Source: Aero Magazine.
This blog usually focuses on local matters, for which there's too little coverage in the news media. For national affairs, there's plenty of coverage of that elsewhere. My comments aren't needed. But somehow, SCOTUS repealing the Roe v. Wade decision that was the law of the land for fifty years feels different. I can't resist responding to this comment in my Facebook feed: "We as human beings and citizens of this great nation are better together when we have respectful and civil dialogue to discuss the issues." Civil dialogue? Sure. And More.
Calling for "civil dialogue" sounds like something said by someone who just won. And in this case, won in ways that went way beyond persuading a majority with civil dialogue. The far right didn't change minds with civil dialogue. If anything, they are losing public support on this issue. "Back in 1975, three-quarters of Americans said it should be legal in all (21 percent) or certain (54 percent) circumstances, according to a long-running survey by Gallup. In the ensuing half-century, that number has gone up 10 percentage points to 85 percent, meaning the support has only gotten stronger."
Overturning rights of women wasn't achieved on the debate stage. The far right has spent fifty years staging marches and protests as well as "civil dialogue." The far right has spent fifty years using anti-abortion violence — murder, assault, kidnapping, arson, bombing, threats of anthrax and threats of violence, and intimidating women at the doors of clinics. The far right has spent fifty years subverting the US Constitution to pack the Supreme Court through gerrymandering our electoral system, through disregarding tradition in Senate confirmation of SCOTUS justices, through judges perjuring themselves in hearings to get confirmed. All to culminate in achieving a majority on the bench to overturn "the law of the land" (Justice Neil Gorsuch's words during his own confirmation hearing) just because they now had the raw power to do so.
So, civil dialogue? Sure. But, to paraphrase Walter Trumball (or Will Rogers, if you prefer), civil dialogue "frequently consists in soothingly saying, 'Nice doggie,' until you have a chance to pick up a rock." Restoring the rights of women to control what happens to their own bodies is going to take more than civil dialogue. It's going to take organizing, marching, protesting, boycotting, civil disobedience, and resisting state violence that seeks to suppress such direct action. The fight for human rights, for civil rights, for women's rights has always needed civil dialogue, sure, but the fights needed a hell of a lot more. America's Founders used civil language to set forth their reasons for severing ties with Great Britain. But then they prepared for war. Will it come to that in today's America? For the first time in my long life, I think the chances of it coming to that are at least as good as the chances of finding common ground with the far right through civil dialogue.