Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

By Dan Riley

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






(okculaw/Flickr)

Neil Gorsuch is going to be a justice on the Supreme Court, and it is likely that he is going to be there for three to four decades. That is a chilling prospect. Long after the Donald Trump presidency becomes a dark memory, Gorsuch’s name will continue to appear in the headlines. I have no doubt he is both qualified and exceptionally intelligent, but after sitting helplessly through Judge Merrick Garland’s blocked nomination, Gorsuch’s confirmation is a hard pill to swallow. So what is the lesson to be learned? Assuredly there are many, but one stands out to me: The abortion debate will continue to divide us for generations to come.

I know religious voters who held their noses as Trump repeatedly demonstrated his misogynistic inclinations, xenophobic beliefs and general stupidity on the campaign trail. They knew that should Trump win the presidency, he promised to appoint a pro-lifer in the late Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court. That is an important piece of the puzzle in answering the impossibly complicated question, “Why did Trump win?” Whether you agree or disagree with the religious right’s desire to put Trump in the Oval Office and get Scalia 2.0 on the highest court in the nation, it demonstrates the steadfast resolve of the pro-life movement. Despite Gorsuch saying he would have “walked out the door” if asked to overturn Roe v. Wade, he has previously sided with the pro-life movement as evident by his opinion that all human life is “inherently valuable” in a book he authored. He has also ruled against Obamacare’s contraception coverage requirement twice.

For good reason, abortion is a highly contentious political battle in modern America. The pro-choice movement advocates for the rights of women, while the pro-life movement advocates for the rights of the unborn. The argumentative dissonance of these two pursuits yields a perpetual conflict. I don’t believe that babies are being murdered in the same way that some members of the pro-life movement believe they are, but I recognize that if I were convinced that was the case, anything less than an unending political fight would be morally unacceptable. Of course, women having anything less than complete control of their own bodies is equally unacceptable. Regardless, it goes to show that in American politics, it is all about the babies.

The “think of the children” appeal is strikingly effective in United States politics. President Trump spoke candidly about the horrible images of infant victims after the chemical attack on Syrian civilians. On the surface, that doesn’t seem like a bad thing. Why shouldn’t we set out to prioritize the wellbeing of the innocent? Though, considering the state of education in this nation, or the impending effects of global climate change, the definition of what endangers children is far from uniform.

I do not fear for the future of liberal ideals; Gorsuch is not the harbinger of the liberal end-times. If the election results in November are any indication, the future is bright. The demographics are shifting: young voters lean to the left. All that is done today may be undone tomorrow, should it be fitting and necessary for the country. But as Gorsuch’s confirmation demonstrates, discussion and conflict over abortion is unending, and inspires such passion that it brings people to compromise themselves for the sake of the children. It is our duty to leave the world better for the next generations, for the young children, but fixating on the rhetorical appeal of saving the children blinds us to the realities of the world, and the realities of what should actually be done to save children.

Dan Riley is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal”

  1. elizabeth on April 11th, 2017 1:52 pm

    It’s liberal non-profits who passed around the famous image of the war-struckken dirty Syrian child and based on that image tried to manipulate people into accepting Syrian refugees and accused anyone of not doing so as being monstrous.

    This column is a perfect example of why liberals have no credibility; they are shameless hypocrites and exploiters.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    UMass lanza un plan estratégico quinquenal

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    Malcolm X文化中心举办佛罗伦萨镇废奴主义历史的演讲

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    SGA parla del prezzo del nuovo restauro della Student Union

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    Matt Murray earns first shutout of the season against UConn

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    UMass Baseball heads to Central Connecticut State for opening three game series

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    UMass beats UConn 3-0 for program-record 16th Hockey East win

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    UMass overpowered all around, falls to No. 1 B.C.

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    Otto B. de UMass nous parle de son art, de ses inspirations et de son approche iconoclaste du concert en direct

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    UMass und Hampshire verbinden: warum es Sinn macht

  • Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation: The ‘think of the children’ appeal

    Archives

    UDems discuss Israeli-American politics in current U.S. democracy

Navigate Right