Nowhere else in the free world is abortion an issue of such contention, because nowhere in the free world is a property right in other human beings so deeply embedded in the national soul. The tension between the truths we hold self-evident and the realities we’ve created on the ground will probably not be peacefully resolved.
Republicans like to harp on the role Democrats played down through history in defending slavery, imposing Jim Crow, battling the Civil Rights movement, and lionizing the Confederacy. It’s a complicated parlor trick, a miracle of political gaslighting, since the many of the same people who played those roles in the …
We’ll see how this plays out, but the results from yesterday are not a massive statement in either direction.
Texans don’t vote, until one day they do.
How did sane Republicans acclimate themselves to a political environment constrained by insane demands? Through self-delusion and flight. In the decade after the takeover you could hear business Republicans, in private conversation, explain away the antics of anti-gay crusaders or bizarre abortion extremists as “harmless.” Religious fanatics welcomed into the party (and now occupying all major leadership positions) were “useful idiots” being manipulated toward the party’s wider business and commercial goals.
By the time that illusion became impossible to sustain, those who held it were either fully co-opted to the party’s new lunatic goals or had simply been pushed into irrelevance. As Orwell wrote in 1984, “We have always been at war with Eastasia.” When we abandon our attachment to empirical realities in pursuit of public calm, crazy takes over. Crazy, if tolerated, will in time create its own new normal, pushing reason to the margins before extinguishing it altogether.
What were the odds that my father, in his half an hour a day of free time over the past forty years, would ever successfully escape the cultural tractor beam created by these professional crooks? Those odds were low enough that thousands of people could build careers on them, stripping my father and millions of other people of their political power just as blatantly as if they had robbed them on the street. My father had little chance against this machine.