Following the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, a surge of “grassroots” groups began gathering under various guises and using the imagery of the American Revolution — the Boston Tea Party in particular — as an anti-liberal rhetorical device.
Their various complaints against the government revolved around the federal government’s sudden deviation from “constitutional principles” (Read: By the current president, not the one who for eight years had actually done serious damage to the Constitution). Their goals were “lower taxes,” “smaller government,” and “more personal responsibility.” At the same time, they maintained that the culture wars and fights over social issues were over.
This, of course, was the New American Revolution for some people — and just like Orwell’s mythical animal farm, it is a revolution that is now victimized by its own leaders. Today, the culture war conservatives and neo-confederate “libertarians” are the pigs who moved into the big house and walk around on two legs.
If you have ever wondered why these people moan and groan about “states’ rights” almost 150 years after that issue was settled and the United States became a singular world power, it is because these people can only achieve their draconian goals at the state level. While the national election of 2012 became a fundraising centerpiece for the political-industrial complex and the Democratic Party was focused on fighting off an ineffectual GOP presidential candidate who had no chance of winning, Republicans gleefully watched as they took over more school boards and statehouses virtually unopposed. Since then, in states where Tea Partiers, libertarians, and plain old RINOs are in charge for the first time in decades, things have been going from bad to worse. In states where the right wing simply saw its majority grow, things have gone well past worse, and there are no signs of what might be below that. All the while, the chants of “smaller government” and “personal responsibility” rally the rugged individualists of America to the cause.
The Tea Party lie about “smaller government” and “personal responsibility” is most apparent in how its adherents approach the issue of women’s rights. The true libertarian realizes that whatever one’s personal opinion about a certain behavior may be, as long as that behavior does not directly threaten another person’s well-being, there is no reason to legislate against it. This is why libertarians love the idea of legalizing drugs (a victimless crime, they say) and prostitution (a slightly less victimless crime). But the fake libertarian cannot walk that line all the way toward a woman’s right to an abortion. These proto-theocrats are subjugating the very real lives and concerns of human beings to the potential lives they aim to “save,” and they are doing so in a number of ways that are reprehensible.
The Texas Senate, despite a successful filibuster against a bill that would close 80 percent of the women’s health clinics in that state, ultimately passed that much-maligned piece of legislation. Meanwhile in North Carolina — a state where Republicans are in control for the first time in a century — anti-abortion measures were tacked on to a motorcycle safety bill at the last moment in an effort to sneak them past the public. Ironically, the N.C. General Assembly’s first attempt at this method of outlawing abortion came attached to an anti-Sharia Law bill. Imagine that, outlawing one set of religious beliefs in order to enforce another.
Other states have passed measures encouraging doctors to lie to patients or requiring forced transvaginal probes of women seeking abortions. Freedom and personal liberty, indeed.
These men — and they are mostly men after all — are perfectly willing to condemn women who are beneath their consideration as persons (just as the Founding Fathers apparently intended) to nine months of carrying a child who may be a product of rape or who may have insurmountable odds of survival upon birth. Assuming there is no person to adopt the child after birth, these same men then remove every single social program designed to help these women care for their children. For these libertarians in name only, a woman doesn’t have the right to decide to have a child nor to receive help after she is forced to give birth. They only desire to impose their will upon women, as though they were nothing more than human chattel.
True libertarians must realize that the decision to carry another human life to term and then care for it for the next two decades is an intimately personal one and cannot, and should not, be legislated by other people. The false libertarian hides behind a series of false notions of “liberty” to enact a far more puritanical system of laws than what already exists in this country with the aim of subjugating all but a select minority of people to economic, social, cultural, and political exclusion and marginalization.