People in the state of Mississippi just spent a few cool millions of dollars arguing about how many fetuses can writhe on the head of a pin. That is, they just voted on a ballot measure that would decide the simple question of when life begins. How many textbooks, hepatitis shots, firefighter salaries, and fresh vegetables would that money buy? Well, who cares about that when you can invest in shackling some stranger whose pregnancy you’ve made your business?
And “when life begins”! Only in America, where “democracy” is the pitiful excuse for mobs, religious zealots, the powerful, and the terrified to enforce their morality on others, would adults actually get to vote on the mysteries of the universe. And only in America would people think they deserve to vote on such a thing.
The internet and “interactive news” (now there’s a modern abomination—let’s vote on the news) have pushed this trend to the point where people feel deprived if they don’t get to comment on everything that interests them. Michael Jackson’s doctor gets convicted of manslaughter, and instead of a serious conversation about medical ethics or family responsibility, newspaper (and blog) readers are invited to “vote” on the verdict—right or wrong? It’s yet another exercise in fact-free self-expression. Where do I click for “How the hell do I know?”
The Mississippi ballot measure conferring personhood on a tiny random blip of carbon is not, of course, about sponsors’ awe of biochemistry; rather, it’s a cynical ploy to outlaw other people’s abortions (and much of their birth control). After all, even though every Mississippian with a heartbeat can own a gun, these people revere “life”—i.e., the ability to control what you do with yours.
Fortunately, the measure failed (although over 40% of voters approved it. Maybe Secession wasn’t such a bad idea). Similar campaigns, however, will be pursued next year in at least six other states. These ignorant, flag-waving “patriots” don’t understand the first thing about “democracy:” it isn’t three wolves and a lamb voting on who’s for dinner.