PL DEM chapter 3


Chapter 3: Republican failures


I try hard to be a good bridge, but sometimes this bridge is in flames.

From 2016 to 2020, the pro-life strategy – protecting children by changing the law, without much in the way of other changes – has been tied tight to Donald Trump. I don’t think this smells good. I don’t this is possible. I don’t think this is sane.

I think that true change shows up in politics near the end, after many other changes.

I think that restoring a social commitment to protecting the lives of the helpless requires leaders who value the lives of the helpless – men and women of courage and generosity and integrity and justice.

I think that unifying a nation in a renewed commitment to protect the helpless requires a serious effort to bring together all people of good will.

I think that renewing a generous love of the unborn requires intelligence and imagination and kindness.

I agree that the Democratic Party needs reform, that most of the party’s leaders at this time are deeply committed to abortion as a fundamental right. I do not dispute that. But I think that the Republican Party is in far worse shape.

I look forward to a time when Democrats and Republicans will listen respectfully to each other and make decisions based on shared values.

But for now, let me be clear about the troubles that I see in the pro-life movement and especially in its Republican leadership.


Chapter 3: Republican failures

ten brief insights


NSSM 200: the attack on African babies (#21)  57

Buchanan’s Great Divide (#22)                         59

Blessed Sacrament Parish (#23)                         61

Hypocrisy: NSSM 200 and Roe v Wade (#24)   63

Catholics in GOP reject Social Gospel (#25)                65

What’s the fuss about “Socialism”? (#26)           67

Pro-life leadership embraces eugenics (#27)               69

Covid-19: Republicans and euthanasia (#28)             71

Families at the border (#29)                               73

Feeding the forces that feed the fire (#30)                   75


NSSM 200: the attack on African babies (#21)


“National security”: that’s seven syllables, State Department jargon for the things that America will fight for.

National Security Study Memorandum 200 – NSSM 200 – was a classified document initiated during the Nixon administration and adopted by the Ford administration. It was instructions to American ambassadors around the world, making sure everyone was on the same page. It explained the dangers that the USA saw in the world, the threats to our safety as a nation.

This was before the fall of the Soviet empire. Russia and America had huge weapons systems pointed at each other; and that, of course, was the greatest threat to American national security. The military had principal responsibility for pushing back against that threat.

The United States fought in Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. NSSM was written shortly after we flew the last helicopters out of Saigon. During the war in Vietnam, and afterwards, there was some concern about a “domino” theory. Eisenhower, in the 1950s, expressed the worry: China turned Communists, then was a war in Korea. Would Vietnam be next “domino” to fall, to be followed by Laos and Cambodia, then Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), and India? Some people worried that the falling dominoes might include Australia. NSSM 200 asserted that we saw a threat to global peace – and our national security – around the “Pacific rim,” and again the military had principal responsibility for pushing back against this threat.

The threat in Latin America was “incipient” Communism. Castro ruled a Communist Cuba, and was working throughout the continent to stir up revolution. The United States supported a collection of military dictators who were committed to resisting or suppressing Communism there. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had principal responsibility for pushing back against this threat.

The threat in Africa, as perceived by the Nixon and Ford administrations, was population growth. Growing populations could make poverty worse, which would lead to instability, which would lead to chaos, then revolution. Africans killing Africans is an African problem, not a direct threat to American security; but the continent was full of natural resources that we wanted. So revolutions there were a threat to us. So NSSM 200 asserted that our national security depended in part on controlling population growth. The Agency for International Development (AID) had principal responsibility for pushing back against this threat.

The threats to us, as seen by the American government under these two (Republican) administrations, were: Commies with bombs in Europe, Commies taking over Asia, Commies trying to take power in Latin America, and black babies.


Population control: that means contraception, sterilization, and abortion. How do you sell that in cultures where family life is central – where people love the life of busy little scurrying children – where babies are understood as joys, not burdens?

When you set out to transform cultures at their roots, the lines between advertising and propaganda and warfare get blurred. Propaganda can be “psy-ops,” psychological operations in a war.

