I listen to talk radio sometimes, mostly just while driving to and from work. (For you Occupiers out there, here is a link where you can learn more about this “work” thing. See in particular section 1.2, “Getting a Job.”)
For the past two days, a work assignment has required me to listen to talk radio all day long. I don’t really mind except that it gets me riled up.
Right now everybody’s talking about the HHS mandate requiring all employers — including Catholic hospitals and schools and other religious institutions and individuals — to provide insurance plans that include free contraception, sterilization, and abortion drugs for employees.
I already wrote about why this flies in the face of everything America is supposed to stand for — namely, liberty. (Occupiers, look that up too. It’s that thing that gets sacrificed when other people have to provide you with what you feel you deserve.)
Anyway, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh today, and he was talking about the HHS mandate. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically he boiled it down like this:
Barack Obama, his administration, proponents of this health care regulation, abortion advocates, feminazis (his word), and pretty much all people who lean to the Left in American politics are deeply convinced that contraception should be something everybody can get anytime.
All these people are so convinced of this, so vocal, so organized, with big fancy multi-million dollar organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, that the government feels confident to enact legislation that makes people provide abortion and contraception for others whether they want to or not.
What all this boils down to is a very simple thing: a significant number of people want to have sex without it resulting in babies. I’m not going to go into sexual morality right now. I’m gonna get bigger with this and maybe blow your mind a little.
It all boils down to babies.
Really think about it. I want you to consider it for a second. All these websites and rants and laws and organizations and talk shows and signs and court cases, every conflict that’s ever occurred over abortion or birth control, boils down to this:
It seems harmless, doesn’t it?
I stopped listening to Rush at that point ’cause I had other things to do, but here’s what he didn’t get to: babies equal responsibility. These people don’t like responsibility because it requires them to sublimate their own desires for more video game time, an Escalade, venti half-caf caramel macchiatos, and/or looking cool in bars. The responsibility of a child makes them look and feel less awesome, independent, and progressive. It is not the gentle, part-time grad-school kind of responsibility, but the kind that requires selflessness and sacrifice, which is both scary and mean.
Here’s the other thing: babies also equal people, and those people don’t like people. Most of the same people who advocate for birth control also are totally convinced of the thoroughly disproven “population bomb” theory, that basically we’re gonna bazookadruple our population in like three months — any minute now — and India is gonna explode and every single person in Africa is gonna thirst to death and 4 billion Chinese people are gonna move completely into the United States starting in Kansas and working their way out in beautiful and orderly concentric circles of need and death because there’s not enough food and there’s too many people and aaaugugughghghghhhhhh overpopulationnnnn!!!
The problem is it’s not true. I’m too tired to hit you with all the scientific data. Just type “overpopulation myth” into the search box and lots of earnest bearded academics will tell you overpopulation why it’s super true and lots of exasperated-sounding scientists will tell you why it’s not true. You can read both sides and decide for yourself.
The point is that there is a really surprisingly huge faction of the Left in America who believe humans were created for earth and not the other way around. These are not crazy fringe-dwelling people who live in squats and eat only dumpster food, either. I’m talking people I’m related to who wear normal pants and eat with utensils. They will look me in the face and tell me we’re all gonna die very soon because of global warming, which has something to do with meat and cars, and that overpopulation will destroy us all any minute (“In fact, it’s already starting.”), and furthermore, “Humans are the worst thing that ever happened to the planet. We’re, like, a virus. Like in The Matrix, y’know? It’s like, the world would be better off without us.”
(Now that picture makes sense. Oooh, I’m good.)
He then sits and basks in the profound humility and existential cleverness of this idea, leaving me to wonder: why? Why earth without humans? Why a wish, however clever, that eradicates itself?
I think of the movie I Am Legend, in which Will Smith is the last human inhabitant of New York, and goes out to hunt deer in an awesome car amongst the wild and overgrown detritus of the city. I recall deer leaping over tangled grasses and stalled cars, darting between buildings and across broken bridges, and ask myself: Would anyone, even the so-called earth-firsters, go see that movie if there were zero humans instead of one? If it was just two hours of stupid deer leaping around in the aftermath?
But they haven’t thought that far ahead. The truth is, if mean space aliens did attack, the “humans are a virus” folks would not calmly hit their bongs and wait for the end. They would wee themselves and hide behind the people like me, who have all the guns.
Still, because they don’t think too deeply about things — if they did they’d be pro-life — abortion advocates and those who support free contraception on demand do not want more people around. That is the simple and scary fact.
They don’t loathe and fear the fetus because it isn’t a person. They loathe and fear it because it is a person. And they know it.
Have you heard of Pinterest? If you haven’t, don’t look it up. It will take you in. It’s an online pinboard where you can store photos (with embedded links) of stuff you like from all over the web in one handy spot. In theory, it is a convenient resource that allows one to keep track of recipes, fashions, and cool sites. In practice, it is a place where chicks who don’t even have boyfriends yet plan their weddings.
Pinterest has exploded recently, particularly among young women, and a HuffPo article analyzed its rapidly growing popularity. The headline: “The Secret To Pinterest’s Success: We’re Sick Of Each Other.”
The gist of the piece is we are sick of hearing about people and we would rather think about (1) stuff, and (2) ourselves, and (3) how those two things might go together beautifully.
There is an upside that can be seen here, since Facebook is definitely more self-aggrandizing than Pinterest. But the point is, we are tired of hearing what other people are doing and we would rather look at different methods of putting on eyeliner.
I had all these things swirling around in my head. Seriously, you guys, it’s a mess in there. If you wonder where I go for days at a time, I am walking around with visions of leaping Manhattan deer and birth control compacts and eyeliner methods in my head. I wanted to write something about it but it was all a tangled mishmash.
So I sat down just now to write and — I swear this is true — I opened up a P.J. O’Rourke book for absolutely no reason, and literally opened up to a page that said this:
The real message of the conservative pro-life position is, as the prefix indicates, that we’re in favor of living. We consider people — with a few obvious exceptions — to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, clothe them, pick up the trash after their rallies on the National Mall, and make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources.
Is it as simple as that? Maybe it is. Maybe abortion advocates see every accidental pregnancy as a welfare check or an unfulfilled woman who has to has to take precious time out from her freelance graphic design career to rinse out baby food jars. Whereas you and I see a baby as a beautiful joyous gift of possibility and hope and love and adorable magicness that one day grows into a man or woman who maybe invents a cure that works in 30 seconds for those sores you get on your tongue that make you feel like the world is ending.
The simple and scary fact: all those people who have turned free or cheap abortion and contraception on demand into a right and a sacrament? They don’t like people.