According to Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, invited to address the Democratic convention and the nation, America faces a stark choice this November. “During this campaign, we’ve heard about two profoundly different futures that could await women in this country — and how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past,” she cautioned. “That future could become real.”
In one of those futures, women will be “shut out and silenced,” rape victims will be “victimized all over again,” pregnant women will “die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms,” and “access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it.” If you’re wondering where all that is on your ballot form, just check the box marked “R.”
“We know what this America would look like,” warned Miss Fluke sternly. “In a few short months, that’s the America that we could be. But that’s not the America that we should be. And it’s not who we are.”
Fortunately, the America that we could be that isn’t the America that we should be doesn’t have to be the America that we would be. The good news is that “we’ve also seen another America that we could choose. In that America, we’d have the right to choose,” said Miss Fluke. This would be “an America in which our president, when he hears that a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters, not his delegates or his donors. And in which our president stands with all women. And strangers come together, and reach out and lift her up. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here, and you give me this microphone — to amplify our voice. That’s the difference.”
So, if you’re looking for an America where strangers lift up Sandra Fluke and amplify her voice, that would be the box marked “D.”
“I’ve seen what these two futures look like,” she said. “And six months from now, we’re all going to be living in one future, or the other. But only one.” Because you can’t have two futures simultaneously, even under Obamacare.
With respect to Sandra Fluke, I think there’s a third future looming. The paperback edition of my book comes out in a week or so, and you can pretty much get the gist of it from the title: After America. For me, the likely scenario isn’t that the Republicans will be terrorizing rape victims or that the Democrats will finally pass the necessary legislation to make contraception available for the contraceptively starved millions crying out for it, but that America will be sliding off the cliff — literally, as Joe Biden would literally say. And when America slides off the cliff it lands with a much bigger thud than Greece or Iceland. I’m not certain that the Republicans will be able to prevent that happening. But I know that the Democrats can’t. America owes more money than anybody has ever owed anyone in the history of the planet. But millions of Americans don’t see it, and millions of those who do see it don’t see it as a problem.
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