AID prepared and funded a long list of propaganda programs. They paid popular musicians a year’s salary to write songs about small families. They hired non-Muslim scholars to explain how the Quran supports contraception. They recruited and trained community leaders and doctors, and educated them in America. They included depopulation programs in aid packages – modern medicine with sterilization.

This is racism. This is colonialism. This is war.

And when Africans learned about NSSM 200, they were not well pleased.

Roe v. Wade was and is a very serious problem for the Democrats. But NSSM 200 was and is much bigger, far worse, killing far more – and it was and is a Republican problem.



Buchanan’s Great Divide (#22)


When the pro-life movement became a serious national force, in response to Roe v. Wade, there was no glaringly obvious partisan split. Democrats were as likely as Republicans to be pro-life. Pro-lifers who wanted to build grassroots outreach campaigns were likely to start with their friends who were already organized – in labor unions. But there was already a serious change underway, and understanding that change matters. The force driving the change is easy to see – if you know where to look.

Start with the Second Vatican Council, a Catholic event, that ran from 1962 to 1965. It was extraordinarily ambitious, a conscious effort to transform the Church’s manner of engaging with the rest of the world – including a determined adoption of the Social Gospel and an equally determined rejection of antisemitism and other forms of religious bigotry. The Council didn’t change any fundamental teaching who the Lord is or what about the Gospels say, of course; but it did change the way Catholics think about how to implement the Lord’s teaching. A key document, entitled “The Church in the Modern World,” asserted that the Church would be engaged in work for peace, for justice, for human rights, for civil rights, for workers’ rights, for women’s rights (which in our view does not include abortion). This was a change, responding to the signs of the times.

The change posed a serious threat to conservatives within the Republican Party, which was that time less assertive than Democrats about civil rights. In the 1968 election, Nixon’s advisors – especially Pat Buchanan – urged that Nixon respond to the threat posed by Vatican II. They did not argue that the Republicans should support these ideas about justice; rather, they urged that Nixon blunt the impact of Vatican II, by claiming a pro-life monopoly. Divide the Catholic vote! Set peace and justice activists against pro-lifers!

Nixon acceded, made pro-life noise, captured a majority of the Catholic vote, and won the election.

To consolidate that victory, Republicans had to work hard for decades, on three tasks. (1) There were pro-choice voices within the Republican Party: drive them out or limit their impact. (2) There were millions of pro-life in the Democratic Party: drive them out, or limit their impact. And (3), critically important! The Catholic Church was (and is) pro-life and pro-justice: divide the Church to match American partisan politics!

To be clear, I believe that Pat Buchanan is a schismatic. I can’t judge his heart, and have no interest in trying to do so. But I believe he decided to work hard to split the Church, for political reasons.

This wasn’t good for the country, or for the Church, or for the truth, or for the unborn. But it was good for Nixon and the Republican Party.

So they worked hard to divide.

I won’t cooperate. I am Catholic, pro-life and pro-justice. I want a pro-life Democratic Party, and a pro-justice Republican Party. I want a unified Church, and a unified nation.



Blessed Sacrament Parish (#23)


Pat Buchanan, a conservative Republican leader and one-time candidate for President, denies that he promotes racism. Let me paint a picture. I want to contrast what my father did and what Pat Buchanan did.

Pat Buchanan grew up in Blessed Sacrament parish, on the border between Maryland and DC, and so did I. In his autobiography, he talks about scenes and characters who were a part of my life too. I knew the guy with brain damage that Pat makes fun of. I knew the fence around a country club where he and friends tossed a drunk buddy over for temporary storage. And I know what it was like in the parish when the nation and church were desegregating.

Blessed Sacrament School was not quite lily white: there were some Italians there, and there was a family there with Spanish in the background, but they were from Spain, not Latin America. White.

When Archbishop O’Boyle showed up in DC in 1948, he went to work right away to end segregation. He was cautious and systematic, but determined; he integrated all the parishes and schools, avoiding confrontation. But northwest DC was white.

