Friday, April 08, 2005

Just One Thing

Political Animal by Brian Morton
Just One Thing

Now that we are well along into our next media carnival and out of our last one, there’s probably not a better time to look at what has just happened, hindsight being 20-20. John Paul II will be buried, amid 24-hour coverage of throngs camping in St. Peter’s Square, and we will be treated to endless analyses of who the next pope may be, where he will be from, and what his politics may be. Although this one man will hold sway over a major fraction of the world’s religious faithful, look backward just a week to see where we have been.

For the previous three weeks we have been held hostage to another media carnival, this one centering over the state of one woman in Florida who was just like some 20,000 people across the nation—people in a “persistent vegetative state”—whose circumstances depend on the decisions of those who love them or, in some cases, the whims of the state.

Don’t forget that in George W. Bush’s Texas, a 6-month-old boy was removed from life support life because of a law signed by that state’s governor, now our president, that allows doctors and hospitals to discontinue life support when a patient's condition is deemed hopeless. Don’t forget that the most powerful man in Congress, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, went along with his family’s decision to allow his father to die in 1988 when, after a freak accident, Charles Ray DeLay’s quality of life had deteriorated past what any reasonable adult would consider worthwhile.

These are the politicians who, in thrall to America’s new theocracy and in complete defiance of the wishes of most of the country, attempted to intervene in the affairs of one man and his wife in Florida, solely because they saw political advantage in it. ...