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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on the Mark Larson Show
April 1, 2005
News Radio 600 KOGO, San Diego

MARK LARSON, HOST: Well, good afternoon to you. Good to have you here on Friday. "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming," is appropriate on Easter weekend. And, boy, what a week this has been.

We've been talking about, just, the gravity of the news: the way that we began the week with the Terri Schiavo story, and of course that carried on two weeks before, but now we have heard that, yesterday, thanks to the courts, Greer, and attorneys who don't appear to have any conscience--and you know that story. And now we have the Pope, who is close to death, and in fact there were some conflicting reports, if you heard some of the news earlier out of the Italian news agencies, that, they had already said, "Well, the Pope had died," and the Vatican came out in kind of an unusual way, and said, "No--well, not yet," and the sources are saying that the Pope's brain and heart are still functioning.

Reports say he lost consciousness. This comes after the statement the Vatican issued, saying that the Pope's breathing had become shallow, and then there were, just, again, the conflicting reports on this. We will stay on top of that story, and of course it is a big story. It's something we haven't experienced in this country and around the world, with regard to the papacy and the Vatican, since 1978.

And, as you've heard in some of the reports, there are a lot of not just Catholics but a lot of people who have no reference other than Pope John Paul II, if they're looking at that type of a church leader. So, it is quite a big story today, and of course, just thousands of people over in St. Peter's Square, and masses being held around the country, etc.

And speaking as an evangelical Christian, I'm one who says, "Hey, there are a lot of issues." And in fact, this week is a great example of issues where Catholics and Protestants have gotten along quite well: the issue of pro-life, whether it is on the anti-abortion movement, or the right-to-life case--which is what it was, by the way, with Terri Schiavo, a right-to-life, not right-to-die case. So, what a poignant week, to have all this happening. Just an amazing thing, but very, very draining. And we were all talking here, among the staff, that Monday felt like it was already Thursday. It's just been that kind of a week, with a lot to cover.

Ambassador Alan Keyes joins us on our news line and, of course, he's been a strong advocate for life for a long, long time. He's been in the middle of the Schiavo case, down there in Pinellas County, etc. And good to have you back, Ambassador, here on KOGO.

ALAN KEYES: Ah. Glad to be with you. Thank you.

LARSON: I'm just kind of feeling whipsawed. How about you, this week? This is quite--you know, the frustration and the anger we were feeling yesterday, which of course is not ebbing here, but I know in the news cycle, now, you know, the story about the Pope is going to take some of the Terri Schiavo aftermath out of the front pages for a bit. And, yes, the two stories have some connection, in some respects, and certainly under the umbrella of life.

ALAN KEYES: Well, I think the Pope has been a pro-life champion, and has helped, through his intellectual contributions, to clarify the nature of the issues, particularly facing Catholics and Christians, when it comes to respect for human life.

And I think a lot of us were following the understanding that he helped us to develop, as we tried to contribute to the discussion of Terri Schiavo's situation--and, I don't know, I have just felt as you do.

I feel exhausted, and emotionally and spiritually drained, particularly by the spectacle of, for the first time--I have never seen before, you know, I am 54 years old, and I have never in my life seen a legally-sanctioned murder in the United States of America. It happens in other countries, but it has never happened here.

LARSON: Yeah, and--talking to Alan Keyes, here on KOGO. And we'll keep you updated on the Pope's condition. Obviously, you know, [he's] on the final stretch of life, here on this earth. We'll tell you about that, if you're just tuning in, here on KOGO. But Ambassador Keyes with us to talk about the Terri Schiavo case, the aftermath.

Yesterday, we were carrying a lot of the segments of George Felos' comments--the attorney for Michael Schiavo--and I have never just felt so nauseated, listening to this person who, obviously, embodies this culture of death, this embracing of evil. You've written a terrific column that's up on your website, RenewAmerica.us, today, which I think everybody ought to read, about the face of evil, the focus of evil. And how someone can be out there with a straight face and an occasional smirk, as he had, talking about how beautiful this was, as Terri was dying in this court-ordered killing, is just beyond me.

KEYES: I think it's macabre. It's as if we've all landed in some weird horror movie, and the spectacle of a totally innocent person whose only kind of problem was that she was helpless and vulnerable and in a state of needing help and compassion.

And the thing that bothered me is that people just ignored even the letter of the constitutional law in Florida. I mean, there you have a constitution very clear. It's not like some of our constitutions where it's general or abstract.

There's a specific reference to the inalienable right to enjoy and defend life--"inalienable," meaning you can't give it away, and it can't be transferred to another.

And we're looking at a situation where they're saying, "Well, this judge's decision is legal." How can it be legal when it takes this inalienable right and transfers it from her to her husband, so that he can do her to death? It makes no sense. And yet, in the face of all the logic and all the arguments, including the clear logic of Governor Jeb Bush's position, he's letting some two-bit judge stand in the way of his sworn duty to defend the integrity of the constitution, acting like the county sheriff in Pinellas County is somehow superior in authority to the governor of the state, and so he sits on his hands and does nothing.

LARSON: That was one of--

KEYES: It was a travesty.

LARSON: Yeah, and there was a disconnect in what he said yesterday, although I thought he was much more emotional, speaking from the heart, it seemed--Jeb Bush was--compared to the President. And I've been a supporter of President Bush, but not on every issue; I've got some issues with his immigration perspective, for example. But, you know, the President did about thirty seconds [on Terri]. Jeb Bush took a little bit longer to talk about Terri Schiavo, but it was almost--it didn't seem to me like it was from the heart. I know it's awkward, and all of that, but he was like, "Here's thirty seconds. Our condolences go out. Now let's talk about the War on Terror." And it just felt strange to me.

KEYES: I think it did, because a lot of these politicians just want us to forget it, and particularly the ones who didn't do their job, who talked a good game, trying to win support and sympathy from pro-life and other people, and then did nothing.

I mean, what we face right now--and I'm feeling very frustrated--[is that] we have a Democrat party that rejects the principles of moral decency and respect for life, and we have a Republican party that professes the principles but where the leaders won't do anything. And when the crunch comes, they sit on their hands and murder the Constitution along with a helpless, innocent woman.

It is not just frustrating. I think it is angering a lot of people. I know folks who have called me and said they are leaving the Republican Party because they're sick to death of it. It's just--I think it's frustrating and angering to a lot of people, and confusing, also, to a lot of Americans who are watching and seeing no leadership. Words, platitudes, but no leadership--

LARSON: Yeah.

KEYES: --that was actually backed by conviction and action.

LARSON: That's what the attorneys had on here, Alan Keyes. And where does this go now? If we were playing it the way the White House and the State House in Florida played it, saying, "Now, we're not going to be beyond our legal parameters here, and we wanted to make sure we do this by the book"--so, what are the alternatives, now, to make sure that there are some routes to accountability for some of these judges, including these backwater county guys, who seem to wag the tail of the government--the federal government?

KEYES: Well, you have the possibility of impeachment moves, for both the federal judge who refused to do what Congress asked him to do, and Judge Greer, who obviously was totally ignoring his responsibilities. That, of course, is a political question, as it should be. And the question of whether there'll be two-thirds vote in the legislature or the Congress to achieve it is anybody's guess. But I do think it would be worth the effort.

You also have, by the way--and nobody's paying attention to this--a serious constitutional crisis that will soon come to a head in the context of the President's war-making power, because both President Bush and Governor Bush tacitly accepted the notion that the supreme executive authority is subject to judicial veto when it comes to defending the Constitution, as they are sworn to do. And that's where they get their national security powers, right?

LARSON: Right.

KEYES: That oath to defend and protect the Constitution. Well, if a judge tells the President, for instance, not to send troops to Iraq or someplace else--on some specious basis, the way these leftist judges do--are we now to believe that the President is to turn command-in-chief of the armed forces over to the courts?

We are actually, if people would stop and think about it, in a dangerous situation, because these chief executives have surrendered the prerogative of the executive branch which is necessary for the security of the country and the integrity of the Constitution.

They should wake up. It was an incompetent performance that deeply disturbs me and has dangerous implications for the future of the country.

LARSON: Do you think it's going to take that kind of a constitutional crisis, like you just described, in order to get people to wake up and get some changes here?

KEYES: I don't know. We have a judiciary that is running wild. It's running riot.

And as I point out to people, and did in my article, with checks and balances, if one branch is running riot, it's because another branch isn't doing its job. In this case, the executive is not exerting the leadership that's necessary to check the judges, stop them from getting away with their usurpation of powers that they should not and do not have, under our Constitution.

And if they don't act, well, we're in trouble.

Maybe something like that would force the executive to stand up for itself.

But it seems to me kind of sad when a case like Terri Schiavo--so absolutely clear-cut in terms of standing in defense of vulnerable, innocent life--isn't sufficient to get an executive to do his duty.

LARSON: Talking with Ambassador Alan Keyes, here, live on KOGO, and I'm contrasting your article about the focus of evil, where you're saying, "This is the calculus of evil. The judicially-mandated murder of Terri Schiavo shows that it is already deeply in our midst." And then you refer to the jurists and the media hounds.

I'm looking at that, and then contrasting with the San Diego Union-Tribune lead editorial today, and they're taking a couple of swipes at people like me, and talk radio here, because they're saying that, "Well, you know, this is the kind of thing--we can't have talk radio, you know, jerking this around."

It says they don't want to be second-guessed. It says, "Thousands of times a year, spouses and other family members (when there is no spouse) make this sort of decision. They make it with or without the documented wishes of their loved ones, in concert with physicians. And, blessedly, without fanfare. They don't want to be second-guessed by judges, politicians, and talk show hosts."

KEYES: Well, you know, the problem with that whole argument is that this is not the judgment that is routinely made.

The judgment to take a positive step to kill a healthy person is not the judgment to let a really sick person die by natural causes.

This was two different worlds. And the fact that we stepped across that line introduces us, in essence, to the mentality, as I point out in my piece, that was there in the Nazis. The Nazis moved first, though everybody forgets this, against the disabled, and set up special, I guess we'd call them "hospices," these days.

LARSON: Right. And what did the German people do? The German people looked at it and said, "You know, I don't want to get involved." Right? It's like, "Oh, well, let's move forward."

KEYES: "I wouldn't want to live that way." So they should just be killed.

LARSON: "And, besides, Hitler's cranking up the economy."

KEYES: (unintelligible)

LARSON: Absolutely. Fascinating information. You've got to read it. It's "Focus on Evil." It's the column from Alan Keyes. You can find it at his website, renewamerica.us. Appreciate your perspective. It's been quite a week. I'm just hoping and praying, and I appreciate you staying in the fight on this.

KEYES: Mark, can I just say one last thing? I want to thank you, and folks like you, for having the guts to spark the discussions that are needed on issues like this. Let's keep second-guessing, and third-guessing, too.

LARSON: We'll talk soon. Thanks much.

KEYES: Thank you. Bye-bye.

LARSON: Ambassador Alan Keyes with us here on news radio 600, KOGO.
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