Of the things that truly irk me, one of the most egregious is how old men send young men to war. It is so easy to be an armchair hero when it is someone else who is putting his ass on the line.
Another irksome phenomenon is how old men change their opinions on abortion.
The younger and more sexually active we are, the more likely to support the procedure as a kind of last ditch birth control. The older we get, the more likely we are to humanize the fetus and to be more or less repulsed by the whole scene, avoiding thinking about what it entails, often coming to conclusion that at least aspects of it are distasteful and some, like late-term, partial-birth abortions, should be restricted, if not outlawed.
Donald Trump went through that semi-typical evolution. During his roust-about years he was pro-choice. For the years leading up to and beyond 1973’s seminal Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision spelling out a woman’s Constitutional Right to control her own body, he was like most of the rest of us, unrestricted access to abortion was the law of the land and anyone seeking to limit that access was a Neanderthal.
As of February of 2011, as he was pondering running for president last time around and desperate for conservative, particularly evangelical support, Trump announced that he had changed and was now pro-life, pledging to fight for a reversal of Obamacare, which contains abortion funding.
Trump said at the time that “I am now pro-life; after years of being pro-choice.”
The reason I bring it up Trump’s conversion is that it is a harbinger of politics to come. Although I didn’t think it possible, abortion might soon surpass or at least co-exist side-by-side with Immigration as the most important issues for a huge slice of the electorate, the working class, non-college-educated mostly male white voters.
And a brewing scandal might broaden the issues significance beyond that 25% of voters. For the second time in two weeks, an undercover video has been published showing a lunch in which an executive for Planned Parenthood negotiates the sale of aborted fetuses to someone purporting to represent medical researchers.
The sale of fetal body parts is illegal, but Planned Parenthood and others similarly situated are permitted to charge a fee to cover expenses for facilitating such necessarily gruesome transactions.
The problem from Planned Parenthood’s point of view is that the uncover video portrays its executive as a heartless ghoul trafficking in the harvesting of baby body parts from its cache of remains from the perennially controversial procedure it provides so many young women. It looks like she's selling old donuts. There seems no respect for the fact that what is being sold used to be an unborn baby. It is powerfully distasteful whatever your stance on the issue.
As Mr. Trump and the other Republican candidates focus on the sensational sale's video, they will escalate their attacks on Planned Parenthood funding and re-cast abortion as the Born Again issue near the center of their presidential campaigns.