The Right-Wing And The Hypocrisy Of Government Interference

We have people like Glenn Beck repeatedly decrying government interference in our lives. That seems to be the mantra of the far-right these days: government interference is bad.

But not all kinds, apparently. The far-right is perfectly content to let the government impose religious beliefs on American citizens, as long as those religious beliefs are approved of by – you got it – the far right.

A case in point is abortion. The central platform of the GOP in the 2008 election cycle was abortion. That makes for a pretty small tent and it’s no surprise they lost as a result (At this year’s CPAC abortion ranked #5 on the list of attendee concerns).

But what is anti-abortion legislation if it is not government interference in the private reproductive rights of an individual? And 80% of those polled at CPAC said that government “intrusion into their lives of its citizens” was their main concern.

But is it? Really?

The government says, in effect: you get pregnant, you keep your baby – even if it kills you. Even if you were raped. Even if you were a victim of incest. Even if you were too young to sign a binding legal document – a contract – when you got pregnant, you’re old enough to agree to keep the baby.

The anti-abortion movement – which finds most of its supporters to right of the aisle – doesn’t seem to have a problem with some kinds of government interference.

That kind of government interference is welcomed. The irony is that while they’re arming themselves (quite literally) to resist every other kind of government interference in their lives, they’re also arming themselves to force you to obey the government when it tells you to have that baby.

In Utah, the situation is even more absurd. According to legislation that is awaiting the governor’s signature, you can go to jail for having a miscarriage.

Yes, the government can now decide that you fell down those stairs intentionally – in order to trigger a miscarriage.

Think I’m joking? Ask the pregnant woman in Iowa who fell down the stairs and was arrested. Yes. She not only had to suffer possible injury (not to mention fear for her baby’s life) but she had to suffer the humiliation of the government coming into her home and telling her what her intentions were.

Isn’t that what Glenn Beck and his ultra-right friends pretend to be against?

Why aren’t they defending this woman?

Iowa is not the only state with such laws (There are 37 states with a feticide law on the books). The anti-abortion movement, driven by religious extremists, has done just what the right-wing fears and insinuated the government into our homes, or in Glenn Beck’s words, tracking of “everything you do” (February 22 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program). Including, obviously, falling down the stairs while you’re pregnant.

Yes, my fellow citizens: Accidents are now crimes.

Let’s not pretend ignorance here: the so-called pro-life movement is not pro-life. It is anti-life. It is against women’s reproductive rights, it is against the life of the mother if complications threaten her survival, and it is against the life of underage girls who are pregnant due to incest, or the life of any woman who is the victim of rape.

Apparently, however the sperm got there, God wants you to be pregnant.

Your life is meaningless if you’re a woman.

The sperm gets treated like baby Jesus.

Christine Taylor in Iowa eventually walked away from both her fall and from jail, but not because the law was recognized to be wrong, but because she turned out to be not in her criminal third trimester but in her second.

In other words, she walked on a technicality. There was no admission that falling down the stairs was not in fact an attempt to murder the fetus.

Because in right-wing America, after all, you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent.

For anti-choice fanatics – and they are fanatics – women are the enemy. Women and their bodies. It is hard not to see misogyny at the root of this war against women’s reproductive rights. And incidents like these quite clearly expose the hypocrisy of the right’s position that government interference is bad.

It isn’t bad. It’s good when the government is acting on the right’s behalf.

Government interference is only bad when it’s the “cancer of progressivism” – in other words, the embrace of individual human rights as a result of the European Enlightenment – which guides the government’s hand.

In the end, the only right people like Beck are fighting for is the right to decide who gets rights – and who doesn’t.

Editor’s Note: Please follow this author on Twitter.

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6 Responses to The Right-Wing And The Hypocrisy Of Government Interference

  1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Amy Beth
    February 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for such a well written article on far right hypocrisy. You cited so many specific examples, the Beck brigade will have a hard time spinning their way around it. But try they will… and it will be fun to watch their crooked folly in motion. .

    • Vote -1 Vote +1John
      February 28, 2010 at 6:35 am

      Haraldsson’s article is one big non sequitor fallacy.

      Here’s the mirror image of his argument: Liberals claim to favor “choice.” But all they really care about is the “choice” to kill babies. Liberals hate choice when it comes to schooling. Liberals oppose school vouchers, so they are all hypocrites. Liberals don’t even want people to choose which school educates their child, a very personal and important decision. So the next time you hear a liberal talk about choice, they are just big phonies. Liberals don’t really care about choice, therefore small government is best.

      That is precisely his argument, played back from the other side. His argument seems to be that conservatives are inconsistent (or hypocritical) on abortion, therefore criticisms of big government are unsound. That’s an incredibly illogical argument.
      Haraldsson does not offer one shred of evidence in support of government interference. More precisely, he does nothing to prove why critics of government interference are wrong in their criticism. He merely plays a rhetorical shell game with the concept of choice, which is a cheap little ploy that can be easily reversed.

  2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
    February 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Excellent example of how the conservatives only give lip service to the rights of people. Great article.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1John
      February 28, 2010 at 6:38 am

      Haraldsson does not offer one shred of evidence in support of government interference. More precisely, he does nothing to prove why critics of government interference are wrong in their criticism. He merely plays a rhetorical shell game with the concept of choice, which is a cheap little ploy that can be easily reversed.
      Liberals don’t care about choice because they oppose school vouchers. Therefore don’t listen to liberals, and small government is best. That is the mirror image of the nonsensical logic contained in that article.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1jovan
    February 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    This kind of lies and deceit from the far right is nothing new. Mr. Beck and his ilk have been throwing the smoke and mirrors at a gullible American public for 30 years now. I’m surprised that only now has a bigger media outlet exposed it. I have dedicated myself towards stopping the far right and their lies in 2010.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1John
    February 28, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Haraldsson does nothing to prove why critics of government interference are wrong in their criticism. He just plays a stupid word game with the word “choice.”
    Here is his argument played back from the other side. Liberals don’t care about choice because they oppose school vouchers. Therefore don’t listen to liberals, because they are hypocrites about choice. Since they are hypocrites about choice, big government is bad and small government is best. That is the mirror image of the nonsensical logic contained in that article.
    This unreasoning piffle puts off a stench to independent-minded people. That’s exactly why NJ, VA, and MA lurched right-ward.
    Is the best criticism you can make of conservatives that you have a different interpretation of the contested notion of choice? You’ve got to be able to do better than that if you want to persuade people who think for themselves.

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