Last week I wrote a column in Newsweek that essentially argued for a new kind of politics in this country that revolves around embryonic stem cell research. (It's personal with me -- I underwent an adult stem cell transplant last year for lymphoma. I'm in remission and feeling good, but it wasn't curative; embryonic stem cells might be.) I got some nice mail and comments in the blogosphere, but no one came forward with what I had hoped -- a plan to build a political movement.
Am I missing something? This seems like a natural to me, given that almost every American has a relative or friend with a disease (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, blood cancers) that could be cured with stem cell research. There are scientific organizations and a few other groups that have successfully lobbied in California and New Jersey for state-sponsored research. But we all know that funding from a few states will not be enough to keep us competitive globally and to save lives. The only way the votes will be there in the next Congress to override President Bush's veto is if a "pro-cure" movement kicks the "anti-cures" out of Congress in 2006. (How's that sound, Professor Lakoff?).
So who's going to get cracking on the hard political organizing necessary to get this done? I'm just a scribe. Many of you are the people who make things happen. The political history of this country is the history of movements -- for abolition, temperence, women, civil rights, anti-abortion. Make history. Please.