Thanks to those of you who joined the live chat during last night’s CNN Debate. Where were the rest of you? No worries. I watch so you don’t have to.
As most of you know, I have been very unfair to Rep. Paul by pointing out that he sounds like a 9-11 truther, that his insistence that treating terrorists like criminals is naîve, ridiculous and dangerous, and that his head-in-the-sand approach to problems in the rest of the world would cause the very wars he claims to want to avoid. I want to give him his props, though, for this answer on the issue of abortion. After Mitt and Newt went back and forth on whether Romneycare provided for tax-paid abortions, and some of the Paulistas in the audience shouted their demand that he be allowed to comment, Rep. Paul said:
No, I do want to make a couple comments, because I can remember the very early years studying obstetrics, and I was told — and it was before the age of abortion, and I was told taking care of a woman that’s pregnant, you have two patients. And I think that — that solves a lot of the problem about, you know, when life begins and all. (Applause.)
And I also experienced a time later on in my training, in the 1960s, when the culture was changing. The Vietnam War was going on, the drugs were there, and pornography came in, and abortion became prevalent even though it was illegal.
So the morality of the country changed, but then the law followed up. When the morality changed, it will — reflects on the laws. The law is very important. We should have these laws. But law will not correct the basic problem, and that’s the morality of the people that we must do. (Cheers, applause.)
I haven’t heard much comment on this answer from Rep. Paul, but I want to shine a light on what I think is an extremely wise and important statement, one that should be repeated at every opportunity. How many times have we heard some low-information dolt, who clearly thinks that he is delivering some profound truth, try to justify defining deviancy down with the cliché “you can’t legislate morality?” My answer to the pinheads who recite this banality is, “Of course you can’t, and we’ve never tried!” What these ignoramuses are missing is that the law reflects our values. It doesn’t impose any obligation to be moral, something that is impossible, especially in a free society. Only a fool would suggest that conduct that is legal is necessarily moral. The law states a bare minimum standard of conduct for a civilized society, the very least one can do without being considered a threat to the continuation of that society. It represents a line that must not be crossed, not the aspiration of moral individuals.
When the collective morality of a democratic republic degenerates, the people will change the law to reflect that degeneration. That is what Rep. Paul was saying, and he is absolutely correct when he notes the depressing slouch to Gomorra we’ve experience over the last 40 years.
Of course, Newt had some real crowd pleasing moments last night, for more on those, and Romney had one, too. (An aside: do we really think Mitt would shove anything own Obama’s throat?) Please check out the links here:
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