I enjoy listening to onBeing regularly. I am concerned, though, whenever the show ventures into the political realm because both Ms. Tippett and her guests tend to allow the right wing to frame debate and discussion, thereby virtually entirely failing to present liberal and tolerant viewpoints. Today is a good example.
Assume you are listening to a debate. Both sides agree that one side is the "Pro-Life" side. What designation does that create, subconsciously, in the mind of the listener for the other side, regardless of what that side may choose to call itself? By agreeing that the other side is properly called "Pro-Life," you implicitly agree that you are "Anti-Life," which Pro-Choicers are not. We are also Pro-Life.
Further, if you agree that the other side is properly called "Anti-Abortion," then you implicitly tell listeners that you are "Pro-Abortion." But Pro-Choicers are not "pro-abortion," a phrase which implies a default inclination towards abortions.
We should refer to the "Anti-Choice" movement in precisely that manner. It is the only accurate appellation that doesn't cast us in the awful and immoral light that right-wingers seek for us. Why will you help them create that false illusion?
Another example: Ms. Kissling portrayed both sides as being too heavily absolutist. However, "choice" is inherently the opposite of absolutism, so how can Ms. Kissling legitimately cast ProChoicers as absolutists? She furnished no examples of Pro-Choicers being absolute. The best she could do was to imply that we haven't taken sex and pregnancy seriously enough. I beg her pardon, but we are the very same people who advocate, against fierce resistance from Anti-Choicers, for sex education, counseling and pregnancy prevention measures.
If onBeing is to venture into politics, may we please have spokespeople who are not from the large masochist wing of the liberal movement? In the abortion debate Ms. Kissling, who described herself as a devastating debater, this morning mostly only devastated her own side.
More information about text formats