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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on the Jerry Doyle Show
March 18, 2005

JERRY DOYLE: The supposed husband of Terri Schiavo can now go ahead and kill his wife. This is not the first time that he has walked down this dark road. In a Larry King interview, October 27, 2003, Satan and his accomplice--Michael Schiavo and his attorney, George Felos--were talking about this very scenario, withholding food and water. I would like you to hear the voices of Satan and his operative.

[begin clip]

MICHAEL SCHIAVO: Removing somebody's feeding is very painless. It is a very easy way to die. Probably the second better way to die--being the first, being an aneurism. And it doesn't bother me at all. I've seen it happen. I had to do it with my own parents.

GEORGE FELOS: I want to make something very clear about that. The law is very clear. This is not euthanasia. This is not assisted suicide. This is letting nature take its course.

[end clip]

DOYLE: It makes my skin crawl to be that close to evil. I'm not sure I have ever been that close to evil before. The voice, the face, the situation that we're in. This supposed husband, Satan and his accomplice, having walked this path before, to them it is nothing. To this woman, it is everything.

Joining us on the program to discuss this situation, former ambassador, U.S. Senate and presidential candidate Alan Keyes. Now, agree with him or not, I know him to be an extremely articulate, outspoken, and highly opinionated person. He today weighs in on the Terri Schiavo situation. Mr. Keyes, welcome to the Jerry Doyle Show.

ALAN KEYES: Well, I'm glad to be with you. Thank you for having me. I have to say, I share your dismay at this situation, on a number of grounds. I mean, I think we are crossing a line here. Listening to this individual talking about "letting nature take its course," it's just appalling.

I mean, think of, for instance, the parents who have neglected their children and let them starve to death. Did anybody suggest that was "letting nature take its course"? That's murder. It has been understood at a level of simple, moral, common sense that feeding people is not some kind of "extraordinary procedure." And withholding food from individuals is a positive act intended to bring on their death. It's not "letting nature take its course." You and I have to eat every day, so if somebody starves us to death, that's "letting nature take its course"?

It is really chilling to hear someone use such a phrase with respect to a positive act of murderous destruction of innocent life.

This lady has done no one any harm. For the court to be essentially allowing her to be executed, in a fashion that wouldn't even be tolerated for somebody guilty of serial murder, is appalling. I think we are seeing here one of those steps that assaults the conscience of our people, and that leads down a road that will deaden that conscience to atrocity, just as a similar mindset deadened the conscience of the Germans to atrocities, during the '20s, before Hitler came to power.

I think we are forgetting history, and allowing it in a way that is quite ugly to repeat itself, with respect to the conscience and moral spirit of this country. And I am deeply dismayed.

I also think that what we have been watching, in the way of the judiciary--[which is] standing in the way of any action by the legislature, by the governor--we are supposed to have a system based on three equal branches, and yet what we are seeing in this case, as in many others, is a judicial dictatorship, where the will of the people as represented in the majority in the legislature, in the duly elected executive in the governorship, is having no efficacy whatsoever to protect the rights of this individual.

And I'm disappointed because it's an inherent part of the executive power for Jeb Bush to be able to act in defense of constitutional integrity in Florida. And I'm very disappointed that he hasn't taken that action in order to prevent this outcome.

DOYLE: Mr. Keyes, I look at the fact that we had a House bill, we have a Senate bill, but in the reconciliation between the two, Barbara Boxer, Carl Levin--Democrats--both decided that they would not come to reconciliation on this. The only conclusion that I can draw from that is that this would be interpreted in some way as a Republican victory, that this would be a victory for the sanctity of life, it would be a victory for decency, and these liberals in the Senate would rather see a woman die than to see a Republican-sponsored bill get signed into law by President Bush.

KEYES: I think, sadly, you have some people--and I would have to tell you I think it's at least in part because of their mindless commitment to an extremist position on abortion--who are absolutely dead set against any defense of innocent life, and who seem willing to countenance the destruction of innocents on any grounds whatsoever.

Once you cross the line--and we are forgetting history here--the idea that people had no quality of life and should be done away with, that they were "useless eaters" and should be killed, that disability and helplessness was somehow an excuse for murder, that was precisely one of the things that was planted in Nazi Germany, that was embraced by the Nazis. And we fought against it in the last century, at the risk of much blood and treasure.

And yet, that same mentality, which embraces a view of human life that is kind of instrumental--"If you're not doing anybody any good, we don't have to respect your life"--I think that that is, as I say, a step completely away from our fundamental principle in which we ascribe dignity to every human life, and we say that people are equal regardless of the contribution they are or are not making, when it comes to the fundamental right to be respected in their life and human dignity.

And I don't understand how Democrats, who always have words about dignity in their mouths, when it comes right down to these issues where we must defend the very moral principle on the basis of which our respect for that individual dignity rests, they are Absent WithOut Leave, and they are never willing to support what needs to be done, it seems.

DOYLE: Our guest is Alan Keyes. We are discussing the fiasco, the tragedy, known as the Terri Schiavo situation, where she has been denied food and water--her tube having been ordered removed by Judge Greer in Pinellas County, Florida.

You know, Mr. Keyes, what I am seeing here is the definition of viable, acceptable life, the time between when they are defining life begins and the time where life ends, seems to be getting shorter. And where will it end? Because, can this not lead us to a point where somebody on the Left would say, "I no longer think that someone suffering from Alzheimer's is a viable citizen," that they are in a pseudo-Persistent Vegetative State, and what if they start to go down that road to decide what we will determine life to be, and under whose conditions is life acceptable or not?

KEYES: Well, I think that is exactly where we are headed, and it will apply to both ends of life, obviously. It extends the possibility of this kind of murder to children who are born, but who are helpless and dependent, and so forth and so on, and where somebody's making the judgment that they shouldn't be kept around.

We already have people like Peter Singer making the argument that infanticide should be tolerated. This moves us in that direction.

We also have, of course, the prospect of elderly people who are regarded by the family as a "burden," and who should be removed, until you create a situation where it almost becomes an obligation for people to allow themselves to be starved to death, and so forth and so on, rather than the expectation that every effort will be made to respect their lives.

I think that that is exactly where we are moving. It's part of why I don't understand why people can feel that this doesn't concern them. All of us must look forward to the possibility that we will pass through periods of this kind of dependence and helplessness, and I think it is creating a huge vulnerability in those circumstances for everybody--particularly for the elderly.

DOYLE: I don't know if you saw the story out of London two days ago, but a woman who was 24 weeks pregnant was given an abortion because the doctors said that the baby--or, as they called it, the foetus--was going to be born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate, and they said that that would be horrific suffering on the part of the child.

These are the decisions that are being made before a child is born, and these are the decisions that are now being made at the end of a life that is being determined by someone who says, "I couldn't live that way. That's not how I would want to sustain my life." And now people are making the decisions about what is acceptable and a viable form of life, when life is life, and it is not for us to judge or deny sustenance--in order to keep life alive!

KEYES: The thing that I find interesting in this case is that her husband isn't even trying to argue that she is in some kind of pain, and he is relieving her suffering, or anything. She's not! It's not even a case where she needs extraordinary means to sustain her body. She is breathing--she is actually interacting. People who carelessly say she is in a Persistent Vegetative State are wrong, at least as that is defined under Florida law, because there is clear evidence that she interacts with her environment and responds to stimuli.

So, I think that we are seeing something where they are saying that you can be otherwise healthy, and all you need is the same thing you and I and everybody else needs, which is food, and we can still kill you if we regard your life as useless.

And that's what is going on here. He had the sort of fig leaf of saying, "Well, she told me that she wanted to be killed in this way," but you and I both know that that was not in any way established beyond a reasonable doubt. It was deeply controverted by other testimony.

