Ken Buck made a comment last night that he makes a distinction between pro-choice and pro-abortion folks. Just as “pro-life” is an intentionally manipulative misnomer so is this distinction. I have made the case on my blog (http://mixermuse.com/blog/2010/01/29/the-greater-good-and-scott-roeder/) that “pro-life” folks are not “pro-life” as they would have you believe. They are really anti-abortion folks that maintain a radical, fundamentally religious position if they oppose abortion under any circumstances. Additionally, if they really believed that all life was sacred they would oppose the death penalty, oppose war and favor a radical solution to health care. In any case, my intent with this post is to suggest that the argument that Ken Buck and the other anti-abortionists make that assumes there are rabid “pro-abortion” folks out there are really a deflection of their own radical views.
It is nonsensical to suggest that pro-choice folks really want people to get abortions. It is ludicrous to think that most sensible folks would want to push abortions on people. Why would anyone in their right mind insist that someone get an abortion? The only way I could see that someone could arrive at this position would be if they wanted to target an ethnic group on the grounds of some extreme genocidal position. Does Ken Buck think that these “pro-abortion” folks really want to target an ethnic group? The anti-choice folks have made these claims in the past about historical, pro-choice people but these days that claim only makes them look like lunatics to those of us outside their club. What other reason would someone be radically “pro-abortion”?
What he calls “pro-abortion” is really only people that think abortion should be an individual choice and not a big-government call about what should be a personal issue (to put it in Ken Buck’s terms). What really bothers me about this tactic is that it re-directs the real extremism to a fabricated extremism. Psychologists call this “projection” but in sociological terms it is really an attempt at mass manipulation. The real radicals are the ones that believe abortion should be outlawed under any circumstances (rape, incest, to protect the life of the mother, etc.). However, if they can re-define their extremism as the more “sensible” position then their position feigns the appearance of less radical and thus, more moderate. Thus, the “right” is never “right enough” and the left is always increasingly just left of the radical right. If the position that the government should not intrude on people’s personal choice for an abortion is shown to be “pro-abortion” and radical then the anti-abortion folks make their extremism more palatable. If people see through this, their feeble attempts at manipulation are ineffective and the real zealots become apparent.
What I take away from Ken’s comment is that he is content to surround himself with extreme right positions and he is willing to make everyone else look like the extremist he really is. If one adopts an ideology that can never directly be stated but only pointed at in “code words” it is because the ideology cannot stand on its own, in the light of reason and reasonable folks. I get the feeling that a lot of the right wing rhetoric is dishonest, pointing to ideas that they cannot express directly except in their inner circle. Thus, comments border on elitism, support for the rich and big business, racism, sexism, and homophobia but never quit get there in public discourse because that light would be too revealing. I know there are conservatives that have direct, honest and well thought out positions but this trend on the right is a little disturbing. I do all I can to make my ideas direct and without any need to ‘paint lipstick on a pig’. The question voters need to ask themselves is, “Is this the kind of person we want for our Senator”?