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On Election Day, Turn Out, Not Off

If you choose not to vote, expect to pay of it

“If more people realized that this was all a question of pushing the right buttons … I think there would be a realization that maybe I ought to sit down, take the time and study up on the issues.”

So said Stanford University communications professor Shanto Iyengar to Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein in “This is your brain on negative ads.” Iyengar, co-author of “Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink and Polarize the Electorate,” says that being influenced by negative political ads allows voters to take the easy way out, being guided by emotions rather than knowing the issues.

More than any major issue in today’s elections, Iyengar’s observation holds true for “science and stem cells.”

For the past six years the liberal media and research-related industries have sustained a public relations campaign to promote embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. At times, like Saddam Hussein’s low-level chemical warfare tactics of the first Gulf War, this campaign waned in the background of national affairs. Whereas around crucial legislative votes, the ’04 elections, or to trumpet research ‘breakthroughs’ (that were later revealed to be frauds), the nation was force fed “stem cells.”

This public-relations tempo has dramatically increased in anticipation of today’s elections, with the mothers of children with diabetes and disabled celebrities such as Michael J. Fox claiming that conservative candidates are against “stem cells” and are delaying “cures.”

It’s bad enough that these ads target our compassion for others and our hopes for health to secure political gains, social goals and financial interests, but the truly unspeakable outrage of these ads and the six year embryonic “stem cell” public-relations campaign is that these claims are simply NOT TRUE!

Society’s “stem cells and human cloning” debates are not a matter of pro-life values or religious morals blocking miracle cures. They’re about money. They’re about researchers and research related industries wanting unlimited access to colossal public funds for decades. They’re about scientists choosing to pursue hugely problematic research directions to insure long-range research funding, research patents, and industry growth, rather than using society’s research resources to produce effective, affordable solutions to disabilities and disease.

In 2004 the backers of California’s Proposition 71 used the first of Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo Suk’s research frauds to mislead the people of California into spending $6 billion over the next decade on basic embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. The next year Hwang’s second fraud was used to push pro-embryonic stem cell legislation through the House.

As today’s election neared, those misleading the public over stem cells issues have stepped up the hype, telling us that embryonic stem cells can be “harvested” from embryos without killing the embryo; that conservative supporters of adult stem cell and cord blood research are “against cures”; that Missouri’s Proposition 2 will ban human cloning (when in fact it will make human cloning a constitutional right in Missouri); and that embryonic stem cells are mankind’s “hope” for medical treatments and cures.

All of this is utterly false.

In their willingness to mislead and exploit the public regarding crucial matters of science, vast public resources, and the public’s health, America’s liberal politicians have clearly revealed they are utterly incapable of leading America responsibly. They’ve already betrayed our trust.

Iyengar explained that negative political ads work by pulling our “emotional triggers.” These ads don’t need to change your political views, he says, or the way you vote. “You can’t get them to vote for you, but maybe you can get them to stay home.”

Don’t stay home on Election Day. Support candidates who agree with the president’s ethical limits on embryonic stem cell Federal funding and who oppose human cloning under any verbal disguise, including therapeutic cloning, somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT.

You already pay for publicly funded science with your taxes. Don’t pay for it with your health, your future, and maybe your life.

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Written By

As director of The Cures 1st Foundation, Mr. Kelly promotes practical uses of research resources. Kelly, who suffered a 1997 spinal cord injury, lives with his wife in Colorado and serves as the biotech writer for The Seoul Times.

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