Why I'm Not A Republican Anymore

Kevin Long
Kevin Long's picture

Last week I said that I wasn’t using the “Republibot 3.0” nom de plume anymore because I wasn’t a Republican. I already had a lot to cover, so I promised I’d get to the explanation of it this week. And here we are.

Before we begin, I want to stress that I’m still a conservative in all the ways that really matter. I simply stopped being Republican. Why? Well, when Ronald Reagan was asked why he left the Democrats, he said “I never left the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me.” To paraphrase the Gipper, that’s what happened to me, I think. I basically stopped believing in it. Not what it stood for, in large part, but in the party itself, and in its ability to attain its stated goals. And I began to question whether or not it had any real interest keeping its promises, had it been able to do so. I’d also like to point out that what I’m about to say isn’t really subject for debate. It’s the way I feel.

I’ve always been a somewhat-right-of-center moderate. I tend to focus on the issues that I feel matter – such as controlling the national debt, and Abortion – and I honestly couldn’t give less of a crap about whether or not evolution is taught in the schools. Yes, I think it’s disgraceful that Bill Clinton cheated on his wife, got caught, lied about it, and got away with it, and, yes, I feel he deserved some censure for that, but impeachment? That’s just silly. I would have been content with an apology. “Yes, I cheated on my wife, and yes I lied about it for obvious reasons. These things were wrong, I apologize to the American people, and ask that they’ll give me another chance.” That’s all I wanted, and while I know full well that Clinton probably preferred a trial in which he looked like a victim rather than an admission of guilt, we kinda’ played into his hands there. I also think it’s disgraceful that Republicans have done nothing but played obstructionist for six years now, as opposed to trying to do something more constructive. I get it: you don’t like Obamacare. I don’t like it either. You lost there, though. Move on. Find something else to do that might help you regain a little of the ground you lost elsewhere.

I’m rambling a little bit. I apologize. My point is that pretty much ever since 1992 the Republican Party has had a weird combination of a persecution complex and a mad desire to gainsay anything the Democrats think, say, or do. This is true even when the Republicans are in power. This is not a good way to run a railroad, because if your only real agenda is opposing whatever the other side says, the other side effectively controls you.

There’s also the question of how much of the party platform the party really cares about. Let’s take Abortion, for instance, which I oppose for basically non-religious reasons. Reagan allegedly felt strongly on the subject. He even wrote a book (Or rather had someone ghostwrite one) about how bad Abortion was while he was president. It was popular in Christian bookstores. Here’s the thing: I don’t think he really cared. He appointed enough Supreme Court Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade they wanted to. Certainly a lot of Democrats were panicking about that possibility. He did nothing, though. George Bush the First pretended rather uncomfortably to be a hard-right conservative as president, but the fact is he was always somewhat to the left of Reagan, and campaigned in 1980 as a moderate. I honestly don’t think he cared about the subject at all. We get a lot of talk, talk, talk, talk about the issue, but let’s not forget that Abortion became legal while Nixon was president, and he thought it was a non-issue. Republicans talk about abortion, but as a party it’s just a way to get votes. They have no interest in doing anything about it. And if they’ll willfully misrepresent themselves about that, what else will they lie about? I mean, there’s been many a time they’ve campaigned strongly with promises to the extreme religious right. (Again, that was a process that started with Nixon) How many of them have they kept?

Name three.

I reiterate: I’ve always been a right-of-center moderate, meaning there are issues people further on the right go crazy over, that don’t bother me at all. I oppose pornography, mostly for religious reasons. I’m not THRILLED about gay marriage, but (in the words of Maurice Minifield from Northern Exposure), “I don’t care what consenting perverts do in the privacy of their own home.” Well, that’s not entirely true. I care a little bit. My religion informs me that it’s sinful, and I accept that. My religion also informs me (In the same passage) that idolaters, adulterers, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers are sinful, too (Ist Corinthians 6:9-10) The US condones or tolerates all that, so, logically, what’s one more? Irrespective of religion, the whole concept of homosexuality gives me the shudders, and I’m admitting to that up front here. I think it’s just the way I’m wired. That said: I’ve never in my life been mean to a gay person, I’ve had a fair number of gay friends, and I even rescued one from getting beat up by a mob in high school. Nobody gets treated like crap on my watch, not if there’s anything I can do about it.

