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Genocide in America: can we talk?

March 10, 2012

[29th J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense on Broad View, KBZZ 1270 AM Reno.]

Next week, the comic strip Doonesbury is tackling the issue of abortion and newspapers are struggling with the decision about whether to carry the strip or give Doonesbury the week off. It’s not the leftwing slant on the issue from cartoonist Gary Trudeau that bothers them. It’s the language he uses.

Here we go again. Every time we try to discuss something important in this country, the debate gets tangled up in language and ad hominem attacks. Nothing serious can be discussed, because everybody is shrieking about how offended they are.

Two weeks ago, when Rush Limbaugh used the word “slut” while poking fun at a feminist, did he have a point about the underlying issue or not? Nobody cares! The man apologized for his rude words, but instead of talking about whether President Obama and the federal government should be forcing people with religious objections to pay for birth control, we’re talking about what a pig Rush Limbaugh is.

The subject of next week’s Doonesbury is a new law in Texas requiring that women have ultrasounds so they can see the baby and hear the heartbeat before an abortion. Pro-lifers say this will give women a better sense of what they are about to do. Pro-abortionists respond by saying that first-trimester ultrasounds require vaginal insertion of the ultrasound device, and nobody should be forcing a woman to have something shoved into her vagina.

Clearly, there’s no way to discuss this without using language that is graphic. It’s a graphic subject. On this issue, as in most issues, Gary Trudeau’s political position is far to the left. On this issue, as in most issues, my position is far to the right. Yet here I am, in language as plain as I can make it, encouraging newspapers to print these comic strips.

For crying out loud, let’s give every side every possible chance to make their case, and listen to each other. There’s no need to smear Mr. Trudeau’s history and paint him as some kind of devil, or pretend he doesn’t have anything worthwhile to say. He’s very good at what he does, there’s a long tradition of cartoons being used to make valuable points, and important issues have been decided in people’s minds by timely political cartoons.

Look at Uncle Sam, for instance: he first appeared in cartoons during the War of 1812 and he’s still recruiting people into the military two centuries later.

As for the Texas law, I don’t know whether it necessitates vaginal insertion. I’m fairly intelligent (believe it or not), and I’ve tried to research the matter (something I’m pretty good at), but both sides are so busy hurling insults at each other I can’t find trustworthy information. The law itself does not require vaginal insertion of any kind, but Planned Parenthood insists that’s the only way. On the other hand, some doctors say they won’t be using vaginal insertion – they’ll give women the best picture possible from outside and call it a day.

Who really knows? How about we discuss it, intelligently and calmly, and figure this out?

There may not be a more important issue in the world than the growing disdain for life and the growing use of abortion and infanticide. Fifty five million abortions have been performed in the United States since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. If you add the babies that never had a chance to be born to the babies those babies would have had themselves, there’s at least 100 million Americans missing in action. One quarter of us. If you want a graphic image of that level of genocide in your mind, imagine any four famous Americans. Now erase one of them.

We don’t know how many Steve Jobs or Michael Jordans or Tyler Perrys or Albert Einsteins were in that 100 million, and it’s frightening to wonder about the glorious contributions we missed.

Forget about theories you’ve heard about the fall of great civilizations. There’s a growing body of scholarship that points to a lack of respect for life being the primary cause. Aristotle pointed out that when Sparta lost its final battle to Thebes, there were only 1,000 Spartan citizens left in Sparta... where there used to be tens of thousands. Censuses from Greek cities 2,000 years ago show fewer and fewer children, and higher and higher proportions of those children being male, a sign that parents were killing female babies. Centuries later, when Rome sent a huge fleet of warships to attack Carthage, commentators at the time remarked that Rome had insufficient citizens to man the warships, and that large sections of the Italian peninsula were empty and fallow from lack of people.

Civilizations don’t die so much from failure of their ideas, but from failure to value and produce children. After 55 million abortions, I think that’s worth discussing. Even by Doonesbury.

That's... today’s dose of common sense..

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it... and those who can't pronounce the word 'vaginal' just sound like idiots." – George Santayana (paraphrased slightly)

"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself." – Khalil Gibran

From Reno, Nevada, USA       

March 11, 2012 - I don't write comments enough or tell you often enough how much I enjoy every column. As always, well said. *claps* - Bree, Seattle
J.P. replies: Apparently you didn't listen to the audio and hear me mispronounce "vaginal" ten million times. But thanks anyway for the compliment.

March 11, 2012 - Dude, vaj-uh-nl. Get a clue. - MariBeth, Missouri
J.P. replies: I know, I know. Plenty of people already lined up to tell me what an idiot I am. Did you notice the Santayana quote? Let's hope this is the low point of my radio career.

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