October 17, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

A second look by a former liberal


If you had asked me well into the eighties what my political leanings were I would have answered “I am a liberal” with only a tinge of doubt.

During the eighties I began to change and probably had ceased to be a liberal long before I admitted it even to myself. Looking back I know a large part of why this occurred. A quote attributed to Churchill put it best.

"If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're 40, you have no head."

I have known very intelligent liberals but have inevitably found that their political arguments are centered on theoretical compassion rather than a true altruistic foundation. The sad part is that they believe that because the conservative argument is more often centered on reason, facts and reality their political opponents (the conservative) have no heart.

My observation is that liberals are not only wrong but in order to justify their lack of reason they must twist themselves into an unrealistic mental and moral position. This constant battle within ultimately leads them to be less compassionate and bitter in order to maintain their belief structure and they project their own bitterness onto those with whom they disagree. Liberals generally live in a very complicated mindset where the simple truth must be defeated by ever more complex arguments and justifications. I suspect this is why most elitist intellectuals are liberals, the admission of the beauty of simplicity is anathema to their ego.

The reason I began to change also had to do with the not so simple process of living in a world where observed reality as opposed to the theoretical is the best teacher. In my mind I can live in a Utopian world where everyone, including me, always does the right thing in every situation and everyone is at peace with his neighbor. But reality is that I am not alone in my imperfection. I live and move and interact with multitudes of others who are as imperfect as me.

This interaction of imperfect humans is not prone to follow theoretical outcomes, no matter the wishes or desires of those who through their elitist controlling natures hope to dictate it so.


Consider this, the same mind that would vehemently demonstrate against war on the grounds that it is immoral would also be the one most likely to support a political policy that would enable an eight month old “fetus “ to have a spike driven through it’s skull in the name of “Choice”.

This same philosophy would also be most likely to hold candlelight vigil outside of a prison to honor the “immoral” execution of a diabolical murderer while simultaneously sneering at those who carry signs in front of a Planned Parenthood , condemning them as self righteous.

This contradiction of beliefs if beliefs is the right word, is not only hypocritical it is in the long run dangerous to a society. A society is built upon its shared values, what is the value in the death of the innocent?

I am not a big moralist, actually I tend towards a libertarian outlook, “live and let live”, but I have noticed over the years a growing tendency to place less and less value on life in America. This attitude cuts across the spectrum of our society. Children grow up with realistic games, cartoons, movies that portray killing as entertainment and perhaps worse is the devaluation of the elderly. In our youth oriented society more and more the aged are looked upon as a burden to society rather than a source of wisdom and strength.

Life is viewed as cheap and I contend that this is due in large part to the growth of the abortion ideology. Initially the argument that a woman should have a right to determine what she does with her own body was not only a reasonable argument but supported by a majority of a generation of Americans, including me.

This reasonable argument though has fostered a very distorted and in many ways destructive ideology. For one the idea of choice has become a one-way street, choice is only acceptable to the pro-choice zealots when the choice is pro-abortion.

Pro-life is also a choice when it comes to the issue, I would argue a far superior choice. A woman who chooses life is not only making the greater sacrifice, she is following the natural order of-life.

One of my all time favorite quotes comes from Mark Twain:

“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”

In this context we could say:

(Wo)man is the only animal that consciously kills their unborn offspring but do they need to?

Of course the argument has always been about when life begins and another quote really hit home with me on this issue Peggy Noonan once wrote:

"You know why they call it birth control? Because it's meant to stop a birth
from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever
bought a pack of condom knows when life begins. To put it another way, with
conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick?" "

There really is no doubt scientifically, morally or using simple common sense when life begins, it begins at conception. All the arguments that attempt to muddle this simple truth are just an attempt to justify the taking of life. Which brings me to the crust of the matter.

As a former pro-choice advocate I was simply that, pro-choice not pro abortion. The argument was framed along the lines of a woman’s right to choose. It has always been framed in the context of a soul searching, intensely reflective decision by an individual woman about what is best for her and the child based on her individual circumstances.

Unfortunately the reflective choice argument has not held up to the test of time. I have little doubt that for many women the choice to have an abortion is indeed an intensly reflective decision. However the moral equation, the moral choice has been stripped from the decision by the very political and immoral crusaders that are not pro-choice but in fact pro-abortion.

Let’s make this simple, abortion in the natural order of things, putting aside any religious arguments is unnatural. Let me restate that abortion is not natural. Can there really be any argument against that simple statement? Of course not. In nature the female of the species does not kill their unborn offspring. Any debate about abortion must begin with that simple truth, abortion is an unnatural act-period.

Yet in so called popular American society today, those who oppose an unnatural act are somehow considered villains and uncaring, whereas those who promote the unnatural destruction of life are considered enlightened. This is not only backwards, it is sick and it is by any moral precept-wrong. Worse, this backward, sick, immoral thinking is promoted and championed in our society to the detriment of our moral structure which corrodes the very fabric of any truly progressive society. When any society champions death over life, the death of that society is inevitable.

Abortion is not a choice in American society today it is a cause; death should never be a cause. When the death of an innocent unborn baby becomes a political cause for individual liberty, a tool to be used to promote political agendas and a defining measure of womanhood in popular society, we truly have lost our way.

The irony of course is that we live in a society that proclaims that we would rather see a hundred guilty men go free than one innocent man falsely executed. Yet we would slaughter countless thousands of the most innocent and call it freedom of choice. Destruction of the innocent has become not only accepted it has become fashionable and openly promoted .

It really is simple. If, as many of our liberal friends would proclaim , that the life of a tree is precious subject to protection from unwarranted destruction by man, then how much more precious, is the life of an unborn child? Where is the balance? Where is the compassion?

The mindset that we have reached in this country where opposition to death is considered backwards and the promotion of death is championed is not only wrong, it is pathetically contrary to both human decency and the American ideal. If this philosophical abortion of all that is good and natural is not reversed, we as a people and a society are doomed.

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