[Paleopsych] Auster: Trying to decipher the liberal position on Terri

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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 22:04:34 -0500
From: Lawrence Auster <lawrence.auster at att.net>
To: Interested Parties <lawrence.auster at att.net>
Subject: Trying to decipher the liberal position on Terri;

Dear Reader,

The Terri Schiavo situation continues to obsess.  In this article, I try 
to explain the seemingly inexplicable hostility of liberals toward those 
who want to save Terri Schiavo's life.  These e-mails that I send from 
time to time only represent a selection of what appears at View from the 
Right.  Please visit VFR to see more.

Lawrence Auster

Trying to decipher the liberal position on Terri

by Lawrence Auster at View from the Right, "the right blog for the right"

What are we to make of the liberals who think that Terri Schiavo, 
motionless and attached to a feeding tube for the last 15 years, ought to 
be disconnected from the tube and allowed to die, and that conservatives 
are theocratic dictators interfering in a private matter, namely the right 
of Terri's legal guardian, her husband Michael, to make the determination 
to let her die?

The problem with the liberal position is that if Michael had wanted Terri 
to go on living on the feeding tube, or if Michael had handed over legal 
guardianship to Terri's parents and they wanted her to go on living on the 
feeding tube, the liberals would presumably have had no problem with that. 
So the ostensible liberal position is not that Terri simply ought to die. 
The ostensible liberal position is that private personal choice--Michael's 
private personal choice--ought to prevail. And this is where the situation 
gets tricky. Considering the fact that Terri's parents and siblings very 
much want her to live despite Michael's efforts to have her die, and 
considering the fact that Terri's relatives are convinced that Terri has 
consciousness and is not in a vegetative state, and considering the fact 
that Michael has a common law wife of many years and two children with 
her, and so logically ought to divorce Terri and marry the mother of his 
children and return the guardianship to Terri's parents who are much more 
involved with Terri's care and want her to live, the exclusive private 
right of Michael to decide on her life and death ceases to seem so sacred 
and becomes questionable at the least.

Again, if Michael had not wanted Terri to die, liberals wouldn't be 
thinking twice about this case, notwithstanding their expressions of 
horror at the idea of a person living her whole life on a feeding tube; 
they wouldn't be calling conservatives pro-life fanatics for insisting 
that a person go on living in such a condition, since the liberals 
themselves would be consenting to Terri's living in that condition. And if 
the judge had not found (as evidence indicates) that Terri is not in a 
vegetative state but has a degree of consciousness and responsiveness, and 
so had not ruled that her tube could be disconnected, the liberals 
wouldn't be thinking twice about the case. And if the judge had not found 
(on the basis of questionable evidence) that Terri had once expressed a 
desire to die if she were permanently disabled, the liberals wouldn't be 
thinking twice about the case. Thus the whole liberal position rests on 
three extrinsic facts or questionable factual findings, which could just 
as easily have gone the other way. Why then the passionate liberal 
conviction that Terri must die? There is something mysterious at the heart 
of the liberal position on this issue.

Jim Kalb shares my bemusement. Up until 9/11, he tells me, he could more 
or less understand the liberals' positions on a variety of social issues, 
even though he didn't share them. Their views had a logic, as twisted as 
it may have been. But the liberals' take on Terri Schiavo makes no sense 
to him at all. For example, why must the personal preference of Michael 
Schiavo, Terri's husband who has (understandably) moved on with his life, 
be seen as sacred and inviolable, but the personal preference of Terri's 
parents, who have not moved on with their lives but want to care for their 
daughter, be equated with "theocratic" tyranny that must be resisted at 
all costs? It can't be explained in terms of any recognizable liberal 
perspective. Therefore it can only be explained as stemming from sheer 
liberal reactiveness: conservatives support the Schindlers, so liberals 
must fight them. As a reader wrote in an e-mail earlier today, a former 
college professor of his recently said to him (and these were his exact 
words), "Anything Tom DeLay and those conservatives are for, I'm against."

As Mr. Kalb points out, this reactiveness may be simply a further 
expression of the deep irrationalism that has taken over left-liberals 
since 9/11. Prior to 9/11, many liberals would have taken the Schindler's 
side, as representing the rights of an oppressed and helpless individual. 
After 9/11, they do not.

