What Are You For?

Conservatives have been on the defensive for so long, they now can only say what they are against but never what they are for.

“We are against abortion!” OK, but what does that mean? Exceptions? Life of the mother? Ectopic? How about miscarriage? I have two friends who miscarried. One at 7 weeks, another at 10. Both were devastated but the heartbeat just stopped. It happens a lot in the first trimester.

You know what happened next? They had to take abortion pills. Unlike they show in soap operas, a woman doesn’t go, “Ah! I think I just lost my baby!” It’s, sadly, a lot more complicated and horrible than that. Since nobody on the Republican side is saying anything, these women are quite justified in wondering whether Republicans plan on denying abortion pills to the women in these tragic situations. Will such women – who tend to be in a terrible emotional state – have to prove that they didn’t choose to experience this tragedy? Will they be hassled? The weaselly “let the states decide” doesn’t help. Yes, let them, but what is your position? Like the Democrats can’t define what is a woman, Republicans are unable to squeeze out what is an abortion.

Now we are seeing the same incapacity to say anything proactive about the Biden college loan forgiveness. “We are against!” OK, great. What are you for? If your argument is that this unjustly helps out college degree holders, are you planning to do anything for people without college degrees? Free vocational training for everybody who seeks it? A huge tax break for families that are priced out of the house market and have to rent? Or is it only corporate handouts to supranational corporations that you support? Do you want to be the party of the working people who currently don’t have a political force to defend their interests or will you keep trying to ingratiate yourselves with the corporations that have long abandoned you and gone full-on woke?

Then again, illegal immigration. “End Biden’s border crisis!” OK, how? Build the wall? Stop processing immigration claims from illegal crossers inside the US? Move the immigration process outside of the country? I love all 3 solutions (just as I love the measures to support the working class I listed above) but what is the official position of the Republican party? Before Trump, it was a party of a fanatical, single-minded support for mass migration (see the policies of Reagan and Bush Jr). Is it still?

Trump was refreshing because he spoke in the language of what we need to do instead of what we should try to prevent. By the way, this is true in our individual lives, as well. Don’t fixate on what you don’t want. Concentrate on what you do.

Midterms are coming. I want to vote Republican straight through. But honestly, I have no idea what I’ll be voting for. With Democrats I do know in minute detail. I hate it but at least I know what it is.

20 thoughts on “What Are You For?

  1. Any act meant to save the mother’s life that unavoidably kills the baby isn’t an abortion. Nor is removing the baby’s corpse after a miscarriage. It’s a question of intent, and the ethical principle here is that of double effect. An ectopic pregnancy is effectively a miscarriage, and not removing it would be medical malpractice resulting in homicide of the mother. All of this is explicitly explained in Catholic and Orthodox moral theology, and you can find it explained in many places by pro life ethicists online.

    As for student loans, the program must end. Those with loans must be allowed to discharge them under bankruptcy, thereby returning moral hazard to the lenders. Our economy is gasping, and probably on the verge of collapse, anyhow. If the dollar collapses in a hyper inflated flame out, the issue will be moot. Debasing the currency is the ultimate solution to crushing debt, which explains the billionaires buying assets like houses and farmland lately, that will retain their objective value in the collapse. There will be a debt jubilee in some form, the only question will be whether or not the plutocrats and their pet kept politicians hang.

    The piper is going to be paid. The bill is coming due.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OK, and who is going to be making this argument and where will it be addressed once the question arises of actually receiving the abortion pills after a miscarriage? Has anybody proposed federal legislation that defines what an abortion is and how specifically a case will be made for receiving abortion pills in each individual case? Or do you suggest that every woman who seeks the pills drag a Catholic theologian or an online ethicist to a court proceeding?

      One would think that 40 years of battling Roe vs Wade would be enough to come up with a document of some sort that could then be used in actual politics. But apparently, not. And the lack of such a clearly defined position will cost us dearly at the elections because appeals to online ethicists aren’t very reassuring.

