Colby Cosh is a hard-core pro-******** man, but he does not fear breaching the collective code of silence about the issue:
A schema of modest legal steps against therapeutic abortion should be a vote-winner: As the LifeCanada polls shows, radicals like me -- that is, those who are unreservedly pro-choice -- seem quite outnumbered by the "moderates" who would circumscribe a woman's right to abort in various ways. But senior politicians, including capital-C "Conservatives," are terrified to propose any such steps. Which means we are left with the status quo -- the only nation in the entire Western world where there is no abortion law whatsoever. First trimester, second trimester, third trimester: Anything goes. And any politician who dares question this state of affairs risks being shot down by the media as a stone-age misogynist.
Of course, there are several similar puzzles in Canadian life; there is good evidence that we collectively favour capital punishment for the most loathsome murderers, and overwhelming evidence that we would prefer a more restrictive immigration policy. Yet neither of these positions will find its way on to a federal platform soon.
It is easy for politicians to ignore those who share the majority opinion. You are unorganized and quiet. But why are you? There may be an opportunity for some nonpartisan group, or even a brave party leader, to emerge and speak for the disfranchised moderate majority.
But in truth, I'm more cynical. I believe most of us lie to pollsters. I suspect that we are genuinely ashamed of our reproductive freedom, but that we secretly cherish it for our private purposes (or those of our wives, girlfriends, and daughters). And so we tell pollsters that we favour restrictions on abortion. But when a politician makes noises about doing something about it, we get scared.
Are the politicians the real cowards here, or is it the people they serve?
Cosh has diagnosed one generally unrecognized cause of Canadians' general reluctance to violate public orthodoxy about contentious public issues, especially this one. People don't like to be confronted with their consciences privately; they certainly don't want to wrestle with them publicly.
Few will talk about having had or counselled others to have an abortion publicly with much pleasure. Yet those who have done so will often console themselves with all sorts of rationalizations, economic, psychological, or eugenic. They both want to play God and yet suffer for doing so.
As long as people are unwilling to look within themselves, they will never summon the courage to debate the matter publicly, and the pro-abortion hardliners will continue to set policy by default.
Another cause, no less disturbing than the first, can be found at the heart of the transnational progressivism that has become the ideology of the governing classes.
If you believe, as they do, that society is progressing inexorably towards enlightened perfection, and that all change in society is perforce correct, once a change in social values and customs has arisen or been decreed, it is no longer open for debate.
For debate would suggest that the matter is not settled, that it may not progressive but regressive, and that its champions might be mistaken.
Thus we shouldn't be surprised to see progressives declare their opponents not well-meaning but misguided, but bigoted and evil. Why else would they side with wrong?
As mankind nears perfection, more and more issues will be settled, the limits of debate will be narrower and narrower, until the day comes when man will be perfect, and he will have no need of philosophy, metaphysics, politics, religion, or science.
Thus our governing classes' refusal to consider any debate, not just on abortion, but also on a whole host of contentious issues they consider to have been settled.
Those who stand in the way of progress must therefore be crushed under its advance.
Source: National Post