Pro-Choice Arguments Are Dead. Now We See the Demons.
Don’t envy me this gift: I can see the rock-bottom of things. Right off the bat. When someone unpacks a set of nice, shiny ideas that appeal to people, I can usually spot the deep logical flaw on which he has built them — and the dark, absurd, even nightmarish endpoint to which they inexorably lead.
It’s not a matter of intelligence: in chess, I can’t even think two moves ahead, so the game for me is embarrassing. I’m pathetic at poker: My face is like a mirror revealing each of my cards. When intrigue is required I’m utterly guileless, easy prey for liars since I don’t understand why somebody would lower himself to do that.
But in the realm of ideas, I have a second-sight that peers down the slippery slope, and reveals when it’s a Gadarene slide down into the sea. I can see the hogs squishing down, even hear them squealing and drowning.
No Chromosome for Shame
Since I don’t have the chromosomes for tact or shame, I find myself blurting this out. “But don’t you see …” I’ll begin, then lay out for the person the dismal reductio ad absurdum that flashed before my eyes, step by implacable step. “… So everything you’re proposing ends up in madness, chaos, and darkness. Would you please pass the cranberry sauce?”
This talent won me the Political Union debating prize at Yale, but not many friends or much influence. Remember how Cassandra spent the last few pages of The Iliad. Some blessings feel more like a cross.
Whenever I got in arguments with fellow students or colleagues about abortion, they’d trot out their favorite, nicely waxed rationalizations — like some pimply teenage boy driving up in his shiny Trans-Am, proud of the paint job and the eagle on the hood. Then I’d wearily take out the solvent, and take off all the paint.
There Are No More Arguments Now. It’s Just a Fist-Fight
Because no argument for abortion makes sense, not if you press it. Not even the most consistent one, the Marquis de Sade’s, which Ruth Bader Ginsburg channeled in her writings.
Your periodic reminder that ALL the mainstream arguments for abortion come from prostitute-torturing psychopathic aristocrat criminal the Marquis de Sade. Yes, even RBG’s: https://t.co/rbXu1e25Ho
— John Zmirak (@JohnZmirak) June 24, 2022
Not one of the arguments really stands. Not if you’re relentless, and don’t care that the tenured professor in your Ph.D. program is turning red and making fists, or that your desirable date is pounding the table and starting to cry. It’s fun — but not really helpful — to end the argument with a snappy phrase like, “Sorry, I don’t make the Natural Law, I just enforce it.” For better or worse, you’ll never have to speak to this person again.
So I think I know a teensy little bit how Samuel Alito might feel. Because his majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization didn’t just overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. You could say that it shredded them.
Rube Bader Goldberg Sucked into the Void
But that wouldn’t be right, since no shreds even remain. Alito’s careful, dispassionate scholarship — which took no position on the morality of abortion — simply annihilated those jerry-rigged, duct-tape-and-chewing-gum precedents. As if they’d been hit by antimatter, and POOF! They went into the void. As I remarked on Twitter:
Demand that pro-choicers defend their claims about Roe/Casey on the MERITS. They can’t. They know Alito blasted those tissues of sophistry into oblivion. So now it’s just the jackboot and the Molotov cocktail they rely on. They were always thugs. Now the mask has dropped.
— John Zmirak (@JohnZmirak) June 26, 2022
Alito managed, just barely, to conceal his professional contempt for the shoddy reasoning, dishonest scholarship, and judicial hubris out of which those legal Rube Goldbergs were constructed. His arguments were clear, detailed, and irrefutable.
No Honest Debate Remains
Which is why no one in America is even trying to refute them. No pro-choice legal analysts are dissecting Alito’s decision, disputing facts or principles. They always knew on some level that the precedents imposing legal abortion on 50 states were indefensible. Perhaps they didn’t realize that they were garbage, sophomoric maunderings that wouldn’t pass muster on a test at a third-rate law school. Now they have to face the truth: No honest person can say that the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right to abortion, on any basis at all.
And no honest person will say so. From now on, we can be sure that anyone making that claim is simply straight-up lying.
The Last Act of The Exorcist
But we’re not hearing arguments at the moment anyway. We’re at the point in our national exorcism where the demon gives up making pretentious philosophical arguments, and just starts howling blasphemies, spitting blood, and trying to strangle the priest.
We must pray hard, and be hard. We must stand ready to use requisite force to restrain the demon-goaded violence. We can’t permit another George Floyd summer, where rioters get free passes and only honest citizens defending themselves face jail time. If the State won’t act, then we as private citizens must fight fire with napalm, and teach our possessed fellow Americans that tyranny will not prevail. Not the tyranny of the courts, or of the mob, or of the Principalities and Powers.
Our national exorcism has just begun in earnest. And Christ will prevail. And the swine will end up in the sea.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”