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An Undecided Voter Decides

An Undecided Voter Decides

This is episode 49 of the “A More Perfect Union” podcast series featuring Cliff Dunn, Kevin Kelton, Emily Brewer, Greg Matusak, and D. J. McGuire. This week, the hosts talk about Trump’s one-eighty on immigration, Clinton’s surprising new endorser, and one of the gang makes a  shocking revelation about who is getting that person’s vote.


  • Trump resets (again) on immigration
  • Hillary picks up a surprising endorsement of sorts
  • D.J.’s ode to the architect of the Iraq War
  • Emily’s shocking announcement !
  • How do friends make sense of their friends’ vote for Trump?


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One comment on “An Undecided Voter Decides

  1. Karl Schulmeisters says:

    while I mostly like your podcast, I am very irritated by the free pass you are giving Emily on the “I’m adopted therefore I am ‘pro-life'”

    In this episode you let stand the comment that its about whether or not a zygote is a human life. Setting aside the bad science involved in this claim (zygotes are no more “totipotent” than the Epidermal Stem Cells which you slough and kill by the millions every night in bed are) the issue here is not one of believing whether it is Human Life or not.

    The issue here is a Constitutional one – and no not the one in Roe v. Wade which a bunch of old white men came up with.

    Rather it is the very explicit “There Shall be No” in the 13th Amendment.

    Emily’s implicit argument is that had abortion been legal and easily accessible, she would not have been born to be adopted. Wrapped in this are two deeply flawed claims that you are letting her get away with:

    1) Given that Casey was decided in 1992, unless she is younger than 24yo – she actually WAS born at a time that abortion was fairly unregulated. And YET her birth mother CHOSE to carry to term.

    So clearly “being adopted” has nothing to do with her position on abortion.

    this is just sloppy reasoning and you letting her off the hook on it does not do justice to your program’s claim to well reasoned debate

    2) And this is the actual Constitutional issue:
    Her position implies that women have to be coerced against their will to carry to term.

    So this falls into two categories based on the dubious “zygote is a human being” divide

    2a) the Zygote is NOT a human being until the moment of birth. Under this line of reasoning – Emily is saying that The Government should have the authority to coerce a pregnant woman – into providing the valuable service of carrying to term, involuntarily because of “state interest” (as made up out of whole cloth in Roe).

    the problem here is that the 13th Amendment is pretty darned clear:

    …Involuntary Servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, SHALL NOT EXIST WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

    In this case the involuntary servitude is to The State. And it is frankly no different than the State coercing blood donation, organ donation or work, “in the interest of promoting life”.

    Consider the full implications of this. It means that someone could have been coerced by the government into donating part of their liver to keep Ted Kennedy or Mickey Mantle alive. after all that is “promoting life”. And yet of course we would consider this noxious and UnConstitutional.

    2b) what if the zygote is “human life” – an “unborn person” (a legal status that does not exist and which itself creates a host of legal issues, immigration via “anchor baby” being the least of them). Lets assume it is ad arguendo.

    So this means that Emily is saying that an “unborn person” – can coerce a woman into involuntary servitude because of the unborn person’s personal interest in life. Again going back to the Ted Kennedy example – this means that he would have had the authority to coerce a matching donor to donate a section of liver or a kidney etc. simply because of his own interest in “staying alive”.

    again, that is clearly noxious – yet that is EXACTLY what Emily and D.J. are arguing SHOULD be allowed because of their belief in the bad science of Zygote == Human person.

    And this line of reasoning doesn’t stop there. Because we know that a “born person” would inherently have MORE rights to this claim than an “unborn person”:

    consider the thought problem of a case where a pregnant woman has a child that needs a kidney transplant and she is the perfect donor – and the only available donor in the time frame needed.. But the transplant procedure will cause fetal death because of the blood loss and anesthesia. No court would find that she is not allowed to give the donation to her Born Child thus causing the child’s death, simply to maintain the rights of the “unborn person”.

    Clearly we have an equal violation of the “Involuntary Servitude Shall Not Exist in the United States” IN BOTH cases.

    so it is specious to say that this is a divide about whether or not a zygote is a “human being”.

    this IS a policy difference on whether or not The Government has the authority to control our bodies involuntarily.

    and to forestall the argument that “the woman got pregnant by having sex” (and I’ll set aside the Rape and incest exceptions to this), and therefore consented to voluntarily carry to term.

    IE the “strict liability” argument – that because of one act in the past, you have “strict liability” for all the possible consequences of that act.

    a) the only case where this is Constitutional law is under Tort Law and not criminal/coercive law. And you can ONLY be found liable for monetary damages. You cannot be coerced into actual servitude.

    b) You also need to go read the history around the “Involuntary Servitude” clause. It was put in place precisely BECAUSE of such strict contractual liability that was being used to de facto re-create slavery in the southern states. Namely what old slaveowners were doing was offering newly emancipated freedmen the ability to sharecrop on their old plantations.

    but then they were requiring them to buy the seed from the owner, to lease the tools from the owner etc. All under exhorbitantly coercive contracts that the local courts were holding as “strictly enforcible”. Thus if you fell behind in your debt to the landowner – you were required by the local courts to keep working that land essentially for ever and essentially for free (debt service came first).

    The Involuntary Servitude Clause was explicitly inserted to allow you to walk away from any strict liability contract hand have your liability limited to a tort claim, which itself was limited by bankruptcy.

    So I’m sorry, but you cannot keep letting Emily and DJ to make such bad reasoning and take it at face value, if you are going to continue to have this show be seen as anything but propaganda for Trump

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