The grotesque videos unleashed by the Center for Medical Progress, evocative of the ghoulish Kermit Gosnell, have been covered extensively elsewhere, and one cannot adequately condemn their content in a simple blog post.
But I do wish to touch on a related issue as our craven Congress “considers” whether to defund Planned Parenthood — as you can tell, I suspect that this effort will simply be more “failure theater.”
The question that must be asked of Planned Parenthood’s proponents is why if there is such deep support for the organization can they not fund it themselves?
Why in this case do progressives believe that government must impose morality, or amorality depending on your perspective, through legislation by forcing millions of Americans to support an organization anathema to them?
Does anyone believe that George Soros couldn’t pull together a consortium to fund the group in perpetuity?
Now of course, Planned Parenthood’s supporters would likely argue its federal funding is justified as a matter of public safety or “general welfare.”
But so are many things for which government has no involvement (or clear Constitutional basis on which to lavish funds), and had no involvement mind you until President Richard Nixon decided it should.
Leave aside that debate however.
What federal funding of Planned Parenthood really gets to is a question of the proper size, scope and nature of government.
The more areas in which government interjects beyond its clearly defined Constitutional prerogatives, the greater the probability that it will use taxpayer funds to support causes that violate the beliefs of large swaths of citizens. This is true on a bipartisan basis.
And this brings us to one of the brilliant insights of the Founders, who created a constitutional republic as opposed to a democracy.
In a republic, the rights of the smallest minority, the individual, are protected because of a limited government with negative rights.
On the other hand, in a democracy we get majority rule, where 51% of the people can vote away the rights of the other 49%. Stated differently, democracy tends to yield a tyranny of the majority, which is wrong in principle and most always in practice no matter what party is in power (can majority rule compel virtue, and would such rule be moral even if it could?).
Were our representatives to have remained true to the vision of the Founders and faithful to our Constitution and its animating principles enshrined in the under-appreciated Declaration of Independence, all Americans would be supporting fewer things that violate their consciences and deeply held beliefs.
In the final analysis, it is our job to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire, whether on Planned Parenthood or an infinite number of other recipients of state largess that we find repugnant.
Featured Image Source: YouTube screengrab/Center for Medical Progress.