“Let Unborn Vote” to Stack Ideological Deck

by Wesley J. Smith

No, the proposal isn’t to let the unborn vote against abortion as a means of increasing the odds they actually get into the world.

Rather, a Dutch global warming hysteric named Thomas Wells wants the unborn to be able to vote by proxy for policies and politicians that warming alarmists favor. From the Tom Friedman column loving the idea:

“Even if we can’t know what future citizens will actually value and believe in, we can still consider their interests, on the reasonable assumption that they will somewhat resemble our own (everybody needs breathable air, for example),” wrote Wells in Aeon Magazine. Since “our ethical values point one way, towards intergenerational responsibility, but our political system points another, towards the short-term horizon of the next election,” we “should consider introducing agents who can vote in a far-seeing and impartial way.”

Wells suggests creating a public “trusteeship” of nongovernmental civic and charitable foundations, environmental groups and nonpartisan think tanks “and give them each equal shares of a block of votes adding up to, say, 10 percent of the electorate,” so they can represent issues like “de-carbonizing the economy” and “guaranteeing pension entitlements” for the unborn generation that will be deeply impacted but has no vote.

In other words, add 10% to the electorate to vote the way Wells and Friedman favor.

This is no different than animal rightists saying animals should be able to sue or nature rights advocates wanting to be able to represent fungi–it is just a scheme to let ideologues increase their power over the rest of us.

I think the “unborn” would want to enter the world in a society with a robust economy where they would have a fair chance at getting good work and society would enjoy sufficient prosperity to pursue responsible environmental practices. But under this scheme, the fix would be in and that view–held by at least as many people as those who want to depress our economies “to save the planet”–wouldn’t be allowed a single vote.

Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.