Conservative Inc. has been abuzz with excitement over the abortion case recently argued before the Supreme Court. They think this is the big win they have been promising for more than half a century. The five “conservative” justices appear ready to overturn Roe and even Roberts seems to be leaning that way. Oral arguments seemed to center on whether they should reverse Roe entirely or try to find a piecemeal approach to begin the process of reversing it.
One of the ironies of this is that this was made possible by the man Conservative Inc. declared an enemy of their cult back in 2015. If the court does overturn Roe, you can be sure no one in the dying cult of conservatism will have the principles to both admit they were wrong and give Trump credit for the result. They will just pretend none of that happened and use the event to scam their donors one more time. Conservatives never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.
Putting that aside, some may be tempted to think this is a sign of some pushback against the forces of darkness. Roe was always bad law as it involved the court in an area of politics for which it is poorly equipped. Courts are crude instruments best suited for broad issues. Abortion is a purely moral issue. In a big multicultural society like America, there is never going to be agreement on such an issue. It is best left to local communities and the states to work out a compromise.
What Roe was all along was a symbol. The Yankee ruling elite could impose their values on the rest of the people. Roe and other rulings from the court were about maintaining that political arrangement dating to Gettysburg. If the court does reverse Roe, it should be read as the first sign of the Yankee retreat. In the fullness of time, the homosexual marriage ruling in the Obama years ruling will be viewed as the last great legal victory of the Yankee imperium.
Of course, the decline of the old Yankee ruling elite coincides with the demographic decline of heritage America. Abortion was always an issue for middle and upper- middle-class white women. The first generation of white women to enjoy abortion was the Baby Boomers. They wanted it so they could be “free” of the patriarchy. Then they wanted it for their daughters. Today, both cohorts are past childbearing years and the young generation is mostly nonwhite.
We saw something similar with family issues. When the Boomers were having kids, we were inundated with movies about having babies. Education was the top concern among middle-class voters. Then it was college tuition. Notice that politicians now only talk about education with regards to the whiteness of it. Good schools and cheap college are no longer a top priority because those are white people issues and white people with kids are a dwindling minority.
If the court does overturn Roe this summer, you will see some grannies and Nth-wave feminist lesbians out making noise. The Left will do a nostalgia tour, pretending it is 1970 all over again. They will pull the old signs out of storage and reminisce about the old days when they were hip and cool. Like so much of our politics, the response to overturning Roe will be another magical mystery tour of the past. Then it will be forgotten along with the events around it.
One contrary take on Roe that deserves consideration is that abortion was originally about personal privacy. The court was agnostic on the morality of abortion, but it was sure the state had no role in a private medical decision. There was a zone of privacy guaranteed by the Constitution. Even though privacy is never mentioned in the document, most agree the idea is important. There is a line between the public and private and there should be prohibitions against violating it.
In oral arguments, the court did not seem interested in that angle and the pro-abortion arguments did not emphasize it. This is a sign that the notion of the private space, the zone off-limits to prying eyes, is no longer important. This could be a read as an acknowledgment by the court that the concept of privacy is now dead. All of us should expect to live naked in full view of everyone. The public, and by extension the state, have a role in your private life and decisions.
The cycles of history are both large and small. The period following the Second World War kicked of a demographic and cultural cycle in America. That cycle existed within a larger cycle kicked off by the Civil War. You can say that America itself is a cycle within the larger cycle of English speaking people. Often when one cycle ends it creates the necessary elements to begin a new historical pattern. Sometimes the end is not the beginning of anything. It is just the end.
The abortion issue probably signals the end of the post-war cultural and demographic cycle that has been driven by the Baby Boomer generation. Ironically, it is things like abortion that will have killed this cultural period. A politics and culture dependent on middle-class white people is not long for the world if middle-class white people are throwing their babies in the dumpster of abortion mills. Abortion was a self-inflicted gunshot to the womb of heritage America.
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