EXPENDABLES …

Everybody is a victim. 

That’s kinda where we are right now. 

Somehow, we’ve decided that there’s more virtue in your victimhood than in your achievement. Nobody wants to be that person who had a relatively good childhood, got over whatever issues that had, and now lives a relatively normal, well-adjusted life.

That is downright boring.  

The new glamour is not talent or giftedness or beauty or fitness. The new coin of the realm is victim intersectionality. The more you’ve “been through” the better your story is. The more we root for you. The greater your claim to a piece of something society has supposedly withheld from you.

We create special days and moments for our victims. We dedicate entire months to races and skin colors and sexual preferences. There aren’t many people left on the planet who can just be abused with impunity anymore. Well…straight white dudes. But who gives a shit about them, anyway? Those are not my words – that is an actual quote I heard from someone in Hollywood. But I digress …

The only people left whose actual EXISTENCE can be called into question, are those people with special needs. 

In the wake of last week’s Roe V Wade decision, there has been an avalanche of opinion and posturing and medical, political and social information (and misinformation) being posted and written about and blah, blah, blah. 

The upshot is that this basically got sent back to the states to decide what actual LAW they are going to put on the books. Just to be clear: no “law” got overturned. A legal decision got overturned. 

But laws can still be made and unmade, based on what the legislative makeup of each state does. And if the body politic wants a federal law regarding abortion, they can absolutely petition their representatives to get that done. They can march and protest and boycott and mobilize and do all the stuff we’ve been seeing wall-to-wall for the past several years. 

But the truth is, a lot of these “trigger laws” that are going into place, around the country, are being written by and supported by women. 

Why?

During the 50 years of Roe V Wade, incredible amounts of pre-natal research has been done. We now have ultra-sound machines. We know more than we’ve ever known about an unborn child. We know they feel pain. We know they move around (mothers have always known this). We know they get frustrated and calm. 

We not only frown on, but absolutely shame a pregnant woman who drinks or smokes or even eats tuna during a pregnancy. We don’t allow expectant mothers to go on certain rides or use certain types of products. 

And my question has always been what are we trying to protect?  

Not talking about that is actually denying science. And I thought we weren’t supposed to do that anymore. Wait…maybe I should put on a double mask and type that again. Whatever …

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are going to find more and more creative ways to end a pregnancy later and later into it.

They actually can do most of that, now. The truth of it is you can order an “abortion” pill over the internet and it will be at your door in a few days. It still does the job. It just won’t be as grisly and gruesome. 

Basically, one day, we’re going to look back on physical abortion the way we now look back on crucifixion. I mean, the state still kills people. It just doesn’t do it in the most painful, horrific and torturous way imaginable. It’ll be the same with ending abortion as we have known it.

If someone wants to end a pregnancy, they will find a way to do it. And these days, there are much cleaner, easier ways to abort than ripping the child into pieces and throwing away the body parts you can’t sell on the black market. Wait…did I say that out loud? Sorry.  

This is the new world of aborting children. And it won’t end. Women will still find ways to get rid of the thing they don’t want, as long as they believe, and are constantly told, that children are “a burden.”

I suppose, for some people, children ARE a burden. And I have no desire to tell any woman what she can or can’t do or how she’s supposed to feel or how she’s supposed to react to a surprise pregnancy. I’m a dude. And I like to stay in my lane. 

But let me say this …

The most horrible and almost breath-taking reaction I saw to all of this, was that of newscaster, Anna Navarro, as she, in an angry reaction-to-the-decision rant, basically listed all the people in her life who have disabilities. A she was going through this chapter and verse, I kept asking myself, “what is she trying to say, here?” 

Anna Navarro

But in my heart, I knew exactly what she was trying to say…because I’ve heard it said in different ways, far too many times. 

What she was saying was this: the women who gives birth to those “damaged” humans should always have the option to kill them before they’re born. 

That is the inference. And there’s really no other way to interpret it. 

Well, guess what? I have a daughter with special needs, too. She has a severe disability and requires full time care. My wife and I do it…by ourselves. We’ve never had live-in help and we’ve never taken any assistance from the government. 

And, yes, it destroyed our lives and careers on almost every level. It was (and continues to be) the single hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And, yes, it was also the best thing that ever happened to either of us. And, no, I wouldn’t go back and change it for anything. 

Because, see, my daughter isn’t this “thing” that has to be managed. She isn’t a drain on society and my bank account. She is a real-life miracle, flesh and blood, with feelings and opinions and tastes. She lights up the world everywhere she goes. She kisses her brother every morning, and embarrasses him at school, making him a much better human being.  

She was the inspiration for an American Idol finale song that changed the lives of thousands of people, inspired a book and a feature film. She smiles and waves at total strangers and makes people’s day on a regular basis. She was the namesake of several huge fundraisers that brought awareness to her condition and funded experimental research and therapies that have implications far beyond her rare disorder (Angelman Syndrome) – but reach into places like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Who knows if ANY of those things would’ve happened if she had been extinguished, so that my wife and I could’ve adopted a “perfect” baby. 

