Much has been said about McCain's terrible faux-pas at the final debate, in which he belittled the health reasons women seek late-term abortion. Didn't see it? Watch for yourself:
Yes, McCain. We've stretched those reasons to include silly things such as "hydrocephalus" and "spina bifida". Things that prevent a fetus's spine from closing all the way, leaving a gaping hole near the brain. Things that would leave a baby paralyzed and incontinent for life, if he or she survived at all.
I guess you should be surprised that I wasn't as offended by his statement as other feminists were. I'm surprised at my own feelings on this. Maybe it's because I'm too much of an idealist. I think, as that quote I posted below says, that McCain will say anything to win, and he's not even being honest with the American people on his policies at this point. Even most pro-lifers think that there should be exceptions if the health of the mother is in serious jeopardy, or if the baby has little chance of survival. The McCain of 2000 was quite moderate on the subject of abortion, and he's not a very religious man. I think he's playing this role of Christian pro-lifer, but doing it poorly. He's so ill-fitting in this role that he warps the group's own position on abortion to extremes they don't even take it to.
Still, it's ridiculous and hurtful that McCain made those remarks. He has a history of being insensitive towards women. Voting against equal pay, calling his wife a "cunt", leaving her for a more attractive woman. But as for abortion, you know that hypothetical baby I just mentioned? Not so hypothetical. In the most compelling case for keeping late-term abortion legal, Gretchen Voss writes about her own experience with that baby. Though rabid pro-lifers assume that abortion is often a careless decision made by promiscuous women too lazy to reach for a condom, this article shatters that stereotype. Voss and her husband were ecstatic to be expecting. She wanted that baby so badly. And even her Catholic father and Republican father-in-law, both normally pro-life, agreed that she was making the right decision in terminating her pregnancy. It wasn't happy, it wasn't cavalier. She was traumatized by the experience, living in terror with her two later (successful) pregnancies. Her husband was, too. One night, she found him sobbing in the dark on the floor of their bathroom. So suck it, John McCain.
I guess I'm just in too much of a state of shock over McCain's comments, so much that I haven't really let them affect me. Especially because there's so much else to be aghast over. My brain is stuffed with the cruelty of the world. Maybe this little tidbit from McCain is waiting patiently outside until I can make room.
I've already posted the video of the McCain/Palin rally in which people are insensitive enough to say that a woman who has to pay for her own rape kit should "die" or "pay double". By the way, did you know that rape kits often cost as much as $1200? I found this out when arguing with a guy who I am Facebook friends with in the clearest sense of the word: that is the extent of our relationship. He went to my high school but always had a vicious conservative bent to him. He once told me that he thought people with AIDS should be sent to an island where they could not return. People could visit them and go back to their own lives, but only if they successfully passed an HIV or AIDS test first. Anyway, he's now in the military and rabidly anti-Obama. He started Facebook chatting with me, defending Palin's stance on the rape kits issue, and he said that women should pay for them. He theorized that the police could reimburse her when her rapist was convicted. But what if he's never caught? And in what other crime does the victim have to pay for their own evidence gathering? Imagine your child is abducted and the police say, "Sure, we'll look for him, but it's gonna cost you." Imagine your house is robbed and the police refuse to search inside unless you pay them first.
So he started with that, but it quickly turned back to his favorite topic, the dangers of Barack Obama. He kept telling me that he's "best friends with a terrorist", and when I said that wasn't true, but even if it was, isn't Christianity supposed to be about forgiveness? He asked me if I would forgive Osama bin Laden. Of course, it always goes back to 9/11. I said I personally wouldn't be able to, but I'm an agnostic. I said that Jesus would have forgiven him, and that's essentially what he demands his followers do. This was, of course, lost on him. He said I "frightened" him, even though I'm a pacifist who doesn't even like killing spiders. Yes, I'm the scary one.
He then continued to tell me that Barack Obama is a Muslim who will bring Islamic ideology to this country. The vicious assumption let me overlook the rampant xenophobia this guy was exhibiting towards the Muslim faith. When has Obama EVER said anything that would indicate a dedication to Islam? And the whole terrorist thing. Not even McCain thinks he's a terrorist, though he lets his campaign do that dirty work for him. I asked why McCain would DEFEND Obama, calling him a decent family man, and he said "He just has to do some things." Yes. Like compromise the safety of America by participating in a public election with someone he thinks is DANGEROUS? I don't even know why I bothered. How do you reason with someone who is without it? He ignores all the facts, like the fact that Obama has written brilliantly about Constitutional Law, but most glaringly, he forgets about the REVEREND Wright Scandal.
So I brought it up, and he said "Yes! That guy hates America!" For the record, Reverend Wright does not. But this guy was trying to "have his cake and eat it too", because he was now insinuating that Obama was both a Muslim AND a Christian.
He also said that there is plenty of racism in this election, but focussed on how black people are more likely to vote for Obama. I said that I don't think a person's skin color is a good reason to vote for them (or even worse, not vote for them) but pointed out that similar tokenism was on display when McCain picked Palin as VP. And you know what this guy said? "He had to. He needed the woman vote." THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?
