Roe, Dobbs, and Hubris

Good riddance to Roe - but don't get cocky!

The giant News of the Week - and the month, likely the summer, perhaps even the year - is the culmination of 50 years of hard-fought effort by the conservative Right to finally, at long last, overturn the misbegotten, murderous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that enforced legal abortion - or more accurately, feticide, infanticide, genocide, or plain old murder, as you prefer - everywhere across the fruited plain.

For those of us who've been waiting and praying for this decision for a lifetime, it is a moment to savor.  But it's much more even than that: The Dobbs decision represents not merely the greatest, but indeed the only, genuine conservative strategic victory in at least a century, going back to President Warren G. Harding's systematic dismantling of Woodrow Wilson's racist and socialistic measures put in place under the impetus of the First World War.

Since then, American conservatives have seen the occasion tactical victory, in the sense of stopping something destructive the Left wanted to do.  The Left has not been able to ban individual citizens from possessing personal firearms, despite decades of diligent effort. In the 1970s, the Left was not able to enact the ERA "Equal Rights Amendment" which would have effectively enshrined the Sexual Revolution at the Constitutional level - though to this day they haven't stopped trying.

But from the Roaring Twenties until now, there has not been a single major victory by the Left that, once achieved, has ever been effectively rolled back by efforts of the Right. Whether it be as hoary as FDR's New Deal or as newly-minted as granting sordid homosexual liaisons the legal dignity held by holy matrimony, once the Left takes ground they never, never are forced to give it back.

Until today!  So, by all means, let us celebrate and thank the Almighty that He has not yet completely abandoned these United States, no matter how richly we may deserve it.

Even in our victory, though, we can already see the seeds sprouting of our next defeat. It is in the nature of conservatives to prefer to, well, conserve - to concentrate on their own families, homes, friends, and lives, rather than the great national struggles.  The Left finds personal meaning in their political activism - as the saying on their side goes, the personal is political.  For conservatives that's generally not so, which makes maintaining momentum hard.

At the same time, those conservatives that are captivated by politics often tend to view the political arena as divorced from the "real world" of their own lives.  This isn't a criticism as much as it is reflective of the fantastic blessing that is American tradition, where Americans were supposed to be able to keep politics and the personal apart.

For most of our history, candidates have been able to fight hard against each other through the election season, then congratulate the victor and work together for the next few years until election time comes around again.  Similarly, ordinary Americans have been able to hold differing views but respect and befriend each other as people.

That's been breaking down.  It's become blindingly obvious that the Left no longer values our institutions except insofar as they can make use of whatever residual respect they may have to browbeat their political enemies.  Conservatives don't want to think of the FBI and Justice Department as their actual enemies, even though that's become all too clear over the past few years; in contrast, the Left has always been willing to blowtorch the cops if they stand in their way.

This matters, because most of the Left's greatest victories never came via the ballot-box, but by unelected bureaucrats and judges taking unilateral action.  That's how Roe vs Wade became the law - it was never passed by any legislature; a panel of unelected judges simply created a "right" to murder the unborn out of whole cloth, which has taken a half century to reverse.  The same goes for so much else: banning prayer in public schools, nearly all homosexual and transgender "rights" outside of deep-blue cities and states, and so on.  When set before the people or their elected representatives, conservative views prevail more often then not, but when one or a handful of elites effectively hold unilateral power, leftism is what you get.

The only way to prevent this, much less to roll back the tide, is through what conservatives and the Right - most particularly the religious right - have been unbelievably incompetent at for much more than a century: winning hearts and minds.  Only on the one single solitary issue of abortion has the Right made any progress convincing people to their side - and it's no coincidence that that's the one single solitary area where they've finally won a straight-up victory.

It shouldn't be this hard: when the other side cheerfully writes articles proclaiming "Abortion Involves Killing-and That's OK!", it should not take a Demosthenes or a Churchill to cast them as the baddies.  It ought not to require a golden-tongued orator to convince the vast majority of normal folks that exposing children to highly sexualized transvestite "performers" is borderline child abuse.  You do not have to be a Bible-thumper, or even believe in God at all, to perceive that chopping off the genitals of children is more akin to Nazi medicine than anything else.

What did pro-life activists do for years?  They protested, yes - and they also reached out a hand of help to hurting women who found themselves pregnant and afraid. Despite the efforts of the media to cast pregnancy crisis centers as somehow fraudulent, most ordinary people seem them as doing a generally Good Thing, just as ordinary people see the frothing lunatics protesting the Supreme Court and recoil in horror.

As Andrew Breitbart famously stated, "Politics is downstream from culture."  The Left knows this, which is why they have fought so hard to control our schools, hanging on with a death-grip to promote their debauched and morally corrosive beliefs.

Having seen the long-term success of the Left in enforcing cultural change through political action, it's understandable that our side might wish for the same, especially when this solitary great victory seems at first glance to have come that way.  Don't fall for it!

Yes, Dobbs would have never come without years of hard political effort and the promise-keeping of President Donald J. Trump, but it also wouldn't have been possible had not so many Americans personally grown increasingly squidgy over their understanding of what abortion is, and who a fetus in fact is.  The hearts changed before the politics and then the law - none more profoundly than The Donald himself, as he explained in 2015:

...What happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn't aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances.

That is exactly how to win a culture war: a man who'd spent his entire life steeped in deepest-blue New York City, surrounded by left-liberal global elites, came to grips with reality and truth when it smacked him in the face.  If that can happen to him, it can happen to others - and has, increasing millions of times.

Pundits are predicting a massive "Red Wave" in elections this fall, and conservatives may be tempted to take the opportunity to ram through laws to their taste at the national level.  This would be a critical mistake: instead, as we have opportunity, we should destroy the centralized governmental infrastructure used by the Left to enforce their power over us.  Yes, this necessarily means that blue states will have the freedom to promote things we abhor; so be it.

Let the successes and virtue of conservative-led states be a shining light on the hill to others elsewhere.  Use our power to shore up that freedom and defend it from enemies foreign and domestic.

For in the long run, we cannot win using the tactics of evil, but only those of good.  By all means drive out evil from places where we have the support of the people, as we see Gov. DeSantis doing in Florida against Disney's grooming of children for perversion; but don't use the tactics of totalitarianism to "oppress" jurisdictions where we have no support - yet.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Law.
Reader Comments

Grateful for your words, but.. what will the choir you preach to, which includes me, do, as this bus gets closer to the cliff, and the creation of two nations becomes the only option before civil war?
I'd be very interested in your thoughts.
ThNks, as always.

June 27, 2022 4:07 PM

Two words: Radical Federalism.

It's the only hope in the near-term, to buy us time for the necessary changing of hearts and minds.

June 27, 2022 4:56 PM

@Fred That's the point of this earlier article:

June 27, 2022 5:25 PM

Excellent strategy, but unfortunately I believe the RNC will accomplish little to nothing over the next two years. It is unlikely they will win a veto proof majority, especially with Republicans like Romney, Graham, Collins, Snow, etc in office. Biden is no Clinton and is incapable of pivoting to the center. He is under the complete control of the far left. He will veto any attempts at reducing the size or power of the bureaucracy.
All they can do is make Biden a lame duck, which his party pretty much already has. Not that they should not try.

June 28, 2022 1:40 AM

Radical Federalism: taken to its extreme might be secession.

Once a state recognizes that the federal government is indeed making war on them, with no recourse at the ballot box, the best one could hope for is a peaceful secession which was voted on, and enacted with the state legislature. Of course, whether it is peaceful or not would depend wholly on the federal government itself.

The article is absolutely correct that it is perilous to force ideas on a populace that has not been persuaded first. But to me it is obvious that that will not happen save for some world event that may force us to realign on the same team. 9-11 only united us for about 3 weeks, so I don't hold much hope; the best peaceful solution would be to part ways.

Not that our state is perfect, but at least our problems to solve would be much closer to home. And all of the usual crybabies wouldn't have to flee to Canada- they could just go somewhere else without renouncing their citizenship.

June 30, 2022 11:18 AM

American thinker explains why the left is getting violent over Roe:

We know that abortion is a sacrament in the leftist religion of Secular Humanism. Even so, there is a deeper reason their reaction to the Supreme Court's overturning Roe v. Wade has been so vehement: the Dobbs decision sets a new precedent that sees power withdrawn from the federal government and returned to the states as set forth in the United States Constitution.

And that is fatal to leftist plans for national authoritarian control. Regardless of all the protesters' and talking heads' histrionics - all of whom are just Marx's "useful idiots," having been cultivated in our educational system for this purpose - the real danger to the left is this turnabout in the power structure. Returning to federated law-making, which sees each state set its own guidelines, is fatal to their goals.

In studying the Big Picture, the key thing to remember about it is that every tiny issue is important. For the left, it's all interrelated, and nothing is "standalone."

Marxism is the tool globalists have used effectively to roll up control of Western countries into a top-down governing structure. One big path is through the courts - legislating from the bench - and Roe is a supreme 49-year-old example of a judicial grab taking constitutional powers away from the states. This approach is the antithesis of the Constitution's design, which sets out a bottom-up democratic republic power structure that the Founders specifically intended to prevent the top-down power domination that is the current American political system.

Historically, Marx saw class as the struggle to be pushed - that is, the proletariat against the bourgeois, the have-nots against the haves. That struggle no longer works due to our economic growth, so Marxist techniques now focus on group identity and fomenting hatred and division between those groups.

While the current divisive struggle the globalists have fomented is mainly race-based, the pro-life versus pro-choice fight adds to this disharmony. Combat between the groups is the key tool for societal collapse.

With abortion, the leftists continue to lie by saying overturning Roe means "abortion is outlawed" (it is not), and their well trained cadres of myrmidons immediately break into full-throated song. Bemoaning Roe's demise also provides another path to slam Christians and conservatives as being evil; it's a twofer in their eyes.

Stop and think about this for a moment and realize how damaging the Dobbs decision is to the left. It opens the door to further constitutional "take-backs." Justice Thomas has already hinted that Obergefell and contraceptive rulings need to be re-examined because they gave the federal government power that properly belongs to the states. The Dobbs decision provides proof that the progressives' one-way, decades-long usurpation of power just took a major hit. And that is why they fight.

If the decision overturning Roe stands the test of time (and it will), it is the beginning of a reversal of the power structure that is currently collapsing our economy, our society, our morality, our culture, our families, and our potential future as a beacon of light and opportunity to the world. Leftists fully understand this, and their frustration will make them even more dangerous in the coming months. Be on guard.

July 1, 2022 5:02 AM

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July 26, 2022 6:01 AM
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