Sunday, November 14, 2010

Junk Food Is Not Pro-life, Sarah

It is not particularly surprising to see Sarah Palin peddling junk food to elementary school students, much as she peddles junk science, and junk raw meat political commentary to her contracting constituencies. However, what I find particularly ironic is how anti-life and pro-choice her actions are. I have long told self-proclaimed "pro-lifers" that it is easy for them to claim this position, but hard to prove that they really live up to it, and Sarah Palin's actions demonstrate this point exactly. How can you claim to be "pro-life" and then serve children food that is poisoning their health to the point that their life expectancies are actually shorter than their parents. In a time when obesity is literally epidemic and type 2 diabetes threatens to double or triple in coming decades, this is not the time for her to be pro-choice about cookies. This is the time for her to follow the advice of every single credible health book for the last several decades and advocate against sugar and empty carbohydrates. As much as the right-wing seems determined to spin absolutely everything, we cannot afford for their denialism of basic science to now expand to nutrition, as it already has for evolution, climate change, and industrial pollution.

The point which needs to be re-emphasized more clearly is that many of the causes of conservatism these days are utterly contradictory to a pro-life position. You cannot say that you are pro-life, but that you think people should have the right to choose if they want to kill themselves with cholesterol. After all, these same people say that euthanasia should be illegal, yet it should be OK to kill yourself with hamburgers, alcohol, cigarettes, and the CHOICE to not wear your seatbelt, among other right-wing crusades de jour. We all have moments of inconsistency, but it would do the disarrayed right-wing some good to think about the fundamental contradictions in their professed pro-life position. Are they really pro-life when they support the rights of polluters to put toxins into our air and water? Are they really pro-life when they want to weaken or eliminate worker safety standards that may lead to more people dying on the job? Who is really more pro-life when their opponents are the ones who want health care for all, and they adopt the pro-choice position that people should choose whether they want to purchase health care coverage at all?

If life really is a right, as the so-called right-to-life movement professes in three word bumper sticker prose, then a right is not an option or something that others can choose not to recognize. If they really want others to take their "pro-life" rhetoric more seriously then they have not try to use abortion as an excuse to abort health care for millions of Americans, as they attempted to do with congressman Stupak. If they really want to promote life then they need to be in favor of public safety relating to the regulation of speeding, and the use of safety equipment, instead of claiming their freedom to choose not to abide by those standards, even when the exercise of that "freedom" ends up endangering or injuring other people.

In the end, I don't see Republicans making much effort to be pro-life, but just using it as an empty, self-righteous gimmick for preaching (literally) and fundraising. Few of them really believe in doing things that protect or respect life when they make the lives of gay people hellish, and rail against immigrants who come to the US in search of a better life. It is hard to believe that people with so much hatred for the living can be "pro-life". Right-wingers may take some of this to heart, turn over a new leaf, and prove me wrong some day, but I am too "pro-life" to hold my breath waiting for that.

No comments:

Post a Comment