Talk about Big Government |

Talk about Big Government

Matt Zalaznick

Government can’t invade a person’s life any more deeply than to reinsert their feeding tube. Government doesn’t get any bigger or more tyrannical than keeping a woman alive against her wishes. Government can’t get any more revolting than subpoenaing to the U.S. Capitol a woman who can’t feed herself or get out of bed, who doesn’t recognize her mother, father or husband. The Terry Schiavo fiasco is even more proof that W. and the Republican regime in Congress are full of it when they talk about “small government” and not intruding on Americans’ lives. It’s more evidence that when they talk “compassionate conservatism” or “tolerance” or about their “intense but inclusive” faith, they really mean pandering to the social fascism of religious fundamentalists and that group’s radical, raving inability to mind its own business. Terry Schiavo has the right to have her life ended. She told her husband she wouldn’t want to live in the permanent vegetative state into which she’s vanished.Despite Sen. Bill Frist’s repuslive video-tape diagnosis that Schiavo looks capable of rehabiliation, Congress and the White House have no place in the ugly battle between her husband and her parents. The federal government has no power to interfere if an American decides, perhaps with help from a physician, to peacefully end her own life. Politicians have no right to force us or our families to endure the pain and debilitation of horrible diseases. And that’s no slight to the brave people who decided to live with such afflictions. Perhaps Dr. Frist, practicing his right-wing medicine via satellite, will start ordering cancer-stricken Americans to undergo chemotherapy even though they’d prefer to die and avoid debilitating sickness.And for whose benefit would Terry Schiavo be kept alive? Her husband must be utterly convinced she wants to die – or else why wouldn’t he just leave her in the care of her parents? Could the Republicans have possibly leapt into action to please their supporters on the religious right? In an era of extremely tight elections, no opportunity to lock in votes can be missed. Perhaps Tom DeLay, one of the ringleaders of the Save Schiavo sect, is trying to burnish his image while his own fund-raisers are indicted. Judges and husbands should cringe at the arrogance of a White House and Congress that nullifies and usurps their judgments. In fact, all Americans should tremble at this offensive intrusion into a woman’s life. Big government? It doesn’t get bigger than having Congress make our most intimate decisions. City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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