Tyranny is Tyranny, Even if It’s Feminist

Hillary Clinton speaks at conference while using hand gestures

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a feminist tone on Thursday. She told attendees at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton said. [reported at dailycaller.com 4/23/15]

Hillary Clinton does not specify precisely which deep-seated beliefs will be changed — by whom, or in what way.

One thing is certain: Whenever a politician begins to talk in the passive voice … watch out.

These comments have nothing to do with the freedom to choose to use birth control, including abortion, if one wishes to do so. That freedom already exists, under the law.

Most likely, she means that government force must be utilized, or expanded, to make sure that those who wish not to utilize reproductive practices, and do not want to finance them for others, will have to change their deep-seated beliefs, once she’s in office.

Another term to be wary of, whenever a politician uses it, is “access.” The question with “access,” when used by a politician, is always: who is to provide that access, and by what means.

Clinton attempts to lump two things together here. One is the freedom to choose reproductive services on an open market. The other is to have it provided as a right — i.e., forcibly provided by others.

She’s counting on you to ignore or evade the distinction. But the distinction is the difference between tyranny and freedom. We ignore the distinction at our peril. It goes way beyond birth control.

It’s true that our government already provides things as a right on the backs of others. You can apply for government benefits, paid for by others, on the premise that you have a right to have them paid for by others, so long as you can provide proof that you really need them, “proof” that satisfies the government, at least.

Clinton attempts to extend this premise to the context of reproductive rights. By that she means abortion as well as other unspecified means of promoting what she considers women’s rights. She’s saying it’s not enough for these to be legal; they must be provided as a right. And she intends, as president, to make sure that happens.

In many respects, none of this is new. Nobody running for office ever makes a principled case against using force to provide goods and services to some, by right, for the sake of others. If you are against food stamps, it’s assumed you’re against helping people in need of food (not that everyone on food stamps will starve without them). If you’re against socialized medicine, it’s assumed you’re against people having medical care.

The case is never made that coerced charity — just like coerced anything — is immoral, and certainly should not be something done by the government against its own citizens. Freedom means freedom. In the realm of charity, freedom means the choice to give or not to give, based not only on what one is able or willing to give, but also on the exercise of one’s own personal judgment about who (if anyone) should be the beneficiary of one’s charity.

Hillary Clinton takes this unquestioned idea for granted, and now seeks to extend it one step further. She dresses it up as feminism, and implies that if you’re against her policies, you hate women. Up to now, even though almost everyone supports the concept of forced charity, many draw the line at forcing people to act against their religious or moral convictions. In this speech, Clinton is essentially saying, “Tough. If your particular and personal religious beliefs get in the way of what the government wishes to do — then to hell with your beliefs.”

Keep in mind that Clinton is not merely upholding the right of individual women (and men) to practice birth control and reproduction as they choose. She’s saying that those who do not wish to do so must be forced to participate in those choices, and even pay for them. She’s taking the logic and underlying premises of the welfare/entitlement/transfer-of-wealth state all the way.

Religious people will oppose Clinton by countering that abortion is not moral, that it’s murder, and it therefore should be illegal. The morality and legality of abortion is an important, but a separate issue. They will also argue that they have “religious rights” that apply here, and they should not be made to pay for the abortions or birth control of others if it offends their religious beliefs.

Neither of these arguments hold water against what Clinton is saying. Clinton is saying we are already our brother’s keepers, and the government therefore has both the right and the obligation to force some to take care of others, whenever the government deems particular citizens as needy in some way. In this speech, she’s making it clear that this will extend to women in the area of reproduction, as well.

She’s implying that it’s already part of the law — she may be referring to the Obamacare/”Affordable Care Act” — and she means to enforce this as part of the law, once she’s president. Presumably, she will — like Obama — just start issuing executive orders regardless of what Congress or the courts compel her to do. She’s the first female president, after all, and she’s doing this “for women.” What are you, some kind of sexist by opposing her?

If you’re religious and wish to challenge Clinton, you have to challenge her on her assumption that government may use force to violate the rights of some to pay for the goods or services of others. Otherwise, you’re simply saying that religion must be a “special case,” and while government has every right to force some to pay for others, the one exception will be in the area of birth control, abortion, etc.

In any debate, the more consistent side will ultimately win. Clinton makes it clear: You are your brother’s (and sister’s) keeper. This is a viewpoint to be enforced by government in every case, not just some or most cases. Begging for an exception in the case of religion won’t be enough any longer. We (religious and nonreligious alike) have to fight the entitlement state on fundamental principle. If not, tyrants like Hillary Clinton will roll right over us — passive voice and all — without the slightest hesitation.

There are guns, tanks and prison cells behind Clinton’s statement that beliefs and viewpoints have to “be changed.” It’s not reason and persuasion she’s promoting here; it’s brute force.

Why do you think she’s running for president?

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