The political landscape these days is very a interesting thing to observe. Recently, I haven’t been extraordinarily confident that either candidate for president is going to do much to affect the issues that I am concerned about. Just to be clear, the things I think are important (in no particular order) are:

  • Energy independence
  • Freedom of information (including net neutrality)
  • Some sort of solution to the credit crisis that doesn’t use $700 billion of tax-payer money
  • A modern health-care system
  • A dismantling of a good portion of our foreign military power and a stop to indiscriminate military action
  • Getting spending under control and, if possible, removing or greatly altering the role of the Federal Reserve

I care about other things, but these are the issues I feel cause us the most headaches. I am honestly leaning towards Obama, but I’m not sold on either candidate (and may never be) at this point.

You’ll notice that abortion isn’t on my list. In fact, it’s not even on my radar.

It’s amazing to me to watch how well the Republican party has used this issue for the last few decades to garner support and shore up political power. I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but Roe v. Wade is going to be with us for a long time. We recently had the most “conservative” three branches of government we’ve ever had. Nothing has changed.

Abortion is a problem, but not in and of itself. From my perspective, abortion is indicative of an overall commoditization of human life specifically and life as a whole in general. The amazing amount of double-standard on the side of the religious right, which by and large fails to grasp this connection, is increasingly annoying and counter-productive to the debate. How can you be ok with capital punishment and using increasingly graphic language about how to deal with terrorism and then turn around and say you have this fundamental and deep respect for life?

I believe that life is life regardless of our like or dislike of a particular person or action. It’s time that section of the Republican base begins to find some consistency. As such, if you are demanding an end to government-sactioned abortion than you should also be advocating an end to government-sactioned killing (of any kind).

For some interesting perspectives on the value of life, much which I am inclined to agree with, see:


About johnnywey

Welcome to A Regular Expression. This blog is designed to reflect my thoughts on life, music, software design, Apple, faith, philosophy, and whatever else I can think of.

Posted on September 27, 2008, in Life. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I think you’re right. One thing I struggle with is the idea of water boarding and other harmful interrogation techniques. I think of recent wars and the amount of abuse people went through that brought about international law to protect war prisoners and criminals alike. And what is most disturbing is America’s governing people and their willingness to terrorize people to self protect against terrorism. We push things like the Geneva Convention yet in many ways disregard it when we deem fit. I think it was Fyodor Dostoevsky that said, “The way society treats its prisoners charactorizes the level of its civilization”…I think the way we treat people in jails across the world and in Guantanamo Bay says a lot about us as a society.

    I will however contradict myself somewhat by saying there has to be a line in which one gives up one’s right to live. If law clearly states for example that when one does x one forfeits one’s driving privileges. If one does y one forfeits one’s career. If one does z one forfeits one’s life. Why should people not be held accountable for their actions completely. Punishment should not rest on you and me to provide for them in a jail. Nor should it be possible for someone to behave well enough to be released only to rebuild their life while the person they killed has no hope of doing the same. I think its irrational when we make allowances for people that live a life of thievery, steeling innocence, security and happiness. When law is clearly stated, is it really you and I executing anyone but rather the person of blame standing in direct opposition to what society considers considers right?

    The obvious weak link is what does society consider right…

    In the end, I don’t think we handle very much well.

    Thank you for blogging…keep it going!

  2. Unfortunately, our justice system has a tendency to place people behind bars and on death row who may not have committed the crime. I’d say that it is a much greater travesty to execute one innocent person than to leave a million guilty people in jail for life.

    The legal system is not like physics: we set the rules. We can say, as a society, that we have an intrinsic respect for all life and, as such, will punish appropriately (I think life imprisonment is a pretty horrible punishment) without violating that profound ideal. Especially since statistics show that the death penalty does not contribute significantly (i.e. beyond a margin of error) to reduced crime, the mechanical use of the punishment doesn’t make much sense today.

    It’s 2008, yo! Thanks for the comment!

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