The final deadline has passed, and Todd Akin is definitely going to be the Republican candidate for US Senate in Missouri. It is time for people that truly understand what we are up against in this country to speak out. Any Missourian that loves their country should support Todd Akin.
I don’t mention this much, but I am an atheist. I tend to stay away from the topic of religion. This is primarily because I have so many friends that are religious. I have ran through the arguments over the years, and it always ends the same way. Neither side moves the other. I am comfortable and happy with my position.
I am not a bully atheist like many on the left. I proudly stand on the right side of the political spectrum with many religious people.I have found that by and large they are more respectful of those they do not agree with. On the big question of God, I just don’t agree, and that is okay. As an atheist, I tend to find that I look at issues on the right with a unique lens. So I thought that I would take on the Todd Akin situation and see if I couldn’t shed some light.
To me, it is amazing that people have really wasted their time getting so bent out of shape about his comments. And of course, the geniuses in the Democrat party have turned it in to an affirmation of the “war on women.” Oh, please, would you shut-up!
Here is what Akin said.
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancies from rape are] 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 of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Some people have made a huge deal out of the “legitimate rape” part. I am often fascinated at how we hold people running for public office to this standard of you never can misspeak. He made the wrong word choice there. Incorrectly using the term “legitimate” was foolish, but no more ignorant than half the stuff that comes out of Joe Biden’s mouth, or some of the gaffes that our President has made Rremember the 57 states remark when he was running in 2008, or how about the recent Letterman appearance where he said he didn’t know what the national debt is?).
Do not get me wrong here, I was displeased with Mr. Akin’s remarks. The second part of his comment is where I strongly disagree. I think that a woman should have the right to choose to abort a fetus in the first trimester when she is raped or it is a result of incest. Rape is one of the most vile attacks a woman can suffer. To then force her to endure a completely unwanted pregnancy as a result of this act is not OK in my eyes.
There is absolutely no science that backs up his “shut the that whole thing down” comment. What many do not seem to realize is that belief was once taught to some nurses and doctors in the 1970s. Today we know it is junk science. Yes, it is laughable that he said it, and it is pretty sad that he still believed it today. In a way it is kind of good. That meme in society has been flushed.
Even though I disagree with him, I will say I respect the man for being consistent on the issue of abortion. If we can get past the emotional stupidity that is often attached to the issue, we can have a grown up intellectual debate about the topic. I know some of you would just as well stand around and scream murder from one side, and “war on women” on the other, but this is not what mature adults do.
Many on the right believe that life begins at the exact point of conception. Because of that perspective, they view all abortion as morally wrong. Strip away the misspeak and the junk science and this is what Mr. Akin is saying. He believes the potential of life is so sacred that a woman should have to carry a child to term no matter how it was conceived. I respectfully disagree with him, but at least he was consistent, and it least he was being honest about what he believes.
Abortion has always been a complicated issue for me. At heart I am a civil libertarian, I do believe that a woman has control of her own body. In my younger and dumber days I used to say that a woman should have the right to an abortion at any point because of that reason. With more maturity and reflection, I realized that this was a dangerous perspective to hold. You can make a solid argument that a fetus at some point is deserved of the same rights as any breathing individual. At what point should this occur? Christian conservatives argue this is from conception, I don’t agree with that.
When is a life a life? We need to turn to medical science here for a little perspective. The youngest known surviving birth is twenty-one weeks and five days. Because of this, I think we should be able to say that at 21 weeks a fetus is a human life. Because of this, I would support a state law that completely bans abortion after the first trimester (12 weeks).
I must admit I can relate to the Christian conservatives more on this issue. At the core of their position is a fundamental respect for human life. They see the potential life worth protecting at all costs. At the core of a pro-choice position is a certain amount of numbness and lack of respect when it comes to human life. Let us not forget, our President and Claire’s buddy, once opposed a bill preventing partial birth abortion in the Illinois Senate. Most Americans agree with me. To make it even worse, Obama once opposed a bill that would protect born-alive failed abortions. No sane person can defend these positions. You can not construct a moral or ethical defense that makes sense.
Shortly after Akin made the comments I did email his campaign asking him to step aside, not for the good of the Republican party, but for the good of Missouri and our country. And I didn’t ask him to resign because of the comment, it was solely because of the silliness that I knew would ensue. We need to have a Republican majority in the Senate. What surprised me was the extent the Republican party and the different PACs would go to attack Akin publicly. Talk about throwing someone under the bus! This was something that should have been done privately. Mr. Akn has decided to stay in the race and face the music. I respect that.
Instead of asking people to be grown-ups and look at the comments intelligently, instead of asking people to judge a man on the content of his character, instead of judging the man by the totality of his record, instead of acknowledging the fact that when a person apologizes for a mistake they might actually be given another chance, everyone decided to just steam roll the guy.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Akin in person at a small campaign event at a friend’s house in the area. I shook his hand, I looked him in the eye, and I asked him some tough questions on other issues that actually matter right now. Todd Akin will make a good senator. Originally I was going to vote for Mr. Akin in the primary. I always contended there was no bad choice in the Republican primary. I changed my mind late and voted for John Brunner. The main reason I shifted was because of Brunner’s FreedomWorks endorsement. I am a big believer in what they are doing right now. Plus, I am a believer that we need to clean Washington out and start anew. Mr. Akin had been there a while.
There is never a perfect choice in any election. There is often obvious choices. To me it’s pretty simple. Todd Akin is the obvious choice. Senator Claire McCaskill is an embarrassment to representative government. Might I remind you that she is the one that rammed Obamacare down our throats by using a parliamentary procedure? Remember, Obamacare was passed with just 51 votes, not the usual 60. Might I remind you that Claire McCaskill is a big supporter of our Marxist in Chief. Missouri did not support John McCain in 2008, and it won’t in 2012. The next four years are crucial to the survival of this nation. We have tough choices ahead. Are you really going to make your choice over one issue?