At this juncture in American political history, it’s ubiquitous: Republican hypocrisy is reflexive, axiomatic, and virulent. Nevertheless, a powerful voting bloc’s misrepresentation of the truth, attempts to obfuscate, and overwhelming moral incompetency bears not just being addressed, but soundly thrown back in its collective face. Were I remotely electable (I’m not, believe me, there is no procedure—surgical, pharmacological, epistemological or otherwise—that can effect that aim) my first and only act would be to broker a public exchange between myself and whichever old, white, Republican dinosaur is behind this recent travesty perpetrated in Alabama, and soon elsewhere. For what it’s worth, my experience with dinosaurs—well, alligators and OWRDs—has been they won’t endure even five minutes of what is a fairly relentless logic before collapsing into gibberish or snapping at baited hooks. If you’d like, please feel free to take whatever you will from the following (imaginary) dialogue.
Me: Good morning, sir. Do you stand behind your recent statement, “All life is sacred”?
OWRD: I do! I’m a Christian man, God said it, and that’s good enough for me.
Me: Leaving aside questions of whether the Christian god—known for bloodthirsty commandments to murder any who dare not believe in him, as well to kill hosts of otherwise innocent victims to satisfy godly notions of self-importance—has codified his proclamation regarding the sanctity of human life in any historical document of record, I submit to you, sir, your own record regarding same is at odds with your god’s position as you’ve just stated it.
Me: In that you have repeatedly voted to uphold the death penalty, not to mention endorsing material support of Saudi Arabia’s bombing and starvation of innocent Yemeni children in their thousands, I ask you, sir, is all life indeed sacred, or are some lives more sacred than others?
OWRD: Look, we got laws, all right? You break ‘em, you gotta pay. And them Yemeni kids, it’s a shame, but their parents shoulda got on the right side of the fight from the get-go.
Me: I see. And is it also correct you voted for enactment of the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law in Alabama?
OWRD: Damn straight. A man’s home is his castle. Can’t have nobody violating laws against that. I believe in the Second Amendment, we got the God-given right to bear arms. A man oughta be allowed to shoot any robbing son-of-a-bitch he has to in the defense of his own home. Only crooks and wooly-headed liberals think different.
Me: Indeed. Allow me, then, to pose a question.
OWRD: Uh, shore.
Me: If you were to make your house as impregnable as is possible—walls, dead-bolts, armed guards, attack-dogs, surveillance helicopters, what-have-you—and nevertheless an intruder enters your home, am I correct in assuming you would then shoot them out of hand?
OWRD: Well…I might warn ‘em first, but if they don’t git, hell yeah. They’re toast.
Me: Would you not first ascertain whether they might not have entered your home in error?
OWRD: That’s why we got the law. I don’t got to ask! What if there ain’t time anyways? What if he’s writing on my walls like them Satanists in California? Robbing me of my propitty, maybe looking to rape my wife? What if he’s got a gun his own-self, huh? Hell, he’s done broke into my home, it’s on him!
Me: Would you extend the same right of legal, lethal defense to all property owners, even women?
OWRD: Yes ma’am, I’m proud to say I would.
Me: So in your estimation, an intruder who somehow gets past all one’s myriad defenses is not entitled to a presumption of innocence. His very presence constitutes a danger, a possible threat to one’s life, even if his motivations for entering the home—to escape a tornado, to evade a serial killer, to seek shelter from a Sno-pocalypse—are to save his own life.
OWRD: Yep, people got to learn the law’s the law—if he shouldn’t oughta be there, I got the right to protect my home and family.
Me: Thank you for that clarification. To re-cap, then, it’s apparent from your answers that in fact your true belief is all life is not sacred, only the lives you elect to defend.
OWRD: That’s not what I said, dad-gummit—I’m up here defending innocent lives, ever last one of ‘em!
Me: Unless that innocent life has the misfortune to find itself in Yemen or enters your home uninvited, you mean. Moving on, though, it’s fair to say even deadly cancers are innocent, as are viruses and bacteria. What if, sir, one of those otherwise innocent beings should invade your body and thereby threaten your life? All post-Medieval property law derives from the presumption human beings have an unalienable, inherent right to defend the integrity of their corporeal selves. I ask you, sir, would you submit to such an invasion and refrain from defending yourself? Would you not attack such an invader with every means at your disposal—chemotherapy, antibiotics, surgical procedures, and the like? Would you deny those defenses to others who likewise have the right to defend their lives from any perceived threat?
OWRD: Look, if this is you trying to get tricky on this here abortion-thing, you’re barking up the wrong tree. It ain’t no cancer, it’s a baby! Look, these women choose to have sex, they got to accept the consequences—
Me: Just like men choose to have sex, while largely escaping its consequences? Just like your right to allow whomever you wish inside your house, but visit consequences on those who enter uninvited? You’ve already stipulated every property owner has the right to defend their homes regardless of extenuating circumstances. According to your own argument, since women are owners of the property in question—i.e. their bodies—they have the inalienable right to defend where they live from any and all invaders, innocent or otherwise, until such time as they choose to allow entry, much less a co-habitant. Any other construction of this forced-birth law is deliberately mendacious, and moreover a vicious maneuver to strip the most fundamental right of all free people, that of ownership, from half of humanity residing in Alabama. In summation, sir, you have revealed yourself as a godless communist. Thank you for your time.
As I said earlier, it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be elected to do anything but cook dinner, but those of you who are elected to represent American citizens or decide to run for elected office should read up on property rights and arguments for legalized lethal defense of same before fighting the good fight, waging the abortion-wars in red states.