By sitting down today to sign an executive order repealing restrictions placed on the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research by the Bush administration, President Barack Obama slighted his predecessor’s purported ignorance to scientific progress, saying that he rejects the “false choice” between science and morality.
False choice? Someone should educate our Dear Leader about Eugenics.
Obama repealed the restrictions out of hope that more lines of embryos to destroy will bring about fantastic cures for diseases and afflictions that plague many in our society. One Democrat lawmaker, in a wheelchair because of a childhood gun accident, mentioned that he hoped today’s signing would help him achieve the goal of walking again.
Now, I am not one to besmirch scientific progress. In fact, if anyone will halt the tide of progress when it comes to matters of health, it will be Barack Obama and his plans for socialized medicine. What matters to me today are the misrepresentations and omissions from which this executive order emerged, misrepresentations as to the current capabilities of stem cell treatments, and omissions as to the current capabilities of adult stem cells.
For a brief news cycle back in the fall of 2007, we heard about a landmark pair of studies in which two groups of scientists showed that they could successfully “reprogram” adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This, of course, has been conveniently forgotten about since.
“This is the beginning of the end of the controversy,” researcher James Thomson, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told reporters in a conference call. Thomson, who wrote one of Tuesday’s papers, developed the first human embryonic stem-cell line almost a decade ago.
Both papers reported a new, simple method that reprograms human skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells.
In the other paper, published in the online journal Cell, a group led by Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University reported that inserting four genes into human skin cells reprogrammed them into what scientists call “induced pluripotent cells” (iPS) — which look and act like stem cells.
Of course, more work remains to be done. Yet those on the political left, much in the same way they approach global warming, seem to be determined to shout down any dissent, claim that the science is settled, and go on to fund measures which could certainly do more harm than good, consequences be damned.
Much like the global warming debate is not an environmental debate but rather a microcosm of the larger ideological debate between those on the left and right, a choice between socialism and capitalism, the embryonic stem cell debate isn’t even a matter of faith, isn’t even about the so-called “false choice” between science and morality. This is about a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives. A difference in priority.
As one of the latter group, I believe that I am living not for myself but for my daughter, for your children, and for our children’s children. Everything I do, I do not because I want more for myself but because I want more for my family, for my daughter, for our future generations. Those on the left say that they want the same, but do the opposite. Environmental regulations said to be designed to save the planet for future generations weaken those who are truly in a position to make a difference and strengthen those who care little about greenhouse gases. Fiscal irresponsibility carried out in the name of stabilizing the economy for our children will burden them and their children with unfathomable debt. It’s not about the future, the nation, or anything other than their own present interests.
That’s why I see the heart and soul of liberalism, not science, in the decision made today to destroy future generations in an attempt to preserve our own.