When I hear the right wing attacks on Planned Parenthood–which are really attacks on abortion–I remember something I used to say to the conservative ladies I knew in Texas: You can’t have it both ways. Actually, the whole controversy should be moot because Federal tax dollars are not allowed to pay for abortions, no matter who facilitates them–and I think this is the right thing to do, when it comes to such a controversial topic. But here’s what I used to say to the ladies: You can’t be against both the problem (in this case, abortion) and the solution–which is contraception and sex education.
There is always the fallback position of abstaining from sex entirely, but anyone who knows their history knows how impossible it to ensure that teens, who are at the point in their lives when they are boiling over with sex hormones, will be able to do this. I giggled when I heard that a well-known Texas politician, who shall remain unnamed, recently announced to the legislature that celibacy had always worked for him. He got a big laugh for that one, since he was caught in bed with another man by his wife a few years ago–something that made the local papers but which he managed to keep out of the national news (maybe there were just too many other sexual peccadilloes going on with politicians all over the country for it to make interesting reading).
I thought about this once again when I read (and heard) the rants about balancing the budget. And again I say: You can’t be against both the problem (the deficit) and the solution (which in this case is higher taxes for wealthy corporations–and perhaps fewer subsidies to big oil and agriculture, not to mention aid to places like Pakistan, which sheltered bin-Laden for 5 years. And how about closing down those two wars!
But no–a group of hyperbolic politicians want to balance the budget on the shoulders of the most vulnerable in our society: school kids and the elderly. I hate to play the "Hitler" card here, but it reminds me of the Nazis blaming all their troubles on the Jews. Without social security and Medicare, we may start to see "tent cities" in our parks, filled with old people. Is that what we really want? These guys are even using rhetoric and "spin" to get these same old people to vote AGAINST their own interests and FOR cutting these programs. Hey, the Nazis once talked a whole nation–one that was formerly considered to be the most civilized place on Earth–into believing in the silly concept of Aryan superiority. And voters, while you’re at it (as P.T. Barnum said, "there’s a sucker born every minute"), how about cutting those onerous taxes on the rich?