Thursday, August 09, 2007

Take It Back

Not sure if this has always been the case or not, but so much of contemporary rhetoric seems to be about who can hijack the debate and back the other side into a corner they can't talk their way out of--regardless of the legitimacy of their principle. As if the thing you're arguing for takes a fundamentally secondary role to the way in which you argue. Think: Thank You For Smoking.

Most of this hijacking seems to occur as a result of fearmongering or shame tactics. Case in point: the debate about the legal status of abortion.

Some would say the phrase "pro-choice" was the first instance of a hijacking. At the peak of the feminist movement, can you imagine trying to tell a group of women invigorated by such a powerful shift in cultural identity norms that they don't have control over their own bodies?

Others would say "abortion rights" swung the rhetorical pendulum in the other direction. The moral majority claimed to have God on their side and how do you tell someone that "God" is wrong?

With the video above ^^^, I'd say the debate is about to be swung back to those who think a woman should have the right to choose whether to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or not. Anna Quindlen from Newsweek certainly seems to think so.

But, I wonder, for how long? Surely, talking points from the other side are already being drafted. And when "God" is on your side, then surely you have the certainty of position to lay down a punishment for behaviour you seek to criminalize.

Don't you?

No comments: