Every day someone is fighting for his or her rights. There are women who fight for equal wage, minorities who fight for equal rights, and same-sex couples who fight for a union in holy matrimony. In a perfect world human beings would not have to fight for their rights.
Those rights would be granted equally and in large amounts without a constant struggle. But this is not a perfect world. So rights-human rights- are things that are always being fought for.
In the case of Terry Shiavo, it is not clear what right she, or her family, is fighting for. Shiavo, a severely brain damaged woman who’s been in a vegetative state for over 15 years, is either fighting for the right to live or fighting for the right to die.
According to Schiavo’s parents, she would want to live. But according to her husband, that goes against her wishes.
After declining Gov. Jeb Bush’s action to allow Schiavo to remain on a feeding tube, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled Schiavo should be allowed to die. The debate has continued for years and although both parties, Schiavo’s parents and her husband, have suffered emotional hardship, the real victim is Schiavo.
Because Schiavo is unable to speak for herself, and because her family in unable to settle the dispute among themselves, a third party has stepped in – the government.
However, the government has shown through years of litigation and appeals, that they, too, are unable to make a firm decision.
Schiavo’s husband insists she would not want to live as she has been living for the past 15 years. And he should have the right to respect his wife’s wishes without the court hearings and without the constant legal battles. But of course, he lives in an imperfect world where rights are always being fought for.
Rice should practice honesty, diplomacy
As Condoleezza Rice began her first official duties as Secretary of State, she made a commitment to the state department to promote President George W. Bush’s “bold agenda.”
However, Rice has not made a commitment to the American people to be forthcoming about the international affairs of this country. While Rice should be concerned about her colleagues, she and the administration she represents have consistently left the people who they are supposed to be protecting in the dark.
After her testimony before the 9/11 Commission, it became clear that the administration knew more about the fatal attacks than they let on. Now, nearly four years later, the United States is deeply entrenched in a war against terrorism that has no apparent end.
While Rice may be “smart, knowledgeable and honorable,” as the Republicans have touted her, Americans have legitimate cause to question her honesty. The fact that she is the only Secretary of State who has received “No” votes since 1981 implies that Americans should at least be more questioning of her actions.
While voters may not be able to decide who becomes a member of Bush’s cabinet, they can demand that this administration operates in honesty at all times.