Monday, November 21, 2022

The "Me" Gap

There was a story out a couple weeks back that exemplifies why Republicans are having trouble reaching anyone besides the rich, the racists, and the religious right. The gist of it was that while Marjorie Taylor Green was taking questions during a local call-in show, inferred that if a woman was no longer having children, she was no longer entitled to an opinion on abortion. (Unless, I presume, she was against it.)

The caller confronted MTG, saying “My body is my body and I don’t want the government telling me what to do with my body." (In other words, the conservative argument against vaccinations.)

I don’t think you’re having children anytime soon,” she said, apparently based on the sound of the caller’s voice. “So I appreciate your interest in women’s rights, but killing an unborn baby is not a woman’s right, and that’s not health care.”

She went on to say that we “need to focus on the future of America, and that’s our children… and the unborn, they’re our future also… So let’s focus on protecting their lives instead of being focused on the lie that abortion is women’s health care because that’s not health care.”

Green, who if her eyes were any closer together, could use a microscope as reading glasses, dropped off the line as soon as the host went to a commercial break.

The article went on to point out that by these new standards, no man may have a valid point either, nor would MTG herself, so she may not have thought this through. Color me surprised. [Massive eye roll]

There’s a lot to unpack here, and as usual, I’ll start with the obvious point that people calling a grape-sized conglomeration of cells a “baby” is as misleading as it is wrong. But that’s the ploy; to get people thinking about a chubby, cooling little baby and not a tiny organism without a fully-formed heart or brain.

Whether it’s a “person” yet is a highly debatable and moral question without a consensus answer. Having one group of people use their personal religion to claim the answer one way and force everyone else to act accordingly, non-believers and otherwise is selfish, aggressive, and incredibly self-important. And it totally lacks anything close to empathy, other than to the non-sentient clump of cells. I’ll come back to this point in a minute.

When she mentions “the lie that abortion is women’s health care because that’s not health care,” all I can say is tell that to the woman with an ectopic pregnancy, or the girl who’s bleeding inside and has to wait for her doctor to confer with a team of lawyers to figure out if he’s allowed to go in and stop the bleeding to save her life. Or the woman who has any number of health issues that make having a baby dangerous to life. OR the woman who is carrying a baby who will be born with debilitating medical conditions that bode for a short and painful life. OR the woman who just doesn’t want to endure the physical changes a pregnancy will inflict on her body, just to appease some far-off group of people who have literally nothing to do with the people in question. It is absolutely health care, and no religious moralizing will change that.

The real root of the problem, as I see it, is a massively inflated sense of self-worth in conjunction with a complete lack of empathy. They can’t put themselves in the shoes of someone whose life experiences don’t align with their own and are so supremely self-important that they can’t fathom that their own take on the matter isn’t definitive.

I believe it so YOU have to act accordingly.” That’s what it comes down to.

When you look at it, selfishness and a lack of empathy IS the Republican platform. Name one of their principles that aren’t dripping with it. Wait, maybe we better make that “policy” points… I don’t think they have any true principles left that they won’t violate if a Democrat wants to exercise one. They say they favor States' rights until a state wants to enact some kind of gun control. They say they’re in favor of bodily autonomy in the right not to get vaccinated, but neglect a woman’s bodily autonomy in forcing them to reproduce against their will. They were in favor of insurance mandates up until Obama proposed one.

This was from the 2016 election but is no less true now.

But back to my previous point, every GOP position could be defined as selfishness and lack of empathy:

·         Abortion: You need to have that baby because I think you should for my own religious reasons. What YOU want must defer to what I believe.

·         Birth control: Same language as above.

·         Same-sex marriage: YOU two can’t get married because it offends ME.

·         Immigration: If YOU enter this country there will be too many people, too many foreign-speaking brown people, to continue to function as things are.

·         Assistance to the poor: Why should YOU get help that I didn’t get? Yes, I know I want the minimum wage to stay at $7.25 but if we raise it, you might get a job making what I make. Better for you to work three jobs.

·         Student loan forgiveness: I paid my loan off (or didn’t get one in the first place), so you should have to, regardless that the terms now are much more predatory than they were years ago.

·         Taxes: Taxes should always be rock-bottom and loopholes should be vast. Let the middle class pick up the burden. (So sayeth the top 1% who then convince the non-rich Republicans that it’s somehow better for everyone if the rich avoid taxes, via the media outlets they own.)

·         Health care: Why should I be mandated to get insurance just to bring the cost of everyone’s insurance down?

·         Guns: I want to be able to buy any gun I want whenever I want, which is always immediately. I don’t care how many other men, women, and children get killed, I want a big gun that goes BOOM BOOM BOOM. No background check, no required training, no safety measures, just ammo and firepower. If someone else gets shot, they should have gotten their own guns.

·         War in Ukraine: Why should WE finance their defense against marauding invaders? They’re not invading US… We could use the money to help people here. It’s beside the point that we Republicans never support domestic spending that doesn’t first get skimmed by the rich.

·         Electric cars: I want a car that goes VROOM VROOM. I don’t care what happens to the planet. Climate change is a hoax anyway. Like I care if Florida and the Carolina coasts get wiped off the map. It’s just a natural cycle. I know this because that’s what they say on Fox “News.”

·         Any halfway house, rehab center, mass transit stop, or affordable housing complex: Not in MY backyard.

Sadly, that last response is not limited to Republicans, it may as well be the national motto.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

This is anger inducing this morning

bluzdude said...

Sorry to have started your day on the wrong foot. My posts usually go down better after you've got a couple of drinks under your belt.