A lot of time has passed since we last got unreal. And in a place like Texas, anything’s possible if you look away for long enough, up to and including effectively outlawing abortion.
It’s old news, but there’s nothing else we’re going to talk about that’s more important, so I decided to lead with it anyway. Setting aside questions of who has what rights when, it is simply incomprehensible to me what social good is going to come from forcing women to carry unwanted babies to term. Call me old fashioned, but I like the idea (and ideal) that government is supposed to work to help ensure the public weal. What currently passes for leadership in Texas, however, is instead hellbent on imposing fundamentalist religious dogma on its citizenry. There is not an argument in favor of outlawing abortion that is not based on faith. Faith plays an important role in many people’s lives and should be allowed to flourish in all its varieties. But to impose a particular variety of it upon everyone as a governing principle is not acceptable. Just ask a Texan Christian.
I could go on and on and on about cognitive dissonance, hypocrisy, etc., etc. etc. But far better to just cut to the chase. The new Texas abortion law, including its reliance on zealous private citizens for enforcement, is cruel, bigoted, and intended to subjugate those seen as lesser to the will of their public overseers. Small government my ass.
School has also restarted since last we talked. And the same people who are eager to seize control of women’s wombs unsurprisingly also demonstrate a limited ability to discern cause from effect.
One argument making the rounds suggests that the surge in home schooling during and since the pandemic came about because “teachers stopped teaching.” First of all, no they didn’t. They were still teaching every day despite the non-stop barrage of challenges to doing so. People switched to home schooling out of desire to keep themselves and their families safe, regardless of how they might define the term. Those who have continued to home school are doing so because after trying it, they found it to their liking.
It’s curious, however, that those cheering the expansion of home schooling are the same who decry the erosion of the family and the ways of ‘kids these days’ with the most volume. Is home the best place to learn? Or is it a dysfunctional morass good only for breeding layabouts and criminals?
I suspect it depends on the home in question. And the right is certain it does. You see, when they talk about home-schooling, they’re talking about the virtues of their home and wanting to protect said virtues from the evils of the rest of the world and have the means to do so. They don’t give a shit about how well it would suit my home or your home. Or whether anyone’s learning anything in any of them. But that won’t stop them from trying to make sure that our public schools’ ability to perform their primary function – educating our children – isn’t increasingly hamstrung. It makes sense, however, when you remember that this is the same crowd that celebrates ignorance and denies the existence of objective truths.
Stamp out the vote
The third prong we’ll address this go-round are the Republican Party of Texas’s efforts to makes sure we never get reproductive rights or functioning public education back. Governor Abbott signed anti-voter Senate Bill 1 into law at start of the month. Senate Bill 1 creates new obstacles to the ballot box for voters with disabilities, gives partisan “poll watchers” special rights to intimidate voters, criminalizes election workers, and bans late-night voting, a voting method used primarily by low-income and essential workers.
Both of these groups are also among those least able to home school even if they wanted to. And the former is more likely to experience early pregnancy than others.
Want to have fun this weekend? Here’s the place to be! Brash Brewing Co.’s Anniversary Party.