Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Culture of Life


Egypt announced that it would allow more than one candidate for president run in the September elections. It made this announcement after the deadline for voter registration. Subtle, huh?

Bush finally spoke about the Minnesota school massacre today, in his weekly radio address, after he spent several minutes somehow linking Easter and Christ rising from the dead with the US military. It wasn’t too bad, if a bit generic and a lot late. But what to make of this: “To keep our children safe and protected, we must continue to foster a culture that affirms life and provides love”. Ah yes, the “culture of life,” that term which covers a range of issues from abortion to Terri Schiavo and creates linkages between them, performing the same function for cultural conservatives that the “right to privacy” performs for those who oppose them on these same issues. So in Bush’s latest presentation of the culture of life, the banning of abortion would, presumably, stop future school shootings. Or something. (Actually, it would make the schools more crowded, and crowded with unwanted children at that).

Back to Terri. While some people have doubtless truly deluded themselves into believing she is other than vegetable matter, or that Jesus or Elian Gonzales will come riding in on the back of his magic dolphins and restore her to sentience, I suspect that a great many of the politicians bloviating about this case don’t really want what they say they want. If they “win,” all they’ve got is a brain-dead woman with a feeding tube, not much of a victory prize. If they lose, they’ve got an issue and an icon, poor martyred St. Terri. The fact that this proved not to be a particularly popular issue with the general public may have been a miscalculation, or it may not, because the faithful, for whom this was a crusade, will remember it long after the general public, for whom it was an entertainment, like the Michael Jackson trial, will have forgotten.

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