Obviously, Sandra Fluke can't ruin America by herself. But when too many people share her attitude, they can.
I was led into this by the controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh's description of her as a slut. At first, I was interested from the point of view of a double standard in the media. Yes, there is one. But in the course of my research,I went to this page to find out what Fluke really said. What interested me was that her answer to the obvious question, "In the media lately, some conservative Catholic organizations have been
asking what did we expect when we enroll in a Catholic school?"
She responded with a lot of nonsense. Such as, "We can only answer that we expected women to be treated equally." Why, does Georgetown provide free contraception to men? She continued that she expected "to not have our school create untenable burdens that impede our academic success." Not giving women free contraception creates an "untenable burden" to academic success? That's a pretty low standard for a burden, I must say. No doubt her school also expects her to rent her own room. That's a much more expensive, and, I daresay, necessary burden than contraception, yet somehow that doesn't warrant a mention?
She adds, "We did not expect that women would be told in the national media that we should have gone to school elsewhere." Really? You didn't expect anyone to suggest that obvious alternative?
But what really bothered me is how she concluded, "And even if that meant going to a less prestigious university, we refuse to pick between a quality education and our health." This is a problem, first of all, because the choice between buying contraception and having it paid for by insurance is not even a matter of health. No one who fails to use contraception is less healthy than someone who does, except in the fringe cases that she mentions of women who need to take birth control to prevent cysts -- which she admits is actually covered by Georgetown's insurance anyway.
The biggest problem, however, is the false choice that Fluke presents of a quality education vs. free contraception. Liberals claim to like choices, but they don't like to admit that choices come with consequences. Sandra Fluke made several choices: (a) she chose to go to law school, and (b) she chose specifically to go to Georgetown, and (c) she chose to buy her health insurance from Georgetown, even though she claims it is completely unsubsidized, and of course (d) she chose to have sex. Having made all those decisions, and finding that they collectively faced her with the consequence of having to pay for contraception, she decided that someone else should pick up the tab. She decided that Georgetown should not have the choice to offer contraception on its medical care, even if it would be contrary to their beliefs. She decided that everyone else who buys health insurance from Georgetown should have to subsidize her contraception, even if they don't need or want it themselves. She is in favour of choices for herself, but not for anyone else.
America is a great country precisely because we have choices. You can choose to go to law school at dozens of places, you can choose to purchase health insurance from numerous providers, you can choose to have as many sexual partners as you want of any race or gender, which is not the case in many other countries. You can also choose to be selfish and want other people to bear the consequence of your choices. That is normal, but what is not normal (or at least good) is when this selfishness makes its way into national discourse as a form of "choice" or "freedom." It is a kind of freedom that is entirely one-sided, because the choice is all on the part of one person; everyone else is made to bear the consequence, without having any choice in the matter.