Most of us congregate in the same political corner on Facebook. A study published on May 7, 2015 in Science magazine concluded that Facebook users choose to hang out with like minded users. In fact, most of us cull our news feeds to obtain news that are more in line with our politics, overriding what Facebook's algorithms would otherwise provide.
Also, most of us aren't so skilled at engaging opposing views in a civil and substantive manner. We tend to react emotionally, and who wants to go to Facebook just to be upset? That's not why we share cute cat pictures.
Yet sometimes we can't help it. Sometimes we run across contrary views, right there standing on a soap box in our living rooms. The frequency goes up during the political season.
Two issues in the fore of the current Republican candidates forums are abortion and immigration. This morning, these two issues crossed paths in one of my Facebook friends' musings.
It started when a share of the Carly Fiorina rant about how we can't fund Planned Parenthood because "fully formed kicking fetuses, with heart beating" showed up in my Facebook feed. I bit, pointing out that no such image in fact exists in the sting PP tapes Fiorina was referring to. I tried to steer the discussion towards a factual basis by sharing a baby gestation timeline, and pointing out that 92 percent of all abortions occur prior to week 13, at which point a fetus weighs just one-half ounce.
I also tried to focus on the good work PP does in the areas of education, testing and treatment of S.T.D's and U.T.D's, and providing birth control counseling and contraceptives, which greatly reduces the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and improves sexual health. Even if one is opposed to abortion, these are issues that should be discussed separately--something which the current efforts in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood utterly fails to do.
And then I got this: "I don't think Carly expects a lot of diehard pro-choice votes, but it is time to readdress the issue (of abortion). Western civilization is being seriously impacted by the low birth rate."
And I thought "holy shit"... and I said:
Don't leave us hanging like that. By "Western" civilization do you mean Northern European caucasian "civilization." Are you saying we need to do away with abortion in order to increase the Northern European caucasian birthrate, in order to preserve the Northern European caucasian "civilization" in North America??
The American civilization I am proud of is a free society that values free speech and a free press; that values liberty; where the right to due process from our government is guaranteed; where civil rights are valued; where private industry and personal initiative can flourish, supported by a strong education system and a lack of barriers based on narrow prejudice; where we can follow our conscience and practice our religions without coercing each other; where we have a commitment to clean air and water, and to a safe food chain for all; where we care about consumer safety; where we have a first class infrastructure, great parks, public beach access, universal suffrage; where we have a caring and an engaged public; where we have great football, baseball, and athletics of all types; where we have open and transparent dealings with a minimal amount of corruption; where we can do.
None of these qualities of our American civilization have anything to do with the racial demographic make up of the country. Preserving a white majority is not a positive value that fits into American values. Donald Trump's talk of rounding up and deporting 11 million, and to seal the border, in order to preserve a Northern European caucasian demographic is profoundly UN-AMERICAN. The fact that such talk is tolerated if not tacitly supported by the other Republican candidates is shameful.
Twenty-five percent of Switzerland's 8 million population are foreign born residents. Switzerland is doing quite fine with its civilization. California's economy and culture is doing quite fine with only a 40% share of Northern European caucasians. The fact that the U.S. has an overall birthrate of 1.88/woman, of course, is a reason to be pro-immigration, not a reason to expel 11 million immigrants. [Fiorina is dog-whistling with her "let's secure the border" talk]
The U.S. can do just fine with its "civilization" despite, nay because of a changing demographic.
|photo credit/Wiki commons|