LONG BEACH (coup2k.com) April 18, 2001 -- Yet again, seemingly incongruous and hypocritical statements from the right take liberals completely by surprise. But while Pat Robertson's defense of forced abortions in China is being portrayed as inconsistent with his 'pro-life' advocacy in The United States, it isn't, really. So, one more time, and for the record: the pro-life movement and its leaders don't give a damn about the unborn... And they NEVER HAVE.
I've written here on the BBBR about the tendency of liberals to project our own value systems onto conservatives, and how that leaves us vulnerable to being blindsided by the direction taken by their policies and actions. The coup provided us a rare opportunity to see behind the conservative fašade, to the anti-democratic monster that lurked beneath, and yet liberals still react in genuine amazement when conservatives let their repressive flag fly.
Take Pat Robertson's statements about China's mandatory abortion policy Tuesday evening to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, and his talk of "Well, you know I don't agree with it. But..." of China "doing what they have to do," of the danger that sex-selective abortion practices "will, in a sense, dilute the--what they consider the racial purity of the Han Chinese."
Does anyone find his statements shocking, coming as they do from one of America's loudest and most consistently radical anti-choice voices? Why? The only thing truly shocking about Robertson's statements is their honesty. The religious right leader 'got real', gave us a glance at the man behind the mask -- that is what's shocking.
And guess what? The 'pro-life' movement (despite its name and its inherent spin) is, and always has been, 'anti-choice', and nothing else.
The pro-life movement, as demonstrated by its beloved leader, isn't about saving the unborn. Nope. It isn't. Never has been. It is, instead, about what conservative policies are ALWAYS about (undermining personal autonomy, limiting freedom, promoting anti-feminism), and also what those policies are often about (maintaining racial and ethnic purity, and pandering to the wealthy).
Pat Robertson has confirmed, on the record, what has been obvious all along to anyone who cared to look beyond the right's rhetoric about abortion, to what their actions and policies as a whole, and the impact those actions and policies will have, say about conservatives' attitudes towards the rights of the BORN, let alone the rights of the unborn.
Robertson's statements demonstrate that the central organizing principle of his views is neither a love of god, nor a love of man, nor a love of the unborn. It is a love of force, a love of power, and, yes, a love of money.
This brief flash of honesty is not a first for Robertson.
While campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, Robertson also briefly 'got real', explaining his views on the 'birth dearth' (reproduction in the industrialized world failing to keep pace with population growth in the Third World). In his controversial book, The Birth Dearth, a subject of political debate at the time, Ben Wattenberg argued that American women needed to take measures to have more children, saying "...demographic and immigration patterns inherent in the Birth Dearth will yield an ever smaller proportion of Americans of white European stock." Pat Robertson agreed that "depopulation of the West" constituted "genetic suicide" and "threatens the power of Western industrialized democracies."
There is, for Pat Robertson, a WORLD of difference between preventing white women from exercising their freedom of choice to HAVE abortions, and preventing non-white women from exercising their freedom of choice to not HAVE abortions. The difference? Race. And money.
Yes, money. And not just the personal wealth Robertson has invested in China -- though that is another master Robertson serves by refusing to criticize reproductive force in China -- but Money. Money with a capital 'M'.
Conservatives have long realized that to maintain and reduce their low taxation of the wealthiest Americans, there is a desperate need for a broad base of taxpayers in the lower brackets to pay high regressive taxes. By outlawing abortion while pushing for smaller government and reduced funding for social welfare programs, the right wing can grow a permanent underclass to bear that regressive tax burden, provide a source of cheap labor to hold wages down, and a broad consumer base to keep demand up. For those in love with money, this is the best of all possible worlds.
So, the next time you are tempted to be shocked by the apparently contradictory positions or policies of America's right wing, take the time to boil those positions and policies down to their essence, and look at their likely results. That will tell you all you need ever know about the intent of conservatives, and which master they serve.
Conservatives ARE consistent.
As liberals, on the other hand, our masters have always been the right of self-governance (personal and political), freedom of choice and conscience, and opposition to the use of force to suspend rights or freedoms. For us, women in China, and in America, have an absolute right to decide the reproductive destinies of their own bodies without interference from the State. These are the principles for which WE stand.
We are consistent, too.