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A Self Described Evangelical Republican is the latest deserter in the “War on Women”

March 14, 2012

By Mark Slaughter

Protester

Lynn Leseth in San Diego on Thursday at the Rally for Women's Rights, which denounced efforts to limit reproductive freedoms by Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

If you are on the left you are undoubtedly concerned with conservatives in America opening up yet another front in their all out assault on humanity preventing liberals from creating a utopia on Earth. Yes, this time it is the “War on Women.”

Mary Russell of Iowa City

Mary Russell of Iowa City has previously voted Republican, but may vote for President Obama this year. By Matthew Holst for The New York Times

The New York Times this week gleefully published an account of  a “centrist women” who up until the birth control kerfuffle was a GOP supporter. The self-described Evangelical Christian and “old school” Republican perspective changed just two weeks ago. “She had favored Mitt Romney for president. Not anymore. She said she might vote for President Obama now. “I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”[1]

While it is difficult to believe that a life long Republican, and Evangelical Christian would suddenly change her vote based on conservative groups opposing a state mandated contraception policy, that inevitability breaches the First Amendment. Or it may have been conservative states offering women a chance to make an informed decision before they abort their child it’s hard to say which needle broke the camels back. Although, I am sure people with only an elementary understanding of politics from the left and right could easily pin these positions on conservatives.  Which begs the question do “centrist” even know what has been going on during the last forty years?

For one reason or another Ms. Russell was shocked to learn that the Republican Party was Pro-Life and stands in defense of the First Amendment. But, all is not lost at a minimum, Ms. Russell will no longer be an unformed voter, at least when it comes to “women’s reproductive rights.”

Really who could fault Ms. Russell she was undoubtedly busy teaching school and may have missed the rise of the Moral Majority in the mid-seventies that continues to this day founded by the Evangelical Christian Leader Jerry Falwell who has always maintained a strong stance against abortion. A position common among a vast majority of Evangelicals according to an ABC poll “73% of evangelicals under the age of thirty believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases; while 71% of older evangelicals do.”[2]  It is possible she never took the time to talk to another Evangelical about abortion in the last 40 years which is understandable considering it was “in the time before time the long, long ago” before Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging.

ElectoralCollege1964

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964 victory over Goldwater was the sixth-most lopsided presidential election in the history of the United States

Truth be told Ms. Russell stands in contradistinction to both the Republican Party and a vast majority of Evangelicals. However, she can take comfort in the fact she agrees with Barry Goldwater the “old school” Republican who said in an U.S. News &World Report Interview from 1994 he was deeply worried about the Religious Right’s long-term impact on his beloved GOP.  “If they succeed in establishing religion as a basic Republican Party tenet, they could do us in.” Unfortunately, for Goldwater he could not have been more incorrect.

The failed political prophet should have known something about being “done in.” After all he was defeated in a hilarious landslide receiving just 52 electoral votes to Lyndon Johnson’s 486. Goldwater’s lopsided defeat was remarkably similar to the 1980 Ronald Reagan trouncing of sitting President Jimmy Carter just 16 short years later with the help of the “Moral Majority.” Yes this “old school” Republican really knew how to make history lets just hope it doesn’t repeat itself in 2012.

Ms. Russell will certainly make a perfect addition to the liberal party possibly gleefully voting without serious thought for another 40 years. This time motivated by a government provided birth control pill. Proving yet again entitlements are the heroin of a society.

Hopefully, trampling the First Amendment for a $9.00 a month prescription is worth it, because we all know when government gets involved your freedoms tend to increase. Well, maybe not all freedoms, but the freedom to abort your child will certainly be protected everything else not so much. Ironic considering Ms. Russell’s paradigm shift happened at a baby shower.

ElectoralCollege1980

Reagan's 1980 electoral college victory of 489 electoral votes (90.9% of the electoral vote) is the most lopsided electoral college victory for a non-incumbent President.

Her new found birth control freedom might help Ms Russell overlook all the fines, fees, taxes, licensing, regulations, rules, and mandates on business.  Mandates on her personal life-like purchasing insurance, what type of toilet, shower head, light bulb, and fireplace she has in her house. What she is allowed to do on her property, when she can talk on her phone, How she must be strapped in when she drives her car, and what she packs in her child’s lunch box.

Yes Ms. Russell, we understand your main concern is keeping government out of “women’s reproduction issues” but you do it by forcing religious groups to provide birth control against their Constitutional Right, which is sort of like getting government more involved in “women’s reproductive issues.”

Maybe you are right, a professional women enrolled in a top-tier law school might not be responsible enough purchase her own birth control, and the government must do it for her. After all this is the same government that will make a half a dozen decision for her before she makes that drive to school, and dozens more before she enters the classroom. Maybe a liberal women isn’t that responsible after all, and she needs government to take care of her.

As the feminist Gloria Steinem once said, “A women without a man is like a fish without a bicycle” and who really needs a man when you have big government to raise your children, provide your birth control, tell you how much water you can flush down the toilet, and where you can talk on you cellphone, but that is not the end of it because the list will continue to grow.

Maybe it is the conservative position that gives a woman more dignity, a position that trusts in her ability do make wise decisions, and do things on her own, and maybe the real “War on Women” is being waged by those that want to treat her like a child no matter her age?

Fish without a bicycle


[1] Susan Saulny, “Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With Republicans,” New York Times (New York, NY), sec. Politics, March 10, 2012.

[2] Marcia Pally, “The New Evangelicals: How Christians Are Rethinking Abortion And Gay Marriage,” ABC RELIGION AND ETHICS December 2011.

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