People on the hard right get really crazy over this, one pundit even suggesting arresting and interning all homosexuals until they die of old age, thereby removing them from the gene pool and society and ending the problem!

Yikes!

How the hell did saying things like that become *not* offensive among Republicans? Why isn’t the party raining down upon people who say things like that, condemning them, distancing themselves from them? As for myself, I find a much better way to protect myself from the creeping menace of Gay Marriage is simply not to marry a dude. And as I’m already married to a chick (A hot one!), I think I’m adequately protected.

Again, I’m rambling. My point is that there are issues the Hard Right goes crazy over, and which the party fans the flames over, that I don’t care about, or don’t care much about, or care about but am long past the point where I believe the party has any interest in changing things. If they did, it would take away one of the things they use to get people all paranoid and voting Republican, right?

Another thing that bothers me is the creeping rewriting of our own history. Reagan (One of my heroes, and the 4th greatest president of the 20th century) is portrayed now in ways that would doubtless make him laugh. By modern standards, he's a moderate. He even declared amnesty for illegal immigrants in his second term, remember that? Remember eight years ago when everyone in the party loved George the Second? Remember seven years ago when suddenly everyone claimed they'd never liked him, and that he was the cause of all our present ills? And now he's kind of popular again, so these same people are saying, "Oh, I always liked him. When people were dissing him a couple years ago, I never took part in that." What the hell kind of Ministry Of Truth thinking is this?

Another thing that’s really put me off is the increasing uncomfortable racial stance of the party. In the McCain election, well, we knew we were going to lose. There was no way to win. McCain was chosen to mount a token campaign and fall on his sword for the good of the party as a whole, who didn’t want to sacrifice anyone who might be useful. And while the party never crossed the line into racism, it’s not overstating things too much to say that the unofficial slogan of MANY of McCain’s backers was “He’s white! Vote for him!” (McCain himself is not a racist, by the way, and I’m not accusing him of that). I’m not saying the party is racist, either, but I’m saying they allowed themselves to appeal to racists, rather than doing the right thing and distancing themselves from them, which would have cost them nothing as they knew they were gonna’ lose anyway.

While I’m not a Republican, and while I’ve always been a moderate, I’m not a fan of Obama. I consider him to be a largely incompetent president, though to be fair he *has* gotten better the longer he’s held the job. Just the same, the ’12 election should have been a gimmie. O wasn’t terribly popular, many disliked him, and Republicans had FOUR YEARS to mount a strategy, groom some candidates, and prepare to retake the office.

Instead, they did NOTHING for the entire time. Readers of my editorials on this site and elsewhere will recall that I called 2012 as a victory for Obama TWO YEARS before the actual election simply because Republicans were doing nothing to prepare. They had FOUR YEARS to find a valid candidate, and the best they could come up with is an almost-obnoxiously white privileged rich kid who’s a clergyman in a cult? Are they even trying? Are they that clueless?

The last two Republican candidates have been complete non-starters, and nobody in the party even seemed to recognize the fact. This is sad after all George II and his dad and Reagan did to make the party less monochromatic.

I find it unfathomable that the first Black president was a Democrat, and that unquestionably the first female president will be, too. I mean, good gosh, what party was the one that split the country and tried to set up a one-party democracy that took the lives of 3/4ths of a million people? Democrats. What was the party of unbridaled racism from 1866-1932? Democrats.
What was the party at war with itself over segregation? Democrats. What was the party that went so far to the left that they lost the entire South in the '80s, AND DIDN'T CARE BECAUSE THE FIGURED THEY'D STILL WIN WHILE PISSING AWAY 70 MILLION VOTES?

Democrats.

Republicans, by contrast, preserved the union, freed the slaves, gave black people the vote, formed the national park system, guranteed worker's rights, were tough on crime, gave amnesty to illegal immigrants in the '80s. Nixon started Detente, which that fool Carter ruined and started the Cold War up again, then Reagan and George the First ended it once and for all. I mean, the most famous Republican of all time is "The Great Emancipator."

How in the holy hell did they piss all that away? And how can they not seem to realize that they did it? And how can they not care?

But that’s the state we’re in.

And that’s where I snapped.

And that’s why I’m not a Republican anymore.
---
Kevin Long is a well-reviewed Science Fiction author, who has written three full-length anthologies, and is at work on several other projects. He used to blog under the name “Republibot 3.0,” but now that his stalker is dead, and he can afford to be less paranoid, he uses his real name. His personal website is here: http://www.kevin-long.com and his smashwords page is here https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rthree He also sings with several bands, and plays guitar. Sort of.

