The ulterior

It may be savvier to avoid the distraction of political arguments about factual questions, e.g., the truth or falsehood of climate change, racial classifications, fetal viability, Muslims as national security threats, immigrants as job stealers. The more salient questions are why people are manipulated into certain beliefs, what about our power structures require people to think such a way, what uses those beliefs have for power-holders?

Clues may be found in considering the incongruity between a policy’s purported goals and actual effects. For example, the Muslim ban does not target countries from which terrorist threats have emerged, and is so offensive that it can be expected to actually increase the threat of terrorism, becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. Similarly, defunding Planned Parenthood does not protect life because it promises to increase the number of abortions, joining an array of other lethal policies, such as refusing to take measures to curb gun violence and police shootings.

While most voters who support these policies may genuinely believe they match the goals, the officials and lobbyists responsible for marketing and developing the policies have ulterior motives. The Muslim ban does not make us safer; rather, it makes the concentration and militarization of power more appealing. Defunding PP does not save lives; rather, it perpetuates the instrumentalization of women for biological and cultural reproduction.


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