Return of the Native Son

NH native son P.J. O'Rourke has written a wide-ranging column analyzing the election results. In his free wheelin', humorous and traditionally spunky style, he makes many great points.

I bet there is some push back on this point:
In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high? Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people's business: abortion. Democracy--be it howsoever conservative--is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it's rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don't know if I'm one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy.

The real message of the conservative pro-life position is that we're in favor of living. We consider people--with a few obvious exceptions--to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, and clothe them and to pick up the trash around their FEMA trailers and to make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources.

If the citizenry insists that abortion remain legal--and, in a passive and conflicted way, the citizenry seems to be doing so--then give the issue a rest. Meanwhile we can, with the public's blessing, refuse to spend taxpayers' money on killing, circumscribe the timing and method of taking a human life, make sure parental consent is obtained when underage girls are involved, and tar and feather teenage boys and run them out of town on a rail. The law cannot be made identical with morality. Scan the list of the Ten Commandments and see how many could be enforced even by Rudy Giuliani.
Also, yesterdays RCP page was a winner: from P.J. to Hitchens to Will to Brooks, etc.


Rob said...

Conservatives: People are assets

Liberals (especialy environmentalists): People are liabilities.

He's right, that's it in a nutshell. The way I have always said it is that some of us think people are the problem and others think people are the solution. All those who are certain that there are "too many people" are just death-mongers, eager to see others die so that they may have a larger piece of the pie.

The logical problem with that viewpoint is this: when our population is reduced, the pie gets smaller too.

Zach said...

I like his distinction between viewing people as assets and liabilites, but I dislike his assertion that we should just "let it [legalized abortion] go."

He wouldn't think the legal status quo was really acceptable if he understood abortion to be legalized murder, which it is.

Rob said...

Well, I don't think it's acceptable either, but he may be right about overlooking it. I hate to say it, but America is not going to give up abortion. This saddens me, because I think all countries that accept abortion merely accelerate their own decay and demise. Howvever, one of the reasons I was excited by McCain's candidacy was that I knew he could work with both parties and get things done (which Dems conveniently forgot during the campaign). And one of the ways he would have done this, I believe, was by "overlooking" the abortion divide between factions in this country.

What I mean is, maybe it's time to just focus on good government and getting things done. I know, abortion is a holocaust, but with so much of the country behind it, we can't legislate it away. We could pass a law, sure, but some 40% of the populace would go berserk.

As a Catholic, when I think of government, I always try to think of how we managed ourselves under pagan Rome. I am sure we would have wanted the Emperor, however depraved, to make good govenrmental decisions, even if we found his self-idolization and his approval of gladiators, infant exposure, torture, etc. appalling. Maybe it's just time to accept that "the emperor" (in this case, the American populace) is a depraved maniac, and pray that his other decisions are beneficial to us.

One I know is, the gridlock has got to stop. Maybe I am falsely remembering halcyon days of my youth, but it seems like once upon a time the two parties got things done on Capitol Hill, and compromised. The culture war seems to have caused a breakdown in this scheme. Beleive me, I fight the culture war. I started a Catholic school a couple years ago and am working on a Great Books curriculum for a (imagined) Catholic high school. I want to eleiminate abortion, etc. But in the meantime, could conservatives and liberals just get in the same room and work together?

Isn't this what O'Rourke is saying, besides also making recommendations for the conservative movement internally? I mean, doesn't he want (and don't you?) for our government to function?

Zach said...

Rob: McCain largely did ignore abortion, and he lost handily.

We may not be able to win the legislative battle now, but that does not mean we should give it up. It means we need to fight harder and smarter and louder.


When the government focuses on getting things done, we get more social programs, more money spent, higher taxes, laws that are more hostile to human life and marriage.

We cannot accept the legal status quo on abortion; such a position is contrary to the Magisterial teaching of Evangelium Vitae.

I don't really want the government to function. I want it gridlocked or massively scaled back. Scaling back isn't going to happen so I'll take gridlock.

Rob said...

-I don't really want the government to function.-


OK. Bold. I like it.