One of the magic terms in the Republican language arsenal is “pro-life”. As we know, “pro-life” doesn’t really mean that someone favors “life” in general, it narrowly means “pro-fetus”, “anti-choice”, or “anti-abortion rights.” It is, however, a deliberately positive-sounding term, like “pro-motherhood”, “pro-children”, and “pro-America.” Who could be against these things? That’s exactly what the Republicans are betting on. But political comedian and author John Fugelsang, on a recent Current TV appearance (included here from the Crooks and Liars website), took the term “pro-life” apart.
According to Fugelsang, 77 percent of Americans in a recent Gallup poll favored a woman’s right to have an abortion in some or all cases, but only 41 percent of respondents identified themselves with the “pro-choice” terminology that applies to such views. Fugelsang said that a subsequent Washington Post op-ed (by a writer from a Catholic religious publication) then falsely labeled the remaining plurality of respondents “pro-life” when many of them had the pro-abortion rights views that clearly excluded them from the “pro-life” category. According to Fugelsang, we need to look at the positions rather than the labels. We also need to bring attention to conservatives’ statistical lies like these when we see them.
Fugelsang further called out the Right’s hypocrisy in calling themselves “pro-life” at all, saying many of them are “pro-death penalty, pro-torture, pro-euthanasia, pro-drone bombs, pro-land mines, pro-preemptive war, and still call yourself ‘pro-life.’” That also brings to mind George W. Bush‘s description of himself and fellow Republicans as promoting a “culture of life” as they were destroying millions of innocent lives in Iraq and elsewhere.
This should be a lesson to voters not to fall for Republican catchphrases and code words that are designed to give you a subconscious emotional response — nothing less than brainwashing — rather than letting you think for yourselves, which is their biggest fear.