American director Frank Capra, among others, was responsible for the Why We Fight series of films during the Second World war. The films helped American soldiers understand what was at stake in a war with the Axis powers. At bottom, it wasn’t Capra’s talent (although he was talented) that supplied the answer to the question why America was fighting; it was America’s violent and fanatical enemies who supplied that answer through their own depravity.
Likewise in our time, as we now face a domestic threat from a bigoted nationalism, we find that it is our adversaries who by their depravity justify our fight in opposition and resistance.
Steve King, a lumpen Congressman from Iowa, shows us through his perverse the imperative of a relentless resistance:
DES MOINES, Iowa — U.S. Rep. Steve King on Wednesday defended his call for a ban on all abortions by questioning whether there would be “any population of the world left” if not for births due to rape and incest.
Speaking before a conservative group in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, the Iowa congressman reviewed legislation he has sought that would outlaw abortions without exceptions for rape and incest. King justified the lack of exceptions by questioning how many people would be alive if not for those conceived through rapes and incest.
“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” King asked, according to video of the event, which was covered by The Des Moines Register. “Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that’s taken place … I know I can’t certify that I’m not a part of a product of that.”
“This year, several candidates have said they will challenge King for the Republican nomination, including conservative state Sen. Randy Feenstra. Scholten also recently announced he’d again run for the seat.
After King’s comment Wednesday, Feenstra said in a statement, “I am 100% pro-life but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message & damage our cause.”)
There was never a time when rape or incest was justified, and no humane person on either side of the abortion debate would imply that population increases from immoral and criminal violence against women make that violence somehow more acceptable.
A world where King’s views would hold sway – and they don’t yet have such influence – would not be a pro-choice, pro-life, pro-abortion, or anti-abortion world.
It would be a world of nihilism, of moral emptiness stretching to the farthest horizon.
That’s why we now fight.