There is no turning back from anti-abortion politics. You cannot spend years equating it to murder and then become tolerant of it. Politics against abortion also have little chance of progress. Some Republicans believe the “abortion is murder” movement is a losing one.
There would seem to be no way out in this situation—damned if you do, damned if you don’t—but that indicates a way out. There isn’t an exit. Why? because Republican lawmakers are unable to control themselves. They are trapped by their own desire to die.
Republicans at the state level are criticized by Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark and Matt Lewis of The Daily Beast for their unwillingness to adapt to shifting abortion politics. Both claim that independent voters would continue to push the Republicans to the limit if they don’t reverse course in response to outright abortion bans in swing states, citing this week’s lopsided Wisconsin election (where the Democratic nominee easily won the seat on the state Supreme Court).
Lewis claimed on Twitter that Republicans in state legislatures “would be paying attention to the outcomes in Wisconsin — and taking them seriously” if they were “sick of losing. That doesn’t imply that their fundamental views on abortion would change. But it does imply that they would be occupied developing a plan.
Whether the GOP is addicted to losing is the question Sykes poses in his headline. The GOP simply smacks its lips and declares, “This is fine,” despite all of the red blinking lights that are flashing everywhere. Please write more,” he wrote.
Republicans must adjust their stance on abortion to better reflect voter sentiment or they will experience yet another setback in 2024. In swing states, a complete prohibition is unpopular. Republicans who stick to that stance may soon discover that election setbacks result in state abortion laws that are even more liberal than those established by Roe. As a result of last year’s humiliation, Michigan is currently there.
The majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal with a few restrictions here and there, thus these Republicans’ stance couldn’t be more in line with what voters want. However, they are unable to alter their stance for fear of being charged with being complacent about murder. Not poorly promoting anti-abortion politics is the issue. Politics against abortion are the issue.
Consider a key anti-abortion political tenet that supplements the first point in order to grasp the issue clearly: abortion = murder. A man was a man, a woman was a woman, and an embryo was not offered up as a sacrifice to modernity back in the day. This is the main concept of the film.
These days, let’s be clear, never existed. But antiabortionists think they’re there for a reason: to heighten the anguish of liberal democracy’s transition away from the past. Liberal democracy never stands still, and antiabortion trauma is no different.
Their personalities have been shaped by the event itself. Given the steadfast confidence in the existence of the past, it must. But once more, those times didn’t exist. Therefore, the opponents of abortion trap themselves in a vicious circle.
They experience more trauma the more they yearn for the past. They yearn for the past more and more as their trauma increases. Building their collective identity on victimhood is what they do. They are powerless to stop.
It is their desire to die.
The term “death drive” is Freud’s. The inventor of psychoanalysis researched World War I veterans who regularly relived their combat trauma as if it were happening right now. They struggled to recall a moment in their life when they had not been traumatized, which prevented them from moving on.
Casey Ryan Kelly used Freud’s theory to analyze the rhetoric of “Make America Great Again” in Apocalypse Man: The Death Drive and the Rhetoric of White Masculine Victimhood. He explained to me that the death drive stirs up memories of a time “before we were fractured by trauma” — when a man was a man, a woman was a woman, and an embryo was not offered up as a sacrifice to modernity.
“To reconstruct a version of ourselves that we consider to be cohesive, stable, and unified, we revisit painful experiences. Because we can never get back something we never had, the return is compulsive. So we continue to do it.
As long as the Republicans did not put themselves in danger of losing genuine power positions, the death drive was essentially harmless. They would raise a fuss about the “cRIticAl RaCE tHEory,” goof off, and then dissipate looking like victims of prejudice. They also shied away from danger. They improved their reputation.
After Roe was overturned, that was altered. The Supreme Court gave the states back control over abortion laws. With it, Republican lawmakers were no longer required to pose as victims in order to put women back in their proper roles, as they had been in the past. They might just carry it out.
However, the desire to die is compulsive. Even in the face of growing opposition from a majority that hasn’t changed its mind about abortion in decades, they will be more grotesque and macabre in their attempts to regulate or outright ban abortion the more they see themselves as victims of a trauma that never happened – and that urge won’t go away.
A new stage has been reached for the Republicans.
Their power is being wiped out by the death drive.
But they can’t help it. No message, but anti-abortion politics is the issue. Politics against abortion. Most people don’t like it. However, those who oppose abortion won’t ever understand that. They are, after all, victims.