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Comments

"feeling like a bull Moose"

I'd call myself a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, if it weren't for the fact that he spit the party To create the first Progressive party. So I could call myself a Progressive, but the Democrats stole that term. So I guess all that's left is to call myself by the party's nickname: a Bull Moose.

I've been lurking on this site for a while now, but I wanted to comment on this because you pretty much explained my same reasons for not being Republican. I walk a tight rope for homosexuality and guns, I don’t like Obama, but am tired of people calling him a Muslim Trojan Horse; I’m conservative about abortion, liberal about immigration…

My beliefs are all over the place. That’s why I’d call myself a Bull Moose. Teddy was notorious for making enemies on both sides, but really didn’t care as long as he was making progress, progress that was rooted from conservative ideals. That’s a concept I feel is lost from the current GOP.

Great… now I feel like my first post is one big attack on Republicans. In any case, I have been following this site because of you guy’s insightful opinions. Also because other sci-fi sites are so mind-boggling liberal that I don’t feel welcome there.

Thank you, Teal'c

Kevin Long's picture

Cool handle, by the way.

Thank you for commenting. I'm glad to know others feel the same way. I mean REALLY the same way. I've long identified myself as a TR Republican, until inexplicably around the time George II was elected, that suddenly became a dirty word.

What the frack? He's the most important president of the 20th century, and he's on OUR side? How freaking twisted and broken up inside must the party have become to blow off one of their greatest as just some hippie-wannabe? Ugh.

I had some trepidations about writing this piece, but I felt I need to come clean up front about why I'm not "Republibot 3.0" anymore. It's only fair that people reading my stuff on a Republican site know I'm not a Republican. I don't want to mislead anyone.

Anyway: thanks for posting. I hope we hear more from you in the future, and if you want to check out my own personal site at http://www.kevin-long.com you're welcome to do so.

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

Eisenhower

 

I'm more of an Eisenhower Republican, I suppose, although I campaigned for Reagan in college. I completely agree with the bizarre transmutation of Reagan these days. The real Reagan would be derided as a RINO if he were to show up today.

I also remember being struck by one of the Republican debates. It was just "Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan stood for this, Reagan did this, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan..." It was almost like a SNL skit, a competition to see who could say Reagan the most. My reaction was to imagine Reagan alive. I think he'd have said: "Thanks, guys, but that was thirty years ago. You might want to consider an update."

There is also an unpleasant element of anger and paranoia in the party these days that I think is ultimately self-destructive. It's almost a lifestyle choice, an aggrandizement of oneself and one's grievances in which the camp fire is always dying and the wolves are always circling, when in reality it's just life going on as it always has. Change happening because life is change. Seeking someone to blame for that is generally not a productive response. 

There's a racial element that's real as well. Some of it is a hardcore lump of resentment from former segregationist Democrats who came over in mass. Some of it is just an odd lack of imagination or self-awareness. I remember watching a Republican senator and two reps on TV after the 2012 election. They were going on and on about the minority vote. Their gob smacking conclusion? "We've just got to teach them to think of themselves as real Americans instead of Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, etc." Obtuse and condescending all at once. I remember thinking: "Uh, they already know they're real Americans. One of the big problems is that they suspect, deep down, you don't really think so. And this isn't helping." 

 Wish I had a solution. Maybe it just needs to burn itself out over time. A shame, though, because we could use a coherent and effective Republican Party.   

 

I feel abandoned

neorandomizer's picture

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I do not feel that the Republican party walked away from me they ran away at full speed. I have always been a Libertarian when it came to social issues but I was a hawk on defense during the Cold War which was my war when I was in the Navy. This being a hawk made me part of the Reagen coalition but after the cold war I was a Jack Kemp Republican. I believed that their were free market ways to help the poor and minorities. The main stream party gave lip service this idea while they started to look for conservative idealogical purity. A purity that has driven away the business and defense part of the Republican coalition because we have never been a purely a conservative party .

This search for purity at the grassroots has given us the Tea Party which has become the inquisition of the party. At the same time the congressional leadership has forgotten what it takes to govern the country and seemingly lost the will to lead like the party did in the 80's and 90's.

 

Well, first of all it needs to be said that Reagan was awesome.

