I am opposed to the idea of abortion. I think it is a loathsome, barbaric practice that should never have been allowed to gestate into a right. But it has, and until the Supreme Court says otherwise, it is a right. But that’s not the point of this piece.

One of the most conservative guys I know is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican who used to be a Supreme Court judge. He is a conservative first, and a Republican second. That is who he is.  He abhors abortion based on a moral convictions.  But he’d find no fault with Tomi Lahren’s position.

One day a partner was complaining that the Republican-led legislature was getting ready to legislate out of existence the right to hold people in our state accountable for discrimination and consumer fraud. As a Republican plaintiff’s lawyer, this gentlemen was opposed to the legislation.

“Every few years the Insurance Industry runs to the legislature and whines that it isn’t making enough money,” he said. “Of course, it doesn’t couch its message in those terms. What it says is ‘claims costs are killing us and we need tort reform.’”  And he is right. So the Republicans in the legislature, like so many wind-up dolls, go forth lemming-like and do the Insurance Industry’s bidding. Then the trial lawyers spend the next ten years in the courts trying to undo it one piece at a time. Then the Legislature gets smarter, writes tougher laws, and does exactly what the industry wants again. It affects everyone’s ability  to bring lawsuits for redress of grievances.  And ask yourself this.  After the last time the legislature changed the tort laws in your state, did you see your insurance bill go down?  Eh, I thought not!  No, this is special interest legislation.

Take, for instance, nuisance law suits. No, not the kind that people refer to with prisoners who want chunky as opposed to creamy peanut butter. But rather, lawsuits about whether a business can create a nuisance by operating, for example, a 3000 head hog farm. Hog farms generate hog feces, and hog feces stink. On any given day near any given hog farm the smell can be paralyzingly bad. With hordes of black flies feasting on feces, and laying their larva in them, flies breed with such abandon that in places the sky darkens with them. Farm workers run around in gas masks with protective clothing. The nearby citizens…not so much. So they sue for nuisance and sometimes they win large awards.

And then the legislature’s golden boy drafts the “Agricultural Protection Act” or some other lofty-sounding statute that essentially destroys the right to sue for nuisance. The only way to overturn the statute is a constitutional amendment because the legislature is bought and paid for, and a constitutional amendment requires at least $2,000,000 to push through (assuming you would win). And city dwellers who never smell this stuff vote no assuming that it will raise the cost of pork chops.  In the meantime the insurance industry and the Chinese-owned hog farms rake in the dollars.

So the question naturally arises, is this Republican-initiated effort the actions of a true conservative. Conservatives embrace natural law, which is morally-guided. They believe in slow changes in society, again, premised on natural law and justice. They believe that society is wise in general and that individuals often act foolishly, preferring to be guided by the public good. Natural law is the common law, built on St. Thomas Aquinas’ Treatise on Law which holds that the first principle of Justice is to “do good and avoid evil.”  They believe that any public measure ought to be judged by its probable consequences, not by popularity (or, for that matter, how much someone wants to pay to get it passed). They believe that government serves the people best by serving it in a very limited way. They believe that the marketplace, including the marketplace of ideas, should be regulated in a very limited way. They believe that freedom from government control and shrinking the federal government are achievable goals that increase freedom and benefit all. These principles are what make America great.

Thus, instead of upsetting the social order by favoring one group (industry) over another (the public at large) and instead of monkeying with the long-established common law, a true conservative would say “let the market sort this out.” If it costs too much to pay nuisance lawsuits, industry and the market cooperate.  Farms can experiment, or fashion technological fixes to reduce emissions in the case of the hog farms.  Companies that discriminate, and thereby alter the social compact, should pay the market costs of that socially-harmful behavior. So, it makes sense, if limited government is truly a conservative idea, that Republicans should limit the amount of intrusion into the common law, and fix only that which needs to be fixed.

Instead the conversation usually goes like this:

 

Industry:        We need to get rid of discrimination laws.

Republicans:  Okay, but that could hamper my re-election.

Industry:        Here’s a check for $100,000. Get re-elected.

Republicans:  Okay, how draconian do you want this to be?

Of course, the same thing happens on the Democratic side of the aisle (just with different issues and different players). But where re-election is at play, both conservative and liberal principles take a backseat to legislative longevity.

Recently a young woman whom I greatly admire, Tomi Lahren, went on The View. I give her credit for walking into the Lions Den with the completely unreasonable, asinine, batshit-crazy bunch of liberal zombies that make up that program. Let me know if you’re unclear about how I feel about The View.  I hold this view because these women espouse views that go against everything I believe in.  And my description is courteous given the amount of time I have spent screaming at these women.

In going on the View Tomi Lahren made the comment that as a limited government conservative she could not countenance government regulating the bodies of women. And this was from a woman who just a few months ago had come out against abortion. Why this sudden shift, the Internet asked?

Except, it wasn’t a shift. Not really. Tomi Lahren is still against abortion. She sees it for the evil thing it is. She is against the regulation of women’s bodies on the conservative principles of limited government. You can have a principled disagreement about the method to stop abortions, but only if you listen, and only if you don’t act like morons when someone expresses a view different from your own. God bless Tomi Lahren. I salute her. I’ve been saying the same thing about tort reform. She hit the nail on the head!

Glenn Beck’s deluded bunch of stick-your-finger-in-the-air-and-see-which-way-the-wind-blows folks started saying she’d be fired for having the audacity to express an opinion about the principles of conservatism that went against with the holy grail of abortion, which frankly is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the Church Lady. How Dare You! Republicans, after all, are the anti-abortion party!  And frankly, Tomi can do much better than the Blaze.  Megyn Kelly’s chair is still warm at Fox!

Of course Republicans are the anti-abortion party. It’s been the cash cow of the party since 1973 and Roe v. Wade. Republicans have raised more money off the topic of abortion that you could shake a stick at. They’ve talked about it, whined about it, and continually suggested that they were going to fix the problem. All the while passing laws they knew would be struck down and then crying crocodile tears (and cashing all those $10 checks from the baby boomers and their mothers) when their laws were stricken based on Supreme Court precedent.

News Flash – Republicans do not want to fix the abortion problem: Republicans know that the electorate is made up of 52% females. They know that significantly less than 50% of those women support banning abortion, perhaps because all of them at one time or another have faced pregnancy, and perhaps wondered about their options. They like having this option preserved for their girl children. Why is that important?

Because the problem can’t be solved by legislation. It can only be solved by a constitutional amendment. But it hasn’t been. And the reason is because such an amendment cannot pass the test of getting three quarters of the several states to ratify it. Of course, there is hope that a newly-changed Supreme Court could fix the issue, but that’s unlikely for a number of reasons too significant to go into here.

But why this vitriol for Tomi Lahren? She did not come out in favor of abortion. No matter what you read, what she did was express a principle of limited government that if the Republican Party were less concerned with fund-raising and more concerned with good public policy it would have already incorporated into the party’s platform. Let the state regulate sin; let the government encourage freedom.

The fact is that as long as there are people with even a limited anatomic knowledge there will be abortions. Abortion is evil, and exactly the wrong thing to do. It is a sin that stains a woman’s soul. No one who has ever had one is not changed by the experience. The question of “what might have been” visits in the night when the lights are out, your conscience is awake, and you can’t be heard crying softly in the dark. But the way to prevent it is not to regulate it out of existence. In fact, that’s exactly the wrong idea. Because making it a punitive exercise where the provider and patient are prosecuted simply drives it underground where women die from hemorrhage and infection.

No, Tomi Lahren deserves our thanks, and not because she’s cute, and fiery, and someone who knows how to get her opinion across. She’s rigid in her beliefs. She doesn’t whipsaw back and forth like Glenn Beck who on November 7 was “with her” and on November 9 was praising Trump. She understands that you have to have a personal constitution, and you have to make your decisions and stake out your positions consistent with that personal constitution. She has integrity, which literally means her actions and statements are integrated with her long-held beliefs. Sure, she’s cute, could have any man she wanted, and comes from the Dakotas where rugged individuality is prized above all else. But more important than that, she is, on this subject, exactly right.

Keep it up Tomi. Those of us who are capable of independent thought are with you.

 

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