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The left's hidden victory in 2004
By David N. Bass
Although the 2004 election season provided more than one stinging blow to Democrats, in the after-election hubbub many are overlooking one key cultural issue on which the Left is scoring major victories: Embryonic stem cell research.
President Bush's refusal to allow more federal dollars to be used for research involving human embryos has prompted several states around the country to take action of their own. On November 2, California voters passed Proposition 71 by a comfortable margin, effectively setting a precedent that the nation might never recover from. The measure, backed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, allocates $3 billion in state government funds to experiments involving the stem cells of human embryos.
And California is not the only state jumping on the stem cell bandwagon. Not to be outdone by the Big Enchilada, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle announced a plan on November 17 that provides $375 million in both public and private dollars to fund an institute for stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The new spending is part of an even larger scheme that will invest a total of $750 million on the so-called "miracle" research involving embryonic stem cells.
These are only two examples among many. With conservatives preoccupied by celebrating President Bush's reelection and the Republican wins in the Congress, liberals are moving in for the kill. The liberal propaganda machine is firing on all cylinders. And they're not only winning tax dollars -- they are also winning the hearts and minds of Americans.
When it comes to issues like embryonic stem cell research, arguing on the basis of science alone will only get you so far. The Left knows this. That's why most of their rhetoric is centered on tapping into the emotions of the American people. All things considered, it's a wise move. We have become a nation that bases a large measure of our beliefs on emotion, particularly emotion generated by visual means.
That's why the liberal media will never broadcast video of an abortion procedure or a photo of an aborted child. Emotional images carry too much power in America. As long as abortion is quarantined from public view, hidden behind the walls of Planned Parenthood, it will be legal. If the procedure were brought out into broad daylight, it would never stand a chance in the court of public opinion.
Liberals are pulling the same trick with embryonic stem cell research. This time, however, they're not downplaying emotions -- they're relying on them. Images of individuals with debilitating diseases, such as Christopher Reeve in his wheelchair, are being used by the Left to stir up compassion among the public. They literally put the blame for suffering itself squarely on the shoulders of conservative Republicans. Cures for Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries could all be found if only Christian zealots were not standing in the way of progress.
The liberal rhetoric is doing its job. New state dollars committed to embryonic stem cell research in California and Wisconsin are only the tip of the iceberg. Gains in state governments are important; capturing the soul of our nation is even more so. A frighteningly high number of Americans are beginning to favor embryonic stem cell research. Some polls indicate that even among self-identified Bush voters, a majority favor research using stem cells from human embryos.
How can those who honor life counter such emotional rhetoric and sway public opinion? By reminding Americans precisely what the embryonic stem cell research involves -- the creation of human life for the sole purpose of destroying it. Genetic material is taken from an individual, an embryo is cloned, the stem cells are harvested, and the embryo is destroyed. This procedure effectively classifies certain human beings as more valuable than others, an idea promulgated by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and fully played out by Adolf Hitler in the Third Reich. Do we really want to follow in the footsteps of these twisted individuals?
An even more critical fact being glossed over by liberals is that embryonic stem cell research does not work. Stem cells from embryos have not been used for one single therapy. Moreover, they are unstable, having caused tumors and other complications in lab rats. In contrast, stem cells taken from the tissues of growing human beings (generally referred to as adult stem cells) show far greater potential than those taken from embryos. These stem cells have been used therapeutically on a variety of ailments, including heart diseases and multiple sclerosis, and they do not have the same unstable properties of embryonic stem cells. The logical question is: Why use a procedure that necessitates the destruction of innocent human life when a better alternative is available?
The hype regarding embryonic stem cell research is at fever pitch right now, but the battle is far from over. Although liberals have registered some important successes in the stem cell debate, and while emotional appeals carry incredible sway in America today, they will only go so far. Science, and more importantly moral truth, is on the side of those who favor a better way than the destruction of life at its most innocent and vulnerable.
David N. Bass is an eighteen-year-old home school graduate, a committed Christian, and a proud conservative. He is a writer for World Newspaper Publishing and a regular columnist at AmericanDaily.com, ARationalAdvocate.com, and RenewAmerica.us. He is also a contributing writer to many other on-line sites, including Tolkien-Movies.com. David is currently working on his first novel. Copyright 2004 by David N. Bass
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