What is it about 9/11 that has had this effect on liberals? I would 
suggest that the post-9/11 world has placed liberals under an unbearable 
pressure. The Islamist attack on our country propelled us into a conflict 
with a mortal enemy. But liberals can't stand the idea of our having an 
enemy, let alone a mortal enemy, a "them," whose very existence justifies 
our aggression. Such an enemy must therefore be seen as a product of "root 
causes" generated by us. Further, in keeping with the inverted moral order 
of liberalism, the more threatening such an enemy really is, the more vile 
must be the root causes within ourselves that are creating that enemy. 
The more evil our enemy, the more judgmental, greedy, cynical, dishonest, 
uncompassionate, racist, and imperialistic we are for fighting him. If our 
enemy seeks a theocratic dictatorship over the whole world (which is the 
actual case), we must be seen as seeking a theocratic dictatorship over 
the whole world, even though there has never been anything remotely like a 
theocratic dictatorship in our entire history.

Thus the liberals' helpless rage, both against the war on Islamic 
theocracy and against the (so-called) conservatism that has become 
dominant in American politics as a result of that war, takes the form of a 
floating indictment of conservatives as the real theocrats. This attitude 
is then projected onto any issue between conservatives and liberals that 
may arise, such as the battle over the fate of Terri Schiavo: Terri's 
right to live is supported by conservatives; conservatives are theocrats; 
therefore Terri is a symbol of theocracy, and therefore liberals want her 
to die.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 28, 2005 06:56 PM | Comment |

Alert: Terri’s defenders are tyrants

According to America’s Best Known Formerly Conservative Homosexual, those 
of us who desire to save Terri Schiavo’s life from (1) her estranged 
husband who instead of divorcing her is using his legal status as her 
husband to kill her, and (2) the Florida judge who against all the 
evidence has declared her to be without consciousness, are the "far 
right." The members of this "far right," says ABKFCH, want "to use the 
full weight of government to impose their views.
 Now many people get a 
taste of how gays feel. And a chill up their spine." In the 
one-dimensional world-view of liberals, any non-liberal 
manifestation—meaning any manifestation not in agreement with whatever 
position liberals agree is the correct position of the moment—threatens 
imminent dictatorship, most likely of the theocratic kind.

Further, according to this subtle analysis by ABKFCH, among the forces of 
the "far right" is the economist Lawrence Kudlow. At a comment like that, 
you almost start giggling: Larry Kudlow—a far rightist! And here I was, 
thinking a far rightist was, maybe, Wilmot Robertson or David Duke.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at 06:08 PM

Elian and Terri

As we are reminded today at Opinion Journal, five years ago the Florida 
Family Court claimed jurisdiction over the matter of Elian Gonzalez and 
announced that it would hear evidence from all the parties, including 
Elian’s Cuban father and Elian’s U.S. relatives. The U.S. 11th Circuit 
Court of Appeals, rejecting the INS’ request that Elian be immediately 
returned to Cuba (a request driven by the Clinton administration’s desire 
to please the Castro regime), said the procedure in Family Court must go 
forward. The U.S. Justice Department then defied the courts, sending an 
early morning armed raid to seize Elian from his relatives’ home. Liberals 
(sadly joined by some immigration restrictionists who didn’t want to help 
a single Cuban remain in the U.S., no matter what the circumstances) 
cheered one of the most lawless and tyrannical acts ever perpetrated by 
the U.S. government.

Now those same liberals, who supported the U.S. government’s gross 
violation and disruption of a duly instituted court procedure, insist that 
a grossly flawed court process, leading to the palpably unjust result of 
an innocent woman being deliberate starved to death simply because her 
estranged husband wants her to die, must be obeyed to the letter, and, 
further, that anyone who advocates emergency legislative or executive 
action to stop this horrible thing from being done is some kind of 
Christian fascist. And it’s not just liberals who feel this way. A 
conservative activist in California wrote to me the other day calling me a 
"theocrat" for my position on this issue.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at 10:50 AM

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