Kevin Long's picture

In the last year I've been reviewing a lot of stuff I took for granted in my Republican days, and I find that much of it was simply untrue. Clinton staffers didn't trash the White House when G2 won. Gore never said he invented the internet. Trickle-Down economics doesn't really work. Reagan's anti-terrorist policy was pretty much a disgrace. (Terrorists blew up a barracks killing Marines in order to get the US to leave. So we left. Oh, and we made one anemic bombing run on Libya).

Some of the stuff I always believed holds up: G2 *didn't* know there weren't any WMDs in Iraq, and Clinton thought they were there, too. Also: when all is said and done, Reagan was a pretty awesome president. He ended the cold war, more than any other person. Granted it was sort of an insane economic policy that he used to do it, but, hey, the Inchon invasion was insane, too. It worked. Functional insanity is genius. So Reagan is awesome, and I think he'd be disgusted by the present state of the party.

I once read an article by a life-long Libertarian who joined the Democrats recently. He basically said he did it because he realized Libertarians were, on the whole, their own worst enemies. People who thought 9/11 was an inside job, and that we never went to the moon, and "What the queers are doing to the soil" and whatnot. He said that since they can't make a viable party on their own, they're continually trying to infect and commandeer the Republican one with varying degrees of success.

I think that's true, but in a larger sense, the Republican Party has become the party of whackos. People who don't believe the sun is Nuclear, or automatically gainsay anything the democrats say, or who insist on having cult leaders run for office, and who honestly don't believe they NEED to reach out to minorities.

There was a right wing site I used to frequent until an abusive asshole drove me away with continual personal attacks a few years ago. I remember one time there I pointed out that 2012 was a gimmie that we were going to blow as the party wasn't doing ANYTHING to groom candidates. They literally COULD NOT UNDERSTAND what I was talking about. "We don't need to do that. That's a DEMOCRAT thing."

Ugh.

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

Can't agree, quite

Scorpious's picture

>>G2 *didn't* know there weren't any WMDs in Iraq<<

You must have forgot to place a smiley there ;-)

The Iraqis said there were no WMDs (granted, not the most trustworthy lot, but FWIW, they did say that), all of the people on the ground whose job it was to find WMDs said there were none, virtually all the intelligence agencies in the world but the American one said there were no WMDs--the Brits wavered and mostly tried to avoid saying either way--and the leaders of most large countries specifically said in public that they didn't believe there were any.

When Colin Powell showed the Security Council photographs that he claimed were incontrovertible proof of WMDs just minutes after Blix' report that there were none, there aren't a whole lot of options for what he was doing. Even more astounding, he obviously somehow thought that the other leaders there were stupid enough to believe him.

Seriously, it's an episode best forgotten. And I say this as a great Americanophile :-)

WMD

Kevin Long's picture

Oh, I agree, in the grand scheme of things it's a minor tiff. Liberals (Forgive me for sliding into my reflexive vocabulary here) can't seem to let it slide, though, and insist G2 was lying.

The fact is that Clinton and Gore and even Kerry and Saddam all said there were WMDs in Iraq. Then later the Iraqis said there weren't wink-wink-nudge-nudge. As you said, not particularly trustworthy. G2 was basically an incompetent president who got us involved in two disastrous wars, trashed the economy, slashed programs for the poor, took the longest vacations of any president in history, and honestly probably could have prevented 9/11 if he'd been a little more assertive/interested in antiterrorism, so PLEASE don't take this as a defense of the guy.

That said, it looks to me like he was basically just continuining the same "We all know this to be true" line that had been running for 8-12 years by that point.  Certainly it wouldn't be the first time US Intelligence insisted they knew more than the rest of the world combined. And acted unilaterally. There are many sins we can lay on G2's door, but I think he believed Powell et al. I think he acted unwisely with that information, but that's another discussion.

For the record, I thought the Iraq war was unwise from day one, basically for the reasons G1 pointed out in his autobiography (Which proved rather prescient as that's exactly what happened ultimately). I've always been in support of the Afghanistan war, however.

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

Came For The Guy Who Shot His Paw

Republibot 4.0's picture

Considering how long we waited before going into Iraq the second time, basically giving them several months to evacuate or destroy all their WMD's by warning them, repeatedly, that we were coming to kick their butts soon, I'm pretty sure that they took full advantage of their advantages.