Society still allows itself to look down on those with disabilities as dead weight. We still think of them as expendable and something that needs to be “put to the side.” 

And in that regard, if we’re thinking that way, we’re not far away from how Hitler thought about them. 

See, the Nazi’s didn’t start with the Jews. They started with the special needs community. They first talked everybody into letting the state “take care” of those with disabilities.

No respectable German family needed that added stress in their lives. The state would build facilities and house them. The state would feed and clothe them. The state would take this “mistake of nature” off their hands, and allow the family to have a normal, fruitful life, without the weight of having to care for someone with special needs. 

Maybe it would’ve been best if they were never born in the first place. I mean, it would solve a lot of problems. Right? They weren’t really contributing to the world…were they? Certainly, they weren’t going to be a part of pushing humanity farther and faster. Of course not. There’s no way they could help the species evolve. Could they?  

If you’ve ever thought any of these thoughts, congratulations. You’ve discovered your inner Hitler. That was actually the entire premise of WWII. That’s what Hitler’s whole thing was about…creating a better race of humans. It wasn’t that ham-handed, clunky belief system about skin color, you assign to “White Nationalists” or people in the NRA. 

No. It started with the nuanced intellectualism of the uber-informed. 

It started with people deciding what a productive and positive life was supposed to look like for everybody. And, most of all, it was based in that most subtle of all prejudices we still haven’t overcome; even after BLM and Pride month and having trans people in the highest levels of government. That subtle, allowable prejudice that talks about people with special needs as if they are lower forms of humanity, completely optional, and all-things-considered, probably best left unborn. 

If that’s how you feel, and that’s your decision, there are still ways to make that happen. And you have to live with that decision. Not me. 

I guess all I’m asking (and I think I speak for many parents of kids with special needs when I say this) is that we at least be honest about what that decision is rooted in. It’s rooted in the same belief toward the disabled the Nazis had. 

In our house, we disagree with the Nazis. 

They don’t get it. And they never did. 

And you may think you are a progressive, post-racial and inclusive person. But if you still think of the special needs community with that “oh, bless their hearts…what a tragedy…we should try to have fewer of them in the world” mentality, then I hate to tell you this…

But you don’t get it, either. 

R

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6 thoughts on “EXPENDABLES …

  1. You might want to include Margaret Sanger and the eugenics movement. Thanks as usual for the honest clarity

    Rev David Boedecker

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  2. I always enjoy reading your posts when they come into my email. I either whole-heartedly agree with whatever you’ve posted, or you teach me something I hadn’t known and I end up agreeing with you, but no matter what, you always make me smile. This time, with this post, …you know how something can give you “the chills”? Or even be so profound it gives you full-body chills? But usually the chills are short-lived..? Well, as I was scrolling, reading, and came to the section about your beautiful daughter, *instant* chills. As I scrolled to bring her image all the way into the frame, the chills expanded to full-body chills, and just kept growing stronger the further I read about her…I’ve never felt that! To have her in your life is a true blessing indeed. XOXO

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  3. What if the only thing a person ever contributes in life or to this world is happiness or inspiration? I should be so blessed to be counted among those who value that.

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  4. Even when we disagree on politics, I generally respect you to Jerusalem (Beijing?) and back for the choices you’ve made with your family and for the way you communicate about them.
    But shut up about Hitler and Nazis until you learn what you’re talking about, do NOT try to de-center Jewishness from Hitler’s evil. You are correct on some precise facts, yes certainly they murdered many thousands of people with disabilities (~250,000 by the end, is it?), and eg forced them to comply with immensely unethical research, and this was a ‘logical’ / predictable expression of their core ideologies. But no it sure didn’t “START” there; Mein Kampf is essentially a prototype for today’s conspiracy theories about Jewish Globalists, and the earliest state repression after Hitler became Chancellor was against political opponents (duh; also, communists = Marxists, were blamed on Jews) and Jews. Contemporary accounts from the time eg Wir sind die Moorsoldaten (1933) show that the first step was chain gangs (forced labor camps).
    In Nazi racial hierarchy, Jewishness was a worse taint than all but the most severe disabilities, and it was impossible to be tainted worse. I have the recollections in my grandfather’s own hand of his flight from Germany. This post contributes actively and falsely to the danger that my community faces when you peddle and validate claims that the Holocaust wasn’t about Jews, that it wasn’t so bad for Jews, that Jews should stop talking about it so much. Take it down, you jerk.

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  5. Thoughtful as always. I need to visit more often.

    On this topic, for the last few years I’ve been recommending Chesterton’s “Eugenics and Other Evils” for insights into a great many aspects of the eugenics monster and its various outgrowths. In particular, attempts to revive the “feeble-minded laws”, under whatever guise, are now as strong as ever, and casting a far wider net.

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