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      1. “40 years of battling Roe vs Wade would be enough to come up with a document of some sort that could then be used in actual politics”

        It tend to think it was never about actual politics…. it was about a lot of things from moral preening, wanting to discipline women for being bad, make a statement about religion etc.

        The thing is it’s hard to put everything bad that could happen in a law and those who want to outlaw abortion aren’t interested in making any kind of effort in that direction or…. in alleviating anyone’s misery. The recent/current Louisiana case is a good example, simply no excuse for letting things get to the point where it became a news story….

        The fact that lawmakers are blaming the hospital instead of their own incompetent selves just makes it worse….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Every state requires abortion access for maternal health. About half of the states with strict bans also include access in cases of rape and incest. No state will force anyone to continue a pregnancy at significant risk to her life.

        https://www.nbcnews.com/data-graphics/abortion-state-tracking-trigger-laws-bans-restrictions-rcna36199

        The idea that any hospital anywhere would not give adequate care to a woman suffering a miscarriage is absurd. It’s just straw man nonsense. Miscarriages aren‘t abortions. They’re tragic health crises where the baby hasn’t been deliberately killed by anyone. No one is going to leave a dead baby inside anyone. If people start deliberately inducing “miscarriages” I’m sure that the level of scrutiny is going to be extremely low, unless the act is too obvious.

        Abortion drugs will be illegally trafficked by mail in any case, and the morning after pill isn’t classified as abortion, so anyone truly bent on killing her baby early in gestation will have little trouble doing it, without even having to travel.

        If people find the current abortion laws or their enforcement in their jurisdiction objectionable, they have two options: they can lobby and vote to change the law, or they can move to a jurisdiction with laws more to their liking. That’s the genius of federalism and democracy. If anyone truly loves Planned Parenthood, they’re free to live under their bloody sway.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ” come up with a document of some sort that could then be used in actual politics”

        That’s the civil law approach. The English speaking common law approach only really allows for general wording in legislation that eventually gets clarified in a set of judicial decisions.
        That approach is also why contracts in the US are so long – they have to cover every eventuality – while in civil law countries there’s a sentence ‘this contract is subject to the regulations (bunch of numbers and dates)’ and that’s it.

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        1. This has nothing to do with the “separation of Church and state.” This again, is a straw man. It’s not the Church as such imposing Christian beliefs on anyone. It is the voters of each state expressing their will through the political process.

          Furthermore, there is no such “separation” enumerated in the Constitution. The 1st Amendment only says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and there is a prohibition on any religious test for office. That’s all, that’s it. Individual states had established churches into the 1830’s. The idea that there is a radical separation was imposed upon the document by secularists.

          We the people can impose any ethical system upon ourselves that we want. We had 50 years of eugenic abortion up to the moment of birth without restriction. The elite population control crowd had their ghastly ethics imposed upon all of us by the courts. We pro lifers, not all of us religious, fought a long hard battle to win back the court to our point of view.

          Someone’s ethics will prevail. Just be careful that your will to power does not seduce you into cooperating with people who might treat you the same contempt they treat unborn children. When the population control crowd (Gates, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Soros, Turner) tell us that they want less than 500 million people on the planet, they apparently mean it.

          Do the math. A whole bunch of us have got to go.. And I don’t think any of them intend to volunteer to euthanize themselves.

          That’s a bit of a problem for you, Cliff. In the absence of a anthropological metaohysic that grants you any transcendent individual human dignity, you basically have none.. Your personhood is passing figment of your imagination, samsara. I mean dude, you do understand that without God all things are permissible, and that the ubermenschen are transvaluing all values, then when those pesky Christian ethical qualms are eradicated from enough of us, the weak will suffer what they must, which is to say almost certain slavery and annihilation?

          Because God is dead, and Christ and his justice and mercy are just figments of we deluded Christians’ imaginations, right? You live in Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Himmler and Beria’s world, and in that world power and cruelty are the only rule, and eternal law. Your advocacy of abortion is at least ethically consistent.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “the voters of each state expressing their will through the political process.”

