Michael J. Fox has stated in an interview on ABC that he hasn’t read Amendment 2, and thus, he hasn’t taken an explicit position on it. Puh-leese. Could he be any more Clinton-like? His ad against Senator Jim Talent claimed that Talent “opposes expanding stem cell research” and that he “wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope.” By “expanding stem cell research” Fox can only mean cloning since ESCR is perfectly legal and Talent (nor President Bush, for that matter) has never proposed criminalizing it. Talent’s other big apparent sin is to oppose Amendment 2, which would create a specific state constitutional right to engage in human somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning (e.g., expanded stem cell research). But, as readers of Secondhand Smoke must now be tired of reading, SCNT is not a synonym for ESCR.
Wait, there’s more: He claims that millions of people support the research, which, of course, is true, and urges that opponents permit them to do so “without infusing the conversation with inflammatory rhetoric and name-calling and fear-mongering.”
Well, who in the heck strongly implied that people who disagree with him about giving a blank federal check for ESCR are less interested in curing terrible diseases? None other than one Michael J. Fox, in this ad against Michael Steel in Maryland: “Stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans with diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. But George Bush and Michael Steel would put limits on the most promising stem cell research. Fortunately, Marylanders have a chance to vote for Ben Cardin. Cardin fully supports life saving stem cell research, that’s why I support Ben Cardin. And with so much at stake, I respectfully ask you to do the same.”
Fox has used his disease to sensationalize the ESCR and human cloning debates so that people will feel rather than think, in deciding where they stand. He has hyped the research, he deceived sick people and their families about ESCR being a real hope for curing Alzheimer’s disease, and he sought to depict those with whom he disagrees as somehow anti-cures.
And this is what he said about the problem of ESCR causing tumors: “In fact, they just did some work where they found that it actually relieved the symptoms of Parkinson’s in one test, but there some residue, some tissue residue that built up, which is not ideal.”
Not ideal? One hundred percent of those mice would have developed brain tumors, er, “tissue residue.” I repeat: Puh-leese!
We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.
Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on firstthings.com.
Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.
Will you give today?