Priorities

“At least if Hillary were elected, Planned Parenthood would be safe.”

This was something said to me in discussion earlier today by someone who simply doesn’t believe in Hillary’s crimes and misdemeanors.  (Crimes?  Why yes!  Mishandling of classified data, benefiting from the DNC’s fraud, interfering with the GOP primaries by colluding with the media to elevate Trump as candidate, involvement with several “regime changes” during her time as Secretary of State, perjury, Clinton Foundation misappropriation, and on and on.)  Now, while I’ll agree that Planned Parenthood is important and provides vital services to American women, setting the reproductive health of American women at the top of your list of priorities seems … misguided.

Is American women’s health more important than electoral integrity?  Debatable.  Is it more important than the lives of, say, Syrian women and children?  I would say no.  Is it more important than the survival of the species?

Certainly not.

Americans have this tendency to ignore the big picture for the sake of their pet causes.  Women’s health.  SAGA/LGBT rights.  Education.  We have this tendency to find our niches and stick to them, burying our head in the sand as the more important issues go unaddressed.  How is it that so many people could support Hillary despite her myriad flaws?  Very simply, because all they care about is that a woman becomes President and/or that she has a fair-to-middling record on women’s rights in America (but only in America — in Haiti, for example, not so much.)

This is dangerous, delusional, apathetic thinking.

I care about women’s rights, as I care about the rights of every human.  I care that women have access to quality health care and reproductive medicine, that they have the right to determine what is done with their bodies, that they have equal access to education, business loans, political office, that their pay is commensurate with that of men.  I care about these things very much.  But they are not as important as the survival of the species.

There is an order of precedence to these things.  Freedoms are irrelevant if we all die.  Women’s rights don’t mean anything if there is no food to eat.  The quality of schools in Flint doesn’t matter if the water is poisonous.

I am not saying that we have to ignore the smaller issues in favor of the larger.  I’m saying that if push comes to shove, and neither candidate is perfect, you vote for the one with the correct position on the existential, high-priority issues, even if that means losing out on one’s pet causes.  Oppression, after all, can be fought.  It can be resisted.  Global thermonuclear war cannot be.  It means the end of all things.

So what are the existential threats facing mankind?  Well, the aforementioned “global thermonuclear war” is one of them.  Climate change is another — it may not kill us all but the best-case scenarios still render vast swaths of the planet unlivable and even bigger parts unfarmable, in particular the parts we currently use for farming.  Fukushima is still leaking radiation into the ocean, which doesn’t sound too bad unless you like drinking.  And I don’t mean “drinking,” I mean having access to potable water.

Avoiding nuclear war must be the number one priority of every rational voter — because if we screw that up, everything else is completely academic.  How do we do this?  Well, avoiding war with a nuclear-armed state is a good first step.

Sure, if Hillary had won, Planned Parenthood would be safe (ish).  But myopic focus on that issue ignores her record on the environment.  It ignores her policies of regime change and bombing the Middle East, and all the women and children that would have killed.  It ignores her intention to institute a no-fly zone in Syria, which would have almost certainly provoked war with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Trump, on the other hand — while he’s certainly eager to keep bombing the Middle East, and while he’s gutting the EPA, and while he’s no doubt going to sign the bill that Congress used to defund Planned Parenthood (yeah, Congress, not the President) … at the very least, he’s not actively poking the bear.

I want him gone just as badly as the rest of you.  But at least we’re here to want that.  Had Hillary won, we very well may not have been.  Hell, she lost and they’re still trying to pick a fight!

We must sort out our priorities.  If we don’t care about the big picture, the little details are just going to get wiped away.

Further Reading

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