10 November 2012

The First Step to Change...

...is not to just dress up old ideas in a new outfit.

In light of the big liberal win this week, the GOP is thinking that it might be time to make a few changes.  To that I say "good idea."  Regardless of how you feel about the issues, I think we can all agree that how the conservative agenda markets itself it not good.  Relying on the "traditional" vote of white-religious-men just can't carry the party anymore.  Charles Krauthammer alludes to this in his opinion piece.  His point is that the ideals need not change, but the GOP needs to revise how they market those ideas.  They need to be better, smarter and classier at being conservative.

I find it particularly interesting that he singles out "the women issue" in his short list of advice.  Apparently, despite what the campaign support funds may say, some within the party think people like Akin may not be on the right track for furthering the anti-choice agenda.  Go figure right?  Who could have imagined that calling every woman who desires autonomy over her reproductive choices a dirty skank would not be a big seller among the 53% of voters who identify as female?  Times sure are crazy!

This is good news.  Recognizing that intelligent discourse, free of name-calling and unfounded radicalism, is the better idea is a big step.  The understanding that you can't talk about women that way and be taken seriously is a very big deal for those who are so ingrained in the "old ways."  This may be a really positive thing.  Maybe, just maybe, once you see that you can't talk about women that way, you might just begin to understand that you can't treat women that way.  Perhaps there is even room to understand that the overwhelming majority of Americans are pro-choice and there is a reason for that. Admitting you have a problem is, after all, the first step.

However, you can't just justify your misogynistic rhetoric by just putting on a new layer of pretty paint.  The words may change, but the intent remains the same.  Be as polite as you want, provide as much proof of your righteousness as you want, but the take home message is this:

The far right thinks it is OK to deny women control over their own medical decisions because they feel the religious beliefs of the minority should dictate the public policy of the entire nation.  

Say it any way you want, this is not acceptable.  Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion and it is shameful to use religious propaganda to further the cause of the cultural shaming of women. Coming between a woman and her doctor when it comes to making informed decision about a perfectly legitimate medical procedure endangers the rights of everyone.  Speak as delicately as you like, you can't hide the real motive here. 

Spoiler alter: it will take way more than a thesaurus to make the conservative agenda relevant to modern America.

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