Whenever elections come around, Republicans always start pleading for a “truce” on social issues. This truce is, of course, entirely one-sided. It’s not like they’ve made an agreement with the ACLU or the gay activists for an end to agitation on the other side. That itself should tip us off that the truce in question is actually an unconditional surrender. In any event, social conservatives, and the pro-life movement (or as I like to call it, the “fetal-rights movement”) can never lay down its arms for a second. If it did, it could never pick them up again.
Let me start out by stating a fact that everyone knows but no one at any point on the political spectrum will say, because it’s in no one’s interest to say it: abortion will never be restricted in the United States in any serious way. Never. Not in a million years. Americans would legalize cannibalism before they would restrict abortion. They would elect Darth Vader president before they would restrict abortion. They would turn over the country to foreign conquerers before they would allow any woman to be denied the right or opportunity (including, if necessary, the funds) to murder her prenatal child. The stated purpose of the pro-life movement–to illegalize abortion–is utterly hopeless.
Why is it hopeless? First of all, the entire elite class is pro-choice, and nothing is done against their will. Second, liberalism bases human dignity not on having a human essence, but on having an active will, which excludes the unborn, infants, and the mentally incapacitated. Third, liberalism demands that sex have no intrinsic meaning, which can only be made to seem true if its telos is eraticated.
Most significantly, the evil of abortion can never be admitted, because America could never bear to assume the guilt that this would imply. It would mean that we have committed the greatest crime in human history, the greatest mass-murder of all time. Even this understates the magnitude of our infamy, because our murders were not, like those of the Jacobins and Bolsheviks, directed primarily at strangers, but rather at our own children. And this was not only allowed by statute, but according to our Supreme Court, demanded by our fundamental constitution. In God’s sight, America is more contemptible than Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Simple justice, it would seem, demands that the USA be exterminated, its cities burned, and its ground sown with salt. That we be utterly forgotten is a greater mercy than we deserve. No country can bear to admit this about itself, unless it also believes in some supernatural agency for redemption.
Just because a movement is hopeless doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve a useful purpose, though. The constant agitation of the pro-life movement has succeeded in getting the issue of abortion labeled as “controversial” in the public mind. This is no small feat. Compare what’s happened to other reactionary causes when they ceased to be thought controversial. Two examples would be the Italian Risorgimento and women in the military. Today, these are not considered controversial: it’s just assumed that any sane person would see how obviously good these things are. So, for example, that nitwit Father Leo thought it was a good idea once to compare Jesus Christ to Garibaldi. So, looking at the recruitment ads on the television, one would hardly guess that there are any men in our armed forces. If I were to tell someone that unprovoked Piedmontese aggression was not justified just because it was sucessful, or that men who let their women defend them are cowards, I would simply be regarded as a lunatic. These are settled issues.
Most of America, and all of the elite, would like to “settle” on abortion, too. In this case, though, there’s a minority that’s large and vocal enough that they can’t convincingly do it. Everybody knows that abortion is controversial. If I want it outlawed, most people disagree with me, but they don’t regard me as a lone nut. You can have supposedly noncontroversial commercials about a soldier coming home to her children–we’re all supposed to find this heartwarming. You can’t yet have heartwarming commercials about a mother and daughter bonding over memories of their first abortions. Even most of the pro-choicers would find that creepy. Even in their minds, abortion has been flagged as “controversial”.
The instant pro-lifers stop making noise, this issue will be “settled” just like all the others before it. If, a year later, someone tries to take up the cause again, people will look at him like he’s a lunatic (rather like when I say something about wanting the Papal States restored, or hoping for a Stuart restoration in England). Hardly anyone can bear that sort of social ostracism (which is why I let so very few people in on my sympathies).
To sum up, our situation is like that of the last remaining humans in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If we fall asleep for a second, our souls are sucked out, and we become pod-people.