HamNation: Keep Your Laws On My Body, But Don’t Take Away My SUV

One of the aspects of right-wing thinking that I find most fascinating is how differently they define the rights of a free people in a democratic society.

Take a look at the video I’ve linked to above, then come back.

Owning a tank-like SUV with a name like Armada or Hummer or Land Cruiser or Pilot that allows you to pretend you’re an invading army without risking so much as a stubbed toe is a right, and that right should not be encumbered with any guilt-inducing talk about global warming or the oil supply. Inducing guilt about such things is an infringement on Americans’ god-given right to be oblivious.

Turning up the thermostat to 78 or 80 degrees instead of wearing a sweater is a right, and that right should not be infringed upon by suggesting that climate change is real, and human behavior is the cause. Americans should not have to think about, much less be concerned about, such things.

Even laws requiring fast-food places to list the ingredients, calories, and fat count in their burgers, fries, and shakes are threats to our freedom, because they imply that our lives are all connected, that we have a responsibility to at least think about how our personal lifestyle decisions affect others, and that one of government’s proper roles is to act in ways that will make life better for everyone. (It’s called the general welfare.)

It’s nice to be able to buy any car you can afford, to heat or cool your home to whatever temperature you want, to leave the sprinklers on all day, to let your car sit idling in the driveway for 20 minutes so it’ll be nice and warm when you get in. It’s pleasurable. It feels comfortable. But none of these things are what come to my mind when I think of rights, or freedom, or liberty.

I think of consenting adults being able to marry for love, whether the loved person is the same gender or the opposite gender. I think of women, in every stage of life, being able to go to the pharmacy of their choice and fill a prescription for birth control pills. I think of rape survivors being tested for pregnancy even if they were ovulating at the time they were raped, and then being told about all their options, including abortion. I think about women having both the right to terminate a pregnancy and the means to do so, financially and logistically. I think, actually, about pregnancy being understood as a medical and health event for the pregnant woman, not as a political or a religious event. There is no human right more basic than the right to the safety and integrity of one’s own body. Knowing that my body belongs to me and no one else, and that nothing will happen to my body or inside my body without my consent is the right that matters most, before any other right.

I don’t know for sure what kind of president Barack Obama will be, but I am supporting him because I believe that his conception of the rights of free people in a democratic society is similar to mine. I know that Pres. Bush’s isn’t, and that John McCain’s would not be.

One Response to “HamNation: Keep Your Laws On My Body, But Don’t Take Away My SUV”

  1. tas says:

    Republicans on Obama (or any Democrat): He won’t let us be assholes! Waaaahhhhh!

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