September 27, 2018


The Liberal vs. the Pro-Lifer: Every time we fight, we're replaying an old argument that's rooted in our drastically different political views. (RICHARD BROOKHISER and JEANNE SAFER, SEPT 19, 2018, Slate)

Jeanne: Did I have feelings about this? Absolutely. Profound ones. But something had changed in what I felt was important to do about my feelings. In a long marriage you have to learn a lot of things or else you'll kill each other or get a divorce. And I had finally learned, for this and hopefully for other things too, that there was no upside in my talking about it with you. Also, I had other people I could talk to about it.

Richard: As you said, we haven't changed our opinions at all. You send a check every year to NARAL and I send a check to the Human Life Review.

Jeanne: I'm closing my ears. I don't want to know!

Richard: Well we don't announce this. We don't say how much we send!

Jeanne: But do you see how we're talking about it now? That's the important thing. If you can laugh about abortion, you can laugh about anything.

Richard: No, we're not laughing about abortion. We're laughing about arguing about abortion.

Jeanne: Yes, you're absolutely right. The number of things we agree about, or find intriguing about each other, or exciting about each other, or constantly new about each other, trumps, to such a great degree, this subject for us.

Richard: We've also passed the Cancer Test.

Jeanne: That is: When you're lying in bed getting chemotherapy, you don't ask the party registration of the person who's standing by your side, getting you through it. That's what matters.

Richard: We each have had cancer. You twice, me only once. You learn a lot about the person you love, caring and being cared for. First, you realize the sheer effort involved--showing up at the hospital, keeping track of meds and doctors, keeping track of the sick person's ordinary life. Second, you appreciate the devotion that propels the effort.

You're funny and lively, smart and wise, feisty and true. I was lucky to meet you and am lucky you love me. Let the pollsters make of that what they will.

Jeanne: As long as you're getting me through whatever it is I'm going through, or delighting me in every kind of way, you can think whatever you want! I don't feel a need to discuss something that doesn't go anywhere anymore. I don't feel I'm betraying what I believe in. The world's a big place and people have legitimate reasons for disagreeing with things that I feel are absolutely essential. I think this is part of real adulthood and maturity. I'm not going to lose you over how you think about abortion. I would be losing the center of my life.

Posted by at September 27, 2018 4:06 AM