We don't even send people who are possibly guilty of heinous crimes, we don't subject them to the death penalty unless it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. And it was not proven in any sense beyond a reasonable doubt that this was her will and desire. And so, I think we are in every way violating what have been up to now common-sense standards, both in terms of justice and fairness, and in terms of our understanding of what we owe to life.

DOYLE: Mr. Keyes, let me ask you this question. After they announced that the feeding tube was removed from Terri Schiavo, several networks went to coverage of NASCAR, some went to coverage of Michael Jackson, others went to the coverage of Social Security. How is it that you can make that transition from a life-and-death issue to something as frivolous as Michael Jackson, or something that is so premature as to say, "We have to discuss Social Security right now, because it's going to be bankrupt tomorrow"? Is that the mentality that is out there? Where is the moral outrage?

And what can people do about this--short of anything violent--to try and let people know that this is a very crucial point in our definition of who we are as a society, and who we are as human beings, and what we will do to protect the sanctity of life? What can people do?

KEYES: Well, I think that what we do what many of us have been doing. We continue to speak out. And remember, we mustn't be taken in by the notion that this represents some kind of expression of the social conscience of our country. Overwhelmingly, there has been opposition to this in the legislature, the truly representative bodies.

This has been imposed on us by judicial fiat. Many of the things that are corrupting our moral sense in this country are being imposed, without any respect whatsoever for the moral conscience of the people themselves, by a handful of tyrannical judges doing as they please, without regard for the ultimate principle of authority in this country, which is the people.

And I think it's time we started to get back to basic constitutional principles, and remember that the courts are not supposed to be out-of-control little tyrants, doing what they please in every circumstance--that when the legislature and the executive believe that they are violating and destroying the constitutional fabric of the country, it is possible, and necessary, and obligatory to stop the judiciary.

That's what needs to be done here. I have been appealing to Jeb Bush to take action, so that this woman will not be starved to death, because he has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of Florida. This woman has a positive right, under the Florida constitution, to defend her life, and it is utterly being destroyed and disregarded--and he knows it. I think that, given his oath as an executive, he has a separate, clear responsibility to defend her constitutional rights in this case, regardless of whether the court is willing to do so, because the executive is a separate and equal branch, and must be governed by his own will and conscience when it comes to his oath.

DOYLE: Mr. Keyes, I have to take a quick break here. Could you stick with us for a few minutes?

KEYES: I can, for a little while longer.

DOYLE: Thank you very much. Alan Keyes is our guest.


DOYLE: Welcome back to the program. The injustice continues in Florida. Joining us back on the program, Alan Keyes. The website, Mr. Keyes, welcome back to the program.

KEYES: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

DOYLE: You know, in talking with the guys on the break here, there is a general sense of helplessness that people have. Why are we scared little sheep about violence in this case, when they are killing her? Isn't that violent, in and of itself? How do people--I'm having a tough time dealing with this. How do you find strength to sustain this consistent assault that seems to be taking place on decency in this country?

KEYES: Part of it is my remembrance of what I was saying before, because I think part of the reason people feel helpless is because we live in a society where we are supposed to have a representative government--where, if you get organized, and let your voice be heard, and organize in elections, and elect people, you should be able to see results that correspond to the decent will of the people.

The courts are thwarting that. They are creating a situation where Americans feel helpless, because we're not used to tyrants. We're not used to people who can tell us that "X" must happen, regardless of how people feel about it in any given instance--regardless of what our representatives say, regardless of what our elected officials feel, it must be done this way "because we dictate that this will be the outcome."

DOYLE: Mr. Keyes, I just gotta tell you, I'm coming up on the end of break here, and I appreciate you taking the extra time with us.

Here's what I'm calling for, Mr. Keyes. I'm calling for the new American revolution. I'm calling for people to demand from their government what they should get, just like they did in the Ukraine, like they are doing in Lebanon, the Orange Revolution, the Velvet Revolution. We want our country back. Part of that can be seen at your website, Alan Keyes, thank you very much for joining us on the program. The fight continues.

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