It’s usually the desperate who resort to baseless name-calling. If truth, right, good, and even real power are really on your side, you have no need to stoop low enough to smear someone you oppose to rile up your own base. You have no need for wild rhetoric.
It’s one thing to call your opposition out for misinformation, bad facts, lies, or just plain cruelty (like killing unborn children). It’s quite another to do what NARAL has just done to the Susan B. Anthony List in an e-mail letter. While the SBA List is certainly strong enough to stand up for itself, the crazy ideas put out in the letter by NARAL’s President, Nancy Keenan, are worth refuting.
Below are excerpts from the letter, with the most outrageous parts highlighted:
It’s time. The fight has begun, and women’s rights hang in the balance.
Rick Santorum is out, and anti-choice extremists have tapped a new leader in the War on Women: Mitt Romney.
This morning, the radical anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List announced its endorsement of Romney, and pledged to spend $10 million to elect him and defeat President Obama.
Show these zealots that their $10 million won’t silence us.
We have to show these anti-choice extremists that we won’t let them buy this election.
Our research shows that key blocs of women voters in battleground states are turned off by the extreme views of anti-choice radicals like the Susan B. Anthony List.
(Notice how many highlighted parts there are. I had to hold myself back.)
Let’s get a few things right here. First, Nancy Keenan, I’m a woman, too. Don’t tell me that my rights hang in the balance now that the SBA List has endorsed Romney. Pro-life presidents are not anti-woman. You think those two terms are synonymous, but they’re not.
Abortion should never, ever, ever, in the history of all mankind, have been classified as a woman’s right. Why? There are probably a million and one reasons. Here’s three: 1) Not all women want this “right.” In fact, I’d argue that numbers that are clearly becoming a majority don’t want it. We’re tired of how abortion has hurt our fellow women. 2) Men are fathers and should have a right to save their children’s lives. 3) Most importantly, abortion kills a separate, unique, living individual. The pro-life/abortion issue is about the right of an innocent human being to remain alive and not be killed – a right every one of us should equally enjoy.
It’s pretty desperate for NARAL to go down their list of smear names and try to call SBA List every one in the book. Can you see them in their dark back room now, asking each other, “How do we include every one of these names in one, short letter so the public feels like the SBA List is out to attack us and them?” Then, when they figure it out, they rub their hands together in glee, masking their desperation through empty rhetoric and sophomoric phrases.
I’m joking, of course, but really, NARAL, is this the best you could come up with?
Did you know that every single one of those words could be applied to you, too? You think the SBA List and the rest of us are “extreme” in our views about protecting every human life? You think we’re “radical” about the equal right to life? You think we’re “zealots” because we don’t give up on the cause until every person is allowed to live? Well, you’re extreme for demanding that abortion on demand, for any reason, be completely legal. You’re radical about opposing any and all restrictions to abortion and guidelines for abortion clinics. You’re zealots because you refuse to give up, even when you’re losing ground.
There, we’re equal now. Tit for tat. Maybe now we should start focusing on the real issues. Not on your opinion that we’re extreme. Not on our opinion that you’re extreme. Calling an opposing side “radical” without proving how they are does nothing. Of course they’re radical in your opinion. But you’re radical in theirs! That’s the nature of the beast. Stop whining and show some proof.
Calling names without evidence never helps anyone. It sidesteps the real issue of women and babies and innocent human life. The truth is a discussion that can help people. Name-calling, not so much. That just speaks of desperation.
One more thought. Maybe, NARAL, it would do you good to read this article: “Words and phrases that smart people should stop using.” Here’s a sample of what the author writes:
When it comes to politics, people are all about the sensationalism. As most three-year-olds have figured out, negative behavior and throwing tantrums is a good way to get attention fast. In politics, this behavior often takes place as the misuse and abuse of language. Make something out to sound worse than it is, and then have a tantrum over it…. This is a great tactic for causing an uproar and distracting people from real issues.
She also has a really good idea about your new favorite phrase “the war on women”:
The use of the word “war” in the context of American politics belittles the real war against women in Egypt and other countries. This is yet another example of how language is misused to rouse emotions rather than focus on the facts and attempt to arrive at a suitable solution.