Nov 10 2008
For all those who want to ‘reclaim’ conservatism let me give you a little hint – there is no need to ‘claim’ something people are rejecting at the voting booth. Obama won this election because something has soured the mood of the moderate conservatives and the optimistic youth (remember those days folks, where anything was possible?). I am not sure what exactly is the problem because I am of the opinion the problem has been built over years spanning many issues which have chased the voters to the dems.
I can point at some top issues like comprehensive immigration reform which took away a key voting block – Hispanics – when the far right trashed reasonable proposals on border security, temporary work programs, and a long path to citizenship (with back taxes due) for long term illegals. The emotional nativism which leapt out of the far right shocked many allies, no doubt since the initial salvo was a insane call for mass roundup and deportation. From then on the far right was (in my opinion rightfully) seen as nativist trying to find a way to force (either through laws or economic pressures) immigrants out of the nation.
It is no surprise McCain did not get the Hispanic vote – the GOP is not trusted or liked in that community now and McCain cannot honestly claim the nativist of the far right are any less strident in their ’cause’. When someone snidely calls immigration reform ‘amnesty’ (which is also legally wrong – since being an illegal alien is not a felony and therefore should only be punished by a fine and financial restitution) their words are being translated into the image of the mad conservative calling for mass deportation at gun point. People are not stupid, they saw McCain lose big time to the nativists. They know how his party can feel in some corners.
But let me also point to another problem that infected the conservative movement and repulsed a lot of people – the useless and idiotic fight against evolution. When Creationism hit the scene a lot of people where wondering whether conservatism was some sort of cult like Scientology. Intelligent Design I guess was an attempt to back pedal, but the flaw is not in believing in God, the flaw is trying to claim evolution is wrong. It isn’t wrong, it is proven science – just like it is now proven science that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way around. A lot of good people were punished and died bringing that little gem of reality to an overly religious human race.
Science does not preclude the hand of God in the secrets of existence that science mines as ‘discoveries’. The same science of evolution and DNA that the right rails against is the one that proves without any doubt that life begins at conception and should be cherished and protected. The same DNA tests used in courts across this country to prove innocence or guilt will show that a human embryo is not part of the mother or father, but that it is a unique human being which, left to explore its own life path, will most likely follow the normal life cycle of embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, child, teenager, etc. Why some people, who would barely pass High School Biology, feel the need to attack evolution as proof of their God is beyond me. But evolution is THE science, with established law, which could end the attempt to harvest these young humans for spare parts.
I come to my respect of life from a Christian beginning, but it’s foundation is secured within the proven facts of science. My respect for life extends beyond just human beings to every creature on this planet. Gaining my BS in Biology normally required sacrificing a lot of animals to classroom exercises, necessary to train the next generation of scientists and doctors. I fought this whenever it was used to emphasize some point in the text. I did not need to sacrifice some animal every day for a week to see how digestion works, I could figure it out.
But I do know life must be sacrificed for medical progress to be made. And one of my biggest arguments with Embryonic Stem Cell Research (besides the fact it is mathematically a millions times harder to achieve success than going the adult stem cell paths – which has been born out by the myriad of therapies out from adult stem cells while nothing has been produced from research on embryonic stem cells) is the fact that there is/was a rule in research to never go to human trials before a procedure was proven in animals.
Everything that needs to be learned to ever hope to unlock some therapies from embryonic stem cells can be worked out on Chimpanzee and other primate embryos first. Why this simple and well established rule of biological and medical research is being bypassed had me confounded until I realized the inability to trademark and profit from human DNA does not apply to embryos, since they are not legally considered ‘human beings’ yet. Greed to make profits has once again led people to kill other humans, history repeats.
The fact is embryonic research should be limited to primate research until the proponents can show they can control the genetic code and translations required to transform the cells into a therapy (right now they produce chaos and cancers). Therapies proven in primates should be the gate prior to destroying human beings. Adult stem cell research doesn’t destroy the human being who provides the stem cells (which include skin, cells found in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood). Â People need to peruse my postsÂ on this subject to see the broad range of adult stem therapies now in progress. And people need to know that right now there is no need to harvest embryos at all for stem cells since adult stem cells (skin cells) can now produce unlimited supplies!
Evolution is the science that will provide a legal basis to ban embryonic stem cells. It is also the science that will convince most science novices that embryos are human beings at conception. It should be the area of science pro-life folks should be heralding in their fight to stop the Democrats from overturning Bush’s ban on this insane act which is akin to the ‘experiments’ the Nazis did on the Jews.
We are still too much animal and not enough higher being to see what we are doing and use the tools we created to stop ourselves from exploiting the youngest among us to prolong our own lives. Can conservatism regain mainstream support? Can conservatism end its fight against science and evolution to do what is right and save the life of young human beings? Are these actually the same question?
It is for conservatives to chose as a political entity. I know which is right and what science says and what science once mandated as prerequisites to human experiments. What I don’t know is how whether enough people are willing to admit their ignorance to champion the cause. Some refuse to accept science because they claim their faith requires it, some refuse to see the human being sacrificed on the alter of prolonging their own life (or someone close to them) because they claim a right to survive.
Too few see the full reality and the potential to save lives and prolong them all at once. Divided we fail, and we are divided.