Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Abortion Debate As A Bigger Problem Than You May Have Thought Of It As

I think the "privacy v. life" meme about abortion is not doing enough for us (that is, the "privacy" argument by itself doesn't do enough to explain to everybody why we need to allow abortions). I think we have to start seeing an anti-abortion regime as a bulwark against our society's proper devleopment. It's going to inevitably cause social problems and lead to women not being able to live equal to men. In order for our civilization to develop, women need to be able to be equal to men in a meaningful sense. In order for women to be able to be equal to men in a meaningful sense, women need to be able to have abortions available as more than just a rarely-allowed exception to a regime of default forced pregnancies. So people need to grow to see abortion as a necessary element of our society, even if it's still something we find distasteful, especially later on in the pregnancy, and something we try to avoid, especially because womens' avoiding unwanted pregnancies goes hand in hand with living a responsible, self-respecting sexual life.

It's just one of these big things I think we've got to face and overcome for our civilization to continue to develeop. Another is the whole facing-Islamic-terrorism thing. Liberals need to get the rational to overcome their traditional broad cultural relativism. Until they do, they're not going to talk about their boundaries against alllowing Islamic terrorists to run amok in a clear, confidence-inspiring way, and specifically they're not going to talk about Muslims not embodying their views in violence in a morally proscriptive way.

I think liberals were hesitant to take the lead against terrorism the way they should have because liberals who do not really reflect as much as they should kind of have a belief that everybody is more or less right, and that the most dramatic demonstration of this is across different cultures- but for liberals who held this belief which stems from not enough reflection, the belief went too far and they were not prepared to see something like a post-9/11 world clearly enough or to react to it quickly enough. For those who don't know me and may be confused, I'm not saying we should have pulled a Lieberman and acquiesced to everything the Republicans wanted more heartily; I'm just stating that we have some beliefs and behaviors that are wrong, and holding those beliefs, even if we think we didn't express them that openly, probably contributed to Republicans' successfully portraying us as not able to properly respond to Al Qaeda with some people.

Until the population gets these better rationales to view the abortion and terrorism issues, a lot of money and ink and effort are going to be wasted on fighting those debates, and we are not going to be able to bring our society to the next level. More concretely, people are going to have trouble electing Democrats (and liberals abroad) all the time, and this is going to keep the smart people who really care and who have all the good ideas from getting a meaningful chance at bat.