Freaking Stem Cells

Freaking Stem Cells

Stem cells. If anyone ever wants to know what compelled me to run for any national elected office, be it the Senate or the White House, that's my answer. Stem cells. A lot of folks noticed that one of the first things I did when I got into office was to lift Bush's ridiculous ban on stem cell research. I had every intention of continuing to relax the laws prohibiting further research once all the other hot-button issues settled down. That was a rookie mistake, I guess. When you're President, things never settle down. One issue gets immediately replaced by another and nobody ever gives you any slack. Before you know it some jerk federal judge sneaks up on you and kicks you right in the scientific progress initiative.

Royce Lamberth doesn't even know he's being played. The guys who brought the case before him aren't the usual anti-stem-cell crowd. These guys are scientists working on adult stem cell research and the only reason they're pursuing the case is because they don't want to compete with embryonic stem cell research teams for funding. It's academic politics. I see this all the time, scientists screwing over other scientists for the sake of job security. Of course, this is just because it's hard to convince Congress to put money into anything useful (working on that) but it's to the detriment of human achievement. And yeah, those adult stem cell guys probably do lose a lot of contracts to the embryonic teams. Wanna know why? Because embryonic stem cell research has been more fruitful than research into old, dusty, adult stem cells.

When it comes down to it, I just don't want America to keep falling behind on the scientific front. We used to be the best with that stuff. Better than the best. We had a reliable space program when most countries were in pre-WWII stages with their rocket technology. Our citizens were building better computers in their garages than professionals made anywhere else. We had awesome health care, ultra-modern home technology and the best communications hardware on Earth. What the hell happened? From my perspective, idiots started being unduly represented. Fear of technology is a terrible thing. It makes empires crumble.

Ever since the Dickey-Wicker bill, we've had to convince otherwise intelligent people that stem cell research isn't fueled by killing babies. An embryo is not a baby. It's not even a fetus. It's a cluster of cells with no mind, no consciousness, no ability to feel. It's a freaking Petri dish. There is more life growing on those week-old tomatoes in your kitchen than in the lab-created embryos one could use for stem cell research. And with that little cluster of never-will-be-human cells, we could cure the incurable. Paralyzed people could walk again. Degenerative diseases will go the way of polio and small pox. America could be the land of healing, the place where people come to reclaim their lives. We'd also make a pretty penny by selling the technology to other nations.

But no. We've got to dive head-first into the Stone Age because a bunch of misinformed idiots think we want to start shoveling adorable infants into the furnace of a giant science machine. So, thanks Judge Royce Lamberth. You've given legitimacy to an illogical, backward argument that is keeping the United States out of step with the rest of the globe on one of the most important medical developments in history.