Slippery Words

Imagine with me that the outcome of WWII was reversed. Nazi Germany wins and extends its dark empire across the globe. But also imagine that in time the dictatorship slowly evolves into a half-way form of democracy, allowing the people to vote to install cabinet members and defense secretaries and so on. Friedrich, a promising political up-and-comer, begins his campaign running for head of Health and Human Services. In a televised debate with his opponent, Friedrich is asked about his views on the tradition of exterminating the lower races of Jews, homosexuals, and the mentally handicapped. Personally, Friedrich believes that it is wrong to kill truck loads of people just because of their race, religion, practice, or physical handicap. In fact, he has even spoken out clearly that he personally disagrees with it. But, Friedrich knows that he will never be elected if he tries to change the current policy, so he begins to verbally dance.

“Well, as you all know, I personally do not support the gas-chambers, but I believe that in this glorious empire we must leave that decision up to the people (The Arian people, that is). If we were to adopt a nation-wide repeal of the annihilation of the Unfavorables, then our communities would suddenly have to deal with the social and financial strain of assimilating these people. Some communities would have to undergo radical changes that could permanently alter their lives – careers, education, and our own ideals of the perfect Arian lifestyle would be affected. So, while I may personally not agree with it, I think it is my duty and my privilege to trust our people to make this important decision, and institute policies that keep our extermination forces active.”

The audience responds with thunderous applause.

Here’s the moral dilemma: does Friedrich actually believe that the Nazi gas chambers are wrong? Does he actually believe that killing millions and millions of people, simply because they exist, is a moral evil? Of course he doesn’t. If he did, he would be doing everything he could to bring an end to it – not batting it around like a game of political badminton.

At the vice-presidential debate, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, admitted that he personally does not agree with abortion, but that he believes that what matters most is, “trusting women to make this choice.”The highest good in Mr. Kaine’s mind is protecting the autonomy of women, even if it means destroying the life of a child. Of course everyone would agree that we shouldn’t needlessly impede anyone’s choices, but how far does this go? What if just moments after giving birth, the mother suddenly realizes that she no longer wants the responsibility of motherhood, and asks a nurse to kill her child? What if a father, overwhelmed with parenthood, walks his toddler out into the woods and just leaves him there? Are they not using their autonomy? Should we impede that? Why is that thought repulsive, but drowning a child in toxins or ripping them apart in the womb not? Governments impede autonomy all the time – that’s what we call “Laws”. If I begin selling bags of cocaine to high schoolers behind a gas station, no one is going to say that the police should “respect my autonomy”, if my autonomy is leading to something destructive for myself and society as a whole.

The only way that anyone can reconcile the cognitive dissonance in the mind of Kaine (or anyone else who claims to be personally pro-life but publicly pro-death) is that he must view the child in the womb as not a part of society; sub-human, a “choice”, not a person – which is just another way of saying, he isn’t really pro-life. What made the Nazis so bone-chillingly effective in slaughtering millions of people was their ability to reduce the Jews to Untermensch, “sub-human”. They could corral people like cattle into slaughterhouses because thats exactly how they viewed them – cattle.

All of us would like to think that if we were in Friedrich’s position we would take a bold stand against such overwhelming injustice. Irregardless of the cost, we would do what is right. Tragically, since 1973 American abortion centers have already killed five times (54.8 million) the amount killed in the Holocaust (11 million). Why are the unborn of less value than anyone else? What about their choices? Let’s not be fooled by the duplicity of pundits or candidates who claim to be pro-life, but unblinkingly support the ethos of death. Kaine’s attempt to pivot abortion onto “trusting women” does not sound like conviction or honesty, it sounds like an oily marketing technique trying to dupe us while riding a fictitious moral high horse. It feels hollow, looks deceptive, and smells of sulfur.

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