Donald Trump didn’t have to nominate a woman to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There was nothing in law requiring it. But even if he did so in order to placate the wretched ‘girl power’ tendency in American society, for whom ‘RBG’ was a sacred figure, he has chosen remarkably well.
Profane things first – as you will have already discerned, Mrs Barrett is a decidedly attractive woman. It is alright to notice that, and to wonder whether it might have influenced the president’s selection. The nominee is elegant, feminine and relatively youthful. Trump, as we know, is the kind of person to take such things into account.
But Barrett is also impressive and authentic in a way that should command respect. She is a Roman Catholic; apparently a devout one. Her membership of a conservative evangelical group – now being stupidly but predictably compared to a plot element in the overrated feminist dystopia ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ – implies someone with a belief, not merely an identity.
Barrett has attracted general and bipartisan praise for her character and ability. By both her left- and right-leaning colleagues we are told that the nominee rises early in the morning, maintains a strict health routine, overachieves in work and education, and all this in addition to performing the duties of a mother to seven children, including two adoptees from Haiti.
But that isn’t enough for her critics. And nothing could be. This is because Barrett opposes (or so we have reason to hope) the revolting practice of ‘abortion’.
For whatever reason, support for the ‘right’ to abortion, the termination and disposal of unborn children, has become a deal-breaker for the mainstream left in recent decades.
I say “for whatever reason” because this was never inevitable. Ending pregnancy has nothing obviously Marxian about it. There is no promised contribution to the triumph of proletarian fascism. (At their best, hard-line communists even opposed certain forms of feminism, believing them – correctly – to be a capitalist convenience). Still, it is now part of the standard liberal platform. With clever manoeuvres and widespread academic corruption, feminism’s darkest priority has attached itself to the left, and cannot now be easily cut away.
And that makes Mrs Barrett a fair target. Her work ethic doesn’t matter. Her charity towards otherwise hopeless black children doesn’t matter. Her punchy, can-do rise to influence does matter, but only in the sense that it can be turned inside-out and presented as a triumph of patriarchal brainwashing.
They won’t say it explicitly, but Barrett is imagined by progressives as a traitor to her gender. Women, if they are to be liberated, are to behave in a certain way, adopt a certain set of opinions, imposed from without, often from above. If they demonstrate agreement with traditional morality, even as the result of independent reasoning, they have fallen victim to manipulation and, like an addict, cannot be trusted until they are slapped sober.
In reality, women who fight for the protection of the unborn are exercising one of the divinest aspects of female nature; a heroinism innate to them, but awakened only by a healthy environment. In a society intoxicated by the influence of propaganda, that kind of environment is increasingly hard to find; and where it does exist, the foreheads of the resisters glow bright red in the target-beams of urban revolutionaries.
The great majority of my peers I find to be disturbingly relaxed about abortion. A whole generation near enough, innocently convinced by absurd comparisons and non sequiturs, receive arguments any blockhead could reason away under normal conditions as obvious truth.
“Why don’t people who call themselves ‘pro-life’ care about children living in poverty NOW? Why does life not matter after it leaves the womb?”
Questions like this one are asked in all sincerity. The questioners are not working to confuse us. They believe that they are correct. And this can only be the result of environmental conditioning – an unhealthy normalisation of the grossly abnormal.
The right to life and the right to a tolerable life are undeniably connected. But disagreement on the first is infinitely more radical than disagreement on the second. No one except the most vulgar and heartless disputes that poverty is something to address; disagreement comes only when methods of alleviation are discussed.
And does not Mrs Barrett go some way on that front herself? Her Haitian children are being given enviable lives as a result of her personal generosity. Is that not walking the walk?
Once again, it doesn’t matter. Pro-choice arguments are defended with religious inflexibility. Counter-arguments, however reasonable, cannot penetrate – because of a barrier created by nurture, not nature; society, not moral intuition. What one has been trained to think of as common sense is not easily recognised as madness. Such is the normalising power of a bad environment.
Mrs Barrett is not just a credit to the environment that moulded her, but a sufficient, many-splendored vindication of it. I will not be so offensive as to argue that she is what a woman ought to be. But a society in which her strength, integrity and discipline are considered normal is no paltry thing to dream of.