Thursday, September 4, 2008

Agonizing Decision?

Phyllis Chestler is extraordinarily melodramatic about her voting decision. A vote for a McCain and women lose their freedom, or a vote for Obama and the terrorists win:

Thus, here are some wrenching bottom lines: Do we vote to keep abortion legal and to stop the anti-Choice conservatives from taking over the Supreme Court–or do we vote to make sure that the American military is allowed to stop the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in their tracks? Can we really achieve both goals by voting for one candidate? If not, then what is the more pressing priority? For ourselves, for our country, for the world at this moment in history?

If American women retain the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term–in my view, a prerequisite to female human freedom, what does this mean if the jihadists bomb the country back to the seventh century? If the jihadists triumph, American women will be forced to convert to Islam, to wear veils or burqas (body bags), and risk being stoned to death, hung, or honor murdered if they want to choose their own husbands, attend college, dress like modern American girls do, or convert to another non-Islamic religion.

Look, I care a lot about this presidential election, but I realize that it's less important than I'm making it- Roe v. Wade is unlikely to be overturned even with a McCain presidency, and even if it is, most states still have abortion rights of their own- it is not an all or nothing by any means. Moreover, even if abortion were to be outlawed across the land, this is not, as Ms. Chestler puts it, damaging to a "prerequisite to female human freedom." This is, in fact, the worst, most insulting type of defense of abortion- it requires 2 conclusions, both of which are demeaning to women and life itself- first, that women have no choice at all in the matters leading up to getting pregnant, and second, that carrying a child is a violation of your human freedom (a horrible thing), rather than a small miracle of human life (although it does bring to mind Obama's "punished with a baby" comment).

On the same side, if Obama wins, the Islamic terrorists don't automatically win, too. Yes, I think that there would be more danger, but the American people are tough, and I find it hard to beleive that, if by some horrible serious of events, terrorists were able to assert some form of control, we would not put up with it. We have refused to put up with far less. Furthermore, as we sometimes forget, Obama is an American, too, and he will do what he can to stand up to this. Yes, I think that he'd make some mistakes, and I think that those mistakes would increase the risk of an attack or similar, but I still think that he will avoid doing anything that would put us in the sort of position that Ms. Chestler describes.

When push comes to shove, not much is going to change, regardless of who gets elected, and change will come gradually, and we will have plenty of checks in place to prevent either man from making such a dramatic impact.

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