THE VIEW FROM HERE - Cassandra was the daughter of Troy’s King Priam, and she warned him that if King Priam’s son Paris went to Sparta and brought back Helen, who was Sparta’s King Menelaus’ wife, the Greeks would attack and destroy Troy.
Perhaps Jesus was thinking of Cassandra in Matthew 7:6 where he said, “Don’t cast pearls before swine.” On the other hand, it is hard to believe that all traditions have not recognized that the majority lacks foresight and recklessly plunges ahead ignoring the few among them who extrapolate to the more likely outcome. One wonders if Putin had his own Cassandra whom he ignored when attacking Ukraine.
The current Roe vs Wade nightmare is similarly the result of people unable or unwilling to heed the consequences of their actions. We had centuries of warnings.
The Founding Fathers Set the Framework for Expanding Inalienable Rights
Although the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution had antecedents, they were essentially radical departures from prior political philosophy and forms of government. Integral to classical political philosophy, e.g. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, al-Farabi, Maimonides, was the proposition that truth needed to be secreted in esoteric doctrines. America, however, was founded on the opposite – certain basic truths were self-evident. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men . . . (have) certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (“men” meant “people,” Bold added)
By declaring inalienable rights to be self-evident, the Founding Fathers rested the future legitimacy of any government on its ability to guarantee the inalienable rights. They intentionally laid the foundation to end slavery, which was beyond their power to do at that time and place, by replacing John Locke’s Life, Liberty and Property with Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.
The individual inalienable rights and the US Constitution are warnings about the destruction which Group Rights holds for the nation. Inalienable rights were inherently individual rights. The Declaration identified no rights as resting in the government or in any class of people, e.g. aristocracy, priesthood, etc. A particular government’s right to exist was based on its ability to secure these individual inalienable rights.
Roe vs Wade Balanced Two Individual Inalienable Rights
Because the Constitution does not mention fetuses, they can have no constitutional rights. Since it took constitutional amendments to free the slaves and to give women the vote, conferring personhood on a fetus should have been done by a constitutional amendment. Nonetheless, Roe vs Wade granted quasi-personhood on fetuses. While some people wanted fetuses to have personhood status at conception, Roe adopted the trimester approach.
Thus, Roe vs Wade conferred on fetuses a limited form of personhood and that recognition required the limitation on the pregnant women’s liberty to control her own body. But for Roe vs Wade’s inventing personhood for a fetus, all anti-abortion laws were an unconstitutional infringement on the pregnant mother’s inalienable rights. While Roe vs Wade’s invented rights which were never mentioned in the Constitution, the extending of some degree of personhood to fetuses was consistent with the prevailing public sentiment. The same is true today. Had Roe vs Wade remained a case which mediated between the inalienable rights of the pregnant woman and the newly recognized personhood (life) right of the fetus, there would have been no significant movement to overturn Roe vs Wade.
Rather than Heed the Cassandra Warnings of the Declaration, the US Constitution Against Group Rights, We Plunged into Internecine Warfare
A disastrous precursor was Brown v Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954), which accorded no individual inalienable rights to Blacks. Rather it elevated Group Rights, as measured by outcomes, to a constitutional right. Segregation was unconstitutional not due to any deprivation of liberty, but it was unconstitutional if and only if an action was statistically proven to harm Blacks as a group. The GOP reciprocated by the invention of the Silent Majority and then Moral Majority and it catered to Fundamentalist White Christians. Nancy Pelosi weaponized the division with her Identity Politics where she tried to create a national patronage system where the Dems would hand out goodies, like a old ward heeler, to those minority groups who voted Democrat. Because so many religious fundamentalists were GOP, Pro Choice became part of the Dems Groups Rights battle.
As Pelosi concentrated on gathering in minority groups, her Identity Politics became increasing anti-White which left millions of voters no real option except to vote GOP. For Dems everything including Roe vs Wade was subordinated to Dems’ group rights banner. No longer was Roe the mediation between two types of inalienable rights, but it became phrased as Women vs Old White Men.
Roe vs Wade Should Have Become a Consensus Decision
There were too few voters at either extreme to sustain a prolonged battle. What made Roe vs Wade financially viable for the Dems and GOP was the two parties’ increasing division based on race, ethnicity, etc. Just as Trump became a wonderful fundraising tool for Pelosi, abortion was a fantastic fundraising tool for GOP. Both Dems’ and GOP’s lust for power and both will support any position no matter how odious if they believe it will increase their power.
Here’s the great disaster which Pelosi and her ilk have brought upon the nation – soon pregnant women have zero liberty while the fetus’ inalienable rights are supreme.
One “Clutching at Straws” Closing Note
Alito’s opinion is such legal trash, that Chief Justice Roberts may author a viability opinion which supplants Alito’s.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. You may email him at [email protected])