In case you’ve forgotten or you’ve never heard the story, Mary Jo Kopechne was a “friend” of Senator Ted Kennedy. Coming back from a cook-out for campaign workers on Chappaquiddick Island, Kennedy was accompanied by Mary Jo Kopechne who had worked for Robert Kennedy. Things went terribly wrong as they crossed a narrow bridge close to midnight. The car left the bridge and plunged into the deep pond and immediately filled with water. Kennedy got out. Mary Jo drowned. It wasn’t until the next morning that Kennedy reported the accident. Kennedy, to use his words, “made an effort to call a family legal advisor” before he “belatedly reported the accident to the Martha’s Vineyard police.”[1] If this had been anyone else, anyone but a Kennedy, he would have been forced to resign his Senate seat. Of course, he didn’t. Although the state of Massachusetts has continually sent him back to Washington because he continually brings home the pork, the rest of the nation has rejected his desire to enter national politics. While he has run in Democratic presidential primaries, Kennedy has never gotten the nod of the nation. Mary Jo continues to speak from her watery grave.

Jeb Bush finds himself in a similar situation. If he lets Terri Schiavo die, that is, if he capitulates to the judicial death culture, his political future will turn as cold as it did for Ted Kennedy. The pro-life community has a long memory. This issue should never have gotten to Congress or the President. It could have been taken care of in the sovereign state of Florida by the elected governor.

I find it rather ironic that the political left praised the efforts of the Clinton administration when it sent armed soldiers to take Elian Gonzales from his relatives in Miami and returned him to Cuba when his mother risked her life to bring him to America. In this case, we knew the wishes of the mother. We knew what she wanted for her son, and yet the federal government intervened and turned him over to a Communist regime and a sworn enemy of the United States.

When a story got out about a church in Waco, Texas, that a minister was abusing children, it didn’t take the federal government long to send in armed soldiers in an attempt to rescue them. We know the results. More than 90 people were killed by our federal government in this federal intervention. The political left shrugged its shoulders and moved on to other despotic acts. Will they cheer when Terri Schiavo takes her last breath?

Even if Jeb Bush does not gain a political inch in deciding for Terri Schiavo and her courageous parents, he would be doing the right thing. If there are Republicans out there who see this as a privacy issue when Miss Schiavo’s husband has deserted her and shacked up with another woman, then it would be better for them to join with the majority of Democrats and embrace the culture of death with both hands.

Article I, Section 2 (“Basic Rights”) of Florida’s constitution states the following: “All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty … No person shall be deprived of any right because of  race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.”[2] The courts have failed to act on this clear right, therefore, it is incumbent and lawful for another branch of government to act.

Governor Bush, act on what is right. Don’t go down in history with a dead woman’s memory always at your side.

Gary DeMar is president of American Vision and the author of more than 20 books. His latest is Myths, Lies, and Half Truths.


[1] Kennedy’s speech to the nation about Chappaquiddick on July 25, 1969 can be read and heard at
[2] Scroll down to “Article I: Declaration of Rights, Section 2, Basic Rights.”