Home > Uncategorized > Seeing What You Wish, not What Is

Seeing What You Wish, not What Is

Thursday, October 20, 2005, 18:05 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Political people—those who think of everything in political terms—are adept at seeing the speck in the eye of the party they oppose while ignoring the plank in the eye of the one they like. Conservatives, for example, see same-sex unions as an affront to the sanctity of marriage while ignoring the damage wrought by different-sex divorces. Liberals who made excuses for criminally-inclined Democratic Congressmen like Robert Torricelli and Nick Mavroules now rise up in righteous indignation about the indictment of Republican Tom DeLay.

In the same vein is a quote tucked at the end of a Boston Globe article on former Boston University hockey player Travis Roy (free registration required), who was rendered quadriplegic by an injury suffered in the opening seconds of his first collegiate game ten years ago.

I believe I’ll use [sports equipment] again. After my accident, I was sure there’d be a cure in five years. But now it’s been 10 and it’ll probably be 10 more. I hate to say it, but it’s political. When Clinton was in, everything was lined up to allow stem cell research. With Republicans, it’s been stopped cold.

Like the inaccurate contention that George W. Bush went to war in Iraq on the presumption that Saddam Hussein presented an imminent threat to our nation’s security (Bush actually said the opposite), the history of federally supported stem cell research is deliberately misquoted by people who care less about accuracy than they do about scoring political points. Bush did what Clinton didn’t—authorize federal funding of limited stem cell research. Because Democrats want no such limits, they perpetrated and continue to perpetuate the myth that Bush—and by extension, those nasty Republicans"stopped what the Democrats so benevolently started. In reality, stem cell research was not federally funded, even to a limited extent, under Clinton or any other Democratic President. A web site associated with the PBS series NOVA lets Clinton off the hook for the lack of federal funding and instead blames the Republican-controlled Congress, ignoring the fact that Republicans have also controlled Congress during the Bush Administration.

Perhaps I shouldn’t blame Travis Roy for getting it wrong. He was probably given bad information by someone he had no reason to distrust. On the other hand, if Roy is going to make public accusations for why he’s still in a wheelchair, wouldn’t he want to get his facts straight first?

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