I just started reading The Secular Conscience, and I guess I need to stop playing Vegas2 for a bit (very hard) and just polish it off because I’m seeing something very clearly now from the little I have read. Clinton is certainly towing the old line and also walking the fine line of Roe v Wade and it’s narrowing by Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Obama is doing what Dacey suggests, not falling into the “Privacy Fallacy”. In other words, liberals have self censored themselves by refusing to talk about morals and personal feelings. Clinton is trying to give the appearance that she’s breaking out of the Privacy Fallacy, but it’s clearly forced, insincere and opportunistic in response to Obama comments. Look at the contrast of what each said about abortion.
Hillary: “individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision, because the alternative would be such an intrusion of government authority that it would be very difficult to sustain in our kind of open society… I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare”
Obama: “This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on. I think it’s very hard to know what that means, when life begins… Number one, it requires us to acknowledge that there is a moral dimension to abortion, which I think that all too often those of us who are pro-choice have not talked about or tried to tamp down.”
Hillary is full into the Privacy Fallacy, and that last bit, “safe and rare” is indicative of a defensive position more than willing to give more concessions in order to keep abortion in some form around. In contrast, Obama is more than willing to open that can of worms and take the issue on it seems. His way is bolder and potentially more dangerous but it’s proactive and offensive rather than defensive, something we haven’t seen from the Democrats since….. ?
What I think our liberal ears long accustomed to the Privacy Fallacy hear when Obama says things like “there is a moral dimension to abortion” is “well god says it’s wrong and immoral”. Why? Because the only ones who dare talk about morals publicly are the religious. What this does is accomplish a two-fer, it cuts us out of the morals discussion AND it gives weight to the religious charge that we don’t have morals or don’t know what they are. I think it’s long overdue that instead of walking away from the moral sides of arguments on issues like abortion and abstinence programs either altogether or by countering with science (things like at what point the fetus may start to have brain functions or citing the MANY reports showing the failure of abstinence programs) we step into that discussion, and not defensively. Lesson one in battle is to take the high ground, and the religious have not just taken the moral high ground but have had it surrendered to them without a shot fired. RIDICULOUS! It’s time to take that moral high ground back.
I also want to point out how being brave enough to lead that charge up the hill empowers one to counter attacks in ways otherwise impossible. First, let’s look at Obama’s response after the Rev Wright fiasco.
“But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America“
Wrong and right? Is he talking morals?
“I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork… But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now… The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.”
By taking up the moral banner and daring to charge up that hill, he was free to actually use the Wright issue to propel him further up that hill. Suddenly he’s taken race full on and in his speech acknowledged how it plays a part in many crucial issues and rightly pointed out how in order to even begin trying to solve those problems we have to face and accept ALL sides of the issues, even those unseemly sides we in the past have dared not speak of. Now recently this willingness has gotten him in hot water again by his comment concerning the poor in PA bitterly turning to their guns and religion. Hillary and McCain have exploited it to show he’s some elitist and not a true christian and out of touch with Americans. How did he respond?
Look at what’s possible if you dare to take the moral high ground. Instead of having to defend his comments, he shows that people are frustrated and “rightly so” because “nobody is looking out” for them and “they don’t vote on economic issues because they don’t expect anyone’s going to help them” and instead take refuge in faith, guns and their local communities, “THINGS THEY CAN COUNT ON”. Did you catch that? Far from Obama’s comments being the Marxist “opiate of the masses” kind of thing his opponents have been trying to make them out to be in regards to religion, he in one fell swoop picked up the right wing flag of god and country and affirmed them as things you can count on and contrasted that to politicians, both current and of the past, who you clearly can’t count on. Nice, huh? But that’s not all. He punctuates that showing how “out of touch” Hillary and McCain are by highlighting their economic plans, showing how Hillary will make it harder to get out of debt and McCain needed “three tries” to realize there was a home foreclosure problem.
I think Obama’s message of change escapes the age old emptiness that’s usually associated with it because he avoids the Privacy Fallacy and is bold enough to take the moral high ground and face things head on rather than bury his head in the sand. It’s bold and I think going to be successful for him to continue this reason for change being that people are
“fed up. They’re angry and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter and they want to see a change in Washington”.
Hillary’s response of saying she doesn’t see people who are bitter will be her undoing.