            So the voters of Louisiana wanted that poor woman to carry a fetus without a full skull to term because….

            “absence of a anthropological metaohysic that grants you any transcendent individual human dignity, you basically have none..”

            What a lovely thing to say!

            “You live in Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Himmler and Beria’s world”

            Flattery will get you nowhere….

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  2. College debt: needs to be dischargeable in bankruptcy just like every other kind of debt. It’d solve a whole bunch of problems at once: intractable student debt, bogus degree programs, and insane tuition and administrative bloat at colleges. Lenders should not be subsidized.

    Immigration: follow the law. We are brutal to French or Belgian student/tourists who overstay a visa by two weeks– this seems unnecessary. They get detained and deported (we accidentally overstayed our visa by as much when overseas– we just paid a modest fine for it). We needlessly complicate things for foreign nationals who are married to US citizens. My mother spent over a year helping a lovely older Brazilian lady get her citizenship and figure out how to claim her (US military) husband’s pension after he died. It was inordinately difficult for the poor woman, and she faced the threat of sudden poverty or deportation the entire time, even though she had a perfectly legal right to be here as the widow of a US serviceman. It baffles me that poor centroamerican illegal migrants get special treatment, in a way that hugely violates the law, but at the same time, US immigration makes life hell for people who are here legally. This isn’t right. Make things easier for people here legally. Deport everybody else. Increase LEGAL immigration, in such a way that more of the people coming here are paying taxes and are protected by, and subject to, the same laws as everybody else, instead of becoming a drag on our medical/school/social services systems, and driving down wages for legal laborers.

    But generally… that is a problem inherent in conservatism. It’s about liberty, which means it’s about limits. So much of it is about what government shouldn’t do rather than what government should go out and DO. So obviously it’s easier for the other side to come up with a good ad campaign: Progress! Do stuff! The campaign for: Governments should Do Less! is just not as inspirational 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That said, I see some hope for the up-and-coming stripes of right-leaning populism. There’s a good case to be made for tariffs, scale-based industry/business regulation (i.e. rules that get stricter as your operation gets larger, so that a farmer with a herd of twenty cattle, or a hundred chickens, isn’t burdened by the same regulations as Tyson chicken-houses and Cargill slaughterhouses), which could potentially remove most of the barriers-to-entry for starting a farm or a business.

      Education is huge. I’d like to see experiments with ESAs: just like an HSA, a tax-deductible savings account that can be used for education purposes, and everybody under age 25 should get one– take all the tax revenue that ordinarily goes to the school system, deposit it in everybody’s ESA, and let them figure out what school they want to go to, what educational materials they need for it, or just hire a math tutor and take violin lessons. Or use it to get an electricians’ license. There is no possible way that could turn out worse on the whole than our current school system, and for families who want something better but can’t afford to move to a good school district, it’d be a way out. Yeah, some idiot criminal parents would find ways to embezzle the funds. Pretty sure those same families are already the ones whose kids are being completely failed by the system and keeping everybody else from learning anything in school, so… there’s no net loss for them, and a whole lot to gain for everybody else.

      Flat tax. No loopholes. In a perfect world, we simply wouldn’t have an income tax. It enables so much unnecessary bureaucracy. If we must have one, better to make it 5%, everybody, no exceptions, no exemptions, and if corporations are people, they should pay like people. Nobody’s income tax worksheet should be more than one page, nobody should have to hire an accountant to figure it out, TurboTax shouldn’t be necessary. Simplify the dang tax code until H&R Block has to lay off 90% of its employees.

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    2. I’m a citizen of Canada and so allowed to be here without a visa. But I was threatened with deportation because I wanted to stay here between the two job contracts instead of removing myself to Canada and then re-entering as a tourist and then removing myself again and then re-entering on my new contract.

      I was poor and simply couldn’t afford all that travel. Had to borrow from relatives, it was pathetic. Like this country doesn’t have bigger problems than me and my two-week stay between two contracts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And then when “undocumented” Hondurans get caught here, we… schedule them for a court hearing in a couple months and then just turn them loose, apparently.

        It doesn’t make any sense!

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        1. “It doesn’t make any sense!”

          It actually makes a lot of sense. Make things difficult for the highly educated (and probably socially mobile) while easing the path for the poorly educated who will most likely be stuck in menial labor/welfare/petty crime for life.

          It’s engineered social stratification. Think of the class system in Peru… they love that and want it in the US as well.

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          1. Oddly enough, we didn’t have much chance to observe the class system in Peru. All our friends there were Indios or sort of genteel poor, for whatever reason. Our friend Lucho (if we’d been able to stay, he’d have been our son’s godfather) hinted at it– that getting credentialed through the uni system was difficult for an Indio– but I’m afraid that we were neither socially mobile nor socially astute enough to suss out the complexities of social strata while we were there.

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  3. You raise a lot of great points in your post today. We must state what we are FOR! In the case of student loan forgiveness, it is not forgiveness, the money is owed to the lenders and would be repaid by the taxpayers. I would consider supporting the concept if the recipient’s income was capped at around $75,000 (not $125,000) and educational institutions had to pay $5,000 of the amount and the taxpayer contributed the balance of $5,000. That would effectively punish the institutions for over promising the value of the degrees they sold and for raising tuition at rates far exceeding inflation over the last 40 years. The lenders own very little of the risk management since they were told by the government that the risk is backstopped by the government. This option does not address the issue of lower-income-earning blue collar taxpayers having to pay higher taxes to mitigate the loan obligations of a college graduate while those workers couldn’t afford to send their own kids to college. Oh, any student accepting this help must agree to allow their transcript to be modified to show a failing grade in Economics 101.

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  4. Clarissa, I think you’re starting to realize that Republicans really have no real agenda or policy proposals to solve today’s most pressing problems. When was the last time they actually passed some serious legislation? Trump’s biggest legislative victory was to reduce taxes, that should tell you everything.

    I see Republicans a little bit like Germany’s Angela Merkel. Keep the status quo or even go backwards a bit and hope nothing changes.

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    1. Yeah, but at least Republicans know what a woman is and don’t champion putting male sex offenders in women’s prisons. Or chopping off breasts of teenage girls. Or transing toddlers. Or canceling people for wrongthink. There’s a lot more but I’m sure you get my drift.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You and I are feeling the same way this week. I’m voting Republican for in at least some elections this year but it’s really just a combination of “muh guns and abortion” and “well, look at the other guys!” Democrats had a fairly clear message in 2018, I thought. I have no idea what message Republicans are running on in this election.

    Mike DeWine, him I don’t even think I can vote for, even though Nan Whaley is worse. What would I be voting for? Lockdown? Corruption? More tech companies in Ohio? Count me out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. VOAT HARDRRRRRRR 2022 FOR MOAR TOXIC POSITIVISM 🙂

    Some Republicans are for the Grift Party.

    Some Republicans are for Draining the Swamp.

    And some Republicans are trying to prevent The Party of Chaos (what remains of Circle D) from burning down the entire structure.

    The political position you appear to occupy is one in which you’ve taken shelter from dysfunctional Circle D politics only to observe dysfunctional Circle R politics that rather neatly offsets it.

    And yet you’d rather not watch the whole structure burn.

    But a quote for the fans of “The Expanse”: I am that guy. 🙂

    So you are not alone, because that’s pretty much how architectural critic and post-collapse visionary James Howard Kunstler sees things.

    It would have been so easy for him to stay Circle D, but he just can’t because the things that they’re for bring more of the Chaos that’s at the heart of the New Circle D as the Party of Chaos.

    Go check out his “Clusterfuck Nation” series at his blog, you’ll see what some of this is about.

    What am I for? Certainly not more Toxic Positivism that visits us like an unwanted and spoiled turkey that arrives too early for Thanksgiving. 🙂

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