To Senator Jim Talent: stop playing God on the stem cell issue

October 13, 2006 | By | 4 Replies More

Such arrogance, to oppose the possibility that others with horrendous diseases might be helped by stem cell research. This commercial is aimed at the campaign of Rep. James Walsh. It applies equally to Senator Jim Talent of Missouri.

“How come he thinks he gets to decide who lives and dies?” the little girl says of Walsh. “Who is he?”

This little girl gets it right, as we’ve discussed here and here.

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Category: Good and Evil, Health, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    I noticed that the exact same commercial is used for a number of campaigns, with the actors saying the name of the applicable candidate. How can we get it to be aired here for any office (state or federal) held by someone who voted no to stem cell research? It makes a good point, for an attack ad.

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    Experimental stem cell therapy saved the life of a friend of mine this year. His cancer — Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma — had withstood eight rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, and the experimental stem cell therapy was his last, and only, remaining option. Even with the stem cell therapy, his doctors gave him only a 30% chance of survival. To make a long story short, his cancer is now in remission and he is back at work and back with his family.

    That he is back with his family is especially important, because he provides daily support to his two elderly parents, both of whom have mild demensia. Had he not survived, his parents would have needed to sell their house and move into assisted living, which, given their condition, would have greatly worsened their disorientation and their quality of life.

    This is one reason why I strongly support stem cell research to help improve survival odds for real people with real diseases: because real people often have other people who depend on them (sometimes very heavily), while blastocysts and fetuses obviously do not have these concerns. Banning stem cell therapy to save the "life" of a blastocyst ignores the potentially devastating impact on real people with real lives, real obligations and real dependants. Had stem cell therapy been unavailable for my friend, his entire family would have suffered a very real tragedy.

  3. Jason Rayl says:

    This may surprise some folks, but I have to say, that even though I agree with the sentiments expressed in this, I find this kind of hyperemotional political ad offensive, regardless who deploys it. People think with their glands too much already, which is a major reason we have such a lopsided, cock-eyed political landscape. Even in a good cause, this just fuels the hyperbole and distracts from rational discourse.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    I'm not crazy about young children voicing lines they are too young to understand. What I did like about this ad is that it cuts through lots of haze and platitudes and addresses a serious point central to proper functioning of this country.

    It seems to me that many neocons are people who just don't "get" boundary lines. To many of them, what they want is what all of us want. They are thus afflicted with a political form of autism–they have lost what psychologists call theory of other minds (TOM). It doesn't occur to many of them that this isn't just THEIR country. They don't "get" that some things are just not theirs to choose. They ignore that this is a country founded on individual liberties individually asserted.

    Yes, the ad is extremely emotionally charged. It yells "Back Off!" to those who need to be reminded that boundaries are important to the proper functioning of our government. The ad is harsh medicine, indeed. In my thought it is harsh medicine for harsh times. Too harsh? Possibly . . .

    I certainly respect Jason's point and the positions of others (even all others who agree with the ad's position on stem cell research) to disagree with the method of presenting this message.

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