What we did wrong in Iraq is to not fight to win.  IMHO the last war we fought to win was WW II.


 

They were lying

Kevin Long's picture

Here's how this works:

1) Saddam Hussein says, "I want WMDs so people will fear me and give me a wide berth."
2) He attempts to get them made.
3) This turns out to be a lot of work, and he was sleepy and had people to torture, so he gave up on it. He didn't tell anyone about this, though.
4) THinking he was still working on WMDs, people gave him a wide berth.
5) Saddam is on a father-and-son trip with the boys, hoping they'll bond over some killing, torturing, and raping when he realizes, "Holy shit, people think I'm STILL doing the WMD thing! I have ALL the benefits and no expenses! All I have to do is lie and say I'm still up to it!" (Presumably he thought this in Farsi, not English, but you get my point)
6) He continues to lie.
7) We get really pissed off at him.
8) He admits he was lying.
9) We don't believe him.

And there you go.

Lying about your offensive capabilities is a long-standing tradition, and a very effective one. The Soviets continually overstated thier number of nuclear warheads, for instance, which caused some kerfluffle when the cold war ended and 1500 nukes couldn't be accounted for, and they had to admit "They never existed."

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

Bad timing

neorandomizer's picture

I always thought that the Iraq War was the right war at the wrong time. The taking down of Saddam Hussein should have been done in ’92 when we had the Shiites on our side and a real coalition with us.  Bush the older screwed up by ending the war to early and his son screwed up by starting the second Iraq War for the wrong reasons.

Now Obama is going to screw up by pulling out of Afghanistan before they are ready to govern and control their own nation. We also screwed up by trying to build democracies in countries that are not ready for that form of government. We Americans forget that democracy is a European idea that other parts of the world have no understanding of or do not really want.

Over my life I have seen our nation reach heights not seen since the Roman Republic and now I am seeing the fall of American political power both here and abroad. The fragmentation of our culture at home and the seeming indifference by most people  to these events.        

The Empire Strikes Out

Republibot 4.0's picture

Sadly, it is the life cycle of all empires to achieve greatness, then to decay and die under mismanagement, corruption, and apathy.


Our "empire" lasted a little over 150 years.


 

Comeback

Kevin Long's picture

Why so glum, folks?

Yes, a lot of empires come from nowhere, rise, and fall and cease to exist: witness the Mongols and the Romans. But that's not the only way it plays out. The Greeks had two empires (Alexander's and the Byzantine), Persia had three or four depending on who you talk to. The Russians rise and fall like the tides. The Chinese seem to be making quite a comeback, and they were unquestionably TKOed, right? "Down" is not synonymous with "The End," it's just a downturn.

And hell, look at us already: We survived the Civil War, which the odds were against. We recovered from that, which the odds were against, we built an actual-real empire (Which we kind of shouldn't have), gave that away, were nailed with the depression, came out of that as a superpower when everyone thought we were done. Nope, nope, nope, I'm not seeing it. We ain't done yet. Not even close.

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

My Platform

Mama Fisi's picture

One thing that really annoys me, is how the Republicans (and/or Conservatives) are perceived as rich, boorish snobs, or redneck religious nuts.


I'm not wealthy.  I don't belong to country club, although I've attended a few luncheons at one.  I don't attend any church.  I've never been to a NASCAR race.  I don't drink champagne and I don't drink beer.  I don't have any kids.  I didn't go to college, never mind to an Ivy League school.  I don't go hunting.  I do own two homes, but that's kind of a long story. 


I'm a Conservative.  I believe it's smart to protect the environment.  I believe we have a duty to help those less fortunate.  I believe people should be free to achieve their potential, whatever that potential is.  I don't like the idea of homosexuality, but I can understand why they would want the rights and protections legal marriage affords.


I'm a Conservative.  I wish abortion wasn't necessary, but in those instances when it is, I want it to be legal and safe, not found in a filthy back-alley clinic.  Women will seek the termination of pregnancy whether abortion is legal or not.


I'm a Conservative.  I think it's stupid to legalize pot and criminalize tobacco.


I'm a Conservative.  I feel that a helping hand is on the end of your arm.  Use it.


I'm a Conservative.  It bugs the hell out of me that we've sent most of our manufacturing base overseas, and still wonder why we have a problem with our economy.  I really don't know what people are doing for money these days--it seems like Christmas gifts--I give you $20, you give me $20.  Nothing gets accomplished but we keep passing the same flying twenty back and forth between us.


