Why Is the Right So Nasty?

Far from being properly entombed, the undead conservative campaign against women has risen from its fetid crypt yet again. The most durable aspect of it is that it virtually always involves white Republican men who want to control all aspects of women’s lives, particularly women of color.

Republicans have in the past supported the inviolable nature of the doctor-patient relationship, but the many recently proposed legislative bills have slammed the door hard on that. Arizona and Kansas laws would allow doctors to withhold information about defects of an unborn child from pregnant women who asked. They even want doctors to be required to warn women seeking information about abortion that there is a link between abortion and cancer, which is false.

The undead conservative campaign against
women has risen from its fetid crypt yet again.

In addition to Arizona’s already enacted misogynist and racist monstrosities, proposed laws would penalize a woman who used birth control for actual birth control if their employer objected to such use. “I believe we live in America,” said Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, who sponsored the bill. “We don’t live in the Soviet Union. So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom-and-pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.” It doesn’t seem to matter to Lesko that no employer has a right to control any individual’s birth control or any other part of their health care, let alone dictate what their moral beliefs should be.

Then there’s the proposed law that would require a pregnant woman considering abortion to undergo an invasive and uncomfortable sonogram, which has given rise to a slew of proposals from women requiring males seeking Viagra to undergo a prostate exam and counseling by teams of women who promote the health benefits of abstinence, among other things. So far, no males have rushed forward to co-sponsor these laws.

The Republican presidential candidates have fallen all over each other trying to outdo each other in the extremity of their cruelty to women. A good example, but only one of many, is Romney’s saying he’ll “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, the 90-year-old private agency that fully one fifth of American women rely on for health care. Then there is Gingrich, who thinks in vitro fertilization is immoral, and Santorum, who thinks birth control of any kind is sinful. And so on.

The Republican presidential candidates
have fallen all over each other trying to outdo
the extremity of their cruelty to women.

People of color, particularly Spanish-speaking low-wage workers, are another favorite target of right wing nastiness. Several states have passed obnoxious laws intended to punish Latino immigrants for being who they are. Most such laws legalize the police stopping and questioning any person they think might be an undocumented immigrant, which apparently wouldn’t apply to undocumented immigrants from, say, Ireland or Germany, because they aren’t dark, and therefore cannot be undocumented. In some cases people with brown skin would be required to carry documents with them at all times, even if they are citizens, a requirement unique to them. The new law in Alabama is so odious that virtually all field workers, no matter their citizenship status or how long they had lived and worked there, packed up and left the state, leaving behind growers whose crops rotted in the field. (Incidentally, virtually no “real Americans” responded to ads for these jobs, and almost all of the few who tried quit before noon of their first day.)

Various states and more than a fourth of southern Republicans support laws that would make homosexuality illegal. Presumably they would like to extend the law to all 350,000,000 such persons in the world, considerably more than the entire population of the United States, all of whom are assumed to have “chosen” their sexual orientation, even though not one single person who makes this claim can honestly say he could become homosexual just by choosing to do so. Proposed laws would take us back to dark days in which we lost some of our most brilliant minds to such idiocy, people like the great comic genius Oscar Wilde and the seminally brilliant mathematician-philosopher Alan Turing.

Several states have passed obnoxious laws
intended to punish Spanish-speaking people.

Then we come to the various efforts specifically designed to disenfranchise “ethnic” voters, who are more likely to vote Democratic, by imposing special requirements on them. Supposedly such laws apply to everyone, but in practice they affect people of color almost exclusively. Such laws are a direct descendant of poll tax laws from Jim Crow days in the Old South, all of which were long ago found unconstitutional.

Conservatives say these laws are to counteract voter fraud, but no actual voter fraud worthy of the name has been found for at least a half century. What’s more, the few individual instances that are found often result from confusion; the person simply thought he was qualified to vote, but wasn’t.

When voting fraud has occurred it has most often involved Republican voting authorities. In Ohio recently, with Democrats leading the vote count as the evening wore on, the top Republican authority ordered the official observer to go home, although it was neither time for him to leave, nor legal for him to give such an order. In the morning it was learned that the Republicans, against all probability, had won. More than a few instances of manipulated electronic voting machines have been sufficient to cast suspicion on all such machines. In all such cases, some votes cast for a Democrat were changed to votes for a Republican.

Then we come to the various efforts specifically
designed to disenfranchise “ethnic” voters…
direct descendants of Jim Crow laws.

The offensive treatment of teachers, both the onslaught of nasty name calling by conservatives, on top of the disastrous economic situation, has caused us to lose hundreds of thousands of the most devoted and effective teachers in the nation. After hearing that they were overpaid, lazy babysitters who were sponging off the public money, and so on, and realizing that their economic condition would worsen if they continued teaching, many either retired early or left the field entirely. Perhaps that doesn’t matter to those who think there should not be public schools anyway, but it will to the businesses who must compete with far better educated people from around the world.

There is much, much more to this hateful campaign than I have mentioned. At base, these manipulators believe that women and people of color are childlike, morally deficient, and need the firm, benevolent guiding hand of their white male superiors to assure their proper moral behavior.

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