Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Republican debate? RIght to life and to bomb.

Two thoughts emerged after watching the 10 Republican Presidential candidates debate last night on MSNBC.

First, even without Gingrich, Thompson and Hagel present on stage, the GOP has some formidable candidates for 2008. Agreed, its not that hard to be more impressive than the current clown in office but I’m guessing at least half of the GOP Presidential wanna bees have the capacity to sucker another half of the American public into voting the GOP ticket. Bush’s tragedy of errors may have destroyed the neoconservative movement but the GOP is alive and well.

The second thought is the profound hypocrisy that nearly all stage performers exhibited with patriotic and moral pride. Nearly all committing unequivocally to the diametrically opposed platforms of a “right to life” and an unabashed willingness to attack Iran because of its likely WMD program. For this moment I’ll overlook the possibility of them or a Democratic president making such a murderous mistake again… and focus on the absurdity of trying to hold both apparently contradictory commitments.

While ranting on about “the right to life” one candidate said “Life is the central issue of our day”. Another proclaimed “the most glorious day for America” would be the day Roe vs Wade is reversed. Huckabey declared our nation “is a culture of life.” And, in response to the Stem Cell question another candidate said he “Won’t create life to destroy it.” I’m guessing the creation of nuclear weapons to vaporize the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iranians is ‘still on the table’. The last candidate concluded with a Reagan quote, ‘Whenever there’s a question…ere on the side of life.” Bush must have been AWOL that day in Reagan 101 class. When Chris Mathews challenged the apparent inconsistence in dissing ‘Big government” but supporting a government ban on abortions I believe it was Tancrado who summed it all up saying “I support women’s rights but the right to kill another person is not a right I support.”

There’s at least one logical explanation for their ability to hold these seeming conflicting commitments of ‘right to life’ and the ‘right to shock and awe’. If they only value American unborn lives it’s all consistent. Unfortunately even that runs smack into their unyielding commitment to their “faith”. Assuming they are all Christians or Mormons (and not morons) that creates another problem. Most believers in Christ are NOT American.

Probably all candidates could quote the stats on how many abortions there are each day or year in the US (at least one did). Some might even know abortions numbers in other nations (except Israel – which is the largest recipient of US foreign aid and subsidizes abortions within Israel). Then, of course, there are the millions of other abortions caused by the trauma of pre-emptive war, genocide, malnutrition, starvation, preventable infectious diseases, rape, lack of pre-natal medical care, torture, slavery, or toxic waste. I’ll wager none of the candidates have these statistics in mind.

All are committed to ‘winning’ the war on terror…but when the most terrifying of all human experiences (the death of a wanted child) is not debatable, they easily ignore the fact that every day approximately 28,000 mothers and fathers experience the loss of such a life.

In post debate interviews one GOP candidate criticized the Democratic debaters by stating that “none of them” talked about the threat of radical Islamists. He’s wrong. Both Biden and Obama stated their commitment to this greater threat beyond Iraq, but is true that none of the GOP candidates mentioned the words ‘global poverty’ which is a far greater source of terror in the world. And, worse yet, none of the candidates from either party mentioned the most serious threat we face -- new and reemerging infectious diseases. The Bird flu will make 9-11 seem like a hangnail. I believe Newt may have mentoned this if he were at the debate. It is one of the top 4 issues on his platform of concerns.

A Right to life? Yes. And a right to all things essential to ensuring life. Water, sanitation, health care, nutrition, peace, peace keepers, justice, a clean environment and a basic education. There are some things worth fighting for. I’m still waiting for a candidate with the courage to speak truth to public.

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