Friday, November 9, 2012

The Parade of Infamy: DEFEATED!

Image via: Andrew Vachss

Remember the so-called Parade of Infamy I wrote about Sunday before the election?  I am referring to the group of white Republican conservative men who, in the months leading up to election day "have sullied the pro-life (or shall we say, anti-abortion?) movement with horrendously insensitive comments about rape."

Having been singled out for their insensitive remarks and pilloried in the court of public opinion, every single one of them was summarily dumped at the polls. Here's a post-election re-cap:
  • Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin in Missouri DEFEATED
  • Richard "rape is something God intended to happen" Mourdock in Indiana  DEFEATED
  • Roger "some girls, they rape so easy" Rivard in Wisconsin DEFEATED
  • Joe "opposes abortion even to save the life of the mother" Walsh in Illinois DEFEATED
  • Tom "a baby out of wedock is similar [to rape]" Smith in Pennsylvania DEFEATED
  • John "the rape thing" Koster in Washington state  DEFEATED
  • Paul "forcible rape as a method of conception" Ryan on the Romney ticket  DEFEATED

(Note: if you compare this list to the one I originally posted, you'll note the order has changed, and I added the two candidates in blue. I modified the list to match the graphic.)

What does it mean that all seven of these conservative white republican men were defeated? What do their losses say about the American electorate?  Was this result a repudiation of far-right conservative ideas? Will Republicans stop promoting un-electable women-haters in the Primaries? Are we moving as a people toward a more Enlightened state?

Apparently, some sarcastic pundits are beginning to declare that rape is a Republican value.  How could excusing rape possibly be a good thing for anyone, especially God-fearing conservative politicians? What gains have we made as a society at the cost of seven political careers?

To the above parade of infamous individuals I would add the following groups of people who also suffered a form of defeat, albeit collectively
  • Religious leaders who passed out abortion-focused "How to Vote" instructions,  DEFEATED
  • Voters who view abortion as a litmus test for any public office  DEFEATED
  • Narrow-minded, misogynistic, paternalistic Cretins DEFEATED 

I'd like to hope that the lessons learned here include the following:
  • Respect for the difficult choices a woman makes. I may not like the idea of abortion, and I may even try to talk a woman out of having an abortion. However, it's not my body and it's not my baby. For a conservative white guy like me to remove an option because I don't like it simply forces the woman who wants to abort to seek the unlawful, unregulated, and unsafe option. 
  • Pro-life discussions that begin at conception but stop at birth are absurd! To be truly pro-life is to believe in the sanctity of life throughout the whole life cycle. It is certainly philosophically illogical to focus 100% of the attention on the left-most part of the spectrum. I would go so far as to say that it is immoral.  
  • The idea that thoughtful people can disagree is fundamental to American-style democracy. The idea of telling people how to vote based on ONE issue? Offensive, to say the least.

I'll give the last word and a tip of the hat to Jerry, retired UCC pastor and Facebook friend concerning the Defeat of the Cretins:

"It should be an eye-opener for the narrow-minded men and an encouragement for women and those who care about them and their ability to make their own decisions."        
--Jerrold L Foltz

Health, Happiness, and Prosperity to all.