My father supported Archbishop O’Boyle. He worked at Army Map Service, where – attentive to the call for justice – he hired the first blacks there, and not to do maintenance. He needed mathematicians, so he administered a test on math (mostly on quadratic equations). There were a lot of black men around who were qualified but had faced discrimination for years; when they competed on level field, they did best, and my father hired them. Also, when O’Boyle supported Martin Luther King and persuaded President Kennedy to let King use the Lincoln Memorial for his March on Washington, my father joined the march.

That’s background. Here’s the story. In about 1965, there was a knock at our front door. It was a black man collecting signatures on a petition for fair housing – in Chevy Chase. My father invited him in, and they chatted a bit, and then my father asked who in the neighborhood had signed so far. No one. He asked if he could go with for the rest of the evening. He put on his coat and they went out. And then everyone – at every single door where they knocked – signed.

This was a time of transition, and the difference between complete failure and complete success was small. Is a neighborhood 100% for fair housing, or 100% against? In the middle of a change, a little push at the right moment can make a big difference.

Buchanan was on the other side, cracking racist jokes. And when the Church changed its approach to racism from top to bottom, Pat dissented. He threw snowballs at black women. Just some whores, he explains in his autobiography.

In the middle of a change, a little push at the right moment can make a big difference, for better or worse. A few signatures here, a few snowballs there. Little things.

Buchanan rejected the teaching from his pastor Msgr. Roach, from the Holy Cross nuns who taught in his parish, from his Jesuit high school teachers, from his Jesuit college professors, from Washington’s Archbishop O’Boyle, from all the Popes of his lifetime, and from the Pope and bishops teaching united in a Council.

Was he a racist? Because he threw snowballs?

No. He was a racist because he was in a lily white community when the Church changed, and the nation changed – and he refused to change.

Racism isn’t just lynching. Usually, it’s about what we fail to do. It’s hard to understand that unless you have some intellectual tool like “social sin.” But the tool is available.



Hypocrisy: NSSM 200 and Roe v Wade (#24)


During the Nixon administration, there were two abortion-related actions of immense significance: the decisions of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, and the preparation of National Security Study Memorandum 200. The Court’s decisions were not Nixon’s decisions, not Republican decisions nor Democratic decisions; both Democrats and Republicans across the country responded with a mixture of horror and applause. But as years and decades passed, the Republicans did capture the leadership of the pro-life movement in response to Roe, and Democrats slipped slowly into an increasingly solid pro-Roe stance.

NSSM 200 was far more deadly than Roe. It put the United States firmly and explicitly into the business of population control globally. Our policy was not explicitly pro-abortion; it promoted depopulation with specifying measures. But the world was climbing toward depopulation, by contraception and sterilization and abortion. China and India were leaders in coercive abortion, but many other nations adopted some level of coercion. The global abortion rate, according the research branch of Planned Parenthood, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, reached over 50 million annually, approaching 60 million. What was happening within the USA – where the abortion rate climbed toward 1.5 million – was two or three percent of the global world’s total.

NSSM 200 was a Republican initiative. It was not the work of the Supreme Court; it was the work of the executive branch. The study was initiated under Nixon, and adopted as policy under his successor, President Gerald Ford.

What I want to emphasize is that while Republican leaders were increasingly critical of abortion inside our nation, they were simultaneously supportive of deliberate depopulation efforts, including abortion, overseas.

It is true that in the 1980s Republicans took steps to oppose abortion overseas. In 1984, under President Reagan, the United States adopted the “Mexico City Policy”: the USA would not fund organizations that performed or actively promoted abortion as a method of family planning. But when this policy was announced at the United Nations meeting on population in Mexico City (hence the name), Reagan’s Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN, Alan Keyes, led the fight there, working with Latin American nations, Muslims, and the Vatican. It was not isolationist.

