I was trying to watch the State of the Union address.
The president declared that the 19th amendment recognizing a woman’s right to vote was ratified “exactly 100 years ago,” which is false; the 19th amendment was ratified in on August 18th, 1920, between 98 and 99 years ago. My eyelid started to twitch when I realized he’d mixed up “19th amendment” with “1919.” Sadly, that was not my biggest annoyance of the evening.
Shortly after mixing up the date of the 19th amendment, the president announced he was instructing Congress to pass laws ending late-term abortion and any abortion on a fetus that can feel pain. “All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God,” he said. For once in my life I found that I as a Catholic agreed with Donald Trump, for all of one sentence. He is absolutely correct– all children are made in the image of God. Every child, and indeed every human being, deserves to be protected and cared for from conception until natural death.
But then, in the very next sentence, he muttered a clumsy segue about security for children and celebrated the over $700 billion he was lavishing on the military this year. And then his thoughts turned to nukes.
I swear, it was the next thing out of his mouth. Between thirty seconds and a minute and a half after the applause had stopped for his declaration that “all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God,” he declared that he was leaving the INF nuclear treaty. If we can’t negotiate a new treaty, he said, America going to “outspend and out-innovate all others by far.” We’re going to keep ourselves safe by innovating new weapons.
He officially restarted the nuclear arms race, right there in the State of the Union Address, moments after declaring that children are made in the holy image of God.
He did not address more than a thousand children, also made in the holy image of God, who were kidnapped from their parents at the Southern border, traumatized, and held in inhumane prisons or outdoor camps. You know, the ones that the Trump administration just admitted won’t be reunited with their parents.
Maybe that part of the speech is yet to come. I had to turn it off and take a few deep breaths. But somehow I imagine he’ll just forget to talk about them.
And all the usual people are crowing about how this State of the Union Address is a victory for all who respect life. As a matter of fact, I just opened a tab to check facebook, and some pro-life outfit was quoting the president’s words about children made in the holy image of God and capable of feeling pain. They’d already made it into a tacky purple meme. I don’t know how they possibly got the meme made that quickly, but there it is.
I would like to remind everyone that the Republican party was in control of the House, Senate and Executive Branch of the government for two whole years, right up until this past January. If it was the Republican party’s priority, then at any time during those two years, Congress could have written and voted on a law banning abortions on unborn children old enough to feel pain. It could have been two sentences long. The House could have voted on the law that very day and passed it along to the Senate who could have voted that evening. It would have been on the president’s desk that night or early in the morning, depending on when the President took his “executive time,” and he could have signed it. True, then the courts would spend a long time arguing over whether it was constitutional, but the president placed two of his hand-picked justices on the United States Supreme Court, so they might have ruled in favor of that law in the end. You never know.
That didn’t happen.
And now it won’t.
The president waited until the House was controlled by Democrats, to come up with the bright idea for a law banning abortions on unborn children capable of feeling pain. And now that law won’t be written. What will happen, is that our country will withdraw from the INF treaty and start manufacturing shiny new nuclear weapons that will certainly waste tax dollars desperately needed for other things, and stand a chance of vaporizing millions of people– millions more than the 60 million who have been killed since Roe Versus Wade. If, God forbid, that happens, some of those millions are going to be children, made in the holy image of God; children capable of feeling pain. And they will feel pain.
As for the children who are currently in great pain, imprisoned because their parents committed the misdemeanor of illegally crossing the border– or attempted to seek asylum here, which isn’t a crime at all– they will be traumatized for the rest of their lives, and many of them will never see their mothers and fathers again.
But at least we scored an ideological victory. A man so addled he can’t even remember the difference between 1919 and the 19th amendment mentioned our pet issue in a speech. And then he used it as a stepping stone to celebrate our murderous military industrial complex and start another nuclear arms race.
May God have mercy on America.
(image via Pixabay)