Sound Byte politics: Abortion, Immigration, and Ethnic Cleansing are linked

Washington, DC (TFC) – Abortion is a sin. This is the view of many Americans. Because of this, politicians pander to the American people and try to outdo one another in the attempt to prove they are less sinful than the opposing candidate. The result of sound byte politics is the Helms amendment to the US Foreign Assistance Act, which prohibits US funds from being used for abortion. The Pro-life crowd cheers and the candidate wins reelection in a landslide.

On the other side of the world, in some never thought of country on some never thought of continent, a civil war rages. Tribal warfare follows, genocide becomes the order of the day, and ethnic cleansing ensues. “If we can’t drive them out, we’ll breed them out” becomes a slogan, and rape becomes a weapon of war. Tens of thousands of women are raped amidst devastation that is broadcast back to the United States. The images tug on the small shreds of humanity left in the US, and foreign aid is dispatched. However, because of the Helms amendment, the problem can’t really be addressed. Abortions cannot be provided. The victims are forced to carry the children to term. 1000 children are born. The Pro-life crowd doesn’t even know this happened.

The mothers are then faced with very few options, all of them bleak. They could attempt to care for the child, be ostracized from the village, thereby endangering the lives of themselves and their other children; or they could murder their youngest child. The humane thing to do would be to simply break the newborn’s neck. However, the mothers don’t have the stomach for this. So they simply leave the child somewhere to starve to death alone or be killed by wildlife. Maybe the mother sells the child to a pimp. Some mothers attempt to care for the child and leave the village. They live out of the trash and eventually the whole family dies of disease or starvation. Being a ready victim without the security of the tribe, the family is repeatedly victimized. The children become prostitutes to survive, or they attempt to steal to feed themselves and end up executed or in prison where they die of disease, starvation, or violence. The Pro-life crowd is busy picketing a drug store that sells Plan B and has no clue that on the other side of the world a mother would do anything for the chance to eat out of the dumpster behind the store.

The simple solution would be to remove the mothers and children from the culture that would victimize them. However, sound byte politics has already eliminated that option in the same way the abortion amendment was passed. There can’t be “anchor babies” floating around the United States, and “immigration” is seen as a bad word. After all, we can’t have leeches here sucking up all of our oxygen, right?

The end result is that instead of 1000 abortions, there are thousands more who died in completely inhuman conditions. If you say this isn’t our problem, you can’t really pretend to be pro-life, can you?

Image Source: trokilinochchi, Flickr, Creative Commons IDPs displaced by the Sri Lanka Army & Air Force's bombing and shelling during their current offensive into the Vanni.

Image Source: trokilinochchi, Flickr, Creative Commons
IDPs displaced by the Sri Lanka Army & Air Force’s bombing and shelling during their current offensive into the Vanni.

The consequences of sound byte politics could be played out with any campaign issue. As a nation, voters want leaders to provide solutions to complex international issues in six seconds worth of air time. It can’t be done. Four people present dozens of options as to where the group should eat dinner, but for complex issues that impact the lives of millions, a politician can only be for or against it. If you can’t see beyond your immediate emotional reaction, don’t vote. You are literally killing people.