Further, the fight in Mexico City included two pro-life approaches – not contradictory, but quite different. At that meeting, the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) announced awards to China and India for their “effective” work to reduce population growth. When Rafael Salas, executive director of UNFPA, welcomed journalists from around the world and outlined what to expect, the first question he got focused on coercion: was UNFPA holding up coercive programs – which were anti-life and anti-choice – as models for the rest of the world? This was pushback against UNFPA, and an invitation to anti-coercion feminists.

The Mexico City Policy is about funding. It’s a significant interim step, like the Hyde Amendment, which might affect 5% of abortion. Opposing coercion is a similar interim step – which could affect 30% of abortion, globally.

NSSM 200 was hypocritical and deadly, and the Mexico City Policy did not reverse it.



Catholics in GOP reject Social Gospel (#25)


Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical about labor in 1891, Rerum Novarum, that had an immense impact on the Catholic Church, initiating a body of thought and teaching that transformed the Church. Pope Leo’s successors wrote encyclicals based in part on his thought, some of them actually named as anniversary letters – the 40th, 80th, 90th, and 100th anniversaries of Rerum Novarum. That teaching was fundamental to the work of the Second Vatican Council. It was collected in 2004 in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, requested by St. John Paul II. And the whole thing, top to bottom, is foreign to many Republicans, either completely unknown or known and rejected.

The Catholic Church claims the authority to teach in the name of the Lord. That’s a shocking claim, but we make it firmly. We don’t claim that we get everything right all the time, but we do believe that the Lord built a community, and leads it.

I can’t understand why anyone would ask me to join a political party that is full of people who claim to be faithful Catholics but who reject 140 years of teaching including a Council. I think that Pat Buchanan and others sketched a way to protect the Republican Party – by a schism in the Catholic Church.

Asserting that the teaching was developed “in the light and under the impulse of the Gospel,” the Compendium lists the “the milestones of the path travelled by the Church's social doctrine from the time of Pope Leo XIII,” teaching “in the light and under the impulse of the Gospel.”

The Compendium includes teaching from:


Quadragesimo Anno,

Non Abbiamo Bisogno,

Mit Brennender Sorge,

Divini Redemptoris,

the Christmas Radio Messages of Pope Pius XII,

Mater et Magistra,

Pacem in Terris,

Gaudium et Spes,

Dignitatis Humanae,

Populorum Progressio,

Octogesima Adveniens,

Laborem Exercens,

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, and

Centesimus Annus,

and others.


William Buckley’s National Review responded to the Church’s teaching about social justice, in particular in Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Mater et Magistra (describing the Church as Mother and ) with explicit rejection: “Mater si, Magistra no” – that is, “mother yes, teacher no.” I accept the Church’s claims about her authority to teach about justice, and I’m not tempted to join the schismatics who shape the Republican Party.


My position: Mater si, Rabbi si. I follow Pope Francis, who follows the Lord.


What’s the fuss about “Socialism”? (#26)


Listening to Republicans when they fuss about Socialism is a challenge. I hear them say that they are worried about something that they think is close to godless Communism and outright Satanism. Okay. But this thing they fear is detailed: it includes food stamps for the hungry poor, affordable medical care for all, organized assistance for people overseas, welcome for immigrants – lots of good things. And somehow, this thing they fear doesn’t include cooperation with Russia, China, and North Korea. Trump, not the Democrats, praises brutal Communist dictators: Putin, Xi, and Kim Jong Un. I can’t make sense of their fuss.

The Catholic history of the Social Gospel includes a fiery determination to develop a sense of social justice that makes Communism unnecessary. From Pope Leo XIII to St. John Paul II, document after document lays out an approach to justice that is solid and vibrant and durable – and anti-Communist. So when you get a generation of Catholics that is split in half – anti-Communist pro-lifers on one side fighting social justice activists on the other side – a part of what has happened here is a schism even if the schism doesn’t show up in Church structures.

