Wreck-It Ralph Northam

Ralph Northam greets supporters during his successful 2017 gubernatorial bid

Ralph Northam greets supporters during his successful 2017 gubernatorial bid

Michael Geiger

To follow politics closely and remain sane, I’ve learned that you need to pick your spots. I have a few issues that I’ll go 15 rounds over, but generally, it isn’t worth the time or energy to fight the other side on seven different fronts. So, on some issues, I choose to remain fairly passive.

For example, in a perfect world, the United States would give each of its entitlement programs a good old-fashioned buzz cut. In the year 2000, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security cost the U.S. $700 billion. Today, those programs cost roughly $2 trillion. We aren’t putting that genie back in the bottle, and even if we could, any significant change would probably destabilize many lower-income areas. 

It’s fair to say that gay marriage, to quote Austin Powers, isn’t my bag, baby. But in a perfect world, the government wouldn’t go near the institution of marriage, apart from enforcing blanket bans on underage marriages and bestiality. 

Of course, in this perfect world, anyone psycho enough to marry their dog would be fired out of a cannon onto a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, but you get the idea. 

My apathy only stretches so far, however, and Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s comments in the past week are a reminder that when left unchecked, dangerous people will do dangerous things. On Jan. 30, Northam appeared on Virginia radio station WTOP and was asked about the proposed state measure that would significantly loosen restrictions on abortions. 

Northam, a licensed pediatrician, then described how the bill would handle cases in which the mother gave birth to a child with “severe deformities.” He said to WTOP, “The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

A discussion would ensue. Maybe the doc would even scrounge up a yellow legal pad to help the mother list the pros and the cons of executing a living, breathing human being. 

The Virginia governor’s office released a statement soon after that Northam’s comments were taken out of context, and that “No woman seeks a third-trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor’s comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor.”

This attempt to retreat back to the old, “Safe, legal, and rare,” argument is both unconvincing and dishonest. After all, only days before Northam appeared on WTOP, New York governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the spire of One World Trade Center to be lit up in pink to celebrate the signing of a New York bill that legalized abortion up to the moment of birth. 

I have been led to believe that Democrats are the party for those clinging to the lowest rungs of society, the downtrodden and oppressed. On Feb. 4, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse gave the Democrats a chance to prove it. 

On Monday, Sasse introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act via unanimous consent. The bill would penalize doctors and medical professionals who do not provide care for infants who survive abortions. Bills proposed via unanimous consent are defeated with only a single nay vote, which in this case was hastily provided by Washington senator Patty Walsh, a Democrat. 

The next time you hear a Democratic politician waxing poetic about a woman’s right to choose or boasting about standing up for the persecuted, remember that they are a member of a party that is willing to punish the most helpless creature on Earth, an infant child. The only sin that baby committed was surviving. 

Politicians are people, and people are fallible. They make mistakes. I generally attribute these mistakes to ignorance rather than malevolence, but men like Ralph Northam and Andrew Cuomo have opened my eyes. Governments often look and operate like circuses, but every once in a while, the music stops.