Regarding abortion — the Fetus People perpetually accuse “pro-aborts” of just wanting to kill babies. Giving women control over their own lives and bodies doesn’t register with the FPs.
But what is their agenda? “Saving babies” doesn’t make sense when you acknowledge that criminalizing abortion doesn’t stop it. It doesn’t seem even to reduce it. Abortion rates tend to be higher in countries where it is illegal than where it is legal. Restricting access to legal abortion just drives it underground. The one factor that does make a measurable difference in reducing abortion rates is use of contraceptives.
There is copious data from many studies over many years supporting these facts. Yet the hard-core FPs remain fixated on criminalizing abortion, closing clinics, and restricting access to birth control and sex education. It’s illogical.
Well, unless “saving babies” isn’t the real agenda.
I’ve come to think there are two kinds of hidden agendas. One is about greed and gain. The other is emotional and psychological, and almost always is buried so deeply in the pysche that people who have it deny to themselves it is there. Demagoguery is all about the people with the first kind of agenda manipulating the people with the second kind of agenda.
In the case of the Fetus People, the only agenda I can think of that makes consistent sense is a fear and loathing of female sexuality. All those copulating women have to be controlled! The FPs will deny this, but this is not a crew famous for self-awareness.
Politicians in conservative districts have been demagoguing this issue for years, because it’s a big, fat button to push that gets big results. So the politicians have been acting from the first kind of hidden agenda. But in recent years, I believe, more and more people suffering from the second kind have been getting into office, especially at state level, and they will not rest until those womenfolk have been properly brought back under patriarchal control. They’ll still get abortions, of course, but they’ll have to do so secretly, illegally, and thereby shamefully. That’s what’s important.
But it’s not just abortion. Let’s look at economic policy. Please do read “Can libertarian populism save the Republican Party?” by Mike Konczal. A bit:
The specifics of a libertarian populist agenda are often lacking, but advocates sometimes point to to things like Rand Paul’s budget plan. This is a plan that calls for flat taxes, cutting discretionary spending through a balanced budget and removing the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate to promote low inflation and high employment.
This brings to mind Eugene Mirman’s joke about bears, where he notes that the common notion that you should play dead if you see a bear “is a rumor that bears spread.” Similarly, the idea that reducing the tax burden on the rich while calling for tighter money and deregulation counts as “populism” sure seems like a rumor spread by the 1 percent.
Yet all kinds of people well down in the 99 percent ranks will support this, partly because they don’t understand it but mostly because there is something about the way the plan will be marketed that appeals to their psychological and emotional issues.
Here’s another one — the bleeping border fence. Is that stupid, or what? Joshua Holland writes,
Only about half of the country’s unauthorized immigrants entered illegally through the Southern border to begin with. And with illegal entries at a 40-year low, and the undocumented population down by a million from its 2007 peak, the right’s fetish for security spending is shaping up to be a boondoggle for giant defense contractors with a consistent track record of bungling past efforts to “secure the border.” . . .
…Reached by phone in Chihuahua, Mexico, Tom Barry, a senior analyst at the Center for International Policy and author of “Border Wars,” told Salon that the effort is simply “absurd.” “Border patrol agents are tripping over themselves now,” he said. “They have nothing to do. They’re reading magazines in their trucks. If they increase the force by the levels they’re talking about now, you’ll have measures of boredom and waste that are almost inconceivable.”
It’s not just a fence, of course, but I’ve spent enough time on rightie websites to know they have a huge emotional investment in a fence. Maybe it’s just that there’s something about a fence that their little minds can understand, but I suspect also they have a deep emotional/psychological need to have a real physical barrier between themselves and those Brown People.
And, of course, the defense industry will make out like banditos. It’s a perfect storm of agendas.