< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Stop! That Was the Wrong Left.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Stop! That Was the Wrong Left.

I hate being this person, the one who points out where the left is turning around and heading the other way. Or the one who says: "you're falling off a cliff." But alas, I feel obliged. The left is heading off a cliff.

Mr. Atrios, aka Duncan Black, posted a bit on abortion a day or two ago. You can read the whole thing here. What I'll focus on is the conclusion.

[T]his isn't about voters it's about a tiny number of people who due to their career choices are forced to interact with rather strident pro-choice people (such as myself) who really aren't very tolerant of those who aren't.

Stop projecting.

It seems like pro-life Democrats who honestly recognize that the platform of the party is unlikely to change just want people like me to admit that abortion is "icky" to make them feel better. Well, I'm not going to do that.
I've noticed a lot of people pretending to be pro-choice are really just evangelical atheists, but Mr. Black is not such a person, he is "strident" in his support of the pro-choice position. But Mr. Black is a unique "pro-choice" supporter because he's also equally intolerant of opposing views. He admits this freely, of course.

We might also expect an ardent pro-choice supporter like Mr. Black to agree with the following: "choice is the essence of life." A soul assenting to this proposition is one who believes in, above all things, tolerance. But Mr. Black is no such soul.

For him, tolerance, when it comes to choice, is not a virtue. I'll let Mr. Black work out that problem with his own therapist, in private. Tolerance, you see, holds privacy most dear.

Finally, Mr. Black's frustration reaches the point of ridicule. Pro-life Democrats, in his mind, are simply fools looking for the self-gratification of an empty confession: that abortion is "icky."That is a sad, pathetic, and altogether uncaring way to talk about this issue. Far removed from Mr. Black's comfortable world are the real pains of real women seeking abortions or simply advice.

Scared, alone, and chastised by their friends, their priests, their community, these women are not imagining conflict, they truly are conflicted, in a way Mr. Black seems completely unaware of, or at least, he deems inconsequential. These women really are scared of what they view as eternal consequences. And all the ridicule in the world will not change that.

Two months ago I counseled a young woman originally from Guatemala. She was a mother of four, and her husband had recently been arrested (he was born in America, but she was an illegal). Because of his arrest and parole, it was hard for him to find steady, good work. She was forced to put most of the food on the table, all the while sending a few dollars home each month to her parents. All six in her family up here were barely keeping their heads above water. Many nights, they went to bed hungry.

She became pregnant again, despite regular use of contraception, and as a devout Catholic, her spirit was torn. With no way to put food on the table as a pregnant, unskilled worker in America, she could not figure out a way to have the baby and keep it without her family going hungry, and losing the roof above their heads. Abortion too was an expensive proposition, plus their were other consequences in her view. Last but not least, adoption was no good becuase it would still preclude her from work for at least a couple of months, ensuring her dismissal from her present cleaning job.

What does she do? She doesn't think abortion is "icky" in Mr. Black's words, she actually thinks abortion is a mortal sin. A sin also is letting her family go hungry or naked. Equally a sin in her view is not helping with expenses back home. She is a real person, not an imagined interlocutor. And her needs are as poignant as any. So Democrats, can we offer this woman our respect or only Mr. Black's strident, intolerant, pro-choice politics?

Oh, and Mr. Black, in case you discount this woman completely. She volunteered, even though she can't vote, for John Kerry's campaign in the town where she lives. Hopefully that will catch your attention. Seems you might want to call her a pro-life Democrat I guess... ickiness aside.