As I have pointed out in previous articles, the Republican party has clearly set its sights on groups of disfavored Americans and has been taking legislative potshots at them. Anyone who isn’t a well-heeled white conservative Christian is fair game: homosexuals, Muslims, minorities, union workers, teachers, the elderly, the sick, the unemployed, et al.
The party that claims to follow Jesus Christ is actually practicing social and economic Darwinism: the survival of the strongest and most ruthless at the expense of everyone else. If the GOP has its way, the rich will keep getting richer.
Now the GOP has set its fanatical sights squarely on women. As Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) recently noted, the party of “family values” clearly has “an anti-woman, anti-child agenda” which includes keeping women barefoot and pregnant, and in submission to men, by denying them control over their own bodies and reproductive organs, even if they have been raped or their lives are in danger.
Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), the leading Republican presidential candidate, supports the reversal of Roe vs. Wade.
Ron Paul (R-Texas) recently opined that abortions should only be allowed in cases of “honest rape,” which suggests that the burden is on the victims to prove their innocence.
Chris Smith (R-N.J.) tried to get rape redefined as “forcible rape,” meaning that women would have to show evidence of physical struggles, even though many rapes leave emotional and psychological, rather than physical, scars.
Bobby Franklin (R-Ga.) recently introduced a bill that would call rape victims “accusers” until the defendant is convicted.
If we add such things up, the end result seems clear: women and girls who are the victims of incest and pedophilia will be forced to bear their rapists’ children because they’ll be denied legal abortions. That is, unless the GOP manages to make all abortions illegal, which seems to be the ultimate goal.
And yet this is only the tip of an enormous iceberg that threatens to sink women’s rights. As Rachel Maddow pointed out recently, the GOP is also "waging war on contraception."
Newt Gingrich, a converted Catholic, has voted 72 times against a woman’s right to choose, and is now espousing the “personhood” rights of fertilized eggs, which could make it illegal to use contraceptives.
Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic, not only opposes a woman’s right to choose, but has even spoken publicly about the “dangers of contraception,” saying that using contraceptives is “not okay.” Santorum maintains that states have the right to ban contraceptives.
The fundamental question is whether women have the right to choose if and when to become mothers. The alpha males of the GOP clearly believe the answer is “no.” They have read the Bible, and even though it says nothing about when life begins, or contraceptives or abortions, they still claim to know the mind of God and speak for him.
Even if Moses had issued edicts about contraception and abortion why should American women be forced to bow down to the commandments of a man who said that fathers could sell their own daughters as sex slaves with the option to buy them back if they didn’t “please” their new masters (Exodus 21), and that girls who had been raped should either be stoned to death or sold to their rapists (Deuteronomy 22)?
The GOP is increasingly driven by the white alpha male conviction that white alpha males are meant to dominate and rule the earth. Now they have American women in their sights and keep firing one legislative bullet after another. From time to time those shots hit their marks, and chip away at the hard-won gains of the American women’s rights movement.
I am reminded of the well-known Holocaust poem written by a German pastor, Martin Niemöller, who supported the right-wing alpha males of his day, only to end up in a concentration camp himself. His poem begins “First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew ... .”
If we want to avoid similar fates, we need to see and understand what the GOP is doing and send these modern barbarians a clear message with our votes, before it’s too late.
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.