Thursday, March 31, 2005

Spare A Tear For The Living, Please

Many tears -- both sincere and crocodilian -- will undoubtedly be shed today over the death of Terri Schiavo.
I felt a sense of relief that this phase of the story has drawn to a close, although I know that there are likely many ugly battles still to come over her funeral, will, legacy, etc.
May I suggest that we save a few of our tears for people whose pain and suffering are not over?
If you don't know who I'm talking about, let me make a few suggestions:
  • The homeless
  • The poor and hungry among us
  • Children injured, maimed and orphaned by war
  • People suffering illness and injury without adequate access to health care
  • Victims of rape, incest, domestic abuse and other violent crimes
  • The falsely accused
  • Victims of torture and terror
  • People persecuted for their beliefs, race, ethnicity, and/or sexuality

The reptiles of the Republican leadership -- Messrs. DeLay and Bush -- have already weighed in with their expressions of grief for Mrs. Schiavo. In his typical odious fashion, Mr. DeLay used the occasion to grandstand against the courts that refused to bow to his will: "Our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most."

Said our astonishingly oily and insincere president, who thinks nothing of attempting to cut the health benefits of veterans and the elderly: "The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak." Is this man even remotely conscious of the depths of his hypocrisy?

The weak who need our protection most are alive and among us. Remember guys? They're the ones you've been trying to push over the cliff for the past five years.

Mr. DeLay was right about one thing: The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." But he doesn't seem to recognize that he is one of the chief villains in the distressing public spectacle that was created around a family's personal tragedy.