I had a sudden revelation today while watching the Roberts Confirmation Hearings.
For some time I have been wondering about the complete and total obsession of the Left and the Democrats with Roe vs. Wade and a woman's right to an abortion.
What struck me about if was how similar this obsession was with their obsession with Vietnam.
On the surface these two issues don't appear similar at all. But I think they have more in common than you might imagine.
How did the Women's Movement, of which I was once a proud member, degenerate solely into an Abortion Clinic? How did the Vietnam War become the benchmark for all US military actions?
Roe vs. Wade was decided by a 7-2 decision of the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973. As a result of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court establishes a woman's right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states.
Roe vs. Wade was actually the culmination of several previous events in 1972 including:
1. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. Originally drafted by Alice Paul in 1923, the amendment read: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." The amendment died in 1982 when it failed to achieve ratification by a minimum of 38 states.
2. In Eisenstadt v. Baird the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy included an unmarried person's right to use contraceptives; and
3. Title IX of the Education Amendments banned sex discrimination in schools. It states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." As a result of Title IX, the enrollment of women in athletics programs and professional schools increased dramatically.
On January 23, 1973, President Nixon announced an agreement "to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and S.E. Asia." The official end to the war was January 27, 1973. By the next year, Congress dealt President Nixon a stunning setback when it voted to override his veto of legislation limiting presidential powers to commit US forces abroad without congressional approval. Congress, with the Vietnam War and the showdown over continued bombing in Cambodia behind it, was anxious to reassert its role in the conduct of the country's foreign affairs.
President Nixon resigned later that year.
Events in 1972, leading up to the end of the Vietnam War included:
1. The Watergate break in June of 1972, and the attempted bugging of the Democratic Party Headquarters
Taken as a whole, 1972 -1973 were the two years of greatest triumph of the Left and the Antiwar movement. The dates of their greatest triumphs are practically identical. With Roe vs. Wade, the Left managed to irrevocably split the country on the abortion issue, leaving a wound that still bleeds today; and at the same time, they managed to bring the ultimate humiliation of military defeat to a demonstrably superior U.S. in its first military confrontation with Communism; AND bring ruin and humiliation to a Republican president (although it was a Democratic President that got us into Vietnam).
The Women's Movement, flush with their major victories from 72 - 73 then proceeded to deteriorate in the next few decades into the cult of female victimhood that we have today; and just one of a group of perpetual victims who depend on the dictums of multiculturalism and political correctness. Their legal victories were more than legal victories. They represented a carte blanche that was gave the Left permission to forever dictate morality to the rest of the country.
Forcing the end to the Vietnam War, and witnessing the collapse of the Nixon Administration and the resignation of the U.S. President was probably the only kind of military victory that the antiwar Left would be capable of achieving. And, having lived through those days, I am perfectly aware of the giddiness and euphoria that accompanied those unprecedented events.
Is it any wonder that these two threads in Amercan history have become the anchor points for a Leftist ideology that is trapped in the past and constantly reliving the only victories it achieved in America during its half century or so in power?
Wherever anyone stands today on the issue of Abortion, there is no doubt that the court's intervention in this issue has--even with time--failed to heal; and the deep divisions that their action caused still fester. I happen to believe that any decision about one's body is a personal one that should not have anything to do with the federal government--in other words, I do not believe in a "right" to an abortion on demand. I believe that people --both men and women --need to take responsibility for the actions of their bodies; and this is clearly a high priority. Forcing abortion down the throats of those deeply offended by it was, and is, a terrible mistake in a free country. I believe that there would have been cultural and social accommodations to personal choice in this matter (particularly in state and local law) but the possibility of that kind of compromise was utterly destroyed by judicial fiat.
Nevertheless, Roe vs. Wade became the template; the benchmark; the litmus test from which all those on the Left responded to issues in the Women's movement. Even women who disagreed with this decision--and other related moral issues-- were loudly ridiculed, demeaned and falsely labelled "outside the mainstream."
A great deal of Leftist energy is invested in watchdogging, maintaining, protecting, and promoting the abortion agenda as the lynchpin in Women's Rights. To them, it would be the end of the world as we know it if something should happen to take this sublime victory away. Anyone who disagrees is "taking women back to the dark ages." They are obsessed because they cannot understand that Freedom means being free to agree or disagree with them. They demand that you agree with them, or else.
I have no need to go into any detail regarding their remarkably similar obsession with Vietnam; and how all military conflicts involving the US--in which we acted out of our own national interest, rather than as part of the UN--instantly (usually within days) become Vietnam-like "quagmires" and are examples of the immoral warmongering of (almost always) Republican presidents. To them the loss of any soldier (even voluntary rather than drafted ones) is the end of the world as we know it; and success in this most recent war in Iraq --or ANY war that the US engages in--diminishes their 1973 Vietnam victory.
And, of course, they are always on the lookout for a Watergate-like scandal that would bring down Bush and bring back those wonderful glory days when they felt omnipotent and validated. They are obsessed because they cannot see how a US military victory anywhere could ever be a victory for them. They only win, when Ammerica loses.
Like all obsessions, Abortion and Vietnam--the twin obsessions of the Left, are symptoms of extreme anxiety.
If either of their cherished victories are threatened, then their anxiety instantly escalates into hysteria, paranoia, or both.