 

Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.
Magpie House Comics
http://www.hirezfox.com/km/

That's a pretty big spectrum

Kevin Long's picture

>>One thing that really annoys me, is how the Republicans (and/or Conservatives) are perceived as rich, boorish snobs, or redneck religious nuts<<

That's a pretty big spectrum when you think of it.

Anyway: Yes, Republicans have a MASSIVE image problem. It's kind of their own fault, though, isn't it? I mean has the party made any effort to reach out to minorities? A few high-profile appointments (Rice, etc), but nothing as a plank in the platform to actually help minorities, or the really poor, or women's issues. Apart from abortion, there's really no women's issues the party couldn't have backed, but it didn't. And if anyone even suggests broadening the appeal of the party beyond rich white snobs and crazy reactionary rednecks (And libertarian whackjobs. You forgot to mention them), they get smashed down and told to shut up.

Honestly, the last real pro-minority thing I can remember Republicans doing - and I may simply be misremembering things here, so I'll gladly admit it when R2 shows up to tell me I'm wrong - was the general amnesty for illegal immigrants under Reagan in the late '80s.

As to abortion: That's really the one core issue in the Republican stance that I'm still in support of. In fact, they don't oppose it categorically. They allow it in cases of rape or incest. I don't think they go far enough, honestly. I'd only allow it if the pregnancy presented a clear-and-present danger to the life of the mother. My opposition to it isn't religious. I don't honestly think religious arguments wash. The Bible doesn't mention the issue at all. My opposition is that it is, at root, one person making a decision that another person's life isn't worth living. And 90% of the time, that decision is made based on whether or not the other person's life would be inconvenient or not.  How can that be anything but evil?

The whole "Don't like it, but keep it legal and safe" argument, likewise, doesn't wash for me. That's like saying, "I don't like meth, but if we don't provide safe, legal, clean meth, people will just make it in back alleys and it'll be dangerous." If someone wants to murder their kid, it's not the job of the US government to help them do it. That's what bus tickets to Canada are for.

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

Thin Ice

Mama Fisi's picture

One thing I find interesting about the debate over abortion, is that (it seems) the people supporting it are mostly females, and the people opposing it are mostly males. 


Women have the bulk of child-rearing responsibilities, and in many instances, 100% of the responsibilities, when the father is absent.  Before the legalization of abortion, they'd leave their unwanted offspring on doorsteps, of find some way of terminating the pregnancy.  And not all of these women were unwed mothers; some already had several children, and just couldn't afford another one.


If a woman would consider an abortion, she might not make a very good mother, especially if she got pregnant after a fling.  Making such a woman bring up that child is a set-up for turning out a badly adjusted human being.  And from what I've heard of the foster care system, turning that child over to the State or an adoption agency might not be that great, either.  I have a friend whose son and daughter-in-law got stuck with three psychologically damaged kids through foster care--one's now in a group home in another state after having sexually assaulted her little brother, and the youngest had been born drug-addicted.


Would these children have been better off had their mothers aborted them?  Who can tell.  I also know several people who were adpoted as children, and they turned out just fine.  But they had been born before the wash of drugs we've got now.


I'm not going to try to persuade you away from your position, Kevin, because it's clear you have made your mind up.  And you do have a valid point, about it not being the Federal government's business to help kill unborn children.


I'd just like to know that those children could look forward to some kind of good life, instead of lives of uncertainty, abuse, poverty, crime, and ignorance.

Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.
Magpie House Comics
http://www.hirezfox.com/km/

Women vs. Men

Kevin Long's picture

I don't know if I buy the whole "Women vs. Men" thing on this issue.

If you look at American history, Abortion was generally legal up until the 1880s/90s, when getting it delegalized was a MAJOR goal of the Suffragette movement. The women's movement of the 19th century felt that Abortion was simply a tool of men to suppress women by allowing them (Men) to be irresponsible and leave women to have to deal with it. They felt that the inability to get an abortion would force men to take women seriously, and not just a sexual conquest.

So there's a history here. I should also mention that in highschool and college most guys I knew were overwhelmingly in favor of abortion because, pretty much what the 19th century suffragettes said 90 years earlier was still true: they wanted a get-out-of-resposibility-free card. Well, an inexpensive one, anyway.

