My email filled up yesterday with people carrying on about Dan Savage, and his absurd off-the-cuff remarks delivered during a “Festival of Dangerous Ideas”. If you missed it, here’s what he said:
C’mon, that’s a toss-off; he’s clearly not serious but merely playing to a goofy crowd eager to think of itself as subversive and brave and oh, so intellectual, by listening to “dangerous ideas” that are not dangerous at all. To say “Population Control! Too many people on the planet!” to that post-modernist assembly is about as dangerous as saying “air is good.” A truly dangerous idea to speak before such a crowd would be one like Tristyn Bloom’s notion that people should stop being afraid of unplanned pregnancies and be willing to allow imperfection in their lives.
. . .these little apocalypses in our lives, whether they come in the form of an unplanned pregnancy or some other risk that we are called to take in the course of our lives, reveal the insignificance of all these other forces that we are shielding ourselves with — their fragility, their utter shallow importance in the grand scheme of things — but also the incredible, radical, bigness of life all around us.
That is a truly subversive, “dangerous” idea, one that would be met with something other than laughter. Savage is a mere provocateur. To assign anything more meaningful to his remarks than a Bugs Bunnyesque “did you hear what I just said? Ain’t I a stinker?” is to grant him an assumption of power and influence he does not possess.
With provocateurs, you make a note and then move on.
Be more concerned about someone who is about to step into an office of real power and influence, New York City’s new Mayor-elect Bill deBlasio. DeBlasio is not content to merely call himself “pro-choice”; he intends to actively work to increase abortion, while moving to suppress alternative outreach.
As mayor, Bill de Blasio will work to ensure that all women in New York City have access to quality reproductive health care. De Blasio will work with providers to ensure adequate protection for clinic access by ensuring close coordination with the NYPD, clinics and clinic access volunteers. In addition, he will continue New York City’s appeal of a judge’s order overturning New York’s local law to regulate sham crisis pregnancy centers, and if the law is ultimately struck down, he will work to craft new regulations to prevent these centers from masquerading as legitimate healthcare providers. Furthermore, Bill de Blasio will work with non-profit providers to identify neighborhoods underserved by reproductive health services and work with them to identify space in city sponsored development. De Blasio will also continue the Bloomberg administration’s groundbreaking abortion training initiative for medical residents at all HHC hospitals. And Bill de Blasio will work to increase access to the state Family Planning Benefits Program as the city works to support implementation of the Affordable Care act.
In a city where 41% of all pregnancies end in abortion, (almost 60% in the African American community) it’s difficult to imagine what neighborhoods deBlasio thinks are being “underserved”, but he’s on the case. Not satisfied with those percentages, he’s going to use the NYPD when he thinks he should, to help increase those numbers. 41/60% is not enough, but deBlasio is not saying whether a 50/70% abortion rate would suit. Being an open-minded guy, he’s going to leave the definition of success wide-open, too.
Perhaps 71/90% would be in the ballpark? Is he shooting for a 29/10% rate of pregnancies taken to term — all the right sorts of people encouraged to deliver?
I wonder how he’ll support the socialist state he favors without people alive and working to support it. Seems counter-intuitive to me, unless you are working for a whittled-down world where only the right sorts of people thinking the right sorts of thoughts will cross your line of vision or take up space on your planet.
Dan Savage tossing off a remark about 30 years of mandatory abortion is nothing to worry about; he’ll bloviate with the prevailing winds as long as they’re accounted as provocative and smart. DeBlasio, at least on life issues, is the real apocalypse, the real utilitarian revelation.