I was asked just today by a pro-choice Republican why some “right wingers” are “obsessed” with abortion to the exclusion of so many other issues.

Obsessed? I asked.

“Yes,” he said adamantly. “Some right wingers act like that’s the only thing that matters.”

I asked him what issues motivated him and he said strong defense and taxes. OK.

Here’s the thing. In society, nothing can be defended if life itself is undefended. What moral ground can we stand upon when the right to life is subject to whims.

Life is the bedrock upon which all other rights exist. No other rights are safe if the right to life is not sacrosanct. So “obsessed” is what every American should be over the right to life.

Abortion for decades now has been argued to be a vehicle for economic betterment and health. But as we continue to see ourselves as a collective rather than an individualistic society, eugenics of the ill, disabled, and elderly can easily be argued to be a vehicle for economic betterment and health of the masses.

You might remember the case in Italy a few years back where a mother had unborn twins in her womb. The one twin was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome who the husband and wife chose to abort. But, accidentally, the doctor performing the abortion killed the healthy baby.

The mother, according to news reports, said that her life had been ruined. According to the Times Online:

“Neither my husband nor I can sleep at night,” she told the Corriere della Sera, which first reported the blunder. She said that the happiness she and her husband had experienced when they learnt that she was expecting twins had been transformed into heartbreak.

Her husband said that they were “truly desperate over this terrible mistake” and were consulting family lawyers.

So they were ok with killing a Down’s child but heartbroken over the accidental death of a healthy child.

Our culture is suffering from a fetish of perfection. If it’s not a perfect baby I don’t want it. And when our parents grow old and are unable to take care of themselves we talk about murder in terms of mercy.

Any culture that argues that murder is acceptable for the sole reason that the baby human is in the womb will find other ridiculous reasons to murder those outside the womb. We’ll talk about the drain on the health care system. We’ll talk about a lack of contribution to society.

After World War II, many people claimed to be shocked that the popular theory of eugenics could lead to genocide. How? It’s the same thing. It’s all about death to the inconvenient other. According to Sartre, hell is other people. Eugenics simply delivers the hell back to them.

And as for the strong defense my friend was concerned about, what are we defending ourselves from if we’re killing our own? Our enemies can just wait us out as we destroy ourselves.