There are some words that folks refrain from saying because they fear the reaction they may get. But then again, there are times when there is no adequate replacement for such a word and to not say it is a sign of weakness – an indicator that you do not possess the intestinal fortitude to be in the discussion. Such words must be used sparingly to allow them the power and reverence they deserve, but when necessary they must be used with absolute conviction.
It is akin to your mother cussing (or for younger generations – your grandmother). You would rarely hear your mother utter a colorful word back in the day; but, when she did you knew the gravitas of the situation. If mom said “Dammit!” or some other word of cussing significance you knew that you had crossed the line. That is how one should use such “power words” – whatever they may be – sparingly and forcefully.
And let’s face it, when power words are used correctly they garner respect. That is because they really are the equivalent of drawing a line in the sand that cautions others that to cross it will result in swift and definite action. That is why I call them “power words” – they can pack a punch.
The time has come for Governor Dalrymple to use one of his “power words” – the “V” word. Oh yes…it is time for him to draw a line in the sand by vetoing the abortion legislation that will be coming across his desk. It is time for him to be the voice of reason and to put the brakes on the runaway train before it costs the great State of North Dakota millions of dollars in legal fees, much internal strife within the state, and the state’s dignity.
It is clear that the legislation regarding abortion will be challenged if signed by the Governor. It will cost the state an extraordinary amount of money to proceed through the courts on these challenges and ultimately the laws will be ruled unconstitutional. A decision to sign these into law is tantamount to the most nonsensical government malfeasance there is – vanity expenditures used solely to make a point. Gee, if the state has money to throw around like that I can name at least 100 other places where the money could be better spent and where such expenditures would result in positive political capital for the Governor (and all without spending a penny out of his re-election campaign chest – hmmmm…sounds like a smart move Jack).
Then there are all the folks and organizations who will have to deal with the fall-out of such laws. Obviously, there will be an increased economic burden due to the need to support the folks who will now have no other choice but to give birth. The ripple effect of that will be profound…particularly in Western North Dakota where I suspect a baby boom will soon be accompanying the oil boom. Additionally, individual, organizational, and business efforts may be hampered by such legislation. We may see businesses leaving the state due to their inability to operate lawfully under legislation that has much further reaching effects than just women’s choices and control over their own bodies (although it is difficult to imagine what could be more far-reaching than legalized forced pregnancy). The stellar reputation North Dakota has earned as a business friendly state would quickly evaporate. Limiting the freedom of businesses to do what they do is not viewed as a desirable business climate. Plus, major employers like Microsoft Great Plains, Sanford, and NDSU may struggle with recruitment when folks realize that the place they are being asked to relocate to has aggressively legislated its way into women’s bodies. It makes the state appear as if it is moving toward a Stepford Wife mentality. That is not an enticing environment for young professionals – or old professionals for that matter. Folks generally like their freedom and moving to a place where the legislature has already evidenced a penchant for interfering with basic human choices won’t be a selling point to any of the potential employees or employers the state has been so aggressively trying to draw here.
And then there’s our dignity. Must we really be the state that spends millions to try to defend laws based on a moral principle held dear by some members of our legislature – laws that will inevitably be struck down? This makes North Dakotans look like bumpkins to the world. Should we nickname Jack – Jed Clampett, and Bette Grande – Granny? It is starting to feel an awful lot like the Beverly Hillbillies with the oil, money, and disconnect with the realities of modern times.
It sure looks like we have money to burn, are fiscally irresponsible (just like the folks who win the lottery, blow it, and go bankrupt in a handful of years), and are ignorant about the creation of effective legislation. The state will be lampooned for years over this debacle. It will come up over and over and over again. The state will go from being a state that has increasingly earned accolades and greater respect over the past decade, to a state that is perceived as out-of-touch and plagued by worse ills than just long cold winters – namely a legislature that has run completely amok.
Plus, I think there will be lots of folks around the world who will make fun of, and laugh at, Jack specifically for allowing this to slip past him. I think they will laugh even harder if he attempts another run at the Governor’s office. Let’s face it – there are levels of stupidity – the legislature’s passage of these bills is one level, but to sign off on them as the Governor – uff da, that is just political suicide.
Use your power word Jack. Save the State of North Dakota from spending millions, losing ground as a business friendly state, and from becoming the butt of jokes for comedians everywhere. Even if you are not concerned about the effect the abortion legislation will have on women’s bodies, you should be concerned with the black eye and bruised ego the state will take if you don’t veto those bills.
Day one thousand three hundred and fifty-four of the new forty – obla di obla da