Red America: Coming to a Body Near You
Sometimes, a single day of news tells you everything to know about what is or what is to come. On April 2, 2004, for example, the New York Times featured no fewer than seven stories covering different scandals, deceptions, stone-walling and perversions of science by the Bush administration.
November 9, 2004 is another one of those days. Today's headlines provide a chilling preview of what life will be like over the next four years in George W. Bush's Red America:
USA Today reports that growing numbers of pharmacists across America are refusing to fill prescriptions for the pill. South Dakota and Arkansas already have laws in place protecting pharmacists' individual decision to wthhold the provision of drugs they find morally objectionable. Ten states are considering similar legislation, while Mississippi has gone much further, extending its protection of the unilateral application of individual morality in medical decisions to the gamut of health care providers.
Despite voluminous research and scientific research to the contrary, the AP reports that several states including Texas, Louisiana, Kansas and Mississippi require family planning practitioners to inform patients of a link between between abortion and cancer. The National Cancer Institute's own panel of experts, as well as the British journal The Lancet, clearly refuted the bogus abortion/cencer link that had been published on the NCI web site. In Minnesota, outcry from the medical community stopped these false claims from being published by the department of health; in Montana, the state Supreme Court struck down the law in question. Other states' are now exploring similar requirements.
This is what George Bush's so-called "values voters", now triumphant and filled with hubris, have in store for America. Whether on global warming or RU 486, science is distorted or ignored in the pursuit of a pre-enlightenment worldview. The conservative invasion into the most personal, deeply-held areas of Americans' private lives will be pursued by legislative action, executive fiat, unaccountable administrative rule making, and soon, by judicial imprimatur.
For all of the focus on "moral issues" in the 2004 campaign and the Right's endless complaining about "liberal elitism", it is clear that conservatives have interpreted the election results as a mandate to eviscerate the right to privacy. As for the next four years, today's headlines show that their blighted Neo-Taliban morality will be coming to a body near you - soon.