by user Chriseckel
The law of averages says that every politician in cannot be a jackass. However, it is becoming harder and harder to find examples to the contrary. The most recent example of terrible Texan politicians is State Senator Dan Patrick. Patrick, rather unsurprisingly, is also a strong conservative personality who hosts a radio show. In his spare time, he wrote a book entitled “The Second Most Important Book you Will Ever Read: A Personal Challenge to Read the Bible.” Above and beyond the aggrandizing self-importance of the title, Patrick is grossly self-absorbed: he actually created a user account at Amazon.com to write a review of his own book!
Dan Patrick may be in love with himself, but one idea he certainly is not in love with is women having control over their own bodies. In January 2007, he filed legislation to make abortion in illegal if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Intriguingly, the man who proposed the companion bill in the Texas House is Warren Chisum, the man who believes that the sun revolves around the Earth. Great minds think alike, indeed.
As a follow-up to that campaign, Patrick proposed legislation last week to make it state law to offer women seeking an abortion $500 to carry the baby to term, and then, if desired, put the baby up for adoption. Apparently, the so-called sanctity of life translates in financial terms to less than the cost of a PS3. His reasoning is that such a financial incentive would reduce the number of abortions in . The offer is incredibly chauvinistic, foolish, and insulting. Let’s talk about finances first. A woman carrying a child to term is, in essence, working 24 hours a day for roughly 270 straight days. Patrick and his country club friends in the legislature work 140 days every two years. So, Patrick is proposing that a woman be paid $500 to do what is roughly four years of work for him. I wonder how he would feel about being paid the same amount of money? One thing is for sure – on such a salary, he wouldn’t have been able to purchase the radio station he owns and on which he broadcasts such nonsense.
However, even if Patrick hadn’t made such a ridiculously lowball offer, this proposal is still misogynistic and unrealistic. A politician or judge should never be allowed to tell a woman what to do with her body. Plastic surgery is not illegal, and never will be. Piercing one’s ears is not illegal, and never will be. What people choose to do with their own bodies is, and should be, up to them, and them only. As much as they would like to control people’s thoughts and actions, people like Dan Patrick and Bill Napoli, his bumbling political colleague from , must realize that politicians, judges, and religious leaders (three separate groups that are becoming alarmingly overlapping) do not and can not legislate against human choice.
Of course, when it comes to abortion, there is an additional implication: women are incapable of making a proper decision about their own bodies and lives. As Patrick is a conservative Christian, this is hardly surprising: many sects of the Christian church have for millennia systematically suppressed women. According to ‘the most important book you could ever read,’ “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent…” (Timothy 2:11) When one considers that Patrick endorses a text that calls for the complete subjugation of women, it is not a shock that he considers women unfit to make decisions about their own lives.
Of course, even if Patrick respected women, he probably would not respect their beliefs or decisions, just as he does not respect anybody except those who subscribe to his ridiculous beliefs. This is a man who launched a movement to boycott Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and the Houston Chronicle newspaper because he alleged that they were liberally biased. In other words, if you don’t agree with Patrick, then he will forcefully attempt to suppress your beliefs, just as he has tried to suppress women. How can a man so opposed to intellectual and individual freedom possibly remain in elected office? Then again, in some parts of this country, anything is possible.