The Republican Moloch 
by Dennis Rahkonen
November 15, 2003

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After years of effort, conservative ideologues have succeeded in legislatively winning a “partial birth” abortion ban.


Although no such terminology exists in any medical literature, the rarely used procedure has been sensationally made into a guilt icon, obfuscating the fact that it’s primarily employed when no other options exist to protect the well being -- and very lives -- of the women involved. Or when a fetus has severe abnormalities precluding its survival.


George Bush, who doesn’t read newspapers and can’t properly pronounce common words, outlandishly claims such abortions are “never” needed, a view strenuously contradicted by medical professionals.


Because it provides no avenues for assuring female health, legal challenges are certain. An ultimate Supreme Court decision is expected.


Pro-choice forces recognize that the partial birth ban is a cynical contrivance aimed at manipulating public sentiment against all abortions, with a complete reversal of Roe v. Wade as the eventual goal.


This demagoguery is being spearheaded by Republicans/conservatives who profess a pious sanctity for “all life.”


I don’t question the principled sincerity of some souls opposed to abortion.  But I do condemn the sophistry of those who hammer this issue as a wedge to further the entire rightwing agenda.


The central thrust of reactionary opposition to abortion is a decisive extension of benighted, retrograde resistance to women's suffrage and "liberation.” They want to beat back female gains, just as they've done key aspects of the New Deal and Great Society, for their own self-serving purposes.


Corporate super-profits come largely from underpaid women in the workforce. How can bosses defeat demands for economic justice? By thwarting unity through stirring up further abortion controversy.  What better way to divide, conquer, and continue to lucratively exploit?


Conservatives would really have a hard case attempting to prove they're "for" children.


They've resisted greater funding (or advocated cutbacks) in the WIC program, Head Start, and Reading is Fundamental, which have been broadly beneficial for years.


They've consistently opposed minimum wage hikes, which would translate into improved living conditions for millions of American families.


They've sided with Big Tobacco, entrenching its deadly marketing of cigarettes to children.


18,000 Americans die per year due to a lack of health insurance.  Of our 44 million with no medical coverage, at least 10 million are kids. 


Republicans staunchly oppose any effort to give our people the national healthcare that every other industrialized country possesses.  As pawns of private-profit insurance giants, they’re literally killing sick and injured kids by denying them the quality healthcare their parents could afford.


They favor "tort reform" that would make it far harder for parents whose children are hurt or killed by defective consumer products to acquire adequate compensation through appropriate lawsuits against negligent companies.


They show abject servility to the NRA, resulting in weak handgun control, causing deaths among thousands of American kids annually.


By focusing only on abstinence as a counter to sexual activity among youth, they contribute to the spread of STD's, and unwanted pregnancies, as they continue to take a prudish stand on sex education and contraceptive availability.


They lobby against governmental daycare and healthcare relief for the poor, arguing that "personal responsibility" ought to be utilized instead.  This churlish view is applied to all federal efforts designed to combat poverty.


By constantly pushing for vouchers, plus always resisting attempts to finance impoverished school districts on an equalized basis with richer ones, conservatives are, themselves, largely responsible for the deterioration of public schools that they then castigate.


By favoring polluting industries -- through less stringent environmental standards -- conservatives facilitate an ecological degradation that affects the young first.


By pursuing war to build de facto empire, Republicans destine children at home and abroad to violent deaths.  Among the thousands of Iraqi civilians destroyed in Bush’s gratuitous invasion are undoubtedly countless “unborn babies,” and a multitude of innocent women and children.


Have they ever merited pity from the Right?  No, but what a rainfall of crocodile tears for aborted fetuses!   How intellectually and morally bankrupt it is to claim to defend the imagined rights of even the initial union of sperm and egg -- a mere dot on a microscope slide -- while systematically, selfishly harming already-born children on a staggering scale.


Countless programs and policies originally conceived by liberals to help needy citizens, especially the fragile young, have been eviscerated as more and more tax dollars have gone into corporate welfare and for military excess.


The GOP of today, awash in abysmal greed, is a far cry from the party of Abraham Lincoln. Or even Charles Percy and Ed Brooke.


Behind its mask of false morality is a hideous monster devouring our young.


Our whole society is being sacrificed on the altar of capitalism run amok, as are societies overseas.  Blood drips profusely from sharp teeth that poorly feign a compassionate smile.


Once an ancient god to whom children were ritually offered, Moloch is now a relentless political beast preying upon our human essence...and on America’s future.


Acting in determined concert, we can put an end to this barbaric idolatry.


We need to continue resisting the Iraq aggression, defeat the Patriot Act, honor organizing efforts initiated by unions striving for worker dignity, defend minority rights, and protect our threatened natural environment. 


Importantly, we need to be in Washington on April 25, 2004, to “Save Women’s Lives: March for Freedom of Choice.”


Registering enough new, progressive voters to prevent a repeat of 2000’s election theft is also crucial.


Finally, we must tirelessly fight to shield and nurture our vulnerable young from neo-con predation.


We have the power to send Moloch, hungry and sulking, back to his dark place of origin.


Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, WI, has been writing progressive commentary and verse since the ‘60s.  He can be reached at dennisr@cp.duluth.mn.us


Other Recent Articles by Dennis Rahkonen


* Bush’s Betrayal of Our Troops

* The Virtue and Logic of Progressive Politics

* Fulfilling Frantz Fanon’s Prophecy

* Out Now!

* Black, Brown and White, Unite to Stop America’s Decline!

* Honor American Dissidents

* Adding Color To A Too-White Peace Movement

* The Battle For...Pie




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