“Culture of life” revisited

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Sometimes a good rule of thumb is just to kick the soapbox over to E.J. Dionne. Here’s his column today on the Terry Schiavo affair, and what it really means to support a “culture of life”:

People who lack access to health care because they can’t afford insurance often die earlier than they have to — with absolutely no national publicity and with no members of Congress rising up at midnight to pass bills on their behalf. What is the point of standing up for life in an individual case but not confronting the cost of choosing life for all who are threatened within the health care system or by their lack of access to it?

What does it mean to be pro-life? As far as I can tell, most of those who would keep Schiavo alive favor the death penalty. Most favored allowing the assault weapons ban to expire and oppose other forms of gun control. The president makes an excellent point when he says we “ought to err on the side of life.” It’s a shame how rarely that principle is put into practice.

Sadly, it’s a bit futile to keep harping on this—it’s not as if Tom DeLay can ever be shamed for anything he does—but that’s exactly right. It would be nice if Republicans could “err on the side of life” even when it doesn’t involve a big media extravaganza. Anyone can “care” about people in front of a TV crew; all that matters is what happens once the camera goes off.

UPDATE: Ah, you can get the master list of progressive talking points here. Very good indeed.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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