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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On The Torment of Being a Modern Liberal

"Politics make for strange bedfellows"

It's an old cliche to be sure, but its never been truer than for the modern liberal. Only at a liberal rally will you find grown women demanding the right to kill unborn children and handicapped adults, arm in arm with adult men wearing "Trees have feelings too" t-shirts. Aside from mastering the art of irony, the democratic party's greatest achievement of the last 30 years has been to somehow convince these people they're all on the same team.

Special interest groups are in and of themselves nothing new, nor is the idea that there is strength in numbers. In fact I wouldn't be bothering to point this out at all if I hadn't read this article. It relates the sorry story of Laura Hershey, a physically handicapped woman and self-identified "secular thinker" and "lesbian feminist". When I first found this article I thought thenation.com might have been hacked by a Freeper. Here was a profoundly disabled woman articulating her belief in the sanctity of life and the evil in what was done to Terri Schiavo. I was just about send an e-mail to the editor letting them know there must be some mistake, when I finally hit the but-monkey (to borrow from Ms. Ingraham).

Despite the fact that Republicans were fighting for this woman's life while Democrat's like Ted Kennedy all but superglued her mouth shut, Ms. Hershey (Ms. until those bigots legalize gay marriage!) stands by her man. After all, Republicans "jeopardized many other disabled lives by attempting to gut Medicaid", and what is that if not holding a knife to a child's throat? If only they had the heart of Democrats, who simply "have trouble embracing the rights of people with severe disabilities", but will surely understand once they realize Terri Schiavo was not being murdered, but discriminated against...

Again, I'm not making points that haven't been brought up by people much smarter and clever than me, but I think I've hit upon something interesting here. This is a woman who in a sane world would be a hard line conservative, one of the "enemies" as she puts it, yet despite the fact that most of her progressive friends try to euthanize her every time she dozes off, she remains a Nation-level Democrat. People like Ms. Hershey represent a strange new breed, special interest groups who have abandoned their special interest in the name of a higher cause. I think this explains the power of MoveOn.org, they've finally created a Democratic party that is more than the sum of its parts.

It might be a bad sign for our side, it might only signal the Armageddon, but for the moment it only makes me profoundly sad. I pray for the young girl who decide to go through with an abortion in order to support gay marriage, I pray for the man who disconnects his wife from life support to save a baby seal, and, of course, I pray for Ms Hershey.

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