Conversely, I know a lot of women who are opposed to abortion. Some for religious reasons, some not. I DO think more women are in favor of it than men, but I think the numbers aren't as sharp as people assume.

There's also an uncomfortable racial aspect to this issue, because when people talk about "Unwanted pregnancies" whether they mean it or not, they're invariably talking about poor black people. I mean, that's logically the conclusion, right? "It'll help poor people get out from under the burden of having too many kids." So who's really poor? Black people, right? Soooooooooooo deliberately or not, it comes across as an eugenic argument to cut down on the 'undesirable' elements of the population. Even if I supported abortion as a concept, I really couldn't get behind a system where it's targeted like that.

>>Would these children have been better off had their mothers aborted them? Who can tell.<<

They'd be dead. Last I checked, "Alive" is better than "Dead."

This is a contentious issue. I just want it to be publicly known that I'm not attacking you or diminishing your viewpoint, or anything like that. I'm just disagreeing and stating my reasons. We're still pals, and I think you're swell.

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

Oh, I understand that, and I

Mama Fisi's picture

Oh, I understand that, and I have no intention of arguing the point, because it IS so touchy.  And I agree with many of your points.  

Is it better to be dead than alive?  If you never lived to start with, it makes no difference.  If the life you have is full of poverty and abuse, well, I can say that it's not a life that I would enjoy.

Not all "underpriviledged" kids live bad lives, of course.  My dad grew up in poverty, and he was a pretty happy guy--he was a thief that got saved by being sent to a Boys' Farm and then the Army, but he stole stuff for the fun of it, not to buy drugs.  Which is the big differnce between the 1940's and today.  Drugs are everywhere and ruining lives.

I am not sure of the true demographic for abortion.  It's another one of those politically divisive and emotionally charged issues which makes it expedient for each side to fudge the numbers.   I don't know how many are actually done.

One other thing that concerns me, is if abortion is made illegal, will women who suffer a miscarriage need to prove it wasn't an abortion? 

 

(BTW my maternal grandmother used to picket abortion clinics.  I still have a little plastic fetus they used in their protest campaign.  Ick.)

Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.
Magpie House Comics
http://www.hirezfox.com/km/

Probably not

Kevin Long's picture

I doubt they'd have to prove it wasn't a miscarriage. People do have some compassion, you know? I mean they didn't have to prior to 1973.

The real solution here, of course, is good, comprehensive sex ed. That wouldn't eliminate unwanted pregnancies, but it would reduce them by as much as 90%, which brings all the secondary issues arising from it - quality of life, adoption, etc - down to manageable levels.

Which points out the intractability of the parties: The Republicans refuse any sex ed, which would reduce the demand for abortion, and the Democrats insist on abortion on demand and refuse to discuss any limitations at all.

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com

Really?

Scorpious's picture

>>If you look at American history, Abortion was generally legal up until the 1880s/90s, when getting it delegalized was a MAJOR goal of the Suffragette movement. The women's movement of the 19th century felt that Abortion was simply a tool of men to suppress women by allowing them (Men) to be irresponsible and leave women to have to deal with it.<<

Was this an American thing? It wasn't legal in any other country that I'm aware of. I've also never heard that it was legal in the US ... but it may have been.

I think it was less prosecuted and punished at certain times, but I'd be surprised to learn that it was legal in the sense that you could openly ask any doctor to perform it.

Yeah, really.

Kevin Long's picture

Yeah, really. It was looked down upon, and it was more likely to be performed by a "Whiskey Surgeon" than a legitimate, respectable doctor, but it was. This was more true the further you went west. In the western states and territories, prostitution was legal in most places, and considered a 'victimless crime' in others so the police tended to ignore it.

Prostitution - Birth Control = pregnancy. Every sizeable town had a brothel, so every sizeable town had at least one person who was willing to do that sort of thing. There were no nation-wide or even state-wide laws banning abortion until the late 19th century. Getting it criminalized was considered a progressive issue and, ahem, much like giving women the vote, it originated as a midwestern thing. (You're welcome for that, America)

It's also worth noting that prostitution was legal in New Orleans and Montana until the 1940s, and it's still legal in Nevada.

I should mention that when I say "Prostitution was legal" I mean brothels. Girls and a house. Streetwalking has always been illegal pretty much everywhere, and in the caste system of sexworkers it's pretty much the bottom of the totem pole.  

Sincerely,

Kevin Long

http://www.kevin-long.com