Anyway, I won't disgust you with the details, but he somehow made it all about how black people are trying to "take over" this country and how he read some CNN article "a few months ago" (I asked for the evidence, that was his retort) about how black people will "surpass" whites in some projected number of years. Can you believe it? A guy from Northern Virginia, which is a fairly diverse area, spouting this rhetoric? It made me sick. I tried to say that, if anything, he should be "worried" about the Latinos, because they're the fastest growing minority population. His counter was that "Yeah, but they're more educated." And this is when he made the most disgusting insinuation that "If the black population increases, this country will be led by the uneducated." Because all black people are uneducated. Of course.
He also tried to equate black organizations with white supremacist ones like the KKK. Because Howard University is just like the KKK, except for the fact that white people are more than welcome to attend. In fact, they're considered "no big deal". By that measure, the Special Olympics is segregating the disabled from the able-bodied people of society. Except, they're worse, because I'm pretty sure people without disabilities aren't allowed to compete.
Then he brought up all the typical racist stuff. Affirmative action (which, for the record, benefits middle-class white women 80% of the time). The fact that this guy has "a black friend". Yes, and I'm sure he's EXACTLY like Chris Rock/Dave Chappelle/Richard Pryor/name-your-favorite-black-comic!
God, it made me sick. Especially because most of his premises were dead wrong. I looked them up because I am an unlikable, competitive loser who likes to get her facts straight, especially against racists. And actually? About 41% of black high school graduates go to college, while only 35% of Latinos do. And this is contrasted with about 47% of whites. The numbers? They ain't that different. So saying that an increase in black Americans will necessarily lead to "our country being led by the uneducated" is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Especially given our current president. Idiocy is colorblind and the idiots? They already rule. And ANYWAY, if you want to talk about invasion, look at the history of European white imperialism. We've invaded every fucking country on earth. And if you're REALLY worried about "white power"? Look at Asian-Americans, who earn more on average per household than whites.
But all of this. Why am I making concessions? Why am I saying, "If you wanna worry about a race, worry about THESE people" when it's ALL bullshit? I don't know why. I guess I was reaching for all sorts of straws.
I'm terrible at arguing with conservatives. I get so emotional. But when they exhibit this kind of racist rhetoric, I just can't reason with them. It makes me sick and sad. I was sweating and shaking after that conversation. The most vile part was that the guy had the nerve to ask me out mid-argument. He kept saying, "Will you go on a date with me?"
I said I don't date racists, nor Republicans, which he took as an example of MY bigotry. But as for the first, if you want to call me bigoted against people who are racist and intolerant of others, so be it. And regarding people of different political parties, it's because I devote my life to liberal causes. I eat and sleep and breathe women's rights and social justice and equality of opportunity. I always struggle with how my mom can have Republican friends. She says the topic of politics just doesn't come up. For me, that is baffling. I inject politics into my life at every moment. It dictates my worldview.
But what's more mind-boggling is why a socially conservative Christian Republican like this guy would want to date ME. Why would someone who thinks abortion is murder be willing to compromise his beliefs? I am, after all, devoting my life to making sure abortion is MORE accessible (though less needed). And on my behalf, why would I want to date someone who judges me and dooms me to Hell?
All of this makes me livid. This kind of moral fiber that people claim to have is so easily suspended. This guy throws his judgey beliefs out the window when it comes to dating, yet he judges black people and women and RAPE VICTIMS enough to vote against their behalf. He and these other people, the ones who also think Obama is a terrorist, claim to be all about Christianity and yet are the most judgmental and damning people on earth. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
And the worst part? When it comes to dating, or drinking, or fucking, or doing whatever they want to do, these beliefs they hold so near and dear are suspended! "It's okay," they say, as one guy in high school did, "to have premarital sex IN THE ASS with my girlfriend, cause technically? She's still a virgin! But I'm gonna condemn teh gayz, because THAT IS WRONG!" I wish I had the nerve to tell that guy that like it or not, he's a "sodomite" too. On the female front, the most shocking article I've ever read about abortion detailed radical pro-lifers who somehow felt that their abortion, and ONLY their abortion, was somehow justified.
I don't know if I'm angrier at Republicans or conservative Christians or the intersection of both. Recently the McCain camp came under fire for some robocalls where they emphasized that "We don't know the real Obama" and that he was a terrorist. Even though I haven't received a call like this, I called the Virginia Republican headquarters to complain. I said, I'm fine with receiving political calls of all varieties, but when they make such dangerous and hurtful insinuations about a candidate, questioning his Americanism of all things, resorting to racist rhetoric, I will not let that slide. Take me off whatever list I'm on, because this is disgusting." And you know what? The lady was sympathetic. She said, "I understand what you're saying, completely." So there ARE good Republicans out there. Please, come out, come out, wherever you are.
Otherwise, your party will be reduced to this: