again. And idiots like you enable him to get away with being stupid.

DissidentRight said...

Well, pro-lifers are cuckiest cuckservatives of them all. So it makes perfect sense why nobody with power takes them seriously.

I'm not pro-life. I'm anti-abortion. Ex-mommies are the enemy.

Audacious Epigone said...

That's the narrative, but of course that has been the case countless times before when alleged third-rail topics that were supposed to finish Trump ended up bolstering him. This might be something akin to his comments about a moratorium on Muslim immigration.

In the US women are more pro-life than men are, and among conservatives that gap is wider than it is among moderates and liberals. Conservative women are as pro-life as they come. That, in concert with the seemingly illogical responses from Cruz and Kasich, may actually help Trump scoop up a few pro-life votes that he wouldn't otherwise have received. I don't think this will drive anyone who was already planning on voting for Trump away from him, either.

It's hard to imagine it doing anything other than hurting him in the general election, though, but first thing is first. If Trump gets the GOP nomination, the run up to the election will be four months of Trump and Clinton fighting in the gutter. Unseemly as that might seem, Trump almost always comes out on top when things get dirty.

Frank,

It's been effective in the sense that you agree and amplify and that makes liberal atheists squirm?

Marty,

Yes, we are that powerful. We bend the public will so effectively that the masses don't even realize that blogs like this one--not the major media or SJWs or Conservative, Inc--are driving public opinion. But don't think I'm doing this for free. A lot of those Trump advertising dollars are coming my way.

DissidentRight,

Yes, it seems so obvious now but it simply wasn't something I'd thought through before yesterday.

Anonymous said...

He had a huge chance to pivot to how Abortion is mostly a problem in the Black community, and how he can do his part for the pro-life movement by reducing those abortions by making the economy strong.

True or not, this would have worked. A lot of people cite financial reasons for getting an abortion (I believe a plurality give this reason on whatever surveys they do). Economy is one of his strengths, its a massively easy pivot if he ever thinks to make the connection.

S Ss said...

Du hast Recht. Few females will be willing to think deeply about this subject and come to the obvious conclusion: punishment of the mother and the doctor should he similar. Personally I am pro choice but if we're gonna ban abortion then of course the mothers should be punished.