Archive for November, 2006

Calhoun

Monday, November 6th, 2006

It is Election Day, and I should be sleeping, but I am taking a break from revising a paper to deliver these thoughts.

Every once and a while, my political philosophical mind gets going, and I just start hammering on an issue. Before I begin expressing my thoughts, let me say this.

If I were to give my unrestricted and just raw view of abortion, I would see it as an acceptable form of birth control. However, this is before I place any real thought into it.

For a long time, I said I was Pro-Choice, which I still am. However, after considering inconsistencies amongst my views this has somewhat changed me. For example, I am personally opposed to the idea of a parent picking the gender or eye color of their child. It just doesn’t rub me the right way. Just let nature take its course. However, if I don’t think a mother should be able to determine their child’s eye color; how do I allow for her to decide whether or not the child lives. (On an aside of this issue, if I am going to be a stickler for consistency, should I allow a woman to treat herself to better her child’s health? Ignore this, but I just wanted to note it)

Therefore, I take the position that if I were a woman, I would not have an abortion, but it is not to my choosing for anyone else. Leaving me Pro-Choice.

When reading the words of Southerners such as John Calhoun, there are many statements like the following.

The Federal Government has no right to infringe upon the liberties of the states.

Now, this was a defense of the states rights to choose whether or not they would allow the institution of slavery (upon my reading, I am learning Calhoun was quite the political mastermind, but another story again). Now, if you were to ask someone: Does the Federal Government have the right to infringe upon the liberties of the states to allow slavery? I am very confident in saying that the answer would be a resounding YES.

Now let’s phrase Calhoun’s statement again, for something more modern.

The Federal Government has no right to infringe upon the liberties of the individual.

(I admit, these are blanket statements, and the Federal Government does have some rights) However, lets phrase it one more time.

The Federal Government has no right to infringe upon the liberties of a woman regarding her personal health decisions.

The two units we are examining are States and a Women’s liberty. For states, the issue was slavery. For women, the issue is abortion. Now, I am absolutely not trying to equate the two. However, I am trying to consider the contexts of the Abolition Abortion debates.

Slavery was an institution that people accepted. In the 19th Century, many people simply took the attitude: “It is an unfortunate institution, we should try to minimize it, but we simply cannot eliminate it.” This is not verbatim abortion lines, but it rings very similar, to me at least.

If I consider abortion to be a moral wrong, as I do slavery, should I then think my government should outlaw it? I simply hate the idea of the government legislating morality. I hate it with a fiery passion. However, if I were to write things in the defense of abortion and a woman’s right to choose now, would my words be interpreted as those of John Calhoun? Instead of being a racist bigot, I would simply be an advocate of the murder of innocents?

The battle over slavery and the civil war for many was the Federal Government influencing other institutions’ rights. However, isn’t that simply what the abortion debate is?

I am not trying to equate slavery to abortion, but I am simply thinking of them in similar contexts and the debates surrounding the issues. Simply because when I am thinking of it, the Pro-Choicers seem to be Confederates.

I wrote this and only read through it once, and I plan to make revisions on it. Please be patient before you denounce me as a Pro-Life Zealot. I am just proposing something for consideration. My libertarian beliefs still hold truest.