It seems to me that Pat Buchanan and Stephen Bannon and Cardinal Raymond Burke are committed to schizophrenia, fiery advocates of rigid ignorance. They don’t seem to know the difference between Communism and anti-Communism. They blur and stir, mushing together Communism and Socialism, and atheism and the Social Gospel, and Marx and Pope Leo, and the Soviets and St. John Paul – the poisons and the antidotes – all rolly-boiled together into a single grey lump of amorphous plastic. How do you get that foolish?

Once you have raised a whole generation of partisans, accustomed to setting pro-life concerns against social justice activism, how do you recover? The answer isn’t simple. It’s in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, but what’s that? And if you do find it and try to understand it, the first thing you notice is it’s fat – a whole lotta words, big fat multi-syllabic kaleidoscopic multi-cultured history-laden words with pages and pages of footnotes. (It’s online, free. And it’s user-friendly.)

I embrace the Social Gospel, with deep and abiding joy. When I read the Church’s social teaching, I come away tingling, more determined than ever to strengthen my little bit of the whole project. I see and love the rock-solid unity of the Church’s teaching. And it’s loaded with surprises.


·        Were you aware that St. John XXIII supported a welfare state and denounced abortion in the same document?

·        Were you aware that St. Paul VI fought the contraceptive mentality and supported the UN?

·        Were you aware that St. John Paul II’s influential prolife document, Familiaris Consortio, declares that migration is family right?

·        Were you aware that his Gospel of Life places abortion firmly in a seamless garment context?

·        Were you aware that Pope Benedict XVI’s concern for truth includes a deep and abiding respect for Muslims?

·        Were you aware of how tightly Pope Francis links environmental concerns and pro-life concerns?

·        Were you aware that all the Church’s extraordinary pro-life teaching is in the social justice Compendium?


The Republican opposition to Socialism has them embracing Communists but rejecting the Social Gospel! How could I be tempted by such confusion? I’m a Democrat, and I think I’ll stay there.




Pro-life leadership embraces eugenics (#27)


A large portion of the pro-life movement used to be against eugenics, “more from the fit, less from the unfit.” I think that resistance is gone.

The problem is not complicated. The solution might be extraordinarily complicated, but the problem is simple: American health care is expensive, and pro-life leaders have joined Republicans in opposing universal health care.

I am blessed to have a collection of delightful grandchildren. One of them has some challenging medical issues. The problems were detected before she was born, and my daughter’s OB-GYN assumed she would promptly schedule an abortion, for obvious eugenic purposes. My daughter was prompt: she dumped that blind brute, and got a pro-life OB-GYN.

That’s familiar pro-life territory.

Since her birth, my granddaughter has been expensive: hospitalizations, surgeries, meds, nursing care, specialized equipment. Without the best medical care available in the world, she would be dead. And without Obamacare, her parents could not have provided that care, although they would have gone bankrupt trying.

Most pro-life leaders oppose Obamacare, because – they assert – it’s socialist and pro-abortion. But when my daughter chose to keep her daughter alive, all the medical professionals involved got on board right away, with generosity and determination. My granddaughter was born with the encouragement of pro-lifers. But she has been kept alive by all those so-called socialists.

And that is familiar pro-choice territory.

When Obamacare passed, the bishops opposed its final shape. From their perspective, it had three problems: it permitted abortion, didn’t have provisions to protect conscientious objectors, and it did not cover undocumented immigrants. Pro-life leaders at the time often distorted what the bishops were saying, and claimed that the bishops opposed the whole idea. That was an error, or a lie; the bishops had supported universal health care for a century, and didn’t waver. The bill passed, and Obamacare now provides health care insurance to millions of people – including my granddaughter.

With the bishops, I want some changes in the law – including the three above. These proposed changes would expand Obamacare. But Trump – and Republicans cooperating with him, and pro-lifers going along with their allies – are working to abolish it. They used to assert that they were going to provide an alternative, a new and improved health care policy. But Obamacare was a compromise from the beginning, and it took years to pull it together. The Republicans couldn’t craft a new and improved compromise, and eventually they stopped talking about it. They just want to wipe out Obama’s work.

Which would kill my granddaughter.

That’s not familiar pro-life territory. But it is the position of most pro-life leaders today.

Ending health care because it’s futile is one thing: end-of-life decisions are complicated and messy. But ending care it because some people are expensive and not worth it is something else. It’s eugenics.

So the pro-life movement today is tied tight to the Republican Party, which is tied tight to Trump, who wants to end Obamacare, which would end expensive health care, which is eugenics.

I am a pro-lifer, and I oppose eugenic killing – still. So I’m a Democrat.


Covid-19: Republicans and euthanasia (#28)


Take a look at two numbers emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic. It impacts the elderly far more than the young, and it kills blacks twice as often as it kills whites.

As the pandemic took hold, national and international organizations struggled to understand this novel virus. One early insight was about age. Once infected, the death rate for the population as a whole was 1-2%. For people age 65-84, the death rate was 4-11%. For people 85 and older, the death rate was 10-27%. (Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases, May 14, 2020.)

In May 2020, MedRxiv, a preprint service for health sciences, published a report (tentative, unreviewed) that estimated the differences in mortality rates among whites, blacks, and Latinos in the United States. The finding: the death rate among Covid-19 patients for blacks was triple (3.57) the rate for whites, the death rate for Latinos was almost double (1.88) the rate for whites. (Source:

These differences are interesting, but they require more study and explanation. The higher rate for the elderly may be explained in part by the fact that pre-existing health problems make any disease more dangerous. The higher rates for blacks and Latinos may be explained in part by relatively crowded housing conditions, and by various pre-existing health problems that are more common among blacks than among whites. But whatever the explanation, the data is deeply troubling.

Look at one more set of numbers. Democrats expect the pandemic to be worse than the Republicans expect, and have embraced measures to fight the pandemic far more than Republicans. Is there a 50-50 chance of a second wave, pollsters asked. 99% of Democrats said yes; 41% of Republicans said yes.

The poll asked whether respondents were taking various steps to respond to the pandemic:


·        Are you taking precautions like handwashing? Democrats: 96%. Republicans: 83%.

·        Engaging in “social distancing”? Democrats: 96%. Republicans: 62%.

·        Avoiding crowds? Democrats: 94%. Republicans: 49%.

·        Wearing a mask in public? Democrats: 93%. Republicans: 44%.

·        Sheltering at home? Democrats: 83%. Republicans: 32%.

·        Delaying large purchases? Democrats: 41%. Republicans: 18%

(Source: CNBC/Change Research poll, May 20, 2020)


What does a pandemic have to do with political party? Why is the difference so large and obvious? It seems to me that party leadership and partisan news sources shape people’s views. President Trump and Fox News have minimized the problem.

Regarding the race issues, Democrats see a startling measurement of life or death decisions – that are apparently affected by housing, nutrition, medical care. The pandemic seems likely to strengthen previously held views about providing social services.

But the data about age diverges from previously held views. If the pandemic kills the elderly, one would expect pro-lifers – who have been hollering about abortion and euthanasia for half a century – to dig in and demand prompt action, effective intervention, new protections. But they don’t.

That’s new, and tragic. Republicans – including most pro-life leaders – are less protective of the vulnerable elderly than Democrats.

I’m a pro-lifer, opposed to euthanasia. So I’m staying in the Democratic Party.



Families at the border (#29)


In 2018, American border control included a deliberate decision to separate children from their families. In my view, this constitutes torture of parents and children. I find it hard to overlook that.

My father was a great physicist, but he was also a very emotional guy who loved children. At church, when kids fussed and uptight parishioners came out of church complaining, he would smile and respond. His one-liner was that there were very few sounds in the world more delightful than the sound of someone else’s child misbehaving. Don’t misunderstand: he wasn’t being cruel. He made people laugh instead of complaining to the pastor and making life hard for struggling parents. He carved out space in church for normal human life. That was his one-liner; but if you gave him a minute, he talked about evolution. He said that human beings are hard-wired to respond to the sounds a child in distress – and they have to be like that, because when a society stops protecting children, it disappears. Evolution selects for people who protect their young.

What about people who are cruel to children? Their families will die out eventually, but what about right now? We must protect the child as well as we can, as fast as we can: nothing on earth matters more. We must prosecute child abuse: nothing on earth matters more. And if child abusers take power, get them out. Nothing on earth matters more!

In his novel about Cromwell’s genocidal campaign, Seek the Fair Land, Walter Macken has a vignette of a young soldier trying to learn to be brutal. He’s been told to kill babies: “from nits come lice.” He repeats the mantra, but can’t persuade himself it’s true. He’s too human. What about us?

American policy at the border was not an accident. It was driven, in part, by Stephen Miller, a Cromwell wannabe. Miller is the architect of savage anti-migrant policies spewing from the White House. To understand him, start with a book he likes and promotes: the appallingly brutal French novel, The Camp of the Saints, by Jean Raspail, about brown immigrants threatening to over-run Europe. Raspail’s brown immigrants are all about excrement. They leave it in the streets; their skin color is excrement; their leader plays with it and eats it. And of course these people of excrement like to rape white white girls. The book is disgusting beyond belief. Get it clear in your head: the Trump advisor who devises Trump’s anti-immigration policies reads this excrement.

When thousands of children were separated from their parents at the border, it wasn’t an accident; it was a message from the White House to the people of excrement. Was this appalling brutality done in your name?

When children are locked in cages, and sit in their own mess crying, it’s not an accident; it’s a message from the White House, to the people of excrement who might think about going north when they flee from gangs. Do you endorse this message?



Feeding the forces that feed the fire (#30)


When pro-lifers debate, they almost always want to start with questions about when life begins. I think the question is stupid: the opposite a pro-life position is not the idea that life begins at birth, but that an individual life doesn’t have a significant beginning. There’s a smooth continuum from one generation to the next. There’s much to say about that, but I want to shift the question. I’d like to ask pro-lifers, one pro-lifer to another: why do you think we have abortion in America?

It seems to me that the major social forces leading to abortion are misogyny, eugenics, and racism.

Misogyny: when women are oppressed, and cry out for freedom and lash out to protect themselves, it would be nice if they hit the men who abuse. But that’s not always what happens. Often, when a woman is abused, the abuser’s child pays the price. Often, women show up at abortion clinics to get rid of the ball-and-chain that threatens to shackle them permanently, to make them serve a stinking bully for the rest of their lives. They want to get rid of that man, and everything that he has done.

When the President brags that he can grab pussy, and when he insults women about their looks, that’s not just rude and immature behavior. It’s murderous. When a man hits a woman, he may kill a child – not today, but soon enough.

Eugenics is a huge force, with tentacles, but for the moment I’m focusing on its simplest detail: identifying and getting rid of the weak. For almost a century, geneticists have promised that they can engineer an improved human race. Their progress isn’t obvious to me. But what they have done very efficiently is to identify problems and challenges before birth, and kill them off. Down syndrome is the clearest case: it’s easy to identify during pregnancy, and the majority of children with this syndrome are dispatched – about two thirds of the time in the United States, up to 98 percent in Iceland.

When Trump mocks a man with a disability, and when his administration assumes that everyone agrees that we want to keep out immigrants who might need medical care, this steepens a slide toward death. Trump didn’t kill the reporter he mocked, but others later will apply the lesson, and kill babies to avoid embarrassment.

Since the end of World War II, the United States has promoted eugenic abortion overseas, particularly after the racist ideas in NSSM-200 became policy in 1975. But even within the country, the number of abortions among blacks is far higher than among whites (on a per capita basis). Welfare reforms in the 1990s included a “family cap,” pressure on poor women – often black – not to have children on welfare. Some pro-lifers opposed deliberate pressure to avoid birth, because avoiding birth often means abortion. Some, but not all. Racist oppression is a force pushing abortion.

Pro-life Republicans oppose an abortion on the day that a child is scheduled to die. But pro-life Democrats – in fact, just about all Democrats – oppose the forces that lead to this abortion.

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