January 19th, 2020


Swallowing my pride, standing up for life and voting for Trump

Christine M. Flowers

By Christine M. Flowers Philadelphia Daily News/(TNS)

Published July 5, 2016

I vowed I would never vote for Donald Trump. I have written, at last count, seven columns explaining why he repulses me. That is still true; his being and character necessitate spiritual Dramamine. He is, to put it simply, the human equivalent of mayonnaise, the single most disgusting substance I have encountered in my 54 years on Earth.

And yet of course, the rest of this column will be devoted to why, barring some deus ex machina named Paul Ryan, I will be voting for him in November.

I don't expect you to care, one way or the other, about my choice. Friends will be puzzled, possibly angry, possibly pushed to the point of no return. I get that, and I'm prepared to weather that exodus. The reason that I am turning myself into a hypocrite of the highest order at an epidermal level, is to keep myself from becoming a hypocrite at the deepest level of consciousness. I cannot put Hillary Clinton in a position to shape the Supreme Court.

This past week has been one that shook me to the core, and that is quite a hard thing to do these days. Life has sent me many disappointments over the past few years, and I have weathered some better than others but have, for the most part, survived. Men turning into women, or vice versa, is now to be accepted if one does not want to be considered a bigot. Same sex marriage has now become almost boring in its earnest claim on my attention. We have come a long way since Antonin Scalia predicted the apocalypse in his dissent to Lawrence v. Texas, the case that decriminalized sodomy. I am on the wrong side of history, and will remain there for consistency sake, but at least I have learned to live with what I consider to be an aberration. To quote my Pope (which I try not to do too often), "Who am I to judge?" Actually, it's more like, "Who really gives a damn about my judgment?"

So, OK, I've moved on and am dealing with the legalization of gay marriage at a comfort level somewhere between the ladies on "The View" and a Westboro Baptist. Yay me.

I look at Caitlyn Jenner and think that you can slap breasts on a man and let him pee next to you, but there's not enough Cover Girl in the world to hide that Adams apple. And still, you deal.

What I cannot do, as I realized this week, is live in a world where women who have just been told that they can terminate their pregnancies much more easily than they can acquire a tattoo can jump around in an estrogen-filled bacchanal in front of the Supreme Court and think that this is civilization. After I saw the reaction from abortion rights activists on Monday morning to the decision overturning Texas laws regulating abortion clinics, I felt sick. Let's call it "mourning sickness."

I mourned many things, not the least of which were the children who would now never be born because five justices on the Supreme Court decided that it was much more important that their unwilling mothers not be inconvenienced than that a medical procedure be regulated.

But more than that, because I have been wearing spiritual black for those children for over 40 years now, I mourned the death of a belief to which I had clung for those same four decades: the idea that, at heart, Americans were decent people who really could acknowledge the difference between lies of convenience and inconvenient truths. I read someone else's column the other day that suggested Justice Stephen Breyer employed elegant words to send a simple message: "Don't make s--- up and expect us to buy it." The implication was that the regulations passed by Texas were simply a dishonest way of making abortion more difficult to obtain, not safer.

Frankly, I don't see the disconnect between those two principles, because while a plurality of the court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey did hold that the government could not "unduly burden" a woman's ability to get an abortion even while trying to regulate it to promote her safety, there is nothing in that case or others that says, "But hey, you have to give her abortions on a silver platter." The issue is what burden is "undue," and Breyer and his friends in the majority bended over backwards to basically say "pretty much anything."

Texas passed its laws in the wake of the horrific case of Kermit Gosnell. I always had the sinking suspicion that the pro-abortion voices that most loudly and stridently decried the Philadelphia butcher's abortion mill were really upset because of the bad press for their beloved "fundamental right." Nothing that happened this week has made me change my mind.

What has changed is my determination not to vote for Trump. That's because it is not enough to not vote for Clinton. After the decision on Monday, she tweeted about how the decision was a "victory" for women's health. And it was then that I realized Ruth Bader Ginsburg was clinging to her gavel until a liberal could replace her, and the other four feminists (including Breyer and Kennedy) were in good health. Currently, the only thing standing between Clinton and the court is Trump.

I am like that animal, caught in a trap, who will do anything to survive, even if it means chewing off her paw. I am chewing off my paw by voting for the person running against Clinton. I am bleeding. But it is the only way that I can try to find my way to freedom from what is, to me, sophistry, egotism and barbarity.

Christine M. Flowers
Philadelphia Daily News

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Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.