Thursday, November 26, 2015

When the label doesn't fit

I was recently insulted as a tea-partier, even though I have no sympathies for that movement.

The issue came up because of a Facebook discussion about Mike Huckabee, the GOP presidential aspirant who said that, were he president, there would be "no abortion." Here's the thing: I agree with his anti-abortion stance, which I've maintained for over 40 years.

Of course, fighting abortion became a conservative issue when the “religious right” adopted it in 1978 as moral cover for its real concern — restoring tax exemptions for private religious schools in the South that the Carter Administration removed because he believed that they were founded to circumvent court-ordered desegregation of public schools. Trouble was, it was split off from issues like poverty, pollution, racism and other issues that would also threaten the “sanctity of human life.” (In such a situation I was #alllivesmatter even before it became a hashtag saying.)

So what does that have to do with the tea-party movement? Virtually nothing. The New Yorker magazine exposed the involvement with the Koch brothers, who were bankrolling it — and who mentioned in an interview with Forbes magazine that they were pro-choice. The tea-party movement always was about “overreaching government” anyway, but since it has never claimed any central authority there’s no specific doctrine or ideology that its adherents subscribe to.

That might explain the confusion — and the anger toward me. But it’s misplaced.

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