What do you fear? And are your fears realistic — could they actually happen?
Do you worry about the nasty contents of an airplane toilet splashing down on you as you’re enjoying an ice cream cone at the local street fair? Out on the golf course, do you fear a crocodile will gallop out of a water hole and clamp onto your leg?
In life, every day we instinctively categorize the possibilities for personal disaster. If we are sane, we are not equally afraid of everything. We couldn’t live that way; we would quickly become twitchy, then bonkeroonie. Our evaluation of life’s risks is ongoing, but it must be realistic. As we get in a car, or strap on a parachute and jump out an airplane, or poise a fork over a salad we’ve just unbagged, we may unconsciously ask ourselves, “Is a tragic outcome possible?” Well, yes, anything is possible. And then: “Is a tragic outcome likely?” Probably not.
As thinking women, this is the standard we must apply to the Democrats’ media-revved hysteria that the Republicans, and specifically the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket, want to take away our birth control and force us to have some rapist’s baby.
To believe such outlandish claims, you must believe in the near-impossible. Anyone who’s taken a high school civics class knows that Congress makes the laws, not the president. (Although perhaps women can be excused for thinking any president can just wave his POTUS wand and executive-order anything he wants out of thin air — after all, that’s what the incumbent does all the time.)
In reality, women’s abortion rights have been guaranteed for nearly 40 years, settled law decided decades ago by the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade. Any law passed by Congress or the states ultimately ends up before the Supremes when the issue is this big. To believe that the justices will reverse themselves on such a momentous human rights issue is just not realistic. The last time they did something similar was in 1954, when they figured out that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional since in practice it denied blacks equal rights. In reversing themselves, they reversed the decision of the 1896 court, a decision that had stood for 58 years. Is it realistic to fear the Supremes will make another epic about-face?
In another departure from reality, the scare-mongers are now attempting to convince us that a single renegade Republican candidate with a bizarre view of gynecological matters is typical of all Republicans, especially Romney and Ryan. We may as well believe that all Democrats will abandon their dates to drown because Teddy Kennedy did so; or that all Democratic presidents inevitably have sex with interns, lie about it, and are then disbarred and impeached, as was Bill Clinton.
No fair American would apply the most egregious offenses of a single member of a group to the entire group. To do so is simply dishonest, as well as desperate.
Those who try to terrify us with this tired old reproductive bogeyman should realize we are strong and competent women. Their attempts to scare us simply prove that they’re the ones running scared. We don’t appreciate being conned or patronized by politicians seeking to manipulate our votes with womb-terrorist attacks. As we wonder each day if we’ll keep our jobs and our homes in an economy carpet-bombed by the Obama administration’s policies, we’ve got enough to fear that’s terribly real, without worrying about preposterous fake fears.
Joy Overbeck is a Colorado journalist and author, a conservative who sees no contradiction in being both pro-life and pro-choice. Her work has appeared in Redbook, Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, TV Guide, Woman’s Day, Denver’s 5280, and elsewhere. Her two humor books were published by Pocket Books and she writes on politics and more at www.mycoloradoview.com, www.