Monday, June 13, 2016

Social Conservatives: How to Lose Friends and Not Influence People

This is old news, but it was a formative event for me, and an excellent example to demonstrate a point.

During the run up to the 2012 election one of the larger shitstorms was the Todd Akin controversy over abortion. The specific quote that started it (source Wikipedia) is:
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's [pregnancy from rape] really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
Immediately the MSM sent up the Patriarchy Signal. Much screaming ensued on all sides. As is traditional, both sides of the debate took leave of anything that might be called "sanity" (how much they had originally is undetermined, but not the topic of this post), and both require some attention, starting with the media.

The MSM willfully misunderstood what Akin said. They took the phrase "legitimate rape" as "rape I approve of", or "rape that should happen", when a reading of the quote makes clear that that was not the case. This is not surprising, as a correct interpretation of his statement would gore one of the sacred cows of modern feminism, and is tantamount to high thoughtcrime. That sacred cow is the doctrine of No Woman Would Ever Lie About Rape. When Akin said "legitimate rape" he was referring to rapes that are not any of:
  1. A woman getting drunk so she can have sex without feeling responsible for it.
  2. A woman deciding to have sex, then changing her mind afterwards (or even during!) and rewriting her memories so that she was coerced into sex. (And modern feminism has plenty of ways to do the rewriting)
  3. Misunderstandings between sexually or socially inexperienced people

Please note: IT IS NOT RELEVANT WHETHER THESE SCENARIOS ACTUALLY HAPPEN OR NOT, SO DON'T BOTHER SCREAMING AT ME ABOUT IT. It only matters whether Akin believed that they happen, and was referring to them. The evidence that he did believe they happen, and not the MSM's "rape should happen" version, is the rest of his quote: "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."

In short, the MSM played their usual game of being a bought and paid for leftist mouthpiece. I believe that the scientific term for this is "lying bastards".

Now for Akin.

The first problem with Akin is that he did not appear to understand that on this and many other topics, if there is any sort of rough spot in the way it is phrased the media will twist it. He did not work out exactly what to say himself, and his campaign staff didn't either, which means that the incompetence pervaded the entire organization. If you can't prepare for a campaign threat this obvious, how the hell do you expect to deal with holding office? The result was inevitable, with Akin becoming another footnote in the history of social conservatives desperately shoving their feet into their mouths, and trying to make them come out the other end.

Second problem: Did it never occur to Akin that maybe, just maybe, this ability for the female body to terminate an inconvenient pregnancy is just a little too ready made of a solution to the abortion problem? When reality presents you with something that perfectly matches up with your biases it is time to be very suspicious.

Third problem: Akin's position ultimately boils down to "We don't need abortion because abortion is wrong and the female body has built in abortion mechanisms". Regardless of the moral value of abortion, regardless of the capabilities of the female body, regardless of the pragmatic consequences of abortion good or bad, this is hilariously bad reasoning.

Social Conservatives, between your endless moral panics, and this type of bullshit, this libertarian no longer considers you a useful ally in the fight against liberalism. You have outgrown your usefulness beyond that of a horde of redshirts to be flung at the liberal memeplex. Your only remaining purpose is to clog the breach for a few more minutes while the sane people do something useful.

Get your act together. You are only embarrassing yourself.

Maxim 29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.

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