Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Moment of Reason

One of the problems with public discourse these days is that many people can't bring themselves to state their cases without engaging in wild histrionics.  How many times have you read something described as the most shocking, the most outrageous, the most ridiculous, etc.?  Not everything can be the most outrageous -- only one thing can be.  And yet, that doesn't stop people from launching into ludicrous hyperbole or, just as bad, cobbling together lists that supposedly divine some pattern of thought or action.

This is the case currently with a list floating around the internet, first finding publication on a noted left-wing site, titled "Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women."  The site reports, "The Republicans are on a rampage attacking women's health and rights this year."  Really?  A rampage?  Do all of the Republican legislators who happen to be women know about this?

Let's take a look at a couple of these items.  Here's the first one:
"Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker."
Of course, Republicans are not redefining rape (when did we start using that word again, anyway?  Isn't it supposed to be "criminal sexual conduct"?).  Rather, in those instances in which federal funding is available for abortion, the range of circumstances in which abortions are covered is being narrowed.  Also, there are 10 Democrat and 18 women cosponsors of this bill -- are they engaged in a war on women?

Here's another one:
"In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)"
For real?  Really?  No, not really.  Here's the language of HB 1171, the South Dakota bill in question, in its entirety:
Section 1. That § 22-16-34 be amended to read as follows:

22-16-34. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.
Section 2. That § 22-16-35 be amended to read as follows:
22-16-35. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.
Let's put aside the fact that this legislation has been tabled, and ignore the fact that nine of the sponsors are women.  What does this legislation actually do?  It acknowledges the protections afforded by South Dakota law to a fetal human being and plugs a hole in the state law, allowing a person to come to the aid of a pregnant woman where the object of the attack is specifically the unborn child she is carrying.  While the wording could be clearer, the bill's sponsor has clarified that the bill is unrelated to abortion:
"It would if abortion was illegal," he told me. "This code only deals with illegal acts. Abortion is legal in this country. This has nothing to do with abortion."
You can see what kind of problems this list causes.  People who read only the headline think there really is a "war on women," and people who read the blurbs in this list are told these issues are "for real."  To figure out why these are lies takes time and effort and knowing where to find and how to interpret the source documents.  Relatively few people have the time or know where to look, with the end result being that the lies are accepted at face value, a result upon which the left depends. 

The left cannot long survive in a thinking, rational society, so we need to keep up our efforts to educate our families, our friends, and our children.  And, when we're confronted with the kind of prevarication that teaches there is a "war on women," we can defeat